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The Answer Is No, Sadly

March 3, 2012

J. Bryan Lowder asks the following in the headline of her/his latest contribution at Slate (its XX Factor blog, actually): “Has Rush Limbaugh Finally Gone Too Far in Slut-Shaming Sandra Fluke?”

Sadly, the answer is most likely no. There are two reasons for this.

First, Lowder speculates that the loss of money via advertising withdrawals may help clean up Limbaugh’s act. But the truth is that he’s monetarily secure. He could reimburse his employer (Clear Channel) for the losses.* The most probable scenario, however, is that Limbaugh or his lawyer/s incorporated clauses into his contract that account for these kinds of eventualities.

Second, Lowder actually provides a path toward a negative answer in his column. When Limbaugh speaks like this it reminds his core audience, and more importantly those who may have drifted from his broadcasts, that they like the edginess of his “contrarian analysis.” So, paradoxically, Limbaugh’s radio program most likely expands his core a bit when he does this—gains audience. I’ll bet his listener ratings go up, and therefore the ad revenue increases in the medium term.

What say you? What will bring about Limbaugh’s demise? I think that only death or voluntarily retirement will end his reign of crassness, illogic, and selfishness. – TL

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* The best source of information on Rush is, believe it or not, his Wikipedia page. I discovered this several years ago in researching an encyclopedia article on Limbaugh and his radio show.

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