Limbaugh Boycott: Clear Channel Exec Tries to Appear Confident – We Know Better!
Tuesday evening the AP released a story written based on an interview with the Chairman of Clear Channel, Bob Pittman. His response is pure PR- anyone who is familiar with marketing can spot a campaign here. With overconfidence, he minimizes the “outrage” at Limbaugh by saying it’s “part of the normal day-to-day of talk radio.”
When he refers to the advertisers who have left, he frames it as if that is all done and over, it, “did not have a major impact on the company and there has not been a major move among stations to drop Limbaugh.”
It makes us all smile. He has NO idea.
This movement is not fading into the background. It is not limited to one media watch group. This is a growing grassroots movement to boycott Limbaugh’s sponsors and remove his racist, misogynist rhetoric from our national conversation, to remove his voice from the discussion about a woman’s right to make decisions about her own bodies, and to remove his voice that incites racism. The goal is to bring civility back to the discourse on our public airwaves.
Anyone who has been a part of this from the beginning has witnessed the exponential involvement of citizens who are sick and tired of Limbaugh. Quotes taken from past shows are all over the Internet, reminding us that for years he has been inflaming the hard right with derogatory remarks designed to shock, but go far beyond what society should consider acceptable. His daily discussions are full of vitriol aimed at “Feminizes,” African American’s, Gays and Lesbians, and anyone who is not a white man – all designed to diminish those who might threaten his beloved extreme right arm of the GOP.
Here are just a few samples:
“Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons,” Limbaugh stated. “There, I said it.” Source
“Speculating on why a Mexican national won the New York marathon: “An immigration agent chased him for the last 10 miles.” Source
“The definition of a misogynist is a man who hates women almost as much as women hate women. That’s what a misogynist is. Did you know that…A misogynist is a guy who hates women almost as much as women hate women?” Source
“You can’t criticize the little black man-child (Democratic candidate Barack Obama). You just can’t do it, ’cause it’s just not right. It’s not fair. He’s such a victim.” Source
“Feminism is about victimization. Don’t forget Undeniable Truth of Life Number 24. Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.” Source
“Holocaust? Ninety million Indians? Only four million left? They all have casinos — what’s to complain about?” Source
“What is it with all of these young, single white women? Overeducated- doesn’t mean intelligent.” Source
On his TV show in 1993, while holding a photo of Chelsea Clinton, then 13: “Socks is the White House cat. But did you know there is also a White House dog?” Source
“I think this reason why girls don’t do well on multiple choice tests goes all the way back to the Bible, all the way back to Genesis, Adam and Eve. God said, ‘All right, Eve, multiple choice or multiple orgasms, what’s it going to be?’ We all know what was chosen.” Source
On Haiti Earthquake relief: “Besides, we’ve already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax.” (…) “This will play right into Obama’s hands. He’s humanitarian, compassionate. They’ll use this to burnish their, shall we say, ‘credibility’ with the black community — in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It’s made-to-order for them. That’s why he couldn’t wait to get out there, could not wait to get out there.” Source
The damage Limbaugh does is not so much in the headlines he generates, but more in the mindset of those who follow him like lambs and proudly call themselves “Dittoheads.” His audience is mostly in the demographic of white men aged 25-50.
Bob Pittman told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that the outrage over Limbaugh’s comments last month was “part of the normal day-to-day of talk radio.” He also noted that Limbaugh apologized for the first time in 30 years.
A true apology is not followed by a “but.” His three hour show continues five days a week full of hate and blame. He is and will continue to incite the dittoheads and it is frightening as we see the personalities of these men come out from under rocks and into the world of social media. Throughout this effort to identify and boycott Limbaugh’s sponsors, done mostly via facebook, twitter and email, many of us have come across these men and their hatred is disturbing. They are easy to identify, they have trouble with basic grammar, read from the same script, and resort to the level of rhetoric that would make a truck driver blush. It gives a glimpse into their world and has many of us worried about the future of our country if Limbaugh and those who style their talk shows remain as they are, unchecked. And it motivates us to keep going with this effort.
So as Pittman puts a “don’t worry about it” spin on the boycott efforts, we gather more people and work even harder.
“Rush is Rush and radio is radio,” Pittman said.
He added that attempts by rival radio company Cumulus Media to sell a show hosted by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in Limbaugh’s time slot validated Limbaugh’s status as the talk-show leader.
“It basically says Rush is the king,” he said. “Rush is certainly the leader, and we’re delighted to have him.”
Disagreement and debate are part of the formula that makes our government what it is, an ongoing succession of debate and compromise resulting in public policies that, whether we believe it or not, include a little bit of each our voices. But when the discussion devolves to the level Limbaugh leads his dittoheads, we are in trouble. They seem to believe that anyone who is different is the enemy and that our government should reflect what they want and only what they want; anything less is a failure and a loss.
The result of that mindset may lead to violence against others whose culture, color, sex, or sexual preference is different than ours. It is time to change the way we talk to each other. Removing Rush from the discussion is a start.
Join us. Despite what Mr. Pittman may be selling to the press, we are just getting started and are in for the long haul.