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Kohler joins Limbaugh boycott

Kohler joins Limbaugh boycott

Kohler, based in Wisconsin, has joined the Rush Limbaugh boycott, according to tweets it sent out yesterday from its Twitter account, @Kohler:

It is not clear that Kohler actually ever advertised on the Limbaugh show, almost certainly not nationally.  This may be another of the pre-emptive moves to take the pressure off.

I e-mailed Kohler’s media relations department last night for clarification of its policy, whether it advertised before, and what caused Kohler to announce this new policy yesterday.

Unlike the people who complained on Twitter, Kohler has not yet responded to me.

This all is part of a pre-organized plan and methodology which I have discussed before and about which Jeffrey Lord writes today, The Plot to Get Rush:

Disrupt Relationships With Sponsors: A serious campaign has been underway to disrupt Rush’s relationships with his sponsors. An effort launched two years — two years — before Sandra Fluke ever appeared on the scene.

Keep Lists to Intimidate Sponsors: Ominous lists are kept of sponsors who have been bullied into giving up their First Amendment rights– and those who have stoutly resisted.

Propagandize the Media: The media is quickly propagandized with a false story. In this case, Sandra Fluke is portrayed as an innocent college girl when she is in fact a 30-year old longtime left-wing activist.

Social Media: Use Twitter to play Chinese Roulette.

The White House and Media Matters: “Close coordination” with the White House.

The Media Matters $100,000 Secret Donor fund to attack free speech: A hundred grand bounty designed to both end Rush’s career — and assault your God-given right to free speech.

There is push back against Kohler on Twitter:

As Lord details, it is much easier for an advertiser to run from controversy when contronted by Media Matters and others, but it is important that those who oppose Media Matters’ tactics also push back:

What is it Angelo Carusone is quoted as doing in that 2010Raw Story interview? A story that was in fact focused on Glenn Beck?

Here’s the verbatim.

“…Carusone is mounting similar campaigns targeting Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and CNN.”

Beck is now off Fox’s air.

The Rush campaign is now in progress — but in spite of all this, in fact precisely because of all this, his audience is sticking — not to mention getting pretty damn mad….

Is this still America?

Only if we fight back.

We don’t need to overstate the impact of advertisers such as Kohler playing to the Media Matters crowd, but they do need to hear voices of actual customers.


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Juba Doobai! | March 27, 2012 at 9:55 am

Koehler had better remember that they sell to Conservatives as well as to the Communists. Any company worth its salt ought to tell the Communists that America has a Constitution which enshrines free speech rights for all, and that they will not join in violating anybody’s free speech. Instead, the companies knuckle under and lose business. Koehler may be amongst the best for fittings, but someone else will come along.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Juba Doobai!. | March 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    MOEN – stands by their product – unconditionally. Great instant service line and you get to speak to an expert.

    Toto and Gerber make great durable reliable toilets. (PS – don’t accept a wooden toilet seat – the paint chips, it mildews, splits – go with plastic)

Rush said yesterday that David Brock and Media Mutters were affecting him on the level of “jock-itch”.

Slightly annoying. No harm done. Essentially a low form of life, giving you a minor pain in the ass.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to Ragspierre. | March 27, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Like I said, no need to overstate the impact, but it’s a pernicious tactic which over time is damaging to conservative talk radio in general. Since there is no popular liberal talk radio, when advertisers are bullied into taking a “no controversy” policy it effectively targets mostly conservatives.

      Both (all) telling points, Prof. I wonder how long this will last, however. The Trayvon nonsense is filling the “hair on fire” moonbattery with their outrage de jour, and the FLUCK deal has already started to stale. Advertising people are not notoriously critters of long memory, or deep scruple.

Glad I installed Toto in my bathrooms.

I don’t ever recall ever hearing a Kohler ad on Rush’s show so I don’t think this is anything really.

As Rush stated yesterday, he is doing well, and adding more listeners.

It seems, Jeffrey Lord remains on top of the situation.

    I’ve been a dittohead for 20 years (next month) and I’ve never heard a Kohler ad. I take nothing I hear on TV or read in the MSM at face value.

    Uncle Samuel in reply to Scorpio51. | March 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Jeffrey Lord did a great job slicing, dicing, dissecting Media Matters and its wannabe Don Corleone – Corusone.

    Very satisfying reading. Jeffrey Lord, that’s a full 5 Breitbarts article.

The tweet from the contractor got me thinking: Truckers form a larger proportion of the talk audience than their population (I guess they “punch above their weight”).

I have to figure there are a lot contractors out there that listen to Rush too. This misstep might hurt Kohler (whom I’ve never heard on Rush either) worse than Carbonite.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | March 27, 2012 at 10:39 am

What is most disturbing is the unwillingness of these advertisers to defend their own freedom to contract and freedom of speech. It’s shocking that they’re unwilling to tweet, “We have no editorial control of Rush’s programming. We advertise on his show to reach potential customers. Period.”

    Left Coast Red in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | March 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Unfortunately, they are in the business of business, not in the business of defending themselves from smear merchants attacking one of their best ad vehicles. If they determine there is more potential cost to maintaining ads on Rush than not, he goes. That’s why MMFA is so pernicious. They use coercion to distort decision-making by businesses who support their opponents. There ought to be a law.

    This is just one more instance where the power of the general media supports lib/progs. The Daily Caller has been running a pretty good expose on MMFA, but it basically ends there and dies for lack of oxygen. I really am starting to hate MMFA, but haven’t figured how we can really get at them effectively.

      Hope Change in reply to Left Coast Red. | March 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm

      Left Coast Red, a really big solution to MM is to team up with other Americans to elect such a large number of Constitutionalist candidates next fall that we will change the direction of the momentum.

      I know this may sound too good to be true, but after much consideration, I think we can do it.

      Newt has designed big national campaigns before. The PLAN for this year is in Newt’ CPAC 2012 speech.

      The long range plan and some background, including some American History from the Revolutionary War, are in Newt’s 2009 speech, “2012: VICTORY OR DEATH.”

      And then in this recent speech from Birmingham, Alabama, Newt talks about how we can regain our Energy Independence and also Prosperity and enhanced National Security with his American Energy Now plans.

      The whole country can have 3.5% unemployment ,like North Dakota. This recession-depression-poverty is for the birds.

      We can accomplish dramatic improvements for an incomparably better future. It’s right in from of us like treasure map to all kinds of riches.

      The PLAN. Newt’s 2012 CPAC speech. (includes a loose transcript to skim through)
      Listen to the cheers of this crowd. Once people understand, there is unbridled enthusiasm.
      ALABAMA GOP PRESIDENTIAL FORUM – March 12, 2012 – Birmingham, Alabama – 33:21

        Left Coast Red in reply to Hope Change. | March 27, 2012 at 11:55 pm

        Dude, forget about Newt, as much as I like him. It doesn’t matter who we unite behind. It matters that we unite behind someone. Romney has all kinds of warts, IMO.

        But Romney can win, and is most likely to win. Forget the perfect, choose the good.

        The other side hasn’t learned this lesson. And never will.

      Left Coast Red in reply to Left Coast Red. | March 27, 2012 at 11:46 pm

      Duh. Boycott the shit out of the quislings.

tinkerthinker | March 27, 2012 at 10:41 am

Wonder how carbonite is doing?

    samsmom1 in reply to tinkerthinker. | March 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I hope they are almost out of business. Would serve them right. I cacelled my subscription with them and never heard a word back from them

Expose the tactic, definitely, but also expose the original speech.

Rush Limbaugh has a radio talk show, where he essentially reads news stories and comments on them. It’s three hours. He’ll spend a half hour or more chewing over a single news story, and sometimes he’ll come up with a zinger — a tight, compact, quotable comment. After the show, people have a habit of quoting only the zinger. People who listened will remember the reasoning, but people who did not listen will be confused, because they lack context.

For me, the show is downright nostalgic. It reminds me of the discussions the guys at a chemical plant would have. It could be anything. I remember them spending at least a week trying to figure out what color bra a woman should wear under a sheer white blouse, and whether a black woman should wear a black bra in that circumstance. Despite the risqué and memorable topic, it was actually very academic and respectful discussion, and they never did figure out the right answer.

I did not participate in that discussion until the very end, when they’d all drawn a conclusion, and it was wrong. I suppose the subject matter could have turned corrosive, but it didn’t, there was no disrespect involved, and it was not a matter of a hostile workplace, at all.

Notice that I have to put all those sentences in to explain the topic? That’s what happens with a Rush zinger. Without the background, people will get all distracted and speculative, and take it an run with it, often the wrong way.

So, those of you who agree with Rush Limbaugh, take the time to go to the transcript, and get a block quote. You must explain yourself, or others will be more than happy to do it for you, and you will not like the result.

In the case of somebody important, like presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, going back to the original is critical, because he doesn’t even use zingers. In Newt’s case, people just lie outright about what he said, hoping to bury the original in commentary so that nobody hears the voice of sweet reason.

    Hope Change in reply to Valerie. | March 27, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Hi Valerie — I feel I can imagine the kind of conversation you mean. Nostalgia because it was a more innocent time?

    I think you make a very good point. Rush will go on and on and there is a tremendous amount of context. He might spend a lot of time on one topic. The thing that gets the attention often is the zinger. And then people who don’t understand only hear the zinger and don’t understand.

    Another thing is what Breitbart talked about, that he, Breitbart, thought he knew what Rush’s show was like, and would have passed a lie detector test if asked if he had listened, but after he started listening (I think he said he didn’t like grunge rock or something so he switched to AM) he realized that Rush made sense. This was an important part of Breitbart’s awakening as a Conservative-Libertarian-Classical Liberal ( don’t know what label, if any).

    And then, as you say, the MSM distort Rush when they comment. So there’s this distorted echo chamber in which they “discuss” from the point of view of malice and ignorance.

    And then you said something so true, I don’t see how it could be said better:

    “In the case of somebody important, like presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, going back to the original is critical, because he doesn’t even use zingers.

    In Newt’s case, people just lie outright about what he said, hoping to bury the original in commentary so that nobody hears the voice of sweet reason.”


    That’s what they’re hoping, all right. But I think this time, it will not work.

Took me all of 30 seconds to advise Kohler I will inform my general contractor brother-in-law, who is a conservative, about Kohler’s MMFA enabling ways.

Thanks Twitter!

never seen a liberal install their own bathroom fixtures.

seen them destroy quite a few.

I’m doing a remodel as we speak; here’s my letter to Kohler.

While I have never listened to Rush Limbaugh, any company which sacrifices the principle of free speech so easily to try to make some sales, makes me wonder what other principles (like product safety) Kohler is also willing to sacrifice in order to make some sales.

Accordingly, during my currently ongoing house remodel, I will be buying products from other companies that I have more confidence in.

Now, anybody have any recommendations of companies that a conservative would want to do business with?

    Tamminator in reply to radiofreeca. | March 27, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Try this company.

    All the plumbing fixtures in my home are American Standard, but I haven’t heard of them much lately. When I checked that out (and to check that they aren’t owned by Kohler), I discovered found that American Standard was sold to Bain Capital.

    (That explains a LOT about the absence of new products, advertising, or any other discretionary, forward-looking, company-building “expense” that may reduce current quarter results.)

The boycotters think they’re smart because they use twitter. Some of the people at the targeted companies make the same mistake. They think twitter is new and hip and gives them a special in with the young people they really want to target.

That was almost true 5 years ago. Now, that even Rush uses twitter, they don’t know how to respond. It’s so hard to be morally superior and technologically backward at the same time!

    LukeHandCool in reply to irv. | March 27, 2012 at 11:30 am


    Dig this:

    “Report: Republicans utilize Twitter more — and more effectively — than Democrats”

    H/T Hot Air:

      TryingToBeHopeful in reply to LukeHandCool. | March 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Not only that, but I have remodeled several homes I’ve lived in, all of which were done after I was 35-40 years old. Seems to me they’re trying to be “hip” and “now” to appeal to an audience that probably doesn’t buy much from them… And if Zero continues to decimate the economy, they may NEVER be able to afford to buy anything from them! Strange business model you got there, Kohler.

        9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to TryingToBeHopeful. | March 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        Kohler’s Kallista line targets the upper end of the market…much more classic appearance/design, but still Kohler insides on the valves, etc.

        Kallista names include:

        Mick DeGiulio (Kitchen designer out of Wilmette, IL)
        Bill Sofield (Interior designer in NYC)
        Barbara Barry (Interior designer based in L.A.)
        Laura Kirar (Designer NYC/Miami)
        Michael S. Smith (L.A. designer who did an Oval Office makeover in 2010)

9thDistrictNeighbor | March 27, 2012 at 11:32 am

Kohler makes many things besides toilets. In addition to plumbing fixtures, faucets, trims, etc., Kohler is the parent company of the following with which many homeowners would be familiar:

Robern medicine cabinets
Ann Sacks tile
Baker furniture
French Heritage furniture
McGuire furniture

Kohler engines are used in: Lawn Boy, Poulan, Husqvarna lawnmowers; Shark pressure washers

Kohler makes whole-house generators, as well as engines used in Hobart and Powermate generators

Kohler runs the The American Club golf resort in Wisconsin.

Kohler even sells Kohler chocolate, available to all you Scott Walker recallers….

I’ve probably missed some. If I really get going, I’ll list everything we bought from Kohler last year as we dumped our life’s savings into a house. Let’s put it this way, Kohler’s business is not that robust right now and their quality control seems to be lacking on a lot of things (they don’t make them like they used to), so taking a stand on not advertising on Rush really won’t get them anywhere.

My little experience with this:

Rush was right! As usual. Things were perfect so I thank you! Feb 14

You’re very welcome! Thank you for shopping at Shari’s Berries. We look forward to assisting you on your next gift-giving occasion! Feb 15

Best Regards,
CS Mark G
Customer Care Shari’s Berries

As you can imagine with your actions towards free speech and Rush. I can no longer support you or your parent company. Thanks for the berries this year and please remove me from your email and mailing lists. Mar 5

Thank you for contacting ProFlowers. We appreciate your email and thank you for openly expressing your opinions. Your feedback has been noted and will be shared with our team. Mar 5

CS Kayla B
Customer Care
Shari’s Berries

Ha! They tanked me for openly expressing my opinions. Too bad they didn’t thank Rush. They might have saved a customer for both companies.

I know about Carbonite, but what other companies have pulled their advertising from Limbaugh? Where possible I want to pull my business from them.

Midwest Rhino | March 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm

The message from Kohler to conservatives or free speech lovers … “Don’t Buy Our Products”

OK Kohler … I will be damn sure not to get Kohler brands for the farm, and I’ll spread the word. I wonder how many contractors and industrial types support the Media Matters, Soros inspired boycotts?

It’s almost like they are boycotting themselves … “We hate Rush and his listeners”. Thanks Kohler … we hear you loud and clear, and appreciate your forthrightness. It is sometimes difficult to know how to keep my money away from radicals, but you have made it clear. Husqvarna no, Stihl yes. Kohler no, Honda yes.


I don’t use Twitter so emailed Kohler:

“Thank you for your concern. I will never buy another Kohler product as long as I live.”

I can understand a company trying to please the squeaky customer but it seems like a never ending effort.

I don’t understand why the companies like Kohler don’t respond to the first attack calling for them to drop someone with a blanket response of “We try to utilize different media options in order to reach all the possible customers for our products. While all our customers may not share the same political opinions we believe our role is to provide them with quality products.”

All Kohler is doing now is p*ssing off Conservative customers – want to bet which side does more home remodeling? Do they think the Left is going to make up the shortfall?

On that fateful day, I heard Rush’s hatred of women come spewing out of my Sony radio-

Boycott Sony!

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Browndog. | March 27, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    And once again Browndog experiences the difficulty of communicating sarcasm in print (said HH, noticing the 2 dislikes).

I’m starting to believe that this is just a planned business strategy by Kohler, an attempt to focus on that segment of society which has proved itself most full of the by-product which Kohler’s equipment handles?

Wisconsin must truly be a strange and terrible place…

Uncle Samuel | March 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

@Kohler gets Fluked by Media Matters and Flushed by Conservatives.

What percentage of the complainers are even in a position to purchase a Kohler product? Really, how many of these people are homeowners instead of renters, college students, etc., who may flush a toilet someone else paid for, and may even wash their hands at a Kohler faucet someone else bought?

I’m guessing relatively few of the complainers are homeowners, business owners, or contractors who will actually be deciding which product to buy.

    samsmom1 in reply to OCBill. | March 27, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Right! I know that me an my husband have renovated houses for extra money and then rent them out. They always seemed to take advantage of us and tear the house up. We have bought kohler in the past but no more for sure. Of course we are just one couple in alabama but i hope kohler hears all of us! I am sick of these liberals dictating the message.

Being from Wisconsin, I hate to see one of our strong companies under attack. Obviously, they aren’t handling this very well – they better get some good PR and get ahead of this pronto.

Sorry to use Wikepedia, but this seems to reconcile with my recollections about the Kohler family and WI politics:

Walter Jodok Kohler, Jr. (April 4, 1904–March 21, 1976) was the 33rd Governor of Wisconsin for three terms from 1951 to 1957 and a leading figure in state and national Republican Party activities. His role in the clash between Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and presidential candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 has interested historians for decades. Kohler was for many years a sales executive at the Kohler Company and served as president at The Vollrath Company.[1] He was also a distinguished Naval officer in World War II. He had two children – a son, Terry Jodok Kohler, and daughter, Charlotte Nicolette Kohler.

Kohler’s father, Walter J. Kohler, Sr., was Governor of Wisconsin from 1929 to 1931. His son Terry Kohler ran for governor in 1982 against Anthony Earl, but lost.

(Anthony Earl was a Democrat)

So, a Company with a strong Republican family background has been put into the center of this controversy? Just wondering – in some circles here, they are as notorious as the Koch Brothers, whose biggest “sin” is being a major employer in Wisconsin.

    alan markus in reply to alan markus. | March 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Also, the other “sin” is being Republican and/or conservative.

    Maybe company president Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., the grandson of the founder, could have a little chat with the staff in the marketing department and explain to them which side of their bread is buttered, and that it just landed jelly-side-down.

alan – apparently regardless of their strong Republican background Kohler chose poorly. /s

    alan markus in reply to katiejane. | March 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I’m not sure how “sophisticted” they are – may have unwillingly duped into responding the way they did. That’s why the second paragraph of your 12:22 post makes sense. As Professor pointed out in previous posts, this Twitter thing was ginned up in astroturf fashion to make it seem like it was much more than it actually is. And then, no one can recall ever hearing Kohler ads on Rush show. And I don’t recall hearing them on local radio stations either.

Go over to and do Donor look up on Herbert Kohler, CEO.

Besides Republican Party of WI & WI reps, he’s donated to R’s like Olympia Snowe, John Thune, & Pat Toomey.

Let’s be careful – might be “eating one of our own” here.

Professor, you would be doing them a favor if you point out that they may be under attack not because of Rush, but because of their connection to Republican politics.

Fluke defined herself as a slut when she offered public testimony to her voluntary behavior. She defined herself as a prostitute when she solicited funds from taxpayers to support fulfillment of her first disposition. Her handlers defined themselves as pimps when they offered to exploit her vulnerability for their own selfish interests.

    n.n in reply to n.n. | March 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    If anything, Limbaugh should be applauded for exposing the sordid affair between certain Democrats and Fluke. Instead, his revelations of a decadent population in decline is treated with contempt. Some people don’t want to be reminded that their voluntary behaviors are incompatible with the natural order and sabotage preservation of the second order (i.e. individual dignity). It was a progressive dream of instant gratification which has been a sponsor of corruption for individuals, society, and humanity.

    Just do what feels good, I suppose. The consequences can be absorbed through socialization. For a while, anyway. Let’s hope the individuals who succumb to their basest desires never achieve critical mass.

LukeHandCool | March 27, 2012 at 2:58 pm

The only time I listen to talk radio is when I’m driving to work. Rush is not on at that time. It would be nice if someone could list some of his national advertisers so we can patronize them.

I don’t really like boycotts, even though I understand we have to push back this time.

Let’s also be positive and suupport those who support Rush.

In my daily life, when I get bad service, I don’t ususally complain (unless the service is really awful) … I just stop patronizing the business.

So, anytime I get really good service, I try to help the person who has really shown a commitment to good service and a good work ethic.

The last time we were down in San Diego, the young lady at the hotel front desk was wonderful and very helpful. I asked her for her supervisor’s name and the manager’s name. When her face couldn’t hide a slight “What did I do wrong?” look, I told her I was going to write them a letter telling them how I thought she was a great asset to the hotel and that I hoped they would recognize this and promote her at the earliest opportunity.

We need to be positive and reward those doing the right thing.

This is all very unlike Kohler. They’re not a bunch of northwoods stooges. Something just isn’t right here.

I called Jenny at Kohler corporate PR to let them know why mi Kohler products or product lines owned by Kohler would be going into my bathroom remod, kitchen remod or new bathroom addition. Cowards

FYI. Kohler also owns a lot of things like Baker Furniture, Maguire upholstery, and a number of resorts and things.

Was this one by any chance a Kohler?

I noticed today that Staples is still stubbornly holding out against the storm troopers.

(I know, I know. Office supplies, not plumbing fixtures. But I wanted to mention this somewhere.)

I run a small CPA firm and use office supplies from Office Depot regularly – ordered on the web and delivered free. About a week and a half ago I ordered from Staples because Office Depot joined the advertising embargo. I’m as happy as a lark to see Staples holding out. I emailed them today to tell them they had a new customer. I’ll just order from them automatically as I always did Office Depot. Mine is a small account but I wanted them to hear something positive to help off-set the ugly they’re getting.

I don’t even know what Kohlers is. Who are they and what do they do? Maybe they should advertise on a nationally syndicated radio show with a large audience announcing they are boycotting a syndicated radio show with a large audience that they have never advertised on to begin with.

Rest assured that once I find out who they are and what they sell I will never do business with them again!

[…] the poor fools like Kohler who fell for the Media Matters […]

I’m getting ready to remodel my kitchen and bathroom but I won’t be using ANY Kohler fixtures now. There are many other great choices, some of which other posters have listed. Heck, we even sell Kohler where I work, but I will use alternatives. Way to go Kohler. Not everyone lives in San Francisco, Vermont or Madison, WI. You might make the left wing nut jobs in those places get a tingle up there leg by your tweet but there is no way that will boost your sales. Most likely it will end up being to the contrary.

[…] the poor fools like Kohler who fell for the Media Matters […]