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Rush move to Twitter has boycott organizers worried

Rush move to Twitter has boycott organizers worried

The advertiser boycott of Rush Limbaugh appears to be cracking, and Rush’s move to Twitter has boycott organizers worried.

Behind the scenes, anecdotal evidence suggests that advertising either never really was impacted at the local level, or to the extent it was it has returned to normal.  Via Macsmind:

Today listening to the Rush Limbaugh I heard seven commercials from companies that Media Matters claimed were no longer advertising on the show.   I’m a friend, and a former employee of the manager of the local radio station that carries the Rush Limbaugh show.

I asked him just how bad was this boycott on the show was, that is how much of a big deal was it?    I might ad that my friend is a liberal.

“Not much at all” he said.  “Actually we haven’t had too many advertisers specifically ask that their ads don’t run on during the show”.    But he added, “Things this week have seemed to died down.”   In what way I asked.

“Well three of the advertisers that asked to be removed from the shows airing time have now asked that we begin placing their ads again”.  One of these whom I heard for myself was a Proflowers that ran midway through the show.

I’m not going to get specific about the other two, but I continued to ask why would these companies return.

“It’s simple, our greatest ad revenue time is during the 3pm to 11pm slot when Rush, Hannity, and Levin run.”   “There is simply too many listeners for advertisers not to place their ads.

And for all the talk of a couple of stations which dropped Rush, others are adding him, like KRWK-FM in Fargo-Moorehead which just revealed that it is going all talk, which includes Limbaugh, via Talkers:

James Ingstad’s Radio Fargo Moorhead group in the Fargo-Moorhead market turns classic rock KRWK-FM into “101.9 Talk FM” The Talk of Fargo Moorhead on March 19.  Talk radio pro Tom Becka – most recently with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s KFAB, Omaha as PM drive host – is named program director for the station and will host the morning drive show.  Syndicated programs will include Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade, Premiere Networks’ Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Michael Smerconish makes the point that advertiser capitulation to the boycott would not be enough, and that forcing Rush off the air “would require a different type of acquiescence, namely on the part of program directors, not advertisers.”

Talkers makes a good point why broadcast stations are unlikely to go this route:

But, the talk radio industry is being invaded by political special interest groups and their hard-nosed tactics and it appears some broadcasters are playing along.  Broadcasters – and radio stations more specifically – have traditionally competed with each other intensely on many levels.  But going after each other’s advertisers with threats of guilt-by-association in order to hurt the other’s business is something in which they have rarely engaged.  The reason is simple: It pollutes the same body of water from which all broadcasters drink.  If one day your programming is poison to sponsors, who’s to say my programming won’t be tainted next week.

The boycott movement has relied on Twitter bombing advertisers.  I’ll have more tomorrow on the tactics behind the boycott, but the people behind the boycott are worried about Rush’s move onto Twitter, and are directing supporters to these posted instructions for how boycott supporters should react on Twitter:

Two related things happened today [March 15] that reinforce how successful the Boycott Rush public pressure campaign has actually been:  Rush Limbaugh hired a crisis management team, and Rush Limbaugh is now on Twitter.  And its probably not a coincidence that the two things happened at the same time.  As a platform for a social pressure campaign, Twitter just can’t be beat, and that’s why Rush and his minions are trying to fight back on Twitter.  Now that the pro-Rush pushback is starting, there are a number of things you can do to help keep momentum going.  Immediately below is a quick list of things you can do to help the boycott effort, with links to more detailed information below.

  • Follow @StopRush @shoq and @krystalball1 on Twitter for more boycott info.
  • Read popular Twitter hashtags like #StopRush and #BoycottRush for more boycott info.
  • Don’t get distracted, focus on contacting Rush sponsors and local stations!
  • Tweet negative remarks re Rush Limbaugh frequently! (more info)
  • Compile lists of the ads that run on your local Rush broadcast (more info)
  • Retweet others’ tweets and ask for a retweet yourself! (more info)
  • Report back results of your contacts with Rush sponsors (more info)

The Macsmind post linked above offers a good suggestion how to fight back which is applicable whenever these advertiser boycott campaigns are organized against conservatives:

I sent a message that basically said, “Did you know that you responded to pressure not by consumers but by democrat operatives?”

Sounds like a plan.  You might start by sending advertisers, via Twitter or otherwise, this blog post.

Update:  If LukeHandCool can move onto Twitter and become part of the solution, so can you.

Update 3-19-2012: I discuss the Limbaugh boycott on Pundit Review Radio:


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Reinforcing once again why it is foolish for corporations to allow themselves to get sucked into political agendas or worse yet, lead the charge. Ask Rosie O’Donuts what happens when feeling that you are sitting on top of the world of big ratings, you “exercise your power” to piss off half of your audience. You not only lose the half you lost, the other half keeps shrinking too.

    LukeHandCool in reply to Pasadena Phil. | March 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Or, if Rosie isn’t available, ask Oprah. She’s easier to find than her network these days.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Pasadena Phil. | March 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Seriously, I no longer remember the name of the chick who Rush rightfully dissed. Her name will be forgotten by the masses almost as quickly as I’ve forgotten it. But Rushbo……now even more people (and corporate advertising agents) know or are reminded of the powerful name of the Great Majarushie!

    Go Rushbo!!!!!!!

LukeHandCool | March 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Now … some naysaying folks … like Rutherford B. Hayes, said things like, “Responding to astroturfed boycotts via Twitter is a great idea, but who would ever use Twitter?”

And that’s why Rutherford B. Hayes isn’t on Mount Rushbo.

“Did you know that you responded to pressure not by consumers but by democrat operatives?”

Ouch…!!! That’s gotta sting on several levels!

And…hold the presses…Media Mutters has LIED about the impact of their boycott…??? wow.

I’m interested to know if Proflowers is trying to crawl back.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to raven. | March 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    What these advertisers managed to do was piss off a huge pool of customers who will now view them as gutless and dim-witted. This was a chance for companies to show some backbone and loyalty to their customer base. What a bunch of buffoons.

    Media Matters and their ilk did Rush a huge favor by putting his name in even brighter lights than it was glowing in before all this. The bottom line, which is what these companies are rightfully interested in, is that Rush sells and likely has the most loyal listener base of any person in radio or television history, period. Proflowers and the rest of the pansies will have a ways to go before those pissed off customers come back.

We could all boycott Media Matters, but since nobody actually goes over there to read their tripe, it is already a moot point.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Neo. | March 18, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Tha’s my problem. I can’t figure out a way to boycott an entity I already boycott by having never once visited their site.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to Neo. | March 18, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Nope. We can’t boycott Media Matters.

    But, think about it for a moment: What would Breitbart do? 😉

    You know what he would have done. He would have collected enough stuff about the S.O.B. who devised the Astroturf. And made his life a living hell.

    I know once he had all the “dirty” on that jerk, he would have announced it on Fox News and uploaded it to his site soon after, for the entire world to see.

    Remember: he’s not here with us anymore. It is up to us to fight these battles. We better learn how, and quickly.

A great post on the radio business, and all the water coming from the same well.

While I have a twitter account, I have no idea why it makes any sense to have it other than to take up more time from my day. Rush having a twitter account is another thing altogether. Imagine him having millions of followers ready to pounce on wobbly commercial interests who can’t distinguish astroturf from the real thing — all they need is a single peep, or rather tweet, and he’s released the Kraken. Right now he seems to have about 100k followers — I’m not sure if @limbaugh or @rushlimbaugh is his preferred account, they both seem to have the same tweets. What’s the over/under day on him getting the first million?

Rush now has 87,500+ followers.
He added 7,000 more in a day. And on a holiday weekend to boot.

Ha! At this rate, he’ll hit the million mark in about a month.

Media Matters just created a monster.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Tamminator. | March 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I would like to be a tentacle of that monster, but I don’t know how to twitter. How does one twitter? I’m a bit of a Luddite, obviously. I have a cell phone with a camera and a laptop. Can I get there from here?

      Twitter has a very good set of introduction and how-to articles. If you are just getting started, don’t worry about all the @s and #s. Just getting in the habit of 140 character notes, learning how to abbreviate and shorten things is the curve. Get an account. Log in. Speak your mind.

    Tamminator in reply to Tamminator. | March 19, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Rush added 1000 more followers since I posted.

    Suck it, Media Matters.

    kobayashi in reply to Tamminator. | March 21, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    I got signed up in twitter as @kobayashifh the other day and started following @rushlimbaugh on the link from — In the Initial batch

    @rushlimbaugh today has plus 149,000 followers

    @limbaugh today has plus 144,000 followers

    I added @limbaugh today since it’s going to also have the key………..Tweets?

    Sooooooooo, where’s the ‘other LI account’?


Oh, what the heck! @Mlle Bastiat

The boycott against Limbaugh is clearly not only astroturfed –along with the whole Sandra Fluke-contraception issue– but also it’s all been orchestrated and choreographed by the Obama reelection apparatus inside the White House.

That said, I also believe that Limbaugh is in fact vulnerable to being marginalized by this kind of attack. First of all, you get outside of his “20 million listeners” and Limbaugh’s negatives are through the roof, even to a significant extent among non-listeners who self-identify as conservatives. We all know otherwise conservative people who are embarrassed by Limbaugh. The point is, in the main, there are considerably more Limbaugh haters than devoted Limbaugh listeners out there. This boycott thing, if done right –less ham-handedly, and with less transparent partisan motivation– could get traction. Just ask Dr. Laura. Heck, you don’t even need to ask Dr. Laura. Ask Limbaugh what happened to his TV show back in the 90s. It suffered such a fate.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to G Joubert. | March 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Dr. Laura had about run its course before the queers took aim at her. Her show had become boring, repetitive, and she had become just too judgmental, one-dimensional and preachy in general. Other moralists with more successful shows demonstrate more humor and discuss a much wider variety of topics than she did. Her show lacked spark and surprise. With the advent of alternative media, the public’s interests and thought processes have broadened and advanced. She missed that train.

    Looking back, she’d probably be gone by now even without the assault from the queers. She was vulnerable and lacked the fortifications Rush is so savvy about.

    That said, I wish her well. But you’re using an apple to explain how to peel a banana.

    Sherlock in reply to G Joubert. | March 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    I think Rush can only be marginalized if his millions of listeners start to drop off. The people who don’t listen to Rush shouldn’t matter to the advertiser. The point in marketing is to reach the largest audience possible for the biggest bang for the buck.

    Conservative audiences are also wealthier. That is just a fact.

LukeHandCool | March 18, 2012 at 3:37 pm

“Update: If LukeHandCool can move onto Twitter and become part of the solution, so can you.”

Haha! That’s the power of procrastination. I’m supposed to be studying for my accounting exams.

Seriously, I think this whole Sandra Fluke affair is turning out to be a huge blessing in disguise. If the Professor’s post about this whole phony backlash against Rush gets Rush to mobilize his millions of listeners onto Twitter and steers them to pieces they should be reading … and then sending on to friends, family, aquaintances, etc., as well as easily giving them a chance to give advertisers a piece of their mind, suddenly Media Mutters and their ilk seem a lot, lot less intimidating. Remember … there are two conservatives for every liberal in this country … and for a lot of conservatives, “conservative activist” is still an oxymoron.

I think Rush and the Professor have let Media Mutters and Co. know how Admiral Yamamoto felt about awakening a sleeping giant … anybody ever hear of Midway?

Media Mutters may pick off some torpedo bombers … but those dive bombers … they’re gonna getcha!!

As Breutbart said … War!

    theduchessofkitty in reply to LukeHandCool. | March 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    “I think Rush and the Professor have let Media Mutters and Co. know how Admiral Yamamoto felt about awakening a sleeping giant”

    Yep. A sleeping giant made out of thirty million people! 🙂

      LukeHandCool in reply to theduchessofkitty. | March 18, 2012 at 8:17 pm


      I’m not the type to get into anybody’s face, like our civil president suggests, but I’m not afraid to tweet (at least at this point).

c ‏ @c12903253

@rushlimbaugh On the way to ONE MILLION followers…!!!

    LukeHandCool in reply to Ragspierre. | March 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Rags, I tried that in the “search” field but nobody came up.

    Are you on twitter?

    You’d better hurry up. Seems like everybody from LI is getting on this train.

    Rutherford hated trains.

beck and oreilly refuse to report a team of professional law enforcement personnel have investigated obamas birth certificate and selective service records and found them both to be fraudulent documents…..its almost as if they are trying to protect obama…weird huh?

Has any large-scale economic boycott EVER worked? It is possible to scare a local business with one or just a few locations with a physical presence for a couple days, but large-scale efforts always fail to the market’s desires. As long as Limbaugh has the audience to offer advertisers, there will advertisers to buy his time.

Dr. Laura wasn’t defeated by economics, but by a constant drumbeat of complaints to program directors and station managers. If she had had Limbaugh’s audience, she could have survived.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | March 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm

I think they should be worried. Rush has about 15 million regular listeners. He’s been subtly nudging them to sign onto twitter. He’s informed them it’s free. He’s let them know their info won’t be sold to spammers. He teases the listeners when he’s about to tweet and informs them on the air after the tweet has gone out. He wants them to follow him. So far he’s resisted explicitly asking them to do so. But he’s leading them there.

Let’s say he ultimately gets 1 million of his loyal listeners to follow him. Or even 10 million. Whatever the number, each of those followers have their own network of family, friends, and acquaintances both on and off twitter.

So Rush will have indirect access to many multiples of however many people decide to follow him on twitter. Should his adversaries continue to interfere with the contractual relationships between Rush and his advertisers, he can send out a call to action that will reach, directly and indirectly, what will likely be several million people.

They used to say you should never pick a fight with a somebody who buys ink by the barrel. That old saying may need to be updated for the digital age. Today, you probably should not pick a fight with a guy who has the largest radio audience in the universe with the potential to amass a twitter Army of several million followers.

Notice how Rush always ends up on top with the left looking like the Buffoons they are?

Remember that thing where Rush says, “Half my brain is tied behind my back, just to make it fair?” Well, it has never been more fully illustrated than in this current comedy.

I like the comment MaggotAtBroadAndWall made. Pretty much tells it like it is.

The real point is that Limbaugh and Fluke were a distraction from the debate over “conscience exceptions” over “contraceptive” coverage which included abortion drugs. While all the smoke was blowing, HHS finalized a rule that all coverage through the “exchanges” that every state must set up MUST include a monthly abortion surcharge – without exceptions for anyone.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain . . .

Dammit, I don’t care about this nonsense. RUSH CAN DEFEND HIMSELF. We re losing focus on the campaign to elect a real conservative to be the nominee. For god’s sake, Rush won’t stick his neck out for a conservative in the Race, why should we stick our necks out for him? The truth is they are trying to distort us from the race and to keep us from focusing on getting Romney out of the Race. We lose this, Obama gets re-elected.

[…] the frequent lying by boycott supporters,  this post from Legal Insurrection puts the lie to the willingness of advertisers to leave a large audience. […]