By Rebecca Shapiro
Media watchdogs have been paying close attention to the commercials aired during Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, as nearly 50 advertisers have pulled their content from the program in wake of the controversy surrounding Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke.
Think Progress has kept daily tabs on Limbaugh’s fleeing advertisers and those sticking with him. AOL—the parent company of The Huffington Post—announced last week that the company pulled its ads from Limbaugh’s show.
Reports about Limbaugh’s Thursday program showed that 77 of the 86 spots that aired were “free public service announcements donated by the Ad Council.” Additionally, seven ads were from companies “in the process of pulling their spots.” This apparently left only two paid advertisements.
Advertisers began distancing themselves from Limbaugh after the conservative radio host made a series of incendiary comments about Fluke, who advocated for insurance covered contraception. Limbaugh called her a “slut,” and “prostitute” who should upload videos of her having sex online so people may watch. His comments caused a public outcry, with even President Obama personally calling Fluke to offer his sympathies. Limbaugh issued a rare, public apology, which later Fluke dismissed during an appearance on “The View.”
Despite Limbaugh’s apology, advertisers continued to pull their commercials from his program. Two radio stations also dropped his show.
Limbaugh has spent considerable time this week defending himself, his apology, and his program. Limbaugh said that his show is doing well despite advertisers pulling their content, and will announce new sponsors in the coming days. Although his comments about Sandra Fluke outraged many, Limbaugh has continued to attack women on his program.
He called journalist Tracie McMillan another white, single, overeducated woman for a book she authored about food and the way Americans eat. “Overeducated does not mean intelligent,” Limbaugh said of McMillan.
On Wednesday, he attacked Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri for her column about his show, saying she inserted her “b-i-itchyness” into her “patently false” report about him.