Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rush Will Not Be Silenced

I only listen occasionally to Rush Limbaugh, because on the West Coast he's on while I'm at work. And also, he drives me insane with his lies and cruel smears. But that doesn't mean I want him taken off the air. Quite the opposite; I want him out there for as long as possible for the same reason that I want Primary season to keep on going - it makes the Republicans look like a buncha crazy people. This, to me, is the whole reason for free speech.

So this boycott might be a little troubling. Apparently a bunch of national advertisers have jumped ship and refused to sponsor the EIB network. Interestingly the Media Matters link I just cited says "at least 52 advertisers have publicly canceled" their sponsorship, while claims the number is 142. I think the difference is made up by companies who never sponsored the show and are publicly saying they won't start now; American Express falls into that category. Anyway, all these people not sponsoring Rush, that's censorship, right?

Nope. What that is, is free market economics. If the government forbade radio stations from carrying Limbaugh, that's censorship. A company gets to choose how it spends its money. Maybe they'd like to associate with a show that has nice things to say about women instead.

Herb Tarlek, salesman
 And the exodus won't even hurt Rush. Now he has a number of open sponsorship opportunities for companies that maybe couldn't compete before. A small ammo company, a promise ring manufacturing concern, World Net Daily - here are companies that finally have a shot at the Super Bowl of talk Radio. Can they afford the same rates as the corporations did? That's a problem for the EIB network sales team, who probably all wear loud plaid jackets.

If EIB can't command the same rates for ads, Rush can still work out a deal with stations that carry him to take up the slack. If they refuse, he can always get off of commercial radio and start a subscription only internet EIB. The infrastructure is already there. Is that censorship? No. The founding fathers called it free speech for a reason - you can say what you want, but getting people to pay you for it is not our problem.

By the way, that Media Matters link lists the people who DID advertise on today's show. It looks pretty bad for the big fellah. It's mostly promos for other shows (the station runs them without paying Rush) PSAs from the Ad Council (the station runs them without paying Rush) and the US Army. Of course, those guys apparently paid in advance.

1 comment:

Daniel Krause said...

Hey, here's a likely advertiser! Go get 'em, Herb.