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Why don't the homeless live with their families?
It would make them un-homeless. —Rush Limbaugh


There is no such thing as equality. —Rush Limbaugh



Stop Rush has grown so much lately that I am not able to follow all the different campaigns. I wasn't even aware of this particular campaign before the victory was announced.

While it is no secret which company I'm referring to, I choose not to name it here due to the earlier backlash against a different restaurant chain, Arby's (which died down pretty quickly, but was rather ugly while it lasted).


Another fortune 1000 company announces: no Rush


I will name the companies from time to time when I put out a list of national companies dropping Rush (harder for ditto heads to pick on an entire list). I'm so impressed with the results accomplished by the team involved in this effort that I didn't want to hold on to this announcement — this is a big international company.

In this particular instance, ads running on the Limbaugh Show were already against the company's policy, but the company has explained that the show was moved to a new time slot after the ads were purchased. The company responded immediately by pulling the ads, and announced pulling its ads via Twitter. I understand that it took only a few hours to fully resolve the issue after corporate got involved.

While this company has not been a big Limbaugh advertiser (they do not buy national ads on syndicated programs), I don't believe they were among the long list of corporations that had previously announced, or had been identified as, avoiding Rush.

Nice to know that they've not only joined more than a thousand other companies in supporting decency and respect on our public airwaves, but they're willing to say so on Twitter. Rush really has become that much of a pariah to corporate America.


Some Stop Rush statistics

There have been nearly 42,000 sponsors' ads reported to the Stop Rush database, with nearly 3400 Rush Limbaugh advertisers currently listed. In March, Rush claimed 18,000 advertisers altogether. We need more monitors, because he probably has around 13,500 advertisers that still need to be identified and contacted. The great news is that the large national companies that his network depended upon so heavily were the first to leave, and very few of these have returned.

Topsy records that the hash tag #stoprush has been tweeted 177,883 times, and stoprush (without the #) has been tweeted 203,065 times.

The daily numbers are increasing — the average daily number of Stop Rush tweets is 690 over the period since Rush first attacked Sandra Fluke, but for the past month we have averaged more than a thousand #StopRush tweets each day. On one recent day alone — December 6 — StopRush was mentioned more than 9,600 times.

One Rush supporter heavily uses #stoprush in an attempt to counter our message; this person accounted for 2,655 of the total all-time mentions. Our experiences indicate that many sponsors find Rush even more distasteful when there are two sides disagreeing with each other over his show.

(Note that these numbers are not precise; each time Topsy interrogates its database, it returns a slightly different total.)

     
Action Item

We've heard from time to time that radio networks have dramatically dropped the ad rates that they charge for Rush compared to a year ago. (If this is true, I'd love to have confirmation and details.)

Perhaps this is why certain national advertisers are still getting sucked in.

Please let PajamaGram know that they're damaging their good name by advertising on Rush, apparently after having stayed away for six months.

This time around they're not just advertising on Rush, they're offering a discount to Rush Limbaugh listeners. That means this is a market test — they want to know whether advertising on Rush is worth their time and trouble.


Rush being Rush
RUSH: The California unemployment rate is above 10.2%, state debt, $16 billion. People are leaving the state. Taxes are going up left and right, and the homeless and low income are going to be given free phones and free service.

The idea is to help them reach out to possible job opportunities and stay connected with family.  So California's gonna give the homeless free phones and free service so that they can apply for jobs -- ahem, ahem -- and stay in touch with family.  Now, why don't the homeless live with their families, maybe, as a solution?  It would make them un-homeless.  Do you believe this?  Gonna give the homeless free phones and free service so they can stay in touch with mom and dad, and apply for jobs. (laughing)  Really! [emphasis added]

  —Rush Limbaugh: California Expands Obamaphone Program, December 11, 2012

Media Matters for America has the audio.

RUSH: Guess the two things that are proven to not help with income inequality. The two things that are proven to not help with income inequality... And, by the way, I'm not accepting the premise. I'm simply stating that the left is basing a lot of what they're doing in terms of shaping the minds and hearts of duped Americans on this premise that there should be equality. Obama, listen to him talk:

"Fair shot." "Fair shake." "Level playing field." "Equality." "Fairness."

All that, it appeals emotionally. The reality is, there is no such thing as equality or sameness, from person to person or thing to thing. Impossible! Likewise with income. There will not be income equality. Unless you're in a union. And even then, there are differences. So I'm not accepting the premise, simply utilizing it here. Two things that are proven not to help with it are high taxes and unions.

One thing that does contribute to income inequality is high numbers of illegal immigrants, and this is never discussed. And, as usual, we can never solve a problem 'cause we are forbidden from discussing it in reality. [emphasis added]

  —Rush Limbaugh: The Truth About Income Inequality, December 11, 2012






The diarist is active in Flush Rush on Facebook:
     
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.

Flush Rush on Facebook: http://facebook.com/...
Stop Rush database: http://stoprush.net
My Stop Rush blog posts: http://dailykos.com/...
Twitter hashtag: #stoprush


Discuss

Yesterday I had two noteworthy/memorable experiences. One was seeing what I can only conclude was the product of utter frustration on the part of a few union supporters in Michigan. I've been a union supporter since 1970, and seeing fists flying on the mainstream media was depressing, not to mention counterproductive to the important goal of communicating what it means to be union.

The other experience was following Topsy for a few hours observing the Stop Rush meme. What we see on Twitter — consumers inquiring of companies whether sponsoring Rush Limbaugh is good for their brand — is duplicated around the clock, seven days a week on Facebook, in emails, and occasionally, even in phone calls. Social media is a powerful force, and to see it harnessed in this way is to be impressed by its transformative power.

Today I've also had two noteworthy experiences. The first was discovering that an anonymous person has donated to me a one year subscription to Daily Kos. My sincere thanks! It is a great gift, and entirely unexpected.

Something I will treasure!

The other experience: discovering that suddenly, my writing has become the story. Happy to talk about that, but first, I need to correct a wrong impression.

About me, kestrel9000 writes:

it's more like wondering what the next step is.
This movement he's created is too big to just....go away....when its goals are achieved.
Might he be wanting to reduce the influence of Big Radio?
That's a DAMNED commendable goal, if the case.
I haven't "created a movement". I'm just a blogger with a few public relations skills. The Stop Rush movement was created by all of you who were astonished that a mean-spirited multi-millionaire with a talk radio show could get away with one of the most brazen misogynist attacks of our lifetimes, and then have his boss publicly pat him on the head for all the money he brings in. It was created by people like Justin, who risked his teaching job to spread the word that attacking a college student over six hundred radio stations for exercising her first amendment right was not OK. It was created by a fellow born into a 1960s hippie family, and whose first name rhymes with the name of a state that is right in the middle of the USA, who created a database that kicks ass.

I'm not a leader of Stop Rush, I'm not a "decider", I'm not responsible for the inspiration. I'm just a lowly scribe. I think I have a little influence in one of the Flush Rush groups on Facebook, but no more than any of the other principles. There are wonderful, creative, dedicated people (gals and guys) involved with that group, and the amount of work that they produce day in and day out is astounding. They have created this movement.

On changing the political landscape

Please consider for a moment the forces that shape our society. Glenn Beck was railing on Fox News. Social media forced him off of Fox, and while he still has an audience and new ventures, his broad influence is appreciably diminished.

Rush Limbaugh seemed unassailable, with six hundred radio stations and a claimed eighteen thousand advertisers. All of that has changed because of people like you. While holding him accountable is a marathon rather than a sprint, I can guarantee that his enablers are hurting.

ALEC operated behind the scenes, and its impact has been devastating to society. Now that it is out in the open and social media is pressuring its donors, it is still powerful, but less so.

Then there are the Koch brothers. We buy their products in the supermarket, and they use their incredible wealth to crush our hopes and dreams. Are they unassailable? Hardly. We just haven't taken them on in any widespread, systematic, organized fashion.


more on ALEC, the Koch brothers,
and changing the political landscape
after the hop


Continue Reading


Feminism ruins women. —Rush Limbaugh


The radio industry makes its money from advertising. What does it suggest, then, when a radio industry publication such as Radio Ink runs an article entitled "WHY RADIO IS NOT EMBRACED BY ADVERTISERS" ???

What does it suggest when, on the very same day, the new radio industry publication Tom Taylor's NOW quotes a radio industry executive, "it appears [the radio industry has] lost part of what always built station revenue in the past — building strong relationships with local businesses." ???

At the same time that Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman says "we're not making enough sales calls" and "radio isn't bringing enough fresh young talent into the business", he's laying off the sales force and firing talent, young and old.

Incompetence. Mismanagement. Near-sighted vision. The radio industry has all of it in spades.

Oh, and debt.


And the other big radio news story of the day is this:


RadioInfo Headline Story: AUSTRALIAN RADIO
PHONE PRANK TARNISHING IMAGE OF RADIO



Wow, it seems to be an ALL CAPS day.

RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison is quoted, "This is just the kind of negative publicity that radio doesn’t need right now and we as an industry should not take it lightly."

Yes, sure, reputation is so very important. Did anyone happen to notice that children have lost their mother?


Family of Jacintha Saldanha
(New York Daily News photo, Getty Images)

The London nurse who apparently killed herself after getting tricked in a prank call reportedly left a suicide note, although its contents have not been made public.
Jacintha Saldanha was found dead Friday morning following a hoax by two Australian deejays who succesfully pried information about mom-to-be Kate Middleton's hospital stay. According to Britain’s The Sun tabloid, Saldanha, a 46-year-old mother of two, hanged herself in the nurses’ quarters.

  —New York Daily News: Jacintha Saldanha, victim of Australian radio prank call about Kate Middleton, left suicide note for family, December 11, 2012


more Rush, more radio industry greed,
and more radio industry depravity, after the jump


Continue Reading


When Rush Limbaugh declares “Open Line Friday,”
then takes an hour to get to the phone, it invites
the inference that nobody is calling. —Holland Cooke


"Sometimes the biggest threat an industry can face
is from within." —Sean Hannity, referring to the
advertising backlash against Limbaugh.


"The radio industry today is filled with too many
sharks and dinosaurs." —General Manager of KVON,
after announcing his resignation.


Most astonishing radio industry secret that you are not allowed to know:
MSNBC now indexes higher than Fox News Channel with Talk Radio listeners.


Breaking intrigue: conservative talk radio host, a former Rush Limbaugh producer, uses a ploy to try to interview Sandra Fluke in spite of her stance against such interviews. The blogger who uncovered this wonders, "when was the last time you heard of talk show hosts using competitive bidding to win time with their guests?" And adopting the tactics of a James O'Keefe associate, oh my!


From last week's Arbitron conference, evidence that damage from the Rush Limbaugh Effect continues to spread:

The (unnamed) Rush Limbaugh advertiser problem has rippled into streaming.

The problem that this NOW newsletter has called “toxic” continues to affect ad buying even into 2013. RAB CEO Erica Farber is too diplomatic to mention Limbaugh by name or specifically reference the Sandra Fluke “slut/prostitute” controversy that’s been so painful to sellers. But she “heard last week from one of the largest radio buyers that stations were taking the commercials” off the air, as requested – but then putting (or keeping) the spots on their streams, “and not telling the advertisers.” That “caused another furor” from angry listeners.

        
Radio Advertising Bureau
CEO Erica Farber
You can debate (and a lot of talk radio people do, vehemently) about whether the protests came from Limbaugh listeners, or outside groups who just don’t like conservative talk radio. But the incident put a big sledgehammer in their hands, and Farber says having spots continue to run in streams compounds the problem with agencies. Farber says “One of the largest agencies said, We won’t even touch streaming now, because we’re not trusting what radio’s doing on the stream.” [emphasis added]

  —Tom Taylor Now: The (unnamed) Rush Limbaugh advertiser problem has rippled into streaming, December 6, 2012

Yet another trust issue for the talk radio industry in the aftermath of the Rush Limbaugh/Fluke affair. And still so few are willing to openly acknowledge the one who must not be named.

There need be no debate about who protests Limbaugh's misogyny and bigotry — it is anyone with a conscience who was offended by, and is motivated to speak out against three days of verbal assault and abuse of a female citizen fulfilling her constitutional right to testify on capital hill. Some are members of existing organizations such as Ultraviolet and MoveOn. Some are simply consumers of social media content at Daily Kos or Democratic Underground. Some have flooded into volunteer organizations specifically focused on Limbaugh, such as Flush Rush on Facebook. There is no money behind these efforts; there is only the power of righteous indignation and outrage. Flush Rush, for example, has no expenses whatsoever, and is entirely comprised of volunteers. The Stop Rush Database that tracks Limbaugh's financial sponsors has only the expense of data storage, for which small donations are solicited at the website. If there are any "outside" groups it is those folks who simply wish to advertise a product, with about seventy percent of them unaware that they are sponsoring hate radio.

Some opposed to Limbaugh's incessant attacks simply observe and create a record, such as Media Matters for America. I'm not a part of Media Matters, so I cannot speak for them, but I do appreciate what they do.



Flashback — Rush Limbaugh: My Enemies Are Lying About My Financial Health

more Limbaugh, layoffs, and other perversions
(plus a bonus video!) after the jump


Continue Reading

This is the diary that I've dreaded writing all week. I've thought about dour titles; I considered and rejected variations of "the day the music died". If you're on the walking papers end of a layoff, it is a dire situation indeed. And CEO's rarely lay themselves off, so the bad personnel decisions they make almost invariably hurt the most vulnerable, the most dedicated, the ones most dependent upon paychecks. And seniority matters not at all across the hierarchical divide; CEO's of six months tenure regularly lay off workers who have been on the job for decades. I was laid off after 33 years on the job. Yes, I hate layoffs.

Another big black eye for radio

The headline tells the story: 'You have her blood on your hands': Global revulsion at Australian DJs behind 'sick prank' after nurse's suspected suicide

This is the aftermath of the call to a hospital impersonating the queen to obtain personal health information. Who would have thought a prank by Australian shock jocks could top Rush Limbaugh's three day Sandra Fluke rant for "global revulsion"?

Here's the Rush news

Hat tip to el dorado gal; Rush (on KMOX) is now playing second fiddle in St. Louis. The once number one talker across the country has fallen behind The Dana Show starring Dana Loesch on KFTK. This follows Rush falling to number 2 in streaming audio metrics for iGadget listeners, behind Michael Savage.

Rush is losing sponsors AND listeners

Flush Rush and Stop Rush activism is not focused on listeners, it is focused on advertisers. Thus, Limbaugh fully owns any decrease in his listening audience, and it is nice to see that by that measure, he is losing all on his own.


More Limbaugh, destruction of rock and roll, and
Clear Channel's devastating layoffs, after the jump



Continue Reading

Stop Rush is growing, dramatically increasing its presence on Twitter:

Stop Rush as measured on Topsy

The Flush Rush group on Facebook has added several thousand members, just since the November election. And Flush Rush is just one of more than a dozen such groups on Facebook alone. Other groups on Daily Kos, Reddit, Democratic Underground, and numerous other social media platforms also contribute to the cause.

All are welcome to use the Stop Rush database at http://stoprush.net, which has recorded 40,000 reports on nearly 5,400 companies that have at one time or another advertised on the Rush Limbaugh Show.

When Coca-cola and Arby's decided a few months ago to no longer support ALEC and Rush Limbaugh (respectively), they encountered a nasty backlash from conservatives. In stead of politely registering disagreement with corporate decisions about advertising, conservatives launched a campaign of slander and defamation, throwing around lingo such as "fascist", "cop killer", "collusion", "weaklings", and "anti-freedom". For a time Arby's blocked the most zealous of the conservative tweeters.

The raucous rancor on the right seemed more a cause for celebration on conservative websites, than a cause for concern. Rather than attempting to persuade and influence corporate policy, many right wingers seemed interested only in scoring twitterverse points for the most obnoxious tweets.

The Flush Rush movement is very different. Our goal isn't impressing fellow activists with bitterness and bellicosity; our goal is actual success, no matter how long that takes. Rush flushers are among the most dedicated, patient, and persistent activists I have ever met.

No surprise, then, that long term campaigns to persuade longstanding Limbaugh sponsors are paying off, even as we mark more immediate day to day successes with new, or newly identified local sponsors.

We don't normally identify local sponsors who drop Limbaugh to protect their privacy. Generally speaking, national advertisers have greater resources to deal with any possible backlash from ditto heads. And (after Arby's) we generally prefer to identify national advertisers in large enough groups that may help to avoid singling out one or two companies.

Angie's List boycotted Rush. Then they didn't. Now, they've stopped their ads once again. They announced they had opted not to renew their contract with Rush. We don't know their long term intentions; maybe they grew weary of being bombarded on Facebook, Twitter, and email day after day by outraged consumers. Or maybe they did the calculations and discovered how many of us are terminating our memberships.

Perennial Limbaugh advertiser Amberen has just confirmed on Facebook that they have made the decision to stop advertising on Rush. Their ads continue to run; they're requesting additional time to remove them.

Bayer Health Care is no longer advertising. Grasshopper Mowers dropped, although they may be a seasonal advertiser, so we'll be listening next spring.

Lear Capital has informed some individuals that their contract is up in January, at which time they expect to re-evaluate their relationship with Rush. Some expect them to drop. Nestle and Circle K have quietly stopped advertising.

McDonalds corporate doesn't want their ads on "controversial programming" like Limbaugh. They've re-affirmed this repeatedly after a few ads have run in a few markets. Some corporations allow local advertising decisions, and everyone isn't always aware of corporate policy.

Constant Contact is trying to have their ads removed from the Rush Limbaugh Show. As an occasional sponsor of the news, they're constantly chasing after the radio stations that disregard their requests. Like McDonald's, they seem supportive of our concerns about Rush.

Regus ads are rarely heard any more, although we don't know the circumstances.

These are just a few of the many national advertisers who have dropped, or are no longer advertising on Rush. ThinkProgress has a rather amazing Pinterest page that shows many of the companies that have chosen not to support hate radio. (The page needs to be updated with recent developments.)

But some advertisers have pulled ads, only to see them continue to run (to fill dead air time?) In other circumstances, ads pulled from a radio station are not pulled from the station's streaming audio. We've had confirmation of this from the current Arbitron wingding:


RAB = Radio Advertising Bureau

But the biggest problem has been radio stations moving ads into the Rush Limbaugh Show to replace the ads of departed advertisers, without telling the advertisers. Radio analyst Norm Pattiz reported at the Talkers convention that this applies to "about 70 percent" of Limbaugh's advertisers.

Considering the "earth shattering" changes predicted for the radio industry, the trends do not look good for Rush.




The diarist is active in Flush Rush on Facebook:
     
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.

Flush Rush on Facebook: http://facebook.com/...
Stop Rush database: http://stoprush.net
My Stop Rush blog posts: http://dailykos.com/...
Twitter hashtag: #stoprush



Discuss


Limbaugh's parent radio network in deep financial trouble

Largest competitors also in disarray


On Monday, November 26, radio industry analyst Jerry Del Colliano predicted "earth shattering" changes in the radio industry. In spite of the downward spiral of three of the largest radio networks, I thought it might be hyperbole — Del Colliano sells industry news, and I took this for headline buzz. Del Colliano asserts that "the moon and planets are in alignment for some terrible things to happen in the months and year ahead." News this week suggests Del Colliano may be prescient.


Del Colliano hasn't recently mentioned the Rush Limbaugh Effect, and his last brief mention of the Stop Rush effort was October 18, under an article entitled "Panic In Talk Radio". But the industry appears to be in a deepening crisis, with or without Rush.

And the radio industry itself is still talking about the Rush Limbaugh Effect:


RAB = Radio Advertising Bureau


the inside scoop on "earth shattering" changes
in the radio industry, after the jump


Continue Reading

Could a shock jock who routinely plays "Barack the Magic Negro" on his talk show, and who once told a black caller to "take that bone out of your nose" have anything worthwhile to contribute about race? Not likely.

        
Rush Limbaugh (December 3, 2012):
"Planned Parenthood is all about family planning.
Yeah, but not the kind you're thinking about.
It's called the elimination of black families."
Limbaugh's racial pronouncements are calculated and blatantly political. Liberals and progressives tend to support Margaret Sanger's ideas about women's rights and birth control. Thus, Rush has declared, "Margaret Sanger wanted to rid the world of black people. It's called Planned Parenthood today, and they're still trying to do it."

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh: a racist attributing not just racism, but a willingness to commit genocide to his political foes. His goal is driving a wedge between Dems and one of their most loyal constituencies. Of course Limbaugh's racism alienates many who might otherwise give credence to his preposterous claims. But such false ideas find fertile ground among right wing hatemongers.

more Rush, and racism, and Planned Parenthood,
and Margaret Sanger (and Ann Coulter!) after the jump

Continue Reading

Surprise, surprise. Right wing shock jock Michael Savage has bashed the Obama bashers of right wing talk radio.

Michael Savage

Not from any sense of decency, you must understand. Savage declares that Obama deserves the bashing, but constant bashing of the president is bad for talk radio.

Savage cited the example of Air America:

“Air America went bankrupt, why? Because all they did was…Bush bashing and they were just crazy in the Bush bashing.  Boring.  Boring.  How much could you listen to?  It wasn’t even clever Bush bashing.  This is what’s going on now with the conservatives.  They’re committing suicide.  Just attacking Obama – although he deserves it – is not good radio…Remember one thing, radio is primarily an entertainment medium.  It was not created to be the voice of the Republican Party or the Democrat Party.”

  --Michael Savage: Talk Radio/Media Industry News, Monday, December 3, 2012

Don't expect Rush Limbaugh to take a lesson. Many of Limbaugh's shows are non-stop Obama bashing extravaganzas.

Speaking of talk radio... while progressive talk radio stations are becoming an endangered species, conservative talkers are continuing to multiply like the proverbial loaves and fishes. The most recent new conservative talker is in Greenville, South Carolina, and is the number 26 news/talk station for Salem Communications. Salem is the fifth largest U.S. radio network, and specializes in evangelical Christian and conservative political talk radio. Please take a look at the radio station maps, here, for an appreciation of the current state of conservative vs. liberal talk radio.




The diarist is active in Flush Rush on Facebook:
     
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.

Flush Rush on Facebook: http://facebook.com/...
Stop Rush database: http://stoprush.net
My Stop Rush blog posts: http://dailykos.com/...
Twitter hashtag: #stoprush


Discuss

In 2007, conservative talk radio comprised 91 percent of the talk radio spectrum. It seems that hasn't changed much, and it may be getting worse; four progressive talk stations have been shut down just since the 2012 election.

Imagine that the great talk radio empires of the right are protected by vast networks of castles with moats. Right wing talkers in their boundless hordes man the parapets, shouting down to the populace how conservative political principles are vastly superior to anything espoused by those few voices on the left. And any progressive talk radio voice may be hushed simply by arranging schedule to stifle their message.

In essence, that's what we see in the talk radio environment. In the absence of any sort of fairness doctrine (which was throttled during the Reagan administration, and the last vestiges of which were eliminated just last year), this circumstance of right wing dominance is perpetuated around the clock, week after week, year after year.

But there is a law still on the books, narrowly drawn and with specific purpose, that seeks not cultural fairness, but electoral fairness for a specific period (sixty days) just prior to any electoral contest. Unlike the moribund and in some quarters controversial Fairness Doctrine, the Zapple Doctrine is described by the Broadcast Law Blog as "potentially [having] some vitality".

the Zapple Doctrine compelling a station to provide time to the supporters of one candidate if the station provides time to the supporters of another candidate in a political race, has never specifically been abolished...  Zapple, also known as "quasi-equal opportunities", has been argued in various recent controversies, including in connection with the Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry, when Kerry supporters claimed that they should get equal time to respond should certain television stations air the anti-Kerry Swift Boat "documentary."  We have written about Zapple many times (see, for instance, here, in connection with the Citizens United decision).  What would be beneficial to broadcasters would be a determination as to whether Zapple has any remaining vitality, as some have felt that this doctrine is justified independent of the Fairness Doctrine.

  —Broadcast LAW BLOG, August 23, 2011

Yet the Zapple Doctrine is so little known among the general public, it is one of just half a dozen topics in the known universe that doesn't yet have a Wikipedia entry.

Sue Wilson of the Media Action Center has written extensively about the Zapple Doctrine. Her Daily Kos diaries deserve more attention than they have received.

The Media Action Center has sought to raise awareness, and to invoke the Zapple Doctrine for elections in 2012. Their efforts have been rebuffed by the FCC. According to Chief of the FCC's Political Bureau, Mark Berlin, it is as if the castles and moats don't exist unless candidates and their supporters lay siege:

For the Zapple Doctrine to be invoked, the supporters of the opposing candidate would have to specifically ask the station for air time.  If the station refused, the supporters could then appeal to the FCC, but no such Zapple complaint has been made in at least eight years.  Therefore, there was no violation of the Zapple Doctrine by the stations here, and even if there were, that would not be a basis for the denial of a license renewal, since programming has nothing to do with licensing in the first place.

  —FCC Political Bureau via Media Action Center

In sending this reply, the FCC is telegraphing a very obvious message to the radio networks it is chartered to regulate: you don't need to worry about this. The argument that "programming has nothing to do with licensing" is outrageous and specious. Would the FCC grant a license to a radio station that (for example) openly advocated genocide? I think not.

What leverage, then, does the FCC reserve to enforce such congressionally-mandated requirements? In the aftermath of Citizens United, if the FCC seriously considered issuing mere fines as a mechanism to enforce the Zapple Doctrine, media empires with indirect access to vast millions of dollars in campaign donations may simply consider such fines a cost of doing (their right wing) business.

Ultimately, as this FCC response so clearly indicates, whether the Zapple Doctrine is successfully invoked will be a political decision. Talk radio hosts will argue that they qualify for certain exceptions to the doctrine. According to Talkers, exemption "is not always a slam dunk." Yet the right wing talk shows are more likely to succeed in shutting out progressive voices if the FCC's decision is allowed to be made in Mitt Romney's behind-the-scenes "quiet rooms".

It is time for all of us to familiarize ourselves with the Media Action Center, and with the Zapple Doctrine, and we must do so well in advance of the next congressional election. To ignore this vital tool for electoral fairness is to allow right wing talkers to once again go unchallenged. And, perhaps, to allow conservatives to once again retain control of the U.S. Congress.

The Zapple Doctrine "potentially has some vitality". Whether that comes to fruition depends upon me, and upon you!

Please do whatever you can to support the work and goals of the Media Action Center. Democracy itself is at stake in this cause.




The diarist is active in Flush Rush on Facebook:
     
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.

Flush Rush on Facebook: http://facebook.com/...
Stop Rush database: http://stoprush.net
My Stop Rush blog posts: http://dailykos.com/...
Twitter hashtag: #stoprush


 

Discuss

Rush Limbaugh must like the word "orgasm". He's used it well over a hundred times in his radio show. Prurience sells, and Rush has that commodity in abundance.

According to Limbaugh, liberals have orgasms, the media has orgasms, the Democrats have orgasms, Obama supporters have orgasms. Limbaugh sometimes equates orgasms with impotency by way of gratuitous dig. And Limbaugh doesn't just make such crude statements; his website subsequently promotes them. This mean-spirited putdown was offered in a list of stand-alone Rush quotes: "Those savages that make up the Obama base are fit to be tied. He had to get them back, and the one way to do that is to go out and savage us. That's what they love. That's what they get off on. That is their orgasm. Because these people can't find willing mates."

Curious that after three failed marriages and no children, Limbaugh associates the ability to find a "willing mate" with moral success. But Limbaugh translates most everything into some sort of sexual equivalent. Rush doesn't always use the "orgasm" term as a generic expression of joy; frequently, he descends into crude vulgarity. For example, he recently mused about "Chris Matthews, while wearing an athletic supporter to hide the bulge behind the desk on the anchor chair, the seat there at MSNBC, just having a verbal orgasm over Bill Clinton's speech." Such coarse commentary is a frequent occurrence on your public airwaves, at least during the Rush Limbaugh show.

more orgasm, and more Rush after the jump

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Time Magazine nominated Sandra Fluke for person of the year (along with 39 others). Right wing media immediately responded by attacking her. At publication time, in the aftermath of a flood of negative publicity flowing out of the right wing echo chamber, the vote was 73% against Sandra.

Vote here!


Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly attacked or ridiculed Fluke since his February/March three day diatribe. She has responded to these, and to attacks by others with poise and dignity.






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