As he continues to lose money, Rush Limbaugh tried to stop the bleeding by squealing about AstroTurf and how the boycott is really no big deal.
Here is the audio from Media Matters:
We’re having to white out some information on the piece we have, and we’re even doing more than tweeting it out to you so you can see it, but it’s an AstroTurf secondary boycott. Totally fake, totally manufactured, in fact it has been sitting in a drawer since 2009 waiting to be hatched, and in fact something that we tweeted over the weekend. There is a radio trade website by a radio journalist named Al Peterson, and it just so happens that a couple of radio consultants tweeted or did a survey about this whole circumstance and they characterized me as the canary in the coal mine for all of radio.
And a guy was out doing a marketing survey at the time decided to go ahead and find out if indeed this whole episode was damaging talk radio, it’s not. In fact this survey illustrates that none of you in this audience believed any of this, and didn’t think it was that big a deal to begin with.
Rush Limbaugh has now moved on to step two on the Glenn Beck advertiser boycott path of destruction. When Beck was faced with a mass exodus of advertisers, one of the claims that he and supporters made was that his ratings were still high. This was an irrelevant point when Beck made it last year, and it was still irrelevant when Limbaugh used it today.
The boycott isn’t targeting Rush Limbaugh’s listeners. The boycott is targeting his advertisers, so the question isn’t whether Limbaugh’s listeners support the boycott, but how many of the departed advertisers have returned to Limbaugh’s show? The big time corporate advertisers are not coming back. The whole blaming it on AstroTurf excuse is an attempt to delegitimatize the boycott and lure the advertisers back.
This is the point where common sense should enter into the analysis. If Rush Limbaugh’s audience really doesn’t care and the advertisers are pleased as punch and all still there, then why is Limbaugh wasting airtime trying to discredit a boycott that isn’t working? The truth is that this boycott is costing Limbaugh, Premiere Networks, and the radio stations that pay the exorbitant license fee to carry The Rush Limbaugh Show money.
I don’t think that Rush Limbaugh will be forced off the air, but the next interesting development to watch out for is how many stations drop Rush Limbaugh in favor the new Mike Huckabee show starting in early April. No matter what, this boycott has been a success because for the first time in his career Rush Limbaugh is being held accountable. The bubble that is right wing talk radio has been punctured.
Rush Limbaugh may take comfort in the fact that his audience is still with him, but he needs to remember that Glenn Beck still had two million nightly viewers when he was canned by Fox News.