Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers have deserted him, and the only way his radio remains financially sustainable is by being bankrolled by right wing organizations. In short, Rush is now taking handouts.
After the news that 48 of Cumulus Media’s top 50 advertisers have requested that their ads no longer appear on Limbaugh’s show, the other shoe dropped. Media Matters reported that, “Rush Limbaugh’s syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks, is the single largest independent contractor to the Heritage Foundation according to their latest 990 filing with the IRS, receiving $2,236,555 from the think tank. With advertisers fleeing his show, and as a result radio companies suffering major losses, the fiscal sponsorship of the conservative movement is now fiscally critical…Without wingnut welfare, which has also included sponsorships from FreedomWorks, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity’s shows would not be financially viable.”
Conservatives argue that the free market should be left alone. They make entire careers out of “keeping the government out of the free market.” They oppose any government regulation or taxation because it interferes with the free market, but when the free market decided that Rush Limbaugh’s show was not financially sustainable they threw their ideology out the window, and started subsidizing Limbaugh’s program.
What Limbaugh is doing is even worse than welfare. Rush Limbaugh and his fellow right wing talk show hosts are engaging in payola. Groups like FreedomWorks and the Heritage Foundation spend millions of dollars a year paying the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh to talk up their efforts without disclosing to their audiences that they are being paid to do so. Right wing talk radio is a pay to play business, and thanks to the advertiser boycott, payola is the only thing keeping Rush Limbaugh’s show financially afloat.
The advertiser boycott has been so effective that Rush Limbaugh is living off of corporate welfare.
Rush Limbaugh, who once suggested that poor people shouldn’t be allowed to vote, can’t generate enough advertising revenue for his show to financially sustain itself. The glory days are over for Limbaugh. He is now dependant on the generosity of his fellow ideologues. The same right wingers who want to defund PBS are secretly slipping Rush Limbaugh cash under the table.
If Big Bird should be subjected to the whims of the free market, Rush Limbaugh should too.
Thanks to the advertiser boycott, Rush Limbaugh’s show is in worse shape than anybody thought.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association