It seems the larger mainstream media outlets like
are starting to realize that 'small-fry' social media outlets have become a force to be reckoned with.
Last week, I published a Daily Kos diary about Wall Street Journal radio statistics. The industry numbers confirmed social media campaigns are winning the fight against hate radio, namely Rush Limbaugh. And now, Time Magazine is jumping in. Both are seeing social media groups like StopRush, BoycottRush, and FlushRush cause Rush Limbaugh to lose sponsors, radio stations, and market standings. And these groups are supported by larger social media news organization/blogs like Daily Kos, Media Matters, Liberals Unite, UniteWomen.org, Alternet, Addicting Info, Politico, and PoliticusUSA… who continue to cover/promote stories about the Limbaugh protest. Despite all of Limbaugh's money and best efforts to squelch the protest, it just keeps growing.
Time Magazine writer, Brian Rosenwald, chimed in on Wednesday. Rosenwald is completing his doctoral dissertation. In this article he discusses how talk radio has changed politics/public policy and how, now, the internet is changing talk radio. For decades, Limbaugh could get away with atrocities like making up sick songs about AIDS victims and getting away with it. Rosenwald goes on to say it's very different now:
Today, by contrast, every word that Limbaugh says is broadcast and archived. Watchdog groups, such as Media Matters, scrutinize every word, waiting to blast any potentially offensive statements out to the world. Whereas the opinions of non-listeners might have been irrelevant in 1988 and a boycott hard to organize, someone who considered the Elba comments to be racist could easily use social media to pressure advertisers to remove their ads from Limbaugh’s program (as many did in 2012 after Limbaugh insulted Georgetown student Sandra Fluke).
Most folks following the protest know that current campaigns not only pressured advertisers in 2012, they have continued to do so for three years
Rosenwald goes on to say Limbaugh's hateful and inflammatory words now go beyond the ears of his dittoheads/fans/listeners. His vitriol can easily reach hundreds of thousands via social media campaigns:
[Radio] Hosts’ words far more easily reach non-listeners than they did 25 years ago. Indeed, a show’s actual audience need not be bothered for comments to cause trouble. Campaigns against a host can build over time, and social media makes it easy to pressure station management and advertisers.
In fact, the provocative, unpredictable content that produces the best talk radio fits poorly with an advertiser-based business model in the Internet and social media era. This problem may eventually drive the content provided by Limbaugh and his peers to an internet-based subscription platform, where hosts do not have to worry about losing advertisers when they generate controversy.
That's the goal for many protesting Rush Limbaugh. They feel we all have the right to free speech, including Limbaugh, as protestors practice their own First Amendment rights via protests, petitions and boycotts. The difference, many say, is that much of Rush Limbaugh's vile commentary is hate speech,
and he dangerously promotes misogyny, anti-lgbt hatred, and racism. This in turn can lead to bullying, abuse, hate crimes, violence, and murder. The public has had enough and they want this type of talk show off their public radio. 'Let him take his vitriol private.'
Change is happening - positive change, and it's due to every day people becoming more proactive in fighting extremism. No more do we have to write, stamp, and mail letters to companies with our grievances, then wonder if anyone will read them. No longer to we have to wait on the phone for hours to talk with someone who might care. Now we can simply post our thoughts/complaints onto the company's Facebook/Twitter pages with a few clicks. Most likely someone in the company will see it, and it behooves them to address the consumers. One bad customer experience can go viral. This may seem intimidating, but in reality it's simply the beauty of America's free market, except this time, free market is to the advantage of the people. This gives citizens the option to boycott/not buy from companies that support odious hate mongers like Limbaugh and highly abhorrent, propagated media.
To join the massive and successful protest against hate radio, here are some easy things most anyone can do.
Sign: Boycott Rush Limbaugh Sponsors Petition
Visit/Like: BoycottRush Facebook Page
Join: The Fight To Flush Rush
Visit: StopRush.net for an extensive list of Limbaugh Sponsors
Tweet #StopRush and #FlushRush
For more on Rosenwald's story, visit Time Magazine
UPDATE: Since posting several articles about Rush Limbaugh th is week, over 16,000 more people have signed the sponsor petition bringing it to a total of over 125,000 signatures! No more do we have to physically go door to door to ask folks to sign petitions. This is about the public using social media to protest hate speech and hate media. And it's a wonderful thing to behold.
Thank You, Kossack Richard Myers. Rest In Peace. We Will Finish This.