COMMENTARY | It appears the effort to strike at Rush Limbaugh for his unfortunate remarks about law student/activist Sandra Fluke by stripping him of advertisers has started to backfire, as one of them, the computer backup firm Carbonite, has started to discover.
The Daily Caller is reporting that in the wake of Carbonite pulling its ads from the Rush Limbaugh radio show, investors have started to drop Carbonite stock like a live hand grenade, causing the price to plunge 12 percent when the market closed Tuesday.
There have also been calls in the conservative media for customers of Carbonite to close their accounts and seek other computer backup services.
Carbonite pulled its ads over the weekend despite Limbaugh's apology for calling Fluke a "slut," with a pious message from David Friend, the company's CEO, which referenced his college-age daughters and the need for "more civilized discourse."
Ben Howe of Red State has noticed some hypocrisy with the piety. Carbonite remains an advertiser on the Ed Schultz show, even though he called radio talk show host Laura Ingraham the same name Limbaugh had called Fluke. The website Legal Insurrection has created a website to track Carbonite advertising on shows that promote uncivilized discourse.
There is an old saying that says if one strikes at the king, make sure you kill him. An advertiser's boycott is one of the oldest tools to take down a show on TV or the radio that a group of people find obnoxious. The left has found Limbaugh obnoxious for decades and thinks it has at last found the means to remove him from the airways.
Unfortunately from their standpoint, Limbaugh has too great a fan base, one that is willing to rally to him for such an effort ever to succeed. Now Carbonite has placed itself in deadly peril by dumping Limbaugh, whose advertising has created a great customer base for the company.
In the end, the marketplace will preserve Limbaugh's place on the airways. His wit and eloquence will continue to attract listeners. He will replace advertisers who have dumped him with others more concerned about the bottom line than making political points. Companies like Carbonite might learn that when one lives by the boycott, one may die of it.