By Ezra Brook

Rush Limbaugh, in his latest inflaming comments, belittled and insulted Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University third year law student and birth control advocate, calling her a “slut” and “prostitute” on the Wednesday Feb 29 show.

One of the leading online data backup company, Carbonite, has been advertising on Rush Limbaugh’s show for a few years now. After this incident, Carbonite CEO, David Friend, did post his take on the incident by writing his comment in his blog:

Over the past two days we have received a tremendous amount of feedback on Rush Limbaugh’s recent comments. I too am offended and very concerned about his comments. Limbaugh’s remarks have us rethinking our future use of talk radio.

We use more than 40 talk show hosts to help get the Carbonite message out to the public. The nature of talk radio is that from time to time listeners are offended by a host and ask that we pull our advertising. This goes for conservatives like Limbaugh and progressives like Stephanie Miller and Ed Shultz. We even get customers who demand that we pull the plug on NPR. As an advertiser, we do not have control over a show’s editorial content or what they say on air. Carbonite does not endorse the opinions of the shows or their hosts.

However, the outcry over Limbaugh is the worst we’ve ever seen. I have scheduled a face-to-face meeting next week with Limbaugh during which I will impress upon him that his comments were offensive to many of our customers and employees alike.

Please know your voice has been heard and that we are taking this matter very seriously.

David Friend

After feeling the heat, Rush Limbaugh apologized on Saturday March 1, saying:

“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Whether Sandra Fluke will go ahead and sue Mr. Limbaugh is another story and a legal issue, but the apology was not good enough for Mr. Friend and updated his post, on Saturday March 3, saying that Carbonite would no longer advertise with the Rush Limbaugh show:

A Statement from David Friend, CEO of Carbonite as of 6:45pm ET, March 3:
“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.”

On a similar note, according to online blog post by “The Associated Press“, so far seven advertisers, have pulled their sponsorships from the Rush Limbaugh: ProFlowers, mortgage lender Quicken Loans, mattress retailers Sleep Train and Sleep Number, software maker Citrix Systems Inc., online data backup service provider Carbonite and online legal document services company LegalZoom.

Update: – March 5, 2012:

AOL has become the 8th advertiser to abandon Limbaugh’s show, saying that Limbaugh’s messages “are not in line with our values.”

Rush Limbaugh on Sandra Fluke  – Warning: the contents of this video could be offensive to some viewers

Rush Limbaugh’s 53 Smears Against Sandra Fluke from Daily Kos on Vimeo.

To watch related videos, click here



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