Social Media And Rush Limbaugh’s Donnybrook

Andrew Sullivan —  Mar 6 2012 @ 11:35am

I was struck by this quote from a Limbaugh advertizer who pulled his sponsorship:

When reached by telephone, Michael Rozbruch, the chief executive of Tax Resolution Services, said that his company had been a sponsor of Mr. Limbaugh for “just over a year.” He said he had been “inundated” by messages from online protesters that wanted him to drop the sponsorship.

“What put me on the map 14 years ago was ‘The Howard Stern Show,’” Mr. Rozbruch said. Mr. Stern is a famously controversial radio host, and Mr. Rozbruch said he once had a “similar experience” with opponents of that show. “But social media was nowhere where it is today,” he said.

The power of Limbaugh's vocal connection with millions was overwhelmed in the end by the collective chorus of disdain – and its speed and immediacy. That seems to have made the difference here – as well as the cut-and-dried offense of deploying the words "slut" and "prostitute" and demanding that a law student provide a sex tape.

It's a free country, but I get queasy with boycotts to target disgusting but free speech. Think Progress has whittled down its list of targeted advertizers to … just two left. Nine have quit. No one knows the full list.