And after his unfortunate comments, where he was basically suggesting that a Georgetown grad student Sandra Fluke is a slut because she had the temerity to testifiy in support of the Obama administration's requirement that health insurance plans cover contraceptives for women, shock jock Rush Limbaugh is now feeling the wrath of advertisers.
As reported here, seven advertisers have pulled their ads from his show and there will be more. One of them, the Internet based florist ProFlowers, put out a statement: ""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."
He has since apologised but it's not cutting much ice. This is a man who made a career on broadcasting sexism and misogyny, and too many have profited to abandon his deeply ingrained views of women.
The more interesting part is what it might say about the future of talk radio which is occupied by shock jocks like Limbaugh. As commentator Noah Rothman says, the boycotting of these sorts of programs is now being used more often. "The tactic of targeting advertisers to bolt conservative programming is a tried and successful one. The same strategy worked against Don Imus' program in 2007. Liberals furious with Glenn Beck were able to scuttle his program by targeting his advertisers – today, Beck is relegated to some nameless corner of the internet, unable to influence the broader political discussion. Now, they have come for Rush Limbaugh. Limbaugh, whose program has been on the air since 1985 and has dominated what had previously been regarded as a hopeless time slot (12pm – 3pm or "middays," the bane of all radio hosts), represents liberal boycotter's biggest target to date."
But then, the advertisers might have other reasons. As commentator John Avlon , right wing talk radio is dying with the numbers flat lining. People have just lost interest because all they're doing is spending 18 hours a day saying Obama is a socialist. Commentator Cenk Uyger concurs. Talk radio, he says, is a dying business.