Monday, March 12, 2012


if this number is right, rush is really taking it on the chin. but i actually think it's worse than 140 lost advertisers. the controversy is also going to keep away businesses who never advertised on rush limbaugh's show from ever starting in the future.

rush is rush. assuming he doesn't get canceled entirely (i, for one, predict he will survive this, although maybe in fewer media markets), he's bound to say something controversial in the future that will cause  people to call for a boycott of his advertisers. that puts the advertiser in a difficult position. because if they give in to the boycott threat and pull their ads, then they risk a pro-rush counter-boycott. from the perspective of a business who has not yet bought advertisement on rush's show, putting themselves in that kind of damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't position seems foolish. most companies want to appeal to the general audience, that is both rush-listeners and rush-haters. they don't need to wade into that mess and there are plenty of non-controversy-drawing shows to choose from.

which is also why this is spreading beyond rush. limbaugh isn't the only one with a controversial show, and companies like ford and geico have every incentive to avoid even the potential for a damaging boycott.