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Here’s why Rush survived pressure on advertisers while O’Reilly didn’t

Here’s why Rush survived pressure on advertisers while O’Reilly didn’t

The two cases are not alike, except for the organized advertiser pressure tactics used.

Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News career now swims with the fishes.

The conventional wisdom is that after the NY Times exposed a history of sexual harassment  settlements, and two new accusers came forward, advertisers “fled” the show, forcing the hand of News Corp and the Murdochs.

That conventional wisdom is only partially correct — advertisers didn’t flee, they were chased away by the same organized effort as was used against Glenn Beck once upon a time, and Rush Limbaugh in 2012.

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 initially — was a Media Matters astroturfed assault on Limbaugh’s advertiser base, based on a pre-existing plan by Angelo Carusone, then Director of Online Strategy for Media Matters (and now President). Supposedly independent groups coordinated their efforts with Media Matters, 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.

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. That eventually led Limbaugh, through a spokesman, to push back against the operatives, Limbaugh outs #StopRush Twitter operatives.

The pre-existing plan to be used against Limbaugh also existed for O’Reilly, as Carusone admitted in an interview shortly after the Times report on O’Reilly, Here’s Why The Bill O’Reilly Ad Boycott Just Might Work This Time:

The boycott exploded within days. A cadre of Twitter activists, battle-hardened from ongoing campaigns against the Trumps and Breitbart News, swarmed the initial New York Times story about the sexual harassment allegations and put pressure on advertisers to take a stand. They did—quickly and vocally. Within about 24 hours, over 20 companies— including major players like Allstate, BMW, and T. Rowe Price—pulled their advertising from the O’Reilly Factor and denounced his alleged behaviour.

“So many advertisers are not just removing their ads, but giving comments that they typically avoid, or would avoid. I mean, they’re making value judgments,” says Angelo Carusone, president of liberal watchdog organization Media Matters for America. That Carusone was caught off guard shows how unexpected the reaction was, as he’s long been planning for such a day. “I had the @StopOReilly [Twitter] account for seven years, and I just sat on it,” he says.

The justification for these tactics against O’Reilly was that it was conduct at issue, not politics:

[Carusone] points out that O’Reilly’s issue is not one of free speech but rather of behavior. The charges against him, other Fox colleagues, and Fox itself are serious and mounting. “Sexual harassment is a really big fucking problem in this country,” says Carusone. “I do think it matters if you have corporate leaders standing up and saying, hey, this is an issue that we think is a super-big third rail, and so even if you give a whiff of this, we’re not going to go anywhere near it.”

But of course, for Carusone and Media Matters, it was all about politics, and part of a plan hatched years ago, as we wrote about in 2011, Media Matters Plans “Guerrilla Warfare and Sabotage” on Fox News And Conservative Websites.

Despite O’Reilly being gone, Carusone plans on continuing the effort against Fox News, Statement Of Angelo Carusone As Bill O’Reilly Exits Fox News:

Fox News was forced to act. They had years to address serial sexual harassment at Fox News. They didn’t; they actually enabled it. So, individuals and groups took action to educate advertisers. Advertisers fled because they immediately recognized what Fox News has ignored for over a decade: that serial sexual harassment is not only wrong, but bad for business.

Without advertisers, Bill O’Reilly’s show was no longer commercially viable. Fox News had no choice but to fire O’Reilly. Accountability came from the outside, not from within. Fox News deserves no accolades, only scorn for the industrial scale harassment they have forced their employees to endure.

The open question is what Fox News will do about the epidemic of sexual harassment at Fox News that extends well beyond O’Reilly as it seems to be in-part facilitated by its current co-president Bill Shine. Shine reportedly retaliated against women that came forward with reports against former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes as well as those that came forward against Bill O’Reilly. Aside from mistreating staff, Shine put shareholders and advertisers at risk by resigning a contract with O’Reilly just a few weeks ago despite knowing all the allegations.

If Fox News wants to signal that they’re serious about addressing sexual harassment, they’ll fire Bill Shine too. If not, then staff, advertisers and shareholders should beware.

So why did the pressuring of advertisers work with O’Reilly, but fail with Limbaugh?

Here’s my take:

1.  Conduct (O’Reilly) versus Words (Limbaugh)

Conduct was at issue with O’Reilly. Multiple alleged instances over a long period of time involving demands for sexual favors in return for career advancement (or threats to damage careers) simply is more abhorrent than saying mean things to someone who testified on Capitol Hill about a political issue. Though O’Reilly never was proven to have engaged in the conduct, the notion of multiple high figure settlements worked against any presumption of innocence, even though lawsuits are settled all the time even if the accusations are not true. That O’Reilly never publicly and forcefully defended himself created the impression that there was a there there.

2. Company Man (O’Reilly) versus The Company (Limbaugh)

When interviewed by AP early after the Times article about O’Reilly, I noted that O’Reilly was not bigger than the corporate interest:

“At some point, even the most popular TV personalities are expendable,” said Cornell’s Jacobson.

And so it was. O’Reilly was a big cog in the Fox News wheel, but he wasn’t the company. He was replaceable if what was at stake were greater corporate interests. Limbaugh, by contrast, was the company. There were no replacements for Limbaugh, he was the franchise. While Limbaugh wasn’t the radio network, few people focused on the radio network. They might have known the local radio station, but not the entity syndicating the show.

3. Centralized (O’Reilly) versus Dispersed Advertising (Limbaugh)

There was a relatively small stable of advertisers on O’Reilly, since it was just a one hour show on a single network. The advertiser base presented a relatively well defined target. With Limbaugh, by contrast, he was on hundreds of local radio stations, and a high percentage of the advertising was local. So the anti-Limbaugh forces had thousands of advertisers to deal with, from national brands to the local tire store. While Limbaugh’s national advertisers were targeted, they were less of a factor than the attacks on O’Reilly advertisers.

4. Non-Ideological (O’Reilly) versus Ideological Advertisers (Limbaugh)

O’Reilly was a television personality, Limbaugh was (and is) an ideological leader. That many of those national advertisers had ideological motivations with Limbaugh, but not O’Reilly, also helped. Corporate advertisers abhor controversy, particularly controversy involving hot button social issues. That worked more on O’Reilly’s national advertisers, who were non-ideological name brands. Users of Limbaugh’s advertisers also had ideological motivations, as was witnessed by the damage to Carbonite after it very publicly parted ways with Limbaugh.

5.  No Apology (O’Reilly) versus Apology (Limbaugh)

Limbaugh quickly apologized for the Fluke remarks. That matters. People make mistakes. It provided cover for advertisers. O’Reilly, by contrast, never publicly apologized, and indeed, his lawyers were tone deaf as the controversy escalated by claiming that left-wing groups were smearing O’Reilly.


Early on after the Times article I recognized that O’Reilly likely would not survive.  The allegations were too serious, and the pressure tactics on advertisers were designed to work in just such a situation.

The use of organized attacks on advertisers will continue, and will be used against conservative personalities who are not accused of anything near what O’Reilly was accused of. There’s blood in the water now.


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casualobserver | April 19, 2017 at 10:19 pm

“The use of organized attacks on advertisers will continue, and will be used against conservative personalities who are not accused of anything near what O’Reilly was accused of. There’s blood in the water now.”

Bank on it. In fact, bank on the fact that the progressive groups led by Media Matters are expanding their bank accounts as result of this major coup.

If the Progressive Fascists targeted O’Reilly on the basis that he was Conservative, we’ve already won. If they can’t even identify the appropriate target, they can’t do anything but flail.

And that’s a good thing.


    Still, he was an effective counterweight to left and right. Americans are, by virtue of their principles, centered on the ideological scale. While O’Reilly was likely socially liberal, he did strive to recognize a balance on other fronts.

      I guess it’s how you define “center.” Progressive fascists have lost power at ever level of government for nearly a decade. Either you would define Progressives as outside the center or your hypothesis is patently mistaken.


        mariner in reply to Andrew Branca. | April 20, 2017 at 2:21 am

        Progressive fascists at the federal level have greatly increased their power and reach over the last ten years.

        I suspect the same is true at the state and local level, though I admit I’m less sure of that.

          notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to mariner. | April 20, 2017 at 2:13 pm

          They have increased greatly in number at the state and local level also – rest assured of that.

          I see it every day in a part of the country that used to be solid red even 10 years ago.

    guyjones in reply to Andrew Branca. | April 20, 2017 at 1:14 am

    I understand where you’re coming from, Andrew, but, I would respectfully dissent. I submit that the Left is happy to use a carpet-bombing, sweeping, “sledgehammer” approach to silencing dissenting viewpoints that doesn’t make distinctions as to notions of ideological purity. All that matters is that the target isn’t a card-carrying Leftist, and/or, is associated with a conservative media outlet. O’Reilly worked for Fox News and he was viewed by the Left as a prominent, conservative-leaning commentator, so, his scalp was deemed to be a valuable one. That O’Reilly may not have passed strictly-construed conservative “purity” tests was utterly irrelevant to them.

    In the current sociopolitical climate, with the Leftist jackboots committed to engaging in thuggery, intimidation and all manner of histrionic antics and disruption to silence all dissenting viewpoints and speakers who are at variance with Leftist orthodoxies, from the thoughtful (e.g., Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, Heather McDonald; Ayaan Hirsi Ali) to the more theatrical and cheeky (e.g., Milo Yiannopolos), I don’t think that conservatives have the luxury of taking solace in the fact that a few of the targets of Leftist outrage machine may lack credibility in conservative circles. Post-Trump’s election, the jackboots have demonstrated that they are committed to stamping out dissent, period, no matter how diluted the speaker’s conservatism might be, or wherever on the spectrum his/her political allegiances may lie. That represents a threat to all people who refuse to march to the drumbeat of Leftist orthodoxies.

      snopercod in reply to guyjones. | April 20, 2017 at 7:54 am

      O’Reilly worked for Fox News and he was viewed by the Left as a prominent, conservative-leaning commentator, so, his scalp was deemed to be a valuable one.

      That’s the essence of the matter. Clearly O’Reilly wasn’t a conservative and Fox News has been inching to the left for a long time, but to the left, Fox is THE “mouthpiece” of conservatism. It’s an example of appearance over substance.

        Standlow in reply to snopercod. | April 20, 2017 at 11:11 am

        Your take is spot on. You cover a lot of ground, and you see it clearly. Thank you.

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to snopercod. | April 20, 2017 at 2:27 pm

        FOX is conservative?????

          Conservative is sometimes used in relative terms, as in, “Fox News is Conservative compared to ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, etc.”

          Fox News has never really been Conservative, but they were more friendly to Conservatives than any of the above, so in the “progressive mindset” they are quite Conservative.

          Remember So-called-Progressives will tolerate anything, but opposing views.

    I never really cared for O’Reilly’s bombastic and haughty style and I don’t think, despite his 3.6M viewer audience his loss is all that impactful. What the conservative internet media needs to do is a post-mortem a la what Mr. Jacobsen did re StopRush and get the word out that this was a hit piece.

    And in spite of O’Reilly’s reticence in this matter, I doubt we’ve heard the last of him on this subject.

    I agree with your thoughts, but I will advise everyone to avoid using the term “fascist.” It will just be a big distraction.

    Media Matters is organizing intimidation against advertisers in order to silence their Media Matters’ political targets. The mainstream media refuses to report this because they agree with Media Matters’ goals.

    These kinds of attacks would be rejected by most people if they knew they were being organized. It is evil. It is partisan. We don’t need to create a distraction by using a charged word like “fascism” in our arguments. That just allows the other side to start arguing semantics and avoid the issue that their actions are evil.

#2 on your list is bigger than all of the others put together, I believe. If Fox had decided to, they could have weathered the advertising issues and eventually they would have faded, as everything does. But they’re too big, and they would have taken more collateral damage than it would have made sense to take, winning that battle. As you say, when you’re talking about someone who in the end, is just an employee, he’s always expendable.

Rush, on the other hand, was in a position where he had to fight to the death, if necessary. His operation is small enough, being just him, to make it worthwhile to gamble everything he had on winning that fight.

I would add that the other thing that really hurt O’Reilly was that he had one time allies (at least as far as the public knew) joining in, not just political enemies.

Limbaugh often uses parody. I had hoped that he would have given Fluke an update song when it came to her demands for free contraceptives….”Girls just want yo have fun” by Cindy Lauper. He weathered the storm but not a fun time.

    snopercod in reply to alaskabob. | April 20, 2017 at 7:59 am

    In 2012, the wife and I needed a new mattress. We were considering a Sleep Number bed, but when they pulled their ads from the Rush Limbaugh program, we bought another brand. I called up Sleep Number and told them that their boycott just cost them a sale. Also, I haven’t eaten at Arby’s since they joined the Limbaugh boycott. My point is, these boycotts can blow back in the lefties’ faces. (See Chick-fil-A) So which companies pulled their ads from O’Reilly?

      This came to mind when I started reading the article, as long as they get away with this kind of attack, and there is no serious blowback, they will continue. There needs to be a counter operation smearing their favorite people. People should also consider that these are likely the same people who have organized attacks on people like Zimmerman and Officer Wilson, something facilitated by Obama’s DOJ which actively ignored serious civil rights violations because of who the players were.

      Another Voice in reply to snopercod. | April 20, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      The fall out was tremendous for many of the companies that pulled their ads as a result of Rush who reached out to his listeners. The push back caused a tremendous financial impact and negated why the sole purpose of growing business is to buy national advertisement time.

      The article posted on The Street was written months after the media went on to some other flavor of the week, but not by any of the investors of Carbonite. The loss was both immediate and reaching to a company that was tracked for growth until the CEO decided to mix politics with business.

        Another Voice in reply to Another Voice. | April 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

        An Edit after the “Oop’s Submit Click:

        The fall out was tremendous for many of the companies that pulled their ads and it was as a result that Rush reached out to his listeners.

4th armored div | April 19, 2017 at 11:31 pm

will o’reilly continue his own podcast – how expensive is that ?

    Tom Servo in reply to 4th armored div. | April 20, 2017 at 9:29 am

    The real question is, how profitable is that? O’Reilly has enough money and accomplishments to go spend a lot of time on a nice beach in the Carribean – that’s what I would do if I was him! Why waste time and energy on some sad little wank show?

    Contrast to someone like Olberman, who’s out of money and out of friends, and so is desperately podcasting out of his bathroom trying to convince someone that he’s still relevant somehow. (he isn’t, of course, his time is over) When your time on the stage is up, best to accept it as gracefully as possible and go.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Tom Servo. | April 20, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      Olberman was never relevant. He was always a sad, cry-baby Progressive trying to prove to the other cry-babies that he was in their league. But he was too infantile even for them. (Olberman “peaked”, if that’s what it can be called, before being a snowflake became a badge of honor among the rank-and-file Progressives. He was a snowflake before it was cool.)

The larger issue is that Soros’ interests and puppets cannot lay a glove on Trump, so they’re going after his allies- everywhere, in every medium. First, it was Ailes, now it’s O’Reilly- with the Murdoch sons in charge, they have a natural ally. More than anything, they want to take out Fox- and will succeed, if the Murdoch boys are too stupid to see what’s going on. Not all great companies can survive when the next generation, who have inherited their jobs, takes over. James and Lachlan will not suffer financially when they’ve destroyed the legacy that their father has built- and, ultimately, they won’t care.

One more point: O’Reilly was so pompous and rude to so many on his show and behaved so often as a bully, that the charges were totally believable. Many of those who actually at one time liked him were glad to see him go.

Big difference between Rush and O’Reilly: Rush is beloved, much more of a greater powerhouse than O’Reilly. Rush followers would line up and pay to see him (like they would Trump.)

O’Reilly has viewers. Rush has devotees. And a lot more listeners than O’Reilly had viewers.

In any event, look for O’Reilly to rise from the ‘ashes.’

Bill Clinton is a rapist. Hillary Clinton is an aider and abetter of rape – and she became the demcorat nominee (thank goodness.) What in the world did O’Reilly do in comparison?

IMO, O’Reilly was sacrificed only because the Murdock kids are weak and are clearly ready and willing to stop pretending that Fox is different than ABC, NBC, CBS or CNN. They want to jettison their viewers and go mainstream.

They all run in the same circles and only the uber-left thinks Fox is conservative. During the last election, they clearly showed themselves to be clueless anti-Trump water carriers of NYC and DC culture. O’Reilly will do ok. I hate the way he was taken down… and no doubt, more scalps to come.

O’Reilly wasn’t conservative he was authoritarian statist always wanting the government to kidnap kids from people because he didn’t agree with their lifestyle choices.
he also wanted a UN death squad created to eliminate “bad guys” and only answer to the UN. his only saving grace was his support and advocacy of laws like Kate’s law and Jessica’s law. remember this is the same guy who said Obama was born in Hawaii because he read the newspaper announcement.

fnc was always center left just look at the volume of leftist they employed since the beginning.

legalizehazing | April 20, 2017 at 4:20 am

Another factor is the bench at Fox is deeep. Besides Carlson and Boiling and there are many great personalities… even outside of Fox there’s a blossoming crop of Conservative personalities.

Bill is old and appeals to their older demo that is very loyal. This shift in talent was coming but it’ll be interesting to see what comes.

This is an interesting analysis, and it probably has a great deal of validity. I would add to this list the fact that Bill O’Reilly (like Roger Ailes) is facing old age & the end of his career. I do think the liberal leanings of The Evil Murdock Brothers also had a great deal to do with the dismantling of the Fox News channel. Ailes was the brains; O’Reilly, the talent; Kelly, the future. Greta is gone, too. If I were a Fox News talent, I would be on the lookout for an alternative. IMO, the Murdocks are too rich to care about the value of Fox News.

It was Rupert Murdoch’s call, ultimately, although his sons did help to convince him to hire the Paul, Weiss, law firm that investigated first Ailes and now O’Reilly. Murdoch’s not going to be swayed by liberal boycotts or a few advertisers, in my opinion, he was looking at the future of the company. Would you want your wife or daughter working for Fox News in that kind of environment?

Ailes had more than two dozen women saying that he harassed them. O’Reilly’s count was at least five, but I would bet it’s more. Other articles also mention Steve Doocy as verbally harassing Carlson and other women, but I think if he was going to be fired it already would have happened.

Hillary is also an aid her in the better of the deaths of four Americans Hillary is also a traitor having sold uranium two are in the me Hillary is a lot of things her husband is a rapist what else is he is he a pedophile

According to “The Hill”, these advertisers are boycotting O’Reilly:

BMW of North America
Constant Contact
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition
GSK pharmaceuticals
Sanofi consumer healthcare
T. Rowe Price

Am I the only one who thinks that’s pretty much a nothing-burger?

Professor, is there anything illegal about this kind of astro-turfed defamation campaign?

    Ragspierre in reply to tarheelkate. | April 20, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Defamation is always actionable. If it is defamation.

    There are a LOT of problems with O’Reilley bringing that kind of action…discovery being the killer.

      Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | April 20, 2017 at 11:06 pm

      It’s impossible for a public figure to win a defamation action against organisations such as these, which never claimed to have first-hand information against him. Their claim from the beginning was always that they believe the complainants, or at least thought the complainants might well be telling the truth, and it’s impossible to prove they didn’t.

Or, is Media Matters now liable to a civil lawsuit from O’Reilly for his contract loss?

    Ragspierre in reply to tarheelkate. | April 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    As I’ve pointed out many times, anybody can sue over anything.

    Under what theory of liability would O’Reilly sue? Tortuous interference with contract? What’s the underlying tort? You get back to some form of defamation.

      tarheelkate in reply to Ragspierre. | April 20, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Thanks for the legal response. That’s what I was looking for.

      Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | April 20, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      Yes, it would have to be a defamation action, and he’d have to prove not only that he’s completely innocent, but also that Media Matters knew for a fact that the complainants were lying, or at least had good reason to believe they were lying. Since that’s impossible to prove, he can’t hope to succeed in a suit, which means if he did sue in a jurisdiction that allows anti-SLAAP actions he’d be subject to sanctions.

I suspect that the differences lied more in Rush having bullet-proof loyalty from his well-defined audience. To an advertiser, that is very attractive. The attempts to drive them away from Rush because he was not being attacked for violating the ethics or beliefs of his audience but rather BECAUSE of them. That only reinforced his stature with his audience.

O’Reilly is a squishy, mainstream guy with hard-to-define ethics and beliefs. Although his popularity may have had a lot to do with his phony virtue signalling, it was his hypocrisy that made him toxic to advertisers even as his audience remained stable (wouldn’t have lasted).

Beck was just weird if not outright insane. He became toxic to advertisers mostly because his audience imploded. He turned on his audience and tried to paint it as martyrdom.

Going after advertisers is a very iffy tactic. Chick-fil-A prospered while under constant attack because they were standing on principle that is shared by a great majority of Americans. People were looking for the closest C-f-A to patronize on principle alone. Target, do I need to explain? Perverts in women’s bathrooms. Is there a big constituency for that?

AmericaBeautiful | April 20, 2017 at 10:18 am

Thank you, Professor, for the excellent history & analysis of this situation.
Now will you be following up with an expose of the globalist Murdoch clan’s plan, with their pals, for utter control of the planet and enslavement of its population, a la Davos?
O’Reilly’s vanishing act was an expected step in changing once-conservative Fox News into the image of MSNBC/CNN/Orwell State Media.

Just curious, since we knew they’re doing this digital attack, is there a way to expose it as soon as it starts?

The same tactics can be used against the left, assuming any of their on-air personalities have advertisers… Come to think of it, nah, wouldn’t work.

Hopefully Tucker Carlson’s closet is skeleton free.
He’s popular, he loves to skewer the left, and now he’s in O’Reilly’s coveted timeslot.
They’ll go after him next.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to HamiltonNJ. | April 20, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Doesn’t matter. Democrats, Leftists, and Progressives are
    Lie-Manufacturing Machines.

Works the other way to. Ask Target….

we’re seeing Alinsky’s rules put into effect

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

curmedgeonincharge | April 20, 2017 at 10:12 pm

” The allegations were too serious, and the pressure tactics on advertisers were designed to work in just such a situation.” None of it was ever proven, or brought before a Court where the accused could defend himself, and that’s the way it will always be.

The accusers, Media Matters, et al., know that the allegations are unproveable, and so they accumulate multiple accusations to produce the necessary amount of smoke, even if there is no fire.

The difference between this activity, this strategy, and terrorism is negligible.

So Media Matters boycott of the Clinton Foundation, due to Bill Clinton’s serial sexual assaults and Hillary’s plersonal and professional destruction of any woman who came forward to publicly accuse Bill of sexual assault, starts, when?
Yeah I thought so.
Media Matters doesn’t care about women being sexually assaulted. They care only about returning fellow Leftists to power. That’s it. That’s their ONLY cause.

He is an ignorant, knee-jerk, authoritarian, blowhard. He was dead to me since 2004 when he called a murdered navy SEAL a “wannabe” who was “strung up in Falluja” ( This will likely be a pyrrhic victory for the left when the embarrassment he was is replaced by a Tucker Carlson or a Ben Shapiro. *smile*

I recall the hysterical left attacks on Limbaugh, and the wilful obtuseness (and hypocrisy) of the nutroot left. The endless dirge of “poor young sweet Ms. Sandra Fluke” wailing and “if I were her father I’d beat up Limbaugh” venom left me agast.

Rush need not have apologized. Sandra Fluke was no innocent. She appeared before a Congressional committee not only as representative of a partisan cause (and organization) BUT testified that her own sex life, her use and need for free birth control, was evidence for that cause. Hence, attacks on her cause and testimony regarding personal life became 100 percent fair game for parody, ridicule, or mockery.

Limbaugh’s one-liner about “round-heels” and computations of of sex life needs was fair game.

Of course, the left couldn’t get beyond their own sexism and infantilization of women; suddenly Sandra Fluke was a helpless little girl who needed to be protected from big, bad, Limbaugh.

Sorry, if you use your personal private needs (be it financial, drugs, consumptive, or sex) as evidence for getting free goodies, then your going to get direct kickback and attacks on those claims.

The left, as always, invests close to 100% of their energies into the symbolic, and ignore the substantial.

O Reilly did not tell is audience what to think, he just validated their deeply held core values. This is what the media always get wrong. Conservatives are not led by charismatic personas, they support people that they determine are best to carry out the political agenda that support our core values.
Defined, limited government, personal responsibility, freedom, and rule of law.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | April 21, 2017 at 4:34 pm

I agree with most of the analysis about the difference between Rush and O’Reilly. But I don’t agree with the final conclusion at the very end.

From what I saw, BOR was losing some advertisers but his audience was holding. That means advertising rates dropped. Eventually, as long as the audience did not abandon him, new advertisers would step up to take advantage of those lower ad rates. I don’t know how long it would take, but eventually ad rates would recover ASSUMING the audience did not abandon him. That’s the unknowable wild card.

My own feeling is that Rupert’s liberal sons – who are now supposedly calling the shots – wanted him gone. And even though O’Reilly had inked a new deal concurrent with their taking the helm, he probably realized that with his mentor/ally Ailes gone and Rupert giving the sons control, it wasn’t going to be fun. So he took the $25 million they reportedly offered him not to do his show.

This is the frightening kind of malignant organized political behavior that leads to oppressive authoritarian governments. It only works because the mainstream media does not report the organization behind these campaigns and the political motives behind these campaigns. The mainstream media supports the authoritarians. Fortunately, the public has alternative ways of getting information. Unfortunately, most people don’t go through the effort to look behind these stories to uncover the corrupt details.