n a breakthrough for women’s rights groups, Premier Networks, the syndicator for the Rush Limbaugh show, indicated yesterday that it will suspend national advertising for two weeks on local stations. The announcement comes after over 100 companies— including Ford, GM, Toyota, Allstate, Geico, Prudential, State Farm, McDonald’s and Subway—have pulled their advertisements from the show, sending a strong message to radio show hosts that they will not support hate speech and misogyny.
These advertisers were included on a Premiere memo circulated to radio staff stating, “They’ve specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in the dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levine, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity). Those are defined as environments likely to stir negative sentiment from a very small percentage of the listening public.”
Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation, celebrated the advertisers’ efforts, fueled by public outcry, to force right-wing hosts to take responsibility for their attacks on women’s rights. Smeal stated, “The cooling off period won’t work. Misogyny is not ok.”
The Feminist Majority Foundation, the National Organization for Women (NOW), and a host of women’s groups, together with Think Progress and Media Matters, have rallied in support of Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown Law School student who was not allowed to testify at a House Committee hearing on the religious exemption on contraception. Tens of thousands of supporters of women’s healthcare have bombarded advertisers with emails and phone calls, urging the cancellation of ads and to support Sandra Fluke. The internet is on fire with thousands of supporters tweeting, blogging, and Facebook-ing in support of campaigns to #FlushRushNow. See the Feminist Majority Foundation Campus blogfor more information.
MSNBC 3/12/12; Radio-Info.com 3/12/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/12/12