Editor’s note: This is a quickly-developing story. For the latest on Rush Limbaugh, click here.
The Rush Limbaugh brand has become so toxic that even after the conservative talk radio shock jock issued a website “apology” that all but entirely missed the mark, two more long-term advertisers, Carbonite, and ProFlowers, decided associating with Limbaugh was just too dangerous, bringing the grand total of fleeing advertisers sickened by the Limbaugh poison so far to eight.
Carbonite and ProFlowers join Citrix Online and all its businesses, including the popular GoToMeeting and GoToMyPC. Friday, the privately-owned online retailer that sells legal documents and services with annual sales over $100 million, Legal Zoom, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers professional basketball team and Quicken Loans, both headed by Dan Gilbert, joined the boycott and suspended their advertising. And two different mattress companies, Sleep Number, and The Sleep Train – which deserves credit for being the first to have the courage to stand up to Limbaugh — have ask either exited or suspended advertising with Limbaugh.
“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady,” wrote Carbonite CEO David Friend, after the Limbaugh apology became public. “Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”
Friend had issued a statement the day prior, announcing his concern and adding that he had scheduled a meeting with Limbaugh for next week. Apparently, Limbaugh’s “apology” was insufficient for Friend, whose deliberate and deliberative responses should be examined by Limbaugh’s remaining advertisers.
ProFlowers today decided, after taking a tremendous amount of heat in the press and social media, to “suspend” their advertising as well.
“At ProFlowers, our mission is to delight our customers with fresh and long lasting flowers, and that is our singular focus each and every day,” ProFlowers wrote in a statement issued on Facebook. “We do not base our advertising decisions to align with any particular political view or opinion as our employees and customers are as diverse as the USA. Mr. Limbaugh’s recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company. As such, ProFlowers has suspended advertising on The Rush Limbaugh radio program.”
Let’s be extremely clear here: ProFlowers, while to be commended for “suspending” its advertising after Limbaugh’s apology, was remarkably slow to do so, given the fact that the world associates flowers with Mother’s Day. ProFlowers should have been the first — not the last — advertiser to take a stand. Their actions, unlike the other seven advertisers who have exited, quit, or only “suspended” advertising with Limbaugh, are insufficient and they do not deserve to be let off the hook.
Here’s another reason why.
This email from ProFlowers’ customer service yesterday, reprinted exactly as was forwarded to me, sans the recipient’s personal information, explains why ProFlowers deserves little credit:
> Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2012 12:51:27 -0800
> From: wecare@customercare.
> To: XXXXXX
> Subject: RE: Stop Now! (#8896-283175047-XXXX)
> Dear Valued Customer,
> Thank you for your feedback. We spend our advertising dollars across a wide spectrum of media channels. The views and opinions of the media outlets and personalities we advertise with are not necessarily those of our company.
> We simply wish to delight our customers with fresh and unique gifting products, and that will continue to happen to the best of our abilities.
> Best Regards,
> SUPPORT Ken G
> Customer Care
Shame on them!
Limbaugh, after four days of putting the nation through a cultural, gender, sexist, and misogynistic war, “apologized” late Saturday afternoon, but within his apology he revealed the roots of his madness. Limbaugh, who spent half this past week calling college student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute,” then demanding she post online videos of her having sex, released a short statement in which he revealed that every moment of his 35 years on the air have merely been “absurdity,” and that his comments and positions are not meant to be taken seriously. In other words, Limbaugh retreated to his supporters’ (faulty) default position that the conservative radio talk show shock jock is merely an “entertainer.”
The good news: the Limbaugh brand is now poison. It is so toxic, eight advertisers have left Limbaugh. Hopefully more will follow.
America, at least those on the Left, has done the right thing, and stood up for women. Limbaugh, and the millions on the right who even after his apology are attacking Sandra Fluke and all women with the disgusting vehemence I would like to their recent support of U.S. soldiers pissing on dead Iraqis, highlights that there really are still two Americas. One who honors women and civility, and one that abhors both.
Finally, as we’ve repeatedly stated here at The New Civil Rights Movement, “suspending” your advertising means little. Promising to never advertise on the Rush Limbugh show, the Rush Limbaugh website, or on Clear Channel, which owns Limbaugh’s show, and pays him tens of millions of dollars annually, is the right decision. We need to keep watching and listening and “advertising” if any of these eight return to limbaugh or Clear Channel.
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