Rush Limbaugh fiasco: How other hosts weathered their own storms
While he has reportedly lost three more advertisers in recent days, Rush Limbaugh is apparently surviving the scandal over comments he made about a Georgetown student on his nationally syndicated radio show.
Here are other hosts who have lost advertisers and listeners after some scandalous talk. Some kept their jobs, while others weren't so lucky.
Rush Limbaugh, host of the radio talk show "The Rush Limbaugh Show"
What he said
Limbaugh called the Georgetown Law School student, Sandra Fluke, a "slut" and a "prostitute," after she testified before Congress about healthcare coverage for contraception.
"What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex - what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex."
- Feb. 29, 2012 on "The Rush Limbaugh Show"
"Against my own instincts, against my own knowledge, against everything I know to be right and wrong, I descended to their level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke, that was my error, I became like them. And I feel very badly about that. I've always tried to maintain a very high degree of integrity and independence on this program. Nevertheless those two words were inappropriate, they were uncalled for. They distracted from the point that I was actually trying to make, and I again sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for using those two words to describe her. I do not think she is either of those two words. I did not think last week that she is either of those two words."
- March 3, 2012 on "The Rush Limbaugh Show"
More than 100 companies pulled ads from his show, including AOL, AllState, JCPenney, Sears and Capital One. [Via]
March 28, The Washington Post described the advertiser exodus as an exaggeration, since most long-term advertisers have remained in tact.
March 29, Limbaugh boasted on the increase of his show's ratings among 600 radio stations from 10% to 60%.
On April 4th and 6th, Media Matters announced the withdrawal of advertisements by Arby's, Proactiv, and Walgreens from Limbaugh's show.
Limbaugh's show continues to lose ads, and Cumulus Media Networks began aggressively hawking former Gov. Mike Huckabee's conservative radio show. Media Matters has set up an anti-Rush Limbaugh radio campaign. [Via]
Glenn Beck, former host of Fox' "Glenn Beck." Host of the radio show, "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," and GBTV's "The Glenn Beck Program."
What he said
"This president I think has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."
"I'm not saying that he doesn't like white people I'm saying he has a problem -- he has a -- this guy is, I believe, a racist.
- July 28, 2008 on "Fox & Friends"
"I don't want to retract – I want to amend. I think it's much more of a theological question, that he is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology, which is oppressor-and-victim. 'Racist,' first of all, it shouldn't have been said. It was poorly said. I have a big fat mouth sometimes and I say things. That's just not the way people should behave. And it was not accurate. It is liberation theology that has shaped his world view."
- August 29, 2010 on "Fox News Sunday"
ColorOfChange, an online African-American political organization, urged companies to pull ads. According to the Daily News, at least 400 did, including Geico, Procter & Gamble and Progressive Insurance. [Via]
Beck's show was canceled by Fox in June, 2011.
Michael Savage, host of Talk Radio Network's "The Savage Nation"
What he said
"Now, you want me to tell you my opinion on autism, since I'm not talking about autism? A fraud, a racket. For a long while, we were hearing that every minority child had asthma. Why did they sudden – why was there an asthma epidemic amongst minority children? Because I'll tell you why: The children got extra welfare if they were disabled, and they got extra help in school. It was a money racket."
"I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot.' "
- July 16, 2008 on "The Savage Nation"
In a telephone interview with the New York Times, Savage said he stood by his statements. [Via]
Aflac Insurance, Home Depot, Sears and RadioShack were among the advertisers that dropped his show.
According to the Daily News, radio stations in Mississippi, Virginia, and Cleveland boycotted the program.
Randi Rhodes, former host of "The Randi Rhodes Show"
What she said
Called Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton "whores" while representing Air America at a public appearance in San Francisco sponsored by an Air America affiliate station, KKGN.
"What a whore Geraldine Ferraro is! She's such a f----ing whore!"
"Hillary is a big f----inh whore, too." "You know why she's a big f----ing whore? Because her deal is always, 'Read the fine print, a----!'"
- March 22, 2008
Rhodes refused to apologize, opting instead to quit.
Don Imus, former host of CBS-owned radio show "Imus in the Morning"
What he said
During a discussion on April 4, 2007, about the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team, made up of eight black women and two white women, as "nappy-headed hos."
IMUS: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and—
McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.
IMUS: That's some nappy-headed hos. I'm gonna tell you that now, man, that's some—whew. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like—kinda like—I don't know.
McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.
"Want to take a moment to apologize for an insensitive and ill-conceived remark we made the other morning referring to the Rutgers women's basketball team. It was completely inappropriate, and we can understand why people were offended. Our characterization was thoughtless and stupid, so, and we're sorry."
- April 06, 2007 on "Imus in the Morning"
Procter & Gamble, Staples, General Motors. Sprint Nextel and American Express pulled ads.
April 11, 2007
The radio show was dropped less than a week later by CBS, and later picked up by WABC and Fox Business.
Bill Maher, former host of ABC's "Politically Incorrect."
What he said
''We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly.''
- September 17, 2001 on "Politically Incorrect"
Federal Express and Sears pulled ads.
Maher issued an apology, saying, "In no way was I intending to say, nor have I ever thought, that the men and women who defend our nation in uniform are anything but courageous and valiant, and I offer my apologies to anyone who took it wrong."
"Politically Incorrect" was cancelled on ABC.
Hosts HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."