In a March 20 Politico column, Media Matters founder David Brock explained how the advertiser exodus from Rush Limbaugh has "disintegrated" the business model that once fueled his show.
Three weeks ago, Limbaugh leveled misogynistic attacks at Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, smearing her as a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she testified before Congress about the problems caused when women lack access to contraception.
In the wake of Limbaugh's attacks on Fluke, numerous advertisers are abandoning his show. It is also being reported that well over 100 companies have taken proactive steps to ensure that their ads don't run on Limbaugh's program and similar shows.
In his column, Brock highlighted efforts by Media Matters and other groups "to educate advertisers about the damage their financial support of Limbaugh's program can do to their brands." Brock continued:
There is a myth that advertiser actions, like those now targeted at Limbaugh, impinge on his constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech. The truth is just the opposite: They are a demonstration of the power of the First Amendment.
We are not a government entity attempting to stifle Limbaugh's speech. Instead, we are using our right of free assembly to join together and raise our voices against Limbaugh. We are, in fact, engaging in the marketplace of ideas, one in which people, examining all of the facts, can choose whether it is in their financial interest to support hate radio.
We are confident, seeing the reaction over the previous two weeks, that sponsors will take their dollars elsewhere.