COMMENTARY | The imbroglio over Rush Limbaugh, his unfortunate remarks about a student activist, and his advertisers took a bizarre turn when one advertiser who publicly denounced Limbaugh last week and pulled its ads, begged to be taken back.
The advertiser in question is Sleep Train, a mattress company. According to the Los Angeles Times, Limbaugh has turned down its request to be reinstated as a voiced advertiser, which involved the host himself endorsing the company. The reason was that Sleep Train's action had angered Limbaugh's many millions of listeners so the show could not in good conscience accept the company back.
Meanwhile, a new startup by conservative media personality Michelle Malkin, Twitchy.com, has announced that it is a new advertiser on the Rush Limbaugh program. Twitchy.com is a service that groups messages on Twitter by subject. The buying of ad space on the radio talk show is as much a political statement in support of Limbaugh as it is a play to advertise for more subscribers.
The dust up over Sleep Train, along with the blowback suffered by Carbonite over that company's public denunciation of Limbaugh, demonstrates that the iconic radio talk show host is dealing from a position of strength in the campaign to deprive him of advertisers. One tends to prosper when one advertises on Limbaugh's show. But cross him, and one will suffer.
The one overwhelming fact is that Limbaugh commands many millions of listeners. There is no evidence that any of them have stopped listening because of the kerfuffle with Sandra Fluke. Indeed, one suspects that Limbaugh has gained listeners, curious about what the fuss is all about. As long as the show maintains its listener base, it does not matter if any advertisers bail on Limbaugh for political reasons. There will always be others who will want to take their place, because it is good business to advertise on the most listened to radio talk show on the planet.
The situation demonstrates the power of the marketplace over politically inspired efforts to drive an iconic conservative radio voice off the air. Once again Limbaugh has defeated his enemies and has humbled them into the dust.