*Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh lost another crop of advertisers for his syndicated program, The Rush Limbaugh Show, by Tuesday morning, putting at 34 the number of sponsors who have bounced in the wake of his attacks last week on Georgetown student Sandra Fluke.
Teleconferencing company Polycom, home-improvement company Service Magic, life insurance site AccuQuote, Hadeed Carpet and clothing company Bonobos announced that they had requested their ads pulled from the program.
On Tuesday, insurance company Geico, tractor manufacturer John Deere, St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Stamps.com requested their sponsorship be terminated. As the day wore on, nine more sponsors pulled their spots: Bethesda Sedation Dentistry, Cascades Dental, Philadelphia Orchestra, Goodwill Industries, Heart & Body Extract, Netflix, Downeast Energy, Capitol One, and JCPenney. Matrix Direct jumped ship later in the day.
Those companies joined such high-profile companies as AOL, Sears, LegalZoom and ProFlowers in removing their spots from the show.
Limbaugh spent three days berating Fluke, a student who had sought to testify before Congress on behalf of insurance coverage for birth control, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute” and insisting that, if she wanted birth control coverage, she post videos of herself having sex.
He apologized for his choice of words on Saturday, a mea culpa that fell short in the eyes of many critics. As a result of public outrage, two stations, in Pittsfield, Mass. and Hilo, Hawaii, removed Limbaugh from their schedules. Musician Peter Gabriel, whose song “Sledghammer” was played during Limbaugh’s rant, moved to have his music taken off of Limbaugh’s program.
Despite the loss in revenue, Premiere Networks, the syndication arm of Limbaugh’s bosses at Clear Channel, stands by the host.
They are “committed to providing its listeners with access to a broad range of opinion and commentary without condoning or agreeing with the opinions, comments or attempts at humor expressed by on-air talent,” the company said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “We respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions.”
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