Remember the Left's campaign to get Rush Limbaugh off the air in the wake of his comments concerning Georgetown University law student and women's rights activist Sandra Fluke?
According to an article published in the Washington Post Thursday, the heat on the conservative talk radio host has turned "down to a simmer":
The dark clouds hanging over Rush Limbaugh appear to be lifting.
Exactly one month after the conservative radio host sparked outrage by calling Georgetown law-school student Sandra Fluke “a slut” and “a prostitute” in a three-day diatribe, stations are standing by him, advertisers are trickling back to his program and the news media have moved on.
Trickling back? That's an understatement:
On Monday, the 600 or so radio stations that air Limbaugh’s program were told by his syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks, to resume running “barter” ads during his program. Stations are required to run these ads in exchange for paying discounted fees to Premiere to air Limbaugh’s show. Premiere, which is owned by radio giant Clear Channel Communications, had suspended the “barter” requirement for two weeks in a move widely seen as a way to give advertisers a chance to lie low while Limbaugh was in the news.
This is tremendously significant. As the perilously liberal Huffington Post gloated on March 12:
Premier Networks, the company that syndicates "The Rush Limbaugh Show," has suspended a large chunk of the national advertising that runs on the program for two weeks, according to Radio-Info.com.
The moratorium applies specifically to a class of advertisements called "barter spots," which are normally run by local affiliate stations in exchange for the right to syndicate radio programming, such as Limbaugh's daily broadcast.
A little over two weeks later, they're baaaaack!
Not only that, according to the Post, reports of Rush's demise were greatly exaggerated:
Limbaugh’s advertising losses may have been less than media accounts suggested. While more than 100 advertisers told Premiere that they didn’t want to be associated with “controversial” radio programs of any kind in the wake of the flap, some of these companies weren’t regular Limbaugh sponsors in the first place. [...]
“Contrary to the wishful thinking of the professional special interest groups, reports of sponsors fleeing the ‘Rush Limbaugh Show’ are grossly exaggerated. In fact, the program retains virtually of all its long-term sponsors who continue to have great success” with the show, saidRachel Nelson, spokeswoman for Premiere.
And what about all those stations supposedly dumping El Rushbo? Errr, not so much:
At the peak of the controversy in early March, two small stations — in western Massachusetts and Hilo, Hawaii — said that they would drop his program. Since then, no other station has said it will take him off the air, dashing the hopes of MoveOn.org, a liberal group whose ongoing petition drive seeks Limbaugh’s removal from 180 stations.
Expectations that a weakened Limbaugh could be bumped by a new program hosted by former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) have also not materialized. None of Limbaugh’s many affiliates have said they’ll move him from his midday time slot in favor of Huckabee.
This will really anger Limbaugh's detractors:
In all, “the temperature of this controversy has finally fallen below the boiling point,” said Tom Taylor, news editor of Radio-Info.com, which covers the industry. He added, “I think the advertiser base is coming back.”
“I think the advertiser base is coming back.”
Delicious. So much for "Stop Rush."
For those that missed it, Limbaugh got some more good news Wednesday as the Associated Press reported:
[T]he CEO of the radio company that distributes Limbaugh's show, Clear Channel, says he's sticking with the conservative talk show host, calling him the "king" of radio.
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."
Let's show some empathy for our friends on the left who must be deeply dismayed by this.
All together now - aaaawwwwwww.
(H/T Hot Air)