Rush Limbaugh issued a public apology for calling Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student and advocate for health insurance that covers contraception, a "slut" and a "prostitute" and implying that she had so much sex, she couldn't afford her own birth control. What about these offensive statements (out of all the offensive statements he delivers on air regularly — remember "Barack, the Magic Negro?") caused him to apologize?
In addition to showing a fundamental misunderstanding of how birth control works and attacking someone who didn't deserve to be attacked — using vile, misogynistic language — Limbaugh is losing money. At least seven of his national advertisers have flown the coop. And, according to the Washington Post, this could be Limbaugh's "Don Imus moment."
But the loss of advertisers should be a worrisome sign to Limbaugh, said Holland Cooke, also a talk-radio consultant. "I think this story is closer to the beginning than the end," he said Sunday. "This is in the hands of an angry public now. I can't imagine that he won't be diminished in some way."
Cooke says Limbaugh is "too big to fail," given his presence on so many stations and the financial hit those stations would take if they were forced to find a less popular substitute. However, there are alternatives: Cooke points out that Cumulus Media — which owns WMAL and other stations in major cities — is developing a radio show hosted by another popular conservative, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
You tell us — is it the end of the Rush era?
Read more at the Washington Post.
Lauren is a former Deputy Editor of The Root.