Rush Limbaugh’s opponents are starting a radio campaign against him Thursday, to make a long-term effort aimed at weakening his business.
The liberal Media Matters for America is using a past campaign against Glenn Beck as a template. Media Matters is spending at least $100,000 for two advertisements that will run in eight cities.
The ads use Limbaugh’s own words about student Sandra Fluke. Limbaugh, on his radio programs, suggested Fluke wanted to be paid to have sex, which made her a “slut” and a “prostitute.” In return for the money, he said Fluke should post videos of herself having sex. Under sharp criticism, Limbaugh later apologized.
In one of the anti-Limbaugh ads, listeners are urged to call the local station that carries Limbaugh to say “we don’t talk to women like that” in our city.
Ad time was purchased in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Seattle, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Macon (GA) and Cedar Rapids (Iowa). The cities were selected because of perceptions Limbaugh may be vulnerable in that market, said Angelo Carusone of Media Matters.
“What we’re really looking for is a way to demonstrate the persistence of the effort and the fact that it is on a wide scale,” Carusone said.
A spokeswoman for Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicates Limbaugh’s show to nearly 600 radio stations nationally, said Media Matters has gone beyond criticism of Limbaugh’s words to an attempt to silence him and intimidate advertisers.
“This is not about women,” said Rachel Nelson, Premiere spokeswoman. “It’s not about ethics and it’s not about the nature of our public discourse. It’s a direct attack on America’s guaranteed First Amendment right to free speech. It’s essentially a call for censorship masquerading as high-minded indignation.”
Limbaugh, on his radio show Wednesday, said he’s being targeted in an attack that was long-planned. “They’re not even really offended by what happened,” he said. “This is just an opportunity to execute a plan they’ve had in their drawer since 2009.”