The CEO of Carbonite, an online backup service, said on Saturday that the company has decided to pull its ads even though Limbaugh issued a rare statement “sincerely apologize” to Sandra Fluke for “insulting word choices.” Fluke is the student he had targeted last week in the debate over government requirements that insurers include contraception coverage in their plans.
“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,” said David Friend. “Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even thought 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 We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”
Another sponsor, ProFlowers, said on Sunday that it was suspending its advertising, joining five others.
“We do not base our advertising decisions to align with any particular political view or opinion as our employees and customers are as diverse as the USA,” the company said in a statement. “Mr. Limbaugh’s recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company.”
Premiere Radio Networks, which distributes Limbaugh’s show, said in a statement to the Associated Press: “The contraception debate is one that sparks strong emotion and opinions on both sides of the issues. We respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions.”
Conservative columnist George Will today said that Republicans have been tepid in the repudiation of Limbaugh’s comments. “They want to bomb Iran, but they’re afraid of Rush Limbaugh,” he said on “This Week.”