Rush Limbaugh used his radio program today to reiterate his “heartfelt” apology to Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law student that he labeled a “prostitute” and a “slut” last week for her vocal support for covering contraception in health care plans.
Today’s show was also an opportunity to address the news that a number of advertisers have decided to pull their dollars from the program (the figure has gone from six to eight). AOL has added itself to this list.
“We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh’s comments are not in line with our values. As a result we have made the decision to suspend advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Radio show,” said AOL spokesperson Maureen Sullivan.
Limbaugh said that the choice to advertise is up to the advertisers, but it’s not about them. He argues that these advertisers did very well financially as a result of their business relationship, and he’ll find other advertisers. In fact, he’s rejected advertisers in the past, such as General Motors.
“No radio broadcast will succeed by putting business ahead of the needs of its loyal audience, and that audience is you,” he continued. Perhaps a bit of audience pandering is part of his crisis strategy. You can listen to his show here.
Appearing on The View today, Fluke said that given the nature of the statement, she doesn’t think his words “change anything.” Even disgraced radio personality Don Imus called the apology “lame.” When you get scolded by someone who had his show cancelled because of racist statements he made, you know you’re in trouble.
And The Washington Post points out that Limbaugh has made offensive statements in the past and has bounced back without a scratch, unlike the aforementioned Imus. However, this time Limbaugh is dealing with a new ratings system that could lower his numbers, more competition, and a situation that, according to a talk show consultant, is now “in the hands of an angry public.” One Hawaii station has already said it’s dropping Limbaugh’s show.
The article ends with reference to an apology from MSNBC’s Ed Schultz to conservative broadcaster Laura Ingraham. He, too, used some of this same vile language to attack her a while back. Schultz went on the air to say he was sorry, talking about the shame he brought on his company and his family.
“Ingraham responded by accepting the apology — at which point the matter died,” the story says.
[image: Micah Walter/REUTERS]