Remember seeing headlines such as the "Limbaugh Advertisers Flee Show Amid Storm"? That's what The New York Times ran on the front page of the Business section earlier this month. The media wallowed in how many days of coverage -- frequently leading the nightly news or placed prominently in the paper -- about the advertiser boycott and how much harm it was causing Rush Limbaugh.
The actual argument Limbaugh made was never put in context and we learned that the word he used (one that is frequently used in prime time sitcoms and by liberals who oppose female conservatives) should be grounds for permanent banishment from the country when uttered by Rush. Or something.
Well, the Washington Post has a follow-up:
Exactly one month after the conservative radio host sparked outrage ... stations are standing by him, advertisers are trickling back to his program and the news media have moved on. ...
Limbaugh’s advertising losses may have been less than media accounts suggested. While more than 100 advertisers told Premiere that they didn’t want to be associated with “controversial” radio programs of any kind in the wake of the flap, some of these companies weren’t regular Limbaugh sponsors in the first place.
Most of the remaining departures were only airing regionally.
“Contrary to the wishful thinking of the professional special interest groups, reports of sponsors fleeing the ‘Rush Limbaugh Show’ are grossly exaggerated. In fact, the program retains virtually of all its long-term sponsors who continue to have great success” with the show, saidRachel Nelson, spokeswoman for Premiere.
One of the goals of the group astroturfing the campaign against Limbaugh is to seek his removal from 180 of the stations that currently air him. They're pretty close to that goal -- they've gotten him off of two teensie-tiny stations. One in Hawaii and one in Western Massachusetts. I'm sure the remaining powerhouse stations that enjoy huge revenues because of his many listeners will drop him any day now.
What I love about this story is that it shows, once again, the bubble of the liberal elite. The only time they ever listen to Limbaugh is when his comments are taken out of context and clipped by a group devoted to doing just that. And that's fine. Talk radio is an acquired taste and it takes a certain commitment -- of time and open-mindedness -- to hear a talk radio argument made in full.
The manufactured outrage over this incident, and how willingly the media elite played along, didn't end up hurting Limbaugh. But didn't it hurt the credibility of those that played along?