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Friday, March 02, 2012

Griper Blade: Are Republicans Finally Done Apologizing to Limbaugh?

You have to wonder why Rush Limbaugh holds such an exulted position in the Republican pantheon. Not only did Republicans put him in their top three "least favorite" news personalities in a recent Harris Poll, but he's frequently more trouble than he's worth. Yes, he's the top-rated talk radio host in America. Yes, his audience is nearly entirely Republican. And yes, that audience are proudly "dittoheads" who do whatever Limbaugh tells them to. But all of that means jack. No one listens to talk radio. The local classic rock station probably has a bigger audience than Limbaugh in any given market. In any sane world, he would be nobody. The vast, vast majority of Americans -- and even of Republicans -- don't hang on Rush's every word. In fact, that majority doesn't listen to him at all. Color me perplexed.

Maybe it's Limbaugh's position as a corporate mouthpiece that frightens the GOP. It's not who he speaks to that's important, but who he speaks for. His market share isn't really the result of popularity, it's the result of Clear Channel's desire to get Limbaugh's voice heard. If Rush were left to live or die on ratings, he would've been cancelled long, long ago (as his ratings-dependent TV show was) and talk radio in general would be a dead medium. He's like Glenn Beck before Fox News finally tired of him -- a revenue hole, but useful as a propaganda tool.

Which is why it's hard to get extremely excited by this news:


One of the advertisers on Rush Limbaugh’s popular conservative radio show Friday announced that it is pulling its ads in the wake of the host’s controversial “slut” comments this week.

“We don’t condone negative comments directed toward any group. In response, we are currently pulling our ads from Rush with Rush Limbaugh,” the company Sleep Train Mattress Centers announced on its Twitter account early Friday...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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