Advertisers Will Give Loudmouthed Lunkhead a Time-Out, but He Has Too Many Listeners at Stake to Ignore
Sometimes it pays to be a flaming asshole.
And nobody knows that better than Rush Limbaugh. Sure, he's been singed by his own words as a small parade of advertisers bail on the right-wing voice of lack of reason after he called a Georgetown law student a slut for testifying about birth-control policy.
And, yes, Limbaugh, is sorry, truly sorry, for also calling Sandra Fluke a prostitute. For now, though, advertisers are calling bull on Rush. For now, he'll need to be contrite by filling time with more of his usual odious venom where ad spots would otherwise be.
And regardless of whether you believe Limbaugh is sincere (and Ron Paul doesn't), all the outrage over his boorishness won't add up to anything in the long run. That is, unless Limbaugh loses listeners along with the advertisers.
You see, Limbaugh doesn't get paid in the neighborhood of $40 million for nothing. For three hours a day, he's on nearly 600 stations with a listeners that have been estimated as high as 20 million, though that total is hotly disputed. Whatever the number, it's a lot and likely still enough to make it the most-listened to radio program in the country. Which is why we care even two craps about what he said. And it's also why he still has a job and why Premiere Radio Networks, his syndicator, hasn't looked for an out in his contract that runs through 2016.
So, amid his sackcloth and ashes routine comes the reality that the advertisers will feel they can't afford to not be part of the bombast. And for what?
Sandra Fluke will be a footnote. And Rush Limbaugh will still be an asshole.