“we are identifying the true identities of these people”
I can’t believe I’m writing about “StopRush” again.
Longtime readers will recall my extensive and groundbreaking research into the StopRush operation just after Limbaugh’s comments about Sandra Fluke in 2012, for which he apologized.
I proved then that the operation — at least at that time — was a Media Matters astroturfed assault on Limbaugh’s advertiser base, based on a pre-existing plan just waiting for the right moment. Supposedly independent groups coordinated their efforts with an MMFA operative, and then tried to cover it up.
My research led Limbaugh to activate his personal Twitter account to spread the results of my research. It also earned me threats to interfere in my employment, although those threats never materialized as far as I know.
I continued to follow the main group, as it targeted advertisers and eventually imploded from infighting and infiltration. The efforts largely failed at causing any meaningful damage to Limbaugh. Carbonite, one of the mains sponsors to drop Limbaugh, suffered as a result.
Nonetheless, a small cadre of operatives, who often used multiple proxy accounts to multiply their effect, continued to plug away at harassing Limbaugh advertisers over a variety of issues. Because I stopped following their efforts, it’s unclear if it is the same original group members, or not. My sense is that some of the original crew have faded away.
Over time, I stopped writing about the anti-Limbaugh effort as it was a sideshow. But the group never went away, and succeeded in antagonizing people. The StopRush group elicited this response from a college student who objected to their taking over other groups’ hastags, Dear #FillTheBowl Twitter trolls: go home.
This summer seem to have reignited its efforts, leading to an investigation of who was behind the group:
Clear Channel Networks Group and iHeartRadio President Darren Davis said this week that social media attacks on conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh have come mostly from a small but dedicated group of activists.
“[A] huge focus for me is to have Rush be appreciated for what he truly is,” Davis said in an interview this week.
The radio boss, whose company carries the Limbaugh program, said that his team investigated numerous campaigns aimed at removing the conservative radio host from the air and found that a very small group was responsible for a majority of the complaints.
The other day, Limbaugh read a post from College Insurrection about Ohio State’s requirement that students not only have consent to have sex, they needed to agree on why they were having sex. Otherwise, it’s a campus violation.
In the course of reading our post, Limbaugh made the following comments:
Here’s what consent is at Ohio State. After you and your partner decide that you’re gonna make out or have sex, you agree to do it, then you have to agree on why. “Consent is the act of knowingly, actively and voluntarily agreeing explicitly to engage in sexual activity. Consent must be freely given and can be withdrawn at any time.”
“You have to be sober, not coerced, imaginative, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest, verbal. The absence of ‘no’ does not mean ‘yes.’ It must be asked every step of the way. It cannot be implied or assumed, even in the context of a relationship. Circumstances in which a person CANNOT legally give consent: (No matter what he or she might verbalize): The person is severely intoxicated or unconscious as a result of alcohol or drugs. The person is physically or developmentally disabled. The victim is under the age 13 or is elderly. So as long as the girl is thirteen years old, she can give consent for sex, provided it’s creative and enthusiastic.”
“Consent must be freely given, can be withdrawn at any time, and the absence of ‘no’ does not mean ‘yes.'” How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that “no” means “yes” if you know how to spot it? Let me tell you something. In this modern world, that is simply not tolerated. People aren’t even gonna try to understand that one. I mean, it used to be said it was a cliche. It used to be part of the advice young boys were given.
See, that’s what we gotta change. We have got to reprogram the way we raise men. Why do you think permission every step of the way, clearly spelling out “why”… are all of these not lawsuits just waiting to happen if even one of these steps is not taken?
Those comments then were twisted by the DCCC for fundraising purposes, purporting that Limbaugh was advocating sexual assault, even though he clearly was not. A DCCC petition demanding that Limbaugh be dropped by radio stations has over 300,000 signatures as of this writing (which, of course, means the DCCC has 300,000 more names and email addresses in its get-out-the-vote database).
A representative for Rush Limbaugh is accusing the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee of intentionally lying about the radio host’s remarks in “a disturbing and cynical attempt to fundraise from the serious problem of sexual abuse.”
“The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee emails about Rush Limbaugh are an intentional lie, using 10 words carefully selected from his full comments to imply the opposite of what he actually said,” Brian Glicklich, a spokesperson for Limbaugh, told POLITICO on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel sent a blast email asking supporters to sign a petition calling on Limbaugh’s sponsors to pull their advertising from his program because of remarks he had made about rape. Israel characterized Limbaugh as saying, “…No” means “yes” if you know how to spot it…” The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sent out a similar email on Wednesday.
The StopRush group apparently is part of or piggybacking on the DNC effort.
The Limbaugh spokesman, Brian Glicklich, has been tweeting vigorously that the StopRush operatives will to be forced to “sign your name” to their anonymous actions, and used the hashtag “SignYourName”.
— Brian Glicklich (@brianglicklich) September 22, 2014
Glicklich has had numerous back and forth tweets with the Media Matters operative who originated the StopRush effort:
— Brian Glicklich (@brianglicklich) September 23, 2014
I emailed Glicklich with the following questions:
“Are you going to be identifying the true identities of people currently using pseudonyms on Twitter and elsewhere to contact Limbaugh advertisers?
And if so, how many such people?”
Here was his response:
“Yes, we are identifying the true identities of these people, at about 5PM eastern today, on Rush Limbaugh’s website.
We are identifying about ten such individuals today, and have many more available.
Our desire is to educate those targeted by these extremists about who is contacting them, and what their real motivation is, since these protestors portray themselves as customers when they are not.”
This should be interesting.
We will update.
UPDATE: (We have updated the title as well to reflect that Limbaugh has published the names)
The Hidden Story Behind Stop Rush lays out the claims as to the core group behind the Twitter campaign against Limbaugh’s advertisers.
Here are some of the findings in the post as to how these people operated:
Emails advertisers with harassment from her official Kent State email address. Gives businesses she has no relationship with 1 star ratings if they advertise on Rush.
Regularly changes online identity to hide anonymously, gives businesses she has no relationship with 1 star ratings if they advertise on Rush
Changes ID frequently with different numbers to remain anonymous, has sent over 96,000 tweets
Develops, administers, and distributes target lists indiscriminately, gives businesses she has no relationship with 1 star ratings if they advertise on Rush
Writes for DailyKos under both identities, long bullying/harassing pieces about political opponents.
It also lays out how the operation worked. (click on image to go to pdf.)