Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rush Limbaugh: Pigman or Prince of Propaganda?



In a story by "Proglegs" at the Dailykos.com, "Limbaugh Thinking About Divorcing Cumulus Radio," we start a series on one of the most infamous and influential propagandists for Conservatives since...well, pick one...

"Could divorce #4 be on the horizon?

"According to a story on Politico, Rush Limbaugh is considering ending his marriage with Cumulus Media at the end of this year.

"Cumulus airs the Rush Limbaugh Show on 40 stations across the country--many of them monitored by the Flush Rush Facebook community--including WABC in New York City.

"The report came from 'a source close to the show,' who claims that Limbaugh 'is considering the move because Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey has blamed the company's advertising losses on Limbaugh's controversial remarks about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student.'

"The source continued
"'It’s a very serious discussion, because Dickey keeps blaming Rush for his own revenue problems. Dickey’s talk stations underperform talk stations owned by other operators in generating revenue by a substantial margin. It’s not a single show issue... it’s a failure of the entire station. And trying to blame Rush for that is not much of a business partnership.'

"Dickey has been refreshingly forthright about the challenges his company has faced in retaining advertisers since Limbaugh spent 3 days calling Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a 'slut' and demanding she put videos of herself having sex online. In March he admitted that a full year after the attack Cumulus was still feeling the effects:
"'Clearly, it's been well documented that the talk side has been challenged. Most of that due to some of the issues that happened a year ago and so there has been residual hangover on the talk side in terms of advertisers sitting out and not placing there.
"'Clearly that's had an impact not only on our network business [at Cumulus Media Networks], but it's had an impact on some of the news talk stations that we own.


"Neither Cumulus nor Clear Channel Media (the latter of whom airs the Rush Limbaugh Show on nearly 600 stations) had any comment about Limbaugh's potential departure.

"The truth of the matter is, Rush Limbaugh's schtick has become toxic for talk radio, and he's simply trying to blame everyone around him for the failure of his once successful business model. It's his fault.

"It's also worth noting that Cumulus has scheduled a conference call for Tuesday to announce its first quarter earnings. Could Limbaugh's team be trying to get out ahead of a potential decision by Cumulus to cut their losses and flush Rush?

"The StopRush movement has been working for more than a year now to hold Rush Limbaugh accountable for the damaging content of his show and has helped convince more than 2,600 advertisers to withdraw their ads. Find out how you can help after the jump.

"Decent folks who believe in tolerance and equality are no longer powerless against Limbaugh's efforts to spread intolerance on the radio. StopRush is making a major impact by convincing advertisers on this show to withdraw their ads--and with your help we can do even more. Just a few emails, tweets, or Facebook messages a week to Limbaugh's advertisers can go a long way toward making hatred less profitable. It is our collective voice that makes us strong.

"Want to do something hold Limbaugh accountable?
"Join StopRush! We can use your help in the following ways:

"Join: The Flush Rush Facebook community
"Visit: The StopRush sponsor database
"Tweet: #stoprush Twitter campaign
"Fact Check: Limbaugh Lie Debunking Site
"Install: ThinkContext StopRush browser extension--notifies you as you browse which companies advertise on Rush."

More from Sodahead.com, "Citing A $100 Million Dollar Loss In 2012, Radio Industry Says Rush Limbaugh Bad For Business.":



"It's been one year since Rush Limbaugh's invective-filled tirade against then-Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke. With hundreds of advertisers and millions of dollars lost, the business of right-wing radio is suffering, but Rush Limbaugh continues to act as if it were business as usual, which is why Limbaugh is still bad for business.



"On February 29, 2012, Rush Limbaugh initiated a three-day smear campaign against Sandra Fluke, launching 46 personal attacks against her. This moment and Limbaugh's subsequent refusal to apologize for, or even acknowledge, all but two of those attacks put the spotlight on the right-wing talk business model that Limbaugh helped construct.

"During the following weeks, headlines tracked in near real-time the names of advertisers exiting Limbaugh's show as pundits and natterers speculated about Limbaugh's future. As so often happens, the buzz faded and the news cycle rolled on. But the consequences didn't fade, they intensified. This is due in large part to scores of independent organizers, like the Flush Rush and the #StopRush community.

"Rush Limbaugh's recklessness damaged the radio industry and the business of conservative talk.

"When advertisers began fleeing from his program, Limbaugh dismissed the losses as akin to losing a 'couple of French fries' and insisted that 'nobody is losing any money here.' This position seemed less tenable after Limbaugh employed the services of a crisis manager to handle the fallout, and the right-wing talker's protestations were proven false once financial reports started rolling in.

"For example, Cumulus Media, a radio company that carries Limbaugh's show in 38 markets, reported millions of dollars in lost revenue and attributed the losses in part to the Limbaugh advertiser fallout. Dial Global, a radio syndication company, reported roughly $100 million in losses for 2012 and publicly cited Limbaugh as a significant contributing factor.

"At a Talkers forum last year, Norm Pattiz, CEO of Courtside Entertainment, summed up the destructive effect Limbaugh has had on the entire industry, noting that a 'tremendous chunk of advertising revenue was wiped out in terms of support for national talk radio programs.' Pattiz added that 'the movement in talk radio to some degree is moving away from conservative talk radio and into other genres.'

"Despite continued rebukes by advertisers, and seemingly without regard for the damage he is causing, Rush Limbaugh adds to the problem by proceeding as if it were business as usual.

"Last July, Limbaugh argued that feminism is 'ruining women' and asserted that feminism was established so that 'unattractive women' could have 'easier access to the mainstream.' In September, Limbaugh warned that men's penises are shrinking and blamed 'feminazis' and 'chickification.'

"Last month, Limbaugh inexplicably claimed 'African-Americans today can be convinced that they are still slaves.' He also launched a series of slavery-based attacks on Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, wondering if Jackson Lee had 'outlived her usefulness on the plantation.'



"In December, he asked a caller: 'You're a woman and you like the Super Bowl? Or, is that when your husband beats you?' Last month, he told another caller: 'You know how to stop abortion? Require that each one occur with a gun.'

"Limbaugh has argued that there is 'scholarly research' to support his contention that Mexicans are lazy in comparison to Cubans.

"I could go on (and there are plenty more examples), but my point is to illustrate that Limbaugh is just as risky today as he was when he made the Fluke comments. Advertisers don't want to associate with this kind of vitriol, and they know that since Limbaugh hasn't changed, it's only a matter of time before he causes another Fluke-like stir. And they don't want to be on the hook when that happens.

"Rush Limbaugh is still bad for business."

Who is Rush Limbaugh and why do we put up with his trash? Or as another article poses the question, "WHO IS "SUCCESSFUL" RUSH LIMBAUGH?":



"According to Fortune Magazine, 'So far as the response of his audience is concerned, (he) is just about the biggest thing that ever happened to radio.' At one point, he had a stenographic staff of 145 to handle the tremendous volume of mail he was receiving.

"Rush Limbaugh? Nope. Father Charles Edward Coughlin, the "radio priest" of the 1930s.

"The similarities between Coughlin and Limbaugh are striking. In the 30s, Coughlin appealed to large numbers of the American public who wanted simple solutions for the complex economic problems of the depression. Radio listeners were eager to listen to anyone who would offer scapegoats to blame—as long as the scapegoats were 'them' and not 'us.'

"Coughlin's villains were government bureaucrats and 'big shots,' Jewish bankers and congressmen from New York City, the eastern elite and the New Deal Democrats—especially those with Jewish-sounding names. Although he charged others with being Fascists, he eventually defended the Nazis in their effort to 'block the Jewish-Communist plan for subjugating Germany.'

"Rush Limbaugh: Today's Father Coughlin



"For Limbaugh, today's villains are the homeless, the NAACP and various black leaders, the news media, welfare mothers, Democrats, liberals, 'Maarriooo,' American Indians, various indigenous peoples of the world —and anyone else who exposes, or represents, genuine weaknesses in our political system. While charging others with being 'feminazis,' 'enviromaniacs,' or fascists, he appeals to the prejudices of all those who never quite bought the idea that we need to address the historic injustices and costly problems of our country.

"Whether you agree or disagree with Limbaugh's views, you owe it to yourself to understand the reasons for his success. A good place to begin is to read Demagogues of the Depression by David Bennett, or The Fine Art of Propaganda by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis. Both are based on the life of Coughlin and his demagogic techniques, such as: 'Band Wagon,' 'Name Calling,' 'Glittering Generality,' 'Transfer,' 'Testimonial,' 'Plain Folks,' and 'Card Stacking.'

"As did Coughlin, Limbaugh uses all of them, but the most effective is undoubtedly the 'Band Wagon.' By screening callers, he gives the impression that there is a huge silent majority of right-thinking Americans out there who support the radical views he stands for. The rare 'liberal' he lets get through the switchboard is either a 16 year old student who wants high schools to hand out free condoms, or a person with a severe case of mike fright.

"Right now, many politicians welcome invitations to speak on Limbaugh's program and to associate with him at public gatherings. Apparently they don't realize that, when they link themselves with the mentality and viewpoints of a Rush Limbaugh, they say more about their own values than all the public pronouncements of their spin doctors.

"Republican Values: 1990s versus 1940s

"In 1940, Father Charles Coughlin endorsed Republican candidate Wendell Willkie for U.S. president. To his credit, when Willkie heard of the endorsement, he said: 'I am not only not interested in his support, I don't want it.' (Reported in THE GREAT DEPRESSION, by T.H. Watkins.)

"Note that Fr. Coughlin is now on every historian's list as one of the most famous American demagogues of the depression.

"Contrast Willkie with recent Republicans. Just prior to the 1992 Republican convention, Limbaugh announced that he had just had a 45-minute conversation with Bob Dole, and he described in detail some of the things they had talked about. More recently, he interviewed both Dole and Kemp on his radio program.

"The Charlotte Observer (6/23/96) reported Sen. Patrick Ballantine's (R-New Hanover) reaction to a stalemate in the NC legislature: 'What we're going to do is put them (Republican ads) on Rush so we can get to our Republican base. That'll spread the word like wildfire.' And in 1995, U.S. House Republicans even made Limbaugh an honorary member.

"How times have changed. Whereas Republican Willkie publicly denounced the leading demagogue of the '30s, today's Republicans not only welcome the support of the leading demagogue of the '90s, they actively curry his favor. Thus they endorse his values (such as the glorification of greed), his lack of ethical standards in communicating (i.e., half truths and innuendoes), and his lack of commitment to objective problem solving (such as distracting the public from the real causes of income disparity between the top 20% of Americans and everyone else).

"Recent political changes in our country suggest that most people want leaders who will actually address and solve our country's problems—not make them worse by blaming, dividing, and scapegoating.

"And if we all spread the word about what's really happening in our country, we can regain our traditional, true, family values.

"NOTE: THE GREAT LIMBAUGH CON can be ordered from Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com., or you can get it directly from the publisher, Fithian Press, by calling 1-800-662-8351.

"Book Reviews

"Book Contents"



In 1988 when George H. W. Bush was running for President, contested by several self-professed "Conservative" Republicans, a caller asked Limbaugh if he shouldn't support someone other than the obvious moderate in the race, Bush.  After a long pause, Limbaugh sighed and told the caller that Bush's lack of Conservative credentials might be true, but that he was supporting Bush because he had the best chance to win.  Up to this point, Limbaugh had polished his credentials as a Conservative above party politics, to the point that your neighbor often said, "I don't always agree with him, but sometimes he makes sense."  The same neighbor doesn't bother to qualify his opinion any more, he is in complete lockstep with Herr Limbaugh, and proud of it.

We'll continue to explore the Limbaugh saga again.



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"By not caring too much about what people think, I'm able to think for myself and
propagate ideas which are very often unpopular. And I succeed."

Albert Ellis (American psychologist. 1913 – 2007)


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