**UPDATE: The sponsor I indirectly referred to in this story, Carbonite, has removed its ads from Mr. Limbaugh’s radio show since I wrote this post on 3/2/2012.
Carbonite CEO David Friend wrote the following on Carbonite’s Facebook Page:
“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”
Thank you to Carbonite. Please read my post about them here, visit their web site and let them know how much you appreciate them standing up for women.
Two days ago, Rush Limbaugh called a 30-year-old woman a slut for needing birth control. Two hours ago, I found out that one of his sponsors paid me to promote them last year.
I love my job. I work every day to promote brands and endorse products and brands to my readers. I work to bring products to people through developing personal relationships with my readers and friends. While I realize no company is perfect, and I have endorsed brands that have endured controversy and less-than-stellar business practices, I have to take a stand somewhere.
And after listening to these comments over and over again:
“What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra 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. What does that make us? We’re the pimps.”
“So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
I was incensed, to say the least. Forget Mr. Limbaugh’s apparent ignorance of how prescribed contraception works. It’s the age-old notion that women who happen to engage in sexual activity and cannot afford birth control are sluts, or prostitutes. I’ve heard the jokes about keeping aspirin between your knees, or keeping your legs closed – and yet we never hear such a strong message sent to men to keep their libidos in check. It is the Stud v. Slut argument all over again, and it is disgusting.
It makes me think of junior high, when we girls would call each other bitches and whores and sluts, without knowing really what the word means. It is hurtful, and for such a loud voice to reinforce that message, and to act like it’s not a big deal, is awful.
So tonight I pulled a post I wrote for one of his sponsors. I’m not even going to name it for fear that it will show up in one of my Adsense units, but it is one of the sponsors listed here.
If I face any repercussions from brands or from PR-blogging communities from this, that is on me. For now, no amount of threats or income is enough to let me promote products that give Rush Limbaugh a voice.
I took the Blog With Integrity pledge years ago, and I promised my readers that I would promote and encourage ethics in all marketing practices. If I move so much as one cent to any brand that pays this man to spew his filth on the air, that’s on me. Limbaugh may not have a conscience, but I do.
Today is my mom’s birthday, and I just received a call from my dad. They raised me to stand up for what’s right, and that’s what I’m doing.
If any of you happen across any advertising on this site for companies that currently sponsor Rush Limbaugh, send a message to bellesouthblogs (at) gmail dot com so I can work to filter these companies and keep them away from Bellesouth. Considering that most PR-friendly bloggers are women with children, I hope my colleagues will join me.