Rush Limbaugh and the Decline of Hate Radio

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How is Rush Limbaugh, the obscenely obscene radio personality, the voice of hatred and racism, doing these days? Is he still earning his $40 million a year for the billionaires and giant corporations? Is the Hillary hater…why does he hate her so much….still grinding out his insults? Does he still thing that bright young law students (as opposed to what seem to be his favorites—Caribbean teen prostitutes) should be called whores because they would like to have contraception?

Apparently not, according to someone who should know—the head of Limbaugh’s largest network, Cumulus Radio. According to Lew Dickey, CEO of Cumulus radio, 48 of the top 50 national radio advertisers have a “no-Limbaugh” order in their files, as do all the top national advertising agencies.

Limbaugh is toxic to advertisers. So good riddance, and—what took them so long? This vile cretin has been on the air since 1988. He hasn’t changed. He fawned over Reagan and Bush the Braver, who had two major recessions and accumulated $4 trillion in debt but attacked the Clinton Administration, including First Lady Hillary Clinton every single day, while the Clinton era became the largest sustained period of growth in the nation’s history and unemployment dropped below 4%. Limbaugh is a lying, thieving, irresponsible hate-filled  propagandist for the rich. He has made nearly a billion dollars working for oil men, global corporations, and purely Fascist billionaires. 

Where was the recognition of his filthy message 30 years ago and why is he still on the air, when his principal means of spreading detritus, Cumulus radio network, says it is losing $5.5 million a year because of his Rightist and racist comments.

No one has been more disrespectful to the Presidency than Limbaugh, nor has any one of the numerous petty racist commentators who have followed Limbaugh’s money trail, ever called the President “Barack the Magic Negro” in a disgusting, blatantly racist song. He should have been removed and banned from radio that very day. Obviously, we discovered that day, that at least half of America, all the Republicans for sure, since they are the overwhelming listeners to Rush Limbaugh, is pure racist. Look on either side of you. Either the person on the left or the one on the right is an active racist.

How do we know that Republicans are racists? In 2008, one of the candidates, Chip Saltsman, who would have known…he was running for chairman of the Republican Party, sent out a CD of “Barack the Magic Negro” to all those who might be voting for him. But the media found out and people were outraged. As a result of their embarrassment, the GOP nominated Michael Steele, an African-American. Do you need any more evidence than that? Do you think Saltsman would have sent that out if he thought the key members of the committee would have been outraged by it? They were only sorry that they got caught in the major media.

This was always Rush Limbaugh’s message. Hate your neighbor. Stir up dissention against Democrats. Ridicule any effort to help the underprivileged, the poor, the elderly—all of whom Limbaugh denigrated for only one reason—to make himself rich–$40 million a year for spewing hatred and dividing citizens using the new rule that Reagan introduced. From 1987, the Fairness Doctrine had been removed. It paved the way for Limbaugh. It was no longer legally necessary to tell the truth on the air. That stupidity was not Limbaugh’s doing or his fault. He merely took advantage of it to go from a vagabond, itinerant, failed radio disk jockey (and a failure at everything else he tried) into the magical world of propagandist with no obligations to anyone except those whose businesses profited from the popularity of Limbaugh’s startling “revelations.”  (Lies.)

His lies became so blatant and so ridiculous that a bright young, Harvard-educated comedian who had earned some national admiration and an Emmy for his characters on Saturday Night Live could take it no longer. He wrote “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” and “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.” Now Al Franken, the brilliant satirist (now Senator Al Franken from Minnesota) knew that Limbaugh had put his own foot in his mouth. He couldn’t respond to Franken’s attacks because they were their own best defense: they were true. If Limbaugh hadn’t wanted to be called a “liar” in public he shouldn’t have lied on radio where the fact were not only in public, but you could actually hear them played back on radio.

For example, Limbaugh said in 2009, “Not one Republican voted for the TARP (bank bailout) bill.” The fact is that 125 Republican Congressmen voted for the TARP bill.

In 2010, Limbaugh stated, about the Dodd-Frank Bill:  “The Democrats have just passed and Obama has signed a financial bill that imposes quotas on financial institutions—racial quotas, gender quotas.”  That is simply a lie. There are no quotas mentioned anywhere in Dodd-Frank.

In discussing the creation of the Affordable Care Act legislation, Limbaugh objected to the legislation on the grounds, among others, that “There were no hearings.”  There were, in fact, 179 hearings including a conference with both Democratic and Republican leaders….and the President….on television.

Also about the Affordable Care Act, in 2010, he said, “If you think there aren’t death panels, think again.” By this time Sarah Palin’s grievous (and perhaps deliberate) misunderstanding of the panels established, with medical specialists, hospital chain administrators and others to review and find “best procedures” similar to the quite common search for “best practices” in corporate management had been long debunked. Senator Charles Grassley had foolishly made a similar comment, not realizing at that point with whom he was dealing in Sarah Palin. But, in any case, Limbaugh clearly knew the truth and lied about it. Nothing new in his case.

In 2010, Limbaugh claimed that Democratic senators proposed: “to force America to stop putting their retirement money into private 401(k) accounts and send the money to the government.”  No such plan or proposal or even suggestion ever existed.

In 2010, he lied about the oil spill in the gulf, stating that President Obama  “waited 8 days” before acting. The facts show that the President acted immediately.

But while his lies do great damage because they encourage the hicks to continue to promote their racism and intolerance and ignorance, perhaps equally or even more offensive are his insults to those with whom he simply disagrees. His referring to Georgetown law student, Sandra Fluke as a “slut” was perhaps the final straw, drawing a rebuke from even a hard Right-Winger like Carly Fiorina, and the insult that cause advertisers to back away and then leading eventually to an avalanche of national advertisers.

Rush Limbaugh’s contract must be unusual. One can only speculate. If small group of very rich men get together to spend $400 million over ten years, they must have at least considered that any day the whole ridiculous propaganda enterprise that is Rush Limbaugh’s commentary over the radio could implode. The same people who paid him to lie against various Democratic proposals and to insult and ridicule various populist Democratic leaders must have realized that it was possible that advertisers might eventually pull out and they would be left holding the bag for most of his $40 million a year contract. Limbaugh has apologized numerous times before, for racist comments, for homophobic comments and regularly refers to strong women (he’s been married 4 times) as “feminazis.”

His insults know no bounds. He called the young Amy Carter ugly and Chelsea Clinton, the “White House dog” both when they were young and vulnerable teen age girls. He called NFL fans wrong for supporting a black quarterback, Donovan McNabb for most valuable player and ridiculed Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s condition while flailing around in a cartoon characterization of a Parkinson’s victim in his broadcast studio.

While the Sandra Fluke comments probably did Limbaugh in…and he’s still on the air, remember, even if it is no longer on a top station in big markets…his insults to the President and the First Lady went far beyond the bounds of other talk show hosts and certainly, when he was not pulled from the air, gave cover to many Segregationist Republicans to make even more vicious racist comments about the President. But the fact that they did, and the fact that they then went on to try to enact a number of racist changes in government legislation finally showed that the old Democratic Segregationists had definitely taken control of the Republican Party and started its Neo-Fascist trends.

If the assumption that Rush Limbaugh’s contract has a strong non-cut clause in it, then his and his networks’ misfortunes could be excellent situations for Democrats and the American People. If that is the case, they must pay him no matter how poorly he performs. He is on the ropes. Here is a just a partial list of the more than 142 advertisers who have dropped his show and ask that their ads not appear on his program.

21st Century Insurance • Hotels.com • Rite Aid • Ace Hardware • Honda • Robitussin • Acura • IBM • Sam Adams • Advance Auto Parts • Icy Hot • Sam’s Club • Advil (All products) • Intuit/Small Business • Schiff – Digestive Advantage • Alacer/Emergen-C • Schiff – Mega Red • Allegra (all products) • Johnson & Johnson (All Brands) • Schiff – Move Free • Kohl’s • Schiff – Sustenex • Ally Bank • La Quinta • Scotts Miracle-Gro (all products) • American Express • Lifetime • Autozone • Little Caesars • Sony • Lowe’s • State Farm • British Petroleum • Luxottica • Staples • Bullfrog Sunblock • Macy’s • Sterling/Kay Jared Jewelers • Caltrate • MasterCard • Subway • Centrum • McDonalds • Takeda Uloric • Chapstick • Midas • The Home Depot • Clorox (Pinesol/Homecare) • Napa Auto Parts • ThermaCare • Cortizone • National Realtor • Toyota • DeVry • NBC-TV • Discover Card • Office Depot • Twinings of London • Domino’s Pizza • Office Max • Tyson/Wright Brand Bacon • Exxon/Exxon Mobil • One Main Financial • Unisom • Farmers Insurance • United Healthcare • Ford • Orkin • U.S. Army • Outback • U. S. Postal Service • General Motors (All products -GM Certified Service • Chevy • Onstar • Cadillac • etc) • Preparation H • Visa • Gold Bond (all products • ProNutrients (all products) • Walgreens • Grainger • Progressive Insurance • Wal-Mart • Green Mountain Coffee • Prudential • Wells Fargo • Hallmark • Radio Shack • Wrigley • H&R Block • Rent-A-Center • Yahoo!

The “Stop Rush,” “Boycott Rush” and “Flush Rush” write-in and call-in campaigns to get advertisers to leave the Rush Limbaugh show have caused a major change. Radio host programs have gone down while radio news format programs have increased. Limbaugh himself is losing all his major advertising support and consequently his station and network support. There is an even more important factor at work here.

According to Murdoch’s  Wall Street Journal, radio advertising in the talk show host/political commentator segment fell  from $217 million to $205 million in 2013, the year after the Sandra Fluke advertiser great withdrawal from Limbaugh. But Cumulus has said that they lost $5.5 million, primarily because of advertiser flight. Cumulus is Limbaugh’s biggest network.  Not only are his ratings going down but all talk radio formats are lessening their hold on the Right Wing.

Since Limbaugh makes a reputed $40 million a year on his contract, (and total talk radio revenues are only about $200 million) and since they don’t seem to be able to force him off the air as they did Glenn Beck (granting the idea that they may have had some kind of insanity clause with Beck) Limbaugh’s contract—if the pressure groups who are still in effect keep whittling away—might be the very thing to break the bank and bankrupt Right Wing Fascist radio.