I have covered the #StopRush and various affiliated boycott campaigns against Rush Limbaugh organized and run by Media Matters as extensively as anyone:

While the campaign to intimidate advertisers had some early successes, I always have been skeptical that the effect was that great.  The statistics put out by Media Matters and others always spoke in terms of advertisers who refused to advertise on Limbaugh’s show, but that’s a meaningless statistic.

One of the things I learned from my research was that prior to Limbaugh’s Fluke comments, a huge number of advertisers stayed away from political talk radio, be it conservative or liberal, precisely because of the types of intimidation campaigns run by anti-Limbaugh groups and others.  Media Matters and others effectively poisoned everyone’s well.

The true measure of damage would be how many advertisers who previously advertised on Limbaugh stopped advertising, and that number was a fraction of the total statistics put out.  There certainly were some high profile capitulations, like Carbonite which paid a heavy price in lost business when it stopped sponsoring the show.

So when, in early May 2013 , Cumulus executives tried to blame the Limbaugh boycott for Cumulus’s business problems, I was skeptical.  Cumulus has other problems with conservative radio which made questionable its attempt to blame Limbaugh.

The triumphant headlines about how a high percentage of large advertisers refused to advertise on Limbaugh was, once again, a meaningless statistic for the reasons state above.

[note — above tweets pertained to a post at Mediaite by another author, not Noah Rothman]

Politico reports today Distributor: Rush Limbaugh doing ‘very well’:

Rush Limbaugh’s distributor on Thursday said there is no denying the  conservative radio host’s controversial comments about Sandra Fluke hurt  advertising last year — but 2013 is apparently a whole different ballgame.

This year, Limbaugh is drawing new advertisers and recovering well after the  major boycott he faced in response to his broadcasts on Fluke, Premiere Radio  senior vice president and director of talk radio sales Dan Metter told the  Talkers New York 2013 conference.

There was certainly a dramatic impact on the advertising sales in the wake of  Limbaugh’s comments, Metter noted, but he said that just drove the company to  find new sources of ad revenues.

Metter, who repeatedly referred to the advertising boycott of Limbaugh as simply  “the challenge,” said Premiere, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Media, focused its  efforts on getting ads on air from entrepreneurial-based companies not handled  by major ad agencies, such as LifeLock and LegalZoom.

We recently covered the failed attempts to intimidate SodaStream into cancelling its new sponsorship, and I also have heard advertisements for a back up service which replaced Carbonite. Both sponsorships have Limbaugh reading the ads.

Don’t think the attempt to deprive Limbaugh of a platform is over. There still is a core group of people who spend their days tweeting advertisers and posting facebook comments, and their goal is nothing short of getting Limbaugh off the air.

After my early May post about SodaStream, I received an email from one of the Limbaugh boycott people as follows (emphasis mine):

I am one of those Stoprush/flushrush people you mentioned in your article. I am real and I listen to Rush daily in order to contact advertisers, from my kitchen table. My twitter is my real name too. I do not know anything about MediaMatters and am not associated with them or any other organization. The group (Join the Fight to Flush Rush) I am with started right after the Sandra Fluke issue-there were about 25 people in the group when I joined. All I want is Rush off the air-the end. I have never done anything like this in my life-I am a 66 yr old ordinary white woman. Most in our group had never done anything like this before in their lives either.

That’s all.


That tells you something. It’s not about winning the argument on the merits, it’s about shutting down your opponents’ platforms. It’s part of a tactic used by Media Matters, Color of Change, and other left-wing groups for years against conservative speakers.

It’s not about Limbaugh, it’s about people who are fundamentally anti-democratic.

It’s why I’m so glad that StopRush is losing.


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