New anti-Rush Limbaugh ad campaign: Waste of money or coup de grace? (+video)
Liberal watchdog group Media Matters are running anti-Rush Limbaugh ads in eight cities in an attempt to get stations to drop his show. This might be a battle Limbaugh is more comfortable fighting.
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Second, demanding that Limbaugh wholeheartedly apologize is one thing. Demanding that he stop speaking is another. Liberal comedian Bill Maher has noted on his Twitter feed that he dislikes advertiser boycotts – perhaps due to his own controversial comments – and he is not alone. An opinion piece earlier this month from feminist icons Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Robin Morgan pushing for the FCC to kick Rush off US airwaves drew negative comments from many quarters. The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf warned of a political escalation that could result in “attempts by the left and right to use speech codes as a cudgel against opponents”.Skip to next paragraph
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Third, the increasing heat of the presidential campaign will affect the anti-Limbaugh cause to some degree, perhaps further allowing the talk show host to divert attention from his particular anti-Fluke diatribe.
You’ll note that Limbaugh himself links Media Matters and the Democratic Party together in the same breath. Meanwhile, Media Matters criticizes not just Limbaugh, but what the group terms his “conservative cheerleaders” among GOP-leaning pundits.
The further the controversy drifts from the harm done to a particular person, the more likely the chances that Limbaugh emerges from the controversy financially intact. Will his influence diminish, given advertisers’ newfound wariness of controversial speech? That might be the real question going forward.
Meanwhile, the more time Rush spends talking about Media Matters, the less he spends attacking President Obama. It’s possible that will be a main effect, inadvertent or otherwise, of the anti-Rush ad campaign.
“We have to wonder how all of this is actually plain ol’ politics. We’re heading toward the presidential election and Rush’s focus has been taken off his usual ball, onto his own crisis,” writes Carl Marcucci of the media trade publication RBR-TVBR.com on Thursday.
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