|...only Rush could assert one day that "women are robotic, they are monolithic" and the very next day accuse the "Democrat Party" of "look[ing] at women as monolithic sex machines"...|
Here's Rachel asking that question [at 5:30 min]. (This video is about the election, not so much about shock jocks. But then watching Rachel Maddow always seems worthwhile):
Rachel's question about Beck was a good-natured taunt and throw-away line from someone who once admitted to admiring the Beckster. But it was also tacit recognition of the volunteer work of an ad hoc group of volunteers, many of whom called themselves Stop Beck. The aggregation — more a group of like-minded volunteers, than an organization — has a storied history in social activism, having worked patiently and diligently before finally accomplishing its one specific goal: driving Beck off of Fox News. While Beck is pursuing new endeavors, his influence on the national conversation has been almost inconsequential compared to what it once was.
When Rush Limbaugh attacked Sandra Fluke, elements of Stop Beck morphed* into Stop Rush.
Against all sensibilities, Limbaugh keeps fanning the flames that threaten to engulf him. Earlier this week he told a caller, "You are a vagina." On Thursday he droned on a similar theme, bloviating incessantly on an alleged relationship between female biology and politics. Rush misread and misinterpreted the study that provoked his sordid spiel, but then Rush routinely sacrifices truth and accuracy for political expediency.
Rush Limbaugh on Thursday:
RUSH: [excerpts] The arousal gap was women who were actually excited, hormonally turned on, by Bill Clinton as exemplified by all of the female reporters in the White House pressroom. After the Lewinsky story hit, they're all turning and saying to each other, "Why not me?"On Friday, Rush argued that an Obama ad was sexist. He ranted,
CNN hastily deleted from its website late Wednesday virtually all mention of a study about the effect hormones have on women’s political preferences.
That was the sample group, 275 women not taking hormonal contraception. For those of you in Rio Linda, what that means is they were not taking a pill. Condom didn't matter. Taking a pill, [sic] regular menstrual cycles, 275. "The results showed that ovulating single women tend to support President Barack Obama because, in the words of lead researcher Kristina Durante, they feel 'sexier.'" This is the arousal gap. Now, look, Dawn's in there rolling her eyes. You're probably getting mad at me. This is a female study conducted by female scientists, conceived by a female. It's not some man sitting around...
Heightened sexual feelings, according to Durante, lead women to support politicians who advocate for easy access to birth control and abortion.
So what this study attempted to say is that women are robotic, they are monolithic. If you get them all in a regular cycle and if they're taking birth control pills [sic], that is a way to get them to vote Democrat. Does this all not make sense, as obsessed as the Democrats are with women getting their birth control pills? As obsessed with contraception, free contraception, as Obama is?
Women, single women, how you get them to vote Democrat: Keep 'em on the pill [sic] and don't get 'em pregnant, no pregnancy, and having regular cycles. Married women or committed are always gonna end up voting Republican. Female study, folks, it wasn't me. I wouldn't even think of such a thing.
RUSH: Folks, I am terribly sorry. I just professionally messed up and I've gotta do the CNN story again. I was hoping to be able to drop it and move on, but I got something profoundly wrong. I just read something terribly wrong, and it totally changes the story. "The study, authored by researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio, used an 'Internet survey of 275 women who were not taking hormonal contraception and had regular menstrual cycles.'" Not taking birth control. So for those of you in Rio Linda, it did require a condom.
So the whole thing has changed. The arousal gap, that is, women who, in a hormonal way, according to this survey — these people, by the way, it might have sounded jocular and funny — I'm a naturally funny guy...
So I just ask question, which political party is obsessed right now with birth control pills being made available as though they were jelly beans or breath mints at a restaurant when you're leaving?
We may now know what really is behind Democrat men pushing birth control. It's the easiest way to get women, for them...
These liberal guys, this is how they get women. Get 'em on the pill, you got a double whammy advantage there... [emphasis added]
—Rush Limbaugh: CNN Pulls Story on Arousal Gap, October 25, 2012
I don’t know if it’s going to work or backfire. It’s insulting to women. It again looks at women as monolithic sex machines who want to make sure they’ve got unending birth control pills and then a free trip to Planned Parenthood the next day, all paid for by Obama. If I were a woman today, I would feel insulted each and everyday. The way they look at women: all thinking the same way, all wanting the same things. [emphasis added]Only Rush could assert one day that "women are robotic, they are monolithic" and the very next day accuse the "Democrat Party" of "look[ing] at women as monolithic sex machines."
—Rush Limbaugh: Politico: Lena Dunham ad insults women, October 26, 2012
Let us take a few moments to understand where we are. Limbaugh's biggest bugaboo seems to be sexism, misogyny. Glenn Beck got in trouble for focusing on race issues, particularly relating to President Obama. Both indulgences are capable of triggering a powerful backlash.
When Beck transgressed a few years ago, consumers and activists followed the example set by Spocko, a blogger who found a simple way to hold shock jocks accountable.
Stop Beck's implementation of Spocko's plan demonstrated just how well the simple formula could work: monitor Glenn Beck on Fox News. Record, and then contact advertisers. Let them know about Beck's outrageous statements. Rinse and repeat.
This was one impact of the Stop Beck effort:
In February 2010, the UK broadcast of Glenn Beck’s show began running without any commercials due to advertiser losses abroad.Compare this early result from the Stop Rush effort:
—Stop Beck: Glenn Beck’s Fox News Exit By The Numbers
...listeners in the nation’s largest media market were treated to over five minutes of radio silence where Limbaugh’s advertisers once stood today...
It should have been a sure sign of trouble ahead. Yet a Media Matters for America video demonstrates that neither Beck nor Limbaugh took the threat seriously:
Here are Rush's words (from that video), compared against reality (just below):
RUSH: it simply isn't the case. We have not lost 28 national sponsors. There are not 28 advertisers who were paying us who aren't... but they're staying on the local [stations]. These advertisers are not abandoning EIB affiliates...
Nobody is losing money here, including us...
Twenty-eight sponsors out of 18,000! That's like losing a couple of french fries in the container when it's delivered to you at the drive-thru...
None of what's happening is out of the ordinary. It's just part of an onslaught to try to convince you that this show's history... [emphasis added]
—Rush Limbaugh: Clearing Up Misinformation on Our Sponsors, March 7, 2012
Oh, my, how much worse it has gotten for Rush. Within days those 28 national sponsors turned into more than 140 national sponsors. But local sponsors also began to fall away. Today, the impact of the Stop Rush backlash threatens all of conservative talk radio. From a recent talk by a radio industry expert (excerpts, then the video):
Norm Pattiz: [Y]ou're all familiar with the Rush Limbaugh deal, and the Sandra Fluke comment...This video is kinda long and boring, I include it simply to source the above excerpts:
[S]ome advertisers were just so stricken by this, that they just decided to blow off talk radio entirely... a tremendous chunk of advertising revenue was wiped out in terms of support for national talk radio programs.
I've been getting a lot of feedback, you know, this isn't something that's just, you know, analogous to one particular situation. This is something that's industry wide, and I've talked to my friends and colleagues, many of whom are here, and um, you know, those people who go out and say, because maybe they have a vested interest: "no effect, business is up", that's just not true! You know, whether it's down a few percentages, or whether it's down fifty percent, it's down.
You know, um, and the effect that that's having has been quite significant. It's not just affecting Rush Limbaugh, it's not just affecting conservative talk radio, it's affecting all talk radio... it's something you should be concerned about, because the days of being able to go out and be rewarded for your efforts at the level that you have been rewarded for your efforts in the past is most probably gone... and the movement in talk radio to some degree is moving away from conservative talk radio. [emphasis added]
—Norm Pattiz: Talkers, Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum
on conservative talk radio
In January of 2012, Limbaugh had 18.4 percent of the streamed talk radio audience, as measured by TalkStreamLive. By September Limbaugh's audience share had dropped to 9.6 percent, a decrease of nearly half. The drop knocked him out of first place in that segment of the market.
Stop Beck knocked Glenn Beck off of Fox in 21 months. So far, Stop Rush, Flush Rush and other allies have been focusing on Rush for just over eight months. Stay tuned.
|Rush Limbaugh's talk radio career is in a slow downward spiral in part because of the activism of consumers, volunteers, and activists who seek to hold Rush accountable for his hate speech. One very active group in this cause is Flush Rush on Facebook. Flush Rush and other, similar groups use the StopRush Database to inform advertisers about where their ads are appearing.
Please consider joining. Small donations are also accepted to fund data storage; visit StopRush for more information.
*Stop Rush connotes both a generic effort (beginning as the #stoprush hash tag on Twitter), and a group that has adopted that name. The same is true of Flush Rush, a collection of groups based on Facebook, but with roots in aspirational movements going back two decades.
Special mention in the Stop Beck fight should go to ColorOfChange.
Other groups too numerous to mention have been a part of the Stop Rush effort. Some continue to support the cause. All are appreciated.