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Stop Rush launches new website to pressure advertisers

Stop Rush launches new website to pressure advertisers

The folks behind the “Stop Rush” web page which Limbaugh has highlighted in his tweets (and which I mentioned in some of my posts) have opened a new website,

The website tracks advertisers, is supposed to show how efficient and effective the anti-Rush movement is, and is meant to keep the effort alive.  The website provides easy to click on links so that people can send tweets to and contact Rush advertisers easily.

The irony of the website is that the tracking lists show that the boycott has not been very effective so far.  The list of all current advertisers (both national and local) has 729 entries.  The list of “inactive” advertisers has only 107 entries, and some of those as we’ve discussed before, likely never intended to advertise on Limbaugh (they distinguish between “former” and “inactive”).  The list of those “avoiding” has 199, which probably includes companies who never intended to advertise in the first place or have policies against advertising on polical programs.

They are pretty defensive on the home page, perhaps aware that their tactics of going after advertisers rightly are perceived as trying to silence speech they don’t agree with:

Our database contains information about more than 1000 advertisers, gathered by a network of volunteer radio station monitors. Volunteers contact advertisers to inform them that supporting a program which regularly includes offensive and provocative language may negatively impact their brands, their sales, and their corporate image with millions of Americans.

It’s not our goal to silence conservatives or liberals or anyone else. Broadcasters have a right to say what they please. But consumers have a right to speak too, and we are saying to those who offend us, “We’ve had enough of your ad-hominem attacks, enough vitriol, enough dehumanizing language.”

We’re working with sponsors in a free and democratic marketplace, and asking them to think seriously about what their advertising dollars are putting on the public airwaves.

You can’t read through the website, or any of the tweets at #StopRush, and come to any conclusion other than that they want to silence Limbaugh. Whey else would you target 1000 advertisers?  Is it really just educational? Of course not.

It’s also ironic that this website launches on the day of a column by Brad Smith in The Wall Street Journal about how these sort of secondary boycotts are damaging the already frayed political fabric (via Jonathan Adler, h/t Instapundit):

It’s becoming hard to know with whom one can do business.

We’ve been told that if you don’t like what Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck says on the radio, you should not only not listen to their shows, you should boycott businesses that advertise on their shows. We are told that if you don’t like the activities of the American Legislative Exchange Council—a nonpartisan nonprofit that provides a meeting ground for conservative state legislators to share ideas—you should boycott companies that support the council. . . .

All these examples are what are called “secondary boycotts”—attempts to influence the actions of the target by exerting pressure on a third party. Secondary boycotts should not be confused with primary boycotts. A decision not to patronize a business that discriminates on the basis of race is an example of a primary boycott. Primary boycotts—used to great effect during the Civil Rights Movement—have a long and often laudatory history.

But secondary boycotts have long been recognized as harmful to civil society. They rend the social fabric by making it difficult for people to simply live their lives.

Adler ads:

Activist groups of various political stripes are increasingly urging boycotts of companies not because of the companies’ own behavior, but because of the behavior or speech of those the companies patronize or support.  The aim of such boycotts is not to affect corporate behavior as much as it is to create economic pressure on third parties or dry up support for political opponents….

Secondary boycotts may seem like an effective tool for progressive causes, but they also entail substantial risks.  The culture of secondary boycotts threatens to balkanize all of civil society along political lines, making it ever more difficult to espouse unpopular or minority views.

And it doesn’t stop at advertisers.  One of the people behind Stop Rush not only has suggested I should worry about my job, that person repeatedly has tweeted to my employer complaining about me.

You see, that’s how it inevitably ends.  It starts with haughty rhetoric about opposing “hate speech,” and it turns into the thing they claim to oppose.

Update 5-4-2012: No coincidence, Media  Matters, NOW unite to force Limbaugh off the air:

“Start listening to Rush  Limbaugh.” That was the message representatives from Media  Matters for America and the National Organization for Women delivered to NOW  chapter leaders in a secret, narrowly focused strategy session Wednesday  night.

In audio of the NOW/MMFA strategy webinar obtained exclusively by The  Daily Caller, the liberal organizations plotted the best ways to get the radio  giant and veritable burr in their collective saddles off the air.

The key, according to Media Matters online outreach director Jay Carmona, is  to target Limbaugh at the local level — specifically advertisers in local  radio markets — but with an eye on his national sponsors.

“I will say, just going by the numbers, getting local stations to drop  Limbaugh is actually a hard, more long-term campaign than just looking at  getting local sponsors to drop,” she explained, adding that they do not need to  get the conservative talker off every local station to make an impact.


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Normally I only boycott companies who I think have a bad product or terrible service. OTOH I patronized Pro Flowers for years and likes their product and service, but when they bowed to this stupid pressure, I dropped them. I have told them repeatedly I am no longer interested in their emails but they keep sending them. I don’t think they get the message.

I find myself agreeing with you Professor on this and most things political, but let me ask you: When conservatives refuse to go to Dixie Chicks concerts or to not buy their music, or go to Susan Sarandon’s movies, or go to Alec Baldwin’s movies, and so on, are these also “secondary boycotts?” I’m not asking to pick a bone, just wanting some clarity.

    Estragon in reply to G Joubert. | May 4, 2012 at 2:12 am

    No, you apparently have problems with the technical terms “primary” and “secondary” – if you boycott the person or company you have the direct problem with, it’s primary. So if the Dixie Chicks or Alec Baldwin say something that offends me and I refuse to patronize them, that’s primary.

    If I targeted those who sell Chicks’ merchandise or advertise on Baldwin’s TV show, that would be secondary.

    See how that works? I know they probably didn’t teach it in public school.

      G Joubert in reply to Estragon. | May 5, 2012 at 11:10 am

      Well, I’d say wherever it was you went to school, developing critical thinking in students wasn’t their long suit. If I refuse to buy a Dixie Chicks CD at Amazon or another retailer, does it not thereby become a boycott of them too? Primary or secondary? Does it matter? How about if I refuse to see an Alec Baldwin movie, am I not also be then boycotting his co-stars? And everyone else involved in the production? And the theaters and concessions? Primary or secondary?

        RickCaird in reply to G Joubert. | May 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

        Joubert, you really cannot be so bereft of critical think ablity as to have made this statement, can you? Of course, it is still a primary boycott if you refuse to by a Dixie Chicks recording from any source. You are, however, free to buy anything else from Amazon and not be silly enough to claim you are not boycotting the Dixie Chicks because you are buying something else from Amazon.

        In the same vein, if you buy a ticket to any concert, except the Dixie Chicks, from Ticketron, you are not “supporting” the Dixie Chicks by going to see somebody else.

        Sheesh. This really is a pretty simple concept. Are you, perchance, a liberal?

The ‘silencing speech’ first amendment stuff is silly.

First, conservatives have no problem silencing speech they don’t agree with….this very website censors comments.

Second, Rush and anybody else has their freedom of speech to go out on a corner and speechify about whatever is on their mind. That doesn’t mean that anybody is guaranteed a radio show on the public airwaves…or that trying to stop one is ‘silencing speech’ or has anything at all to do with the First Amendment.

    Estragon in reply to Tosbin. | May 4, 2012 at 2:16 am

    When you rail about “the public airwaves” it implies some sort of government ownership. That would be the part which has “1st Amendment” implications.

    But not every threat to “free speech” is necessarily a 1st Amendment case, because they don’t all come from the federal government. Sometimes an mob of ignorant leftists can shout down speech they don’t want to hear, for example.

    I understand these concepts are a little deep for leftists to comprehend. Perhaps if I could work it into a rhyming slogan you could chant?

Donald Douglas | May 3, 2012 at 9:37 pm

William, I’ve dealt personally with the intimidation, as you well know. Not only will people contact your employee (in my case), they’ll lie about you and attempt to defame you and impugn your reputation. The a-holes at Lawyers, Guns and Money started out attacking my blog in Sadly No! style, and when I hammered their hypocrisy they alleged I was a sexual harasser to my college. So yes, it’s hate directed at anyone who has the temerity to stand up for liberty and freedom of speech. All the more reason for people like yourself to stand firm. You are over the target. Don’t bail out yet. #StandYourGroundConservatives

Not going to the Dixie Chicks or buying their music because you don’t like their politics is a primary boycott. So would encouraging people not to listen to Rush if you don’t like his. But attacking his advertisers is a secondary boycott because they haven’t said or done whatever it is you disagree with . Surely G Joubert and Tosbin aren’t so dense as to miss the distinction.

    JoAnne in reply to clarice. | May 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you for putting more succinctly than I could! Yes, if I don’t like something, I just don’t read, watch, listen, etc.. Much different than dragging some one else into the fray.

    texan59 in reply to clarice. | May 4, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Clarice, I agreed with you up until your last sentence. I would not assume such. Based on their additional comments proves my point. When critical thinking skills are lacking, it is often difficult to tell the difference between chicken sh!t and chicken salad.

    Note to joubert and tosbin – it means we don’t have to drag our fellow basement dwellers into something they know nothing about.

“they’ll lie about you and attempt to defame you and impugn your reputation”

—luckily Rush would never attempt to defame anyone or impugn anyone’s reputation.

    n.n in reply to Tosbin. | May 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    He did neither. Fluke defined herself and motives in public testimony. It was a matter of public record before it was ever repeated.

“Surely G Joubert and Tosbin aren’t so dense as to miss the distinction.”

—not really clear why this distinction matters. Sounds like you are just trying to find excuses.

Although, if Rush didn’t like the proposed policy of a Catholic university having to cover contraception, he could have talked about his problems with the policy.

Attacking a young woman in extremely personal ways for speaking out (exercising her first amendment rights) would also seem to be a ‘secondary’ style of attack.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Tosbin. | May 3, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Tosbin -I don’t know what world you live in but 31 is not a young woman.

    Heavens in the 60s teens & young adults hoped to be dead by 30.

    Few thought Hendrix Morrison Joplin exiting at 27 was tragic – more good timing to get out before the dreaded 30.

    Really 31 year old women are heading towards bilogical time ticking – 32 is elderly primo..something term for rather old for childbearing.

    IMO Sandra ought be thinking more of nursing home insurance . BTW The Catholics provide excellent community service her as they do in hospice.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Tosbin. | May 4, 2012 at 2:22 am

    Got poor comprehension skills, eh? That’s okay. We understand. You’re an anti-Constitutional free speech Communist. That’s how y’all roll.

    pst314 in reply to Tosbin. | May 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Tosbin at 10:07 pm “not really clear why this distinction matters. Sounds like you are just trying to find excuses.”

    Perhaps you need a graphic reminder of what it looks like when leftists pressure others to participate in boycotts.

“Tosbin” seems to know an awful lot about commenting on this site for someone whose screen name just turned up a couple of days ago.

As for anyone moderating comments on their own blog site (or screening calls on their own radio show), that’s a completely different kettle of fish than trying to get someone’s blog (or radio show) shut down.

If, let’s say for instance, you’ve been moderated on Wm’s site for continually trolling under different screen names, that’s not the same as Wm doing some investigation, finding out what your own blog site is, and making public demands that it be shut down.

Tosbin also completely misrepresents what a secondary boycott is, in a long-bow attempt to try on some sort of tu quoque bizzo. It’s almost like he’s just arguing nonsense for argument’s sake. Boring troll is boring.

It’s the whole point of the thread–secondary boycotts draw into ights people and companies that have no reason to be drawn into the fight, and I never heard Rush defame anyone. He makes fun of those with whom he disagrees. Now, you might like those very same people, so don’t listen to him if that’s the case, but don’t accuse him of defamation for that.

Keep pressing the Fluke thing if you choose to, but I don’t think that campaign really worked. I heard Limbaugh making fun of the notion that others should pay for your (her) contraception. In any event his comments were far less misogynistic than what comes out of Bill Maher’s mouth every day and what still spews out of his and Andy Sullivan’s maws on the subject of Sara Palin, for which no one to my knowledge suggested a secondary boycott.

I’m in favor of boycots – because it’s using the free market forces to achieve an objective. And I’m in favor of letting the free market weigh in on business decisions (would we rather have the government shut down a radio show for its political commentary, or have the radio show shrivel up because it has no market base?)

With all of that said – I’m not saying I’m in favor of It’s how they go about choosing targets. Rush says “slut” – boycott him. Savage dumps on Christians – where’s the boycott? (and countless others).

So…what’s the solution? avoid boycots because the target is one of our own? Nope – its time to remind the left, that for every action, there can be an equal and opposite reactin.

It’s time someone starts a “” List all the current supporters – list ways of reaching these businesses so we can say “thanks”. And better yet, if someone is advertising with Rush, and one of their competitors is on the StopRush list, let’s post it as well…. I want to let them know I am choosing them over the competition because they wouldn’t back down.

It’s time stand up and recognize the businesses which stand behind Rush. Maybe it’s time to do the same with businesses targeted by OWS – maybe we should show them we support them in defiance of the Squatters.

DocWahala, says so what if a ‘’ is free advertising for Rush and his supporters – that’s the beauty of a Free Market.

    until a thingy is up, how about just using’s resources to contact Rush advertisers with support messages. Let’s take over their tools just like we take over their Twitter hashtags and such! We get our message out and diminish theirs in one step! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!

Let’s see. What gives me the greater concern? Rush Limbaugh who called a woman a “slut” ( a term from a dictionary for a promiscuous woman). Or, a president who may infrequently use slang, but regularly makes speeches that I find offensive and usually contain something that is provocative, if not a downright lie.

Maybe, there are people who don’t care for Rush Limbaugh’s style. So, be it. But, then, not everybody who frowns at you is an enemy and not everybody who smiles at you is a friend.

As an aside, Rush Limbaugh stated on one of his broadcasts that some advertisers who withdrew have requested to return. Their request
was denied.

    theduchessofkitty in reply to ALman. | May 4, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Not only that. Some of his listeners have noticed some former advertisers are still using him in their ads. An attorney suggested him that he might have a good case to make them sweat in court over it.

    Give ’em hell, Rush!

Irishcurmudgeon | May 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm

And after the sheep returned, they said: “Four legs good, two legs better”

Professor, I think it’s terrible that the same twitter moron attacking Rush is also going after you and your employer. You and this blog reflect very positively on Cornell.
I hope that the powers that be at Cornell are able to see through the Media Matters shenanigans and not fall to the whims of a very small group trying to shut down voices they don’t agree with.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to tazz. | May 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last, and all is good.

      At one time the mere accusation of political incorrectness could ruin a career, but the Left overplayed those cards so egregiously that the effect is receding.

      It’s gradually coming around full circle – back in the old days, irate and irrational complaints were directed to special, circular file.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to William A. Jacobson. | May 4, 2012 at 2:26 am

      If all isn’t, we’ll raise hell with Cornell on your behalf. We will not let one of the primo voices of the Conservative community be silenced.

…One of the people behind Stop Rush not only has suggested I should worry about my job, that person repeatedly has tweeted to my employer complaining about me.


As, iirc, both you and commenters have noted, the Left makes it obvious whom they fear.

“The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.“
—Michelle Obama

Religious liberty, individual freedoms in the economic, social, and personal spheres, the right to a family and feeling secure in their safety, well-being and happiness.
Freedom of speech and expression devoid of prohibitive and/or coercive measures… etc.
The liberal totalitarianism slice of the pie grows.

[…] Professor Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection has a great piece talking about another new “Stop Rush” website and bringing the larger issue of censorship through “Secondary Boycotts” into focus: The website tracks advertisers, is supposed to show how efficient and effective the anti-Rush movement is, and is meant to keep the effort alive.  The website provides easy to click on links so that people can send tweets to and contact Rush advertisers easily. You can’t read through the website, or any of the tweets at #StopRush, and come to any conclusion other than that they want to silence Limbaugh. Whey else would you target 1000 advertisers?  Is it really just educational? Of course not. […]