AOL just became the eighth advertiser to pull its ads from Rush Limbaugh's nationally syndicated radio show, two days after the right-wing blowhard issued an insincere apology for repeatedly calling a young woman a "slut" and a "prostitute" for testifying in favor of insurance plans providing birth control.
But Limbaugh can afford to weather this storm. He essentially syndicates his own show, so it's not like he's going to fire himself, and he could eat his own weight in gold and still have plenty left over.
No, the real way to pressure Limbaugh is to go after the local stations that carry him, which are suffering little if any from the pull-out of these national advertisers. Local stations pay Limbaugh to carry his show, plus give him another five minutes of airtime for Limbaugh to run his own ads. These are the ads being pulled—the ones Limbaugh sells. But local stations don't see a dime of revenue from national ads. Instead, they make their coin from the 10 or so minutes of local ads they sell each hour.
Here in the Seattle market, Limbaugh's show is aired by KTTH, owned by Bonneville International, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Church of Latter Day Saints. It would probably be bad form of me to suggest an advertising boycott of a former employer (Bonneville also owns KIRO radio, where I had a weekend show for a couple years), but if somebody else wants to do it, well, that would be the way to best impact Limbaugh. If Limbaugh starts hearing from local stations that his show is becoming less valuable to them, he might think twice before libeling a young woman in a blatant effort to bully others into silence.
Of course, a local advertising boycott would require listening to Limbaugh's show on KTTH, taking down names of local advertisers, and then pressuring them to pull their ads. Not an easy or pleasant task. But again, if you really want to send Limbaugh a message, that's the way to do it.