Rush Limbaugh In Hot Water With Sponsors After 'Slut' Remark

After a firestorm of calls, posts and Tweets from angry consumers, two companies pulled their advertisements with Rush Limbaugh after the conservative radio talk show host called a Georgetown University law student a "slut" for speaking out about the current debate over birth control.

“Due to recent commentary by Rush Limbaugh that does not align with our values, we’ve made the decision to immediately suspend all advertising on that program," Gabby Nelson, company spokeswoman at mattress manufacturer Select Comfort, said in an emailed statement.

Select Comfort, which advertises its Sleep Number brand bed, was the second company to sever ties with Limbaugh over the growing controversy. Sleep Train was the first to sever ties. It sent a message out on Twitter earlier today, telling consumers, "We are pulling our ads with Rush Limbaugh and appreciate the community's feedback."

The law student, Sandra Fluke, testified before a House committee this week about the high cost of hormonal contraception and the burden this places on women who need it for medical reasons last week after being barred from an earlier Congressional committee hearing on the topic.

Other companies are distancing themselves from the talk-show host, including some who say they don't advertise with Limbaugh, but have been overwhelmed with phone calls and online messages.

The Twitter feed of online dating site eHarmony read, "We’ve never paid for ads on Limbaugh show. We’re looking into the matter of 'network buys' and will let you know what we discover." (Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET.: Spokeswoman Becky Teraoka said via e-mail, "We do have that confirmation" that a network buy did not land eHarmony advertising on Limbaugh's show.)

Ray Pohlman, spokesman for AutoZone, said the company had never advertised with Limbaugh and was working with its media buyers to find out if any ads did air. "If a commercial ran, it was in error," he said. "We're running it down."

"We have not advertised on Rush Limbaugh's radio program in over five years," Life Quotes spokeswoman Michelle Matlock said via email.

"We are actually not an active advertiser on the program and currently have no plans to sponsor it in the future," Megan Greuling, spokeswoman for Lending Tree, said via email.

Some companies indicate they'll be sticking with Rush, though. "While we do not condone or agree with Limbaugh’s statements regarding Sandra Fluke, we respect his right to express his views, as well as those who disagree with him," Quicken Loans spokeswoman Paula Silver said in an emailed statement. "As an advertiser, our goal is to reach a broad audience, which we accomplish by placing ads on a number of programs across the country representing diverse views."

A statement posted on ProFlowers' Facebook page late Thursday night was more circumspect. It read, "We would like to assure you that we do not endorse the views expressed by Rush Limbaugh. We understand your concerns and value your feedback." The post was inundated with hundreds of comments from Facebook users urging the company to drop its advertising.

Limbaugh did not reply to msnbc.com's request for a comment.

Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" for her congressional testimony supporting contraception coverage. Is this free speech or slander?


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2012 at 05:51 PM
    Rush is a sick drug addict. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • by Not The Government on Mar 6, 2012 at 02:26 PM
    We are not talking about the government paying of birth control, educate yourselves. The requirements is that the health insurance provided by the employer cover birth control, whether the woman is married or single. The organizations could not provide any health insurance. That is their option. However, I promise you they proved care to men with ED, whether they are married or single. I am not a liberal. I do not support Oboma, and will vote for whoever runs against him. However, I do agree that the same standard of care be allowed for women as men. If the insurance company is going to pay for male repoductive health, it should women also. At no time do I think calling names is appropriate, whether the liberals or conservatives are doing it. Wrong is wrong, and two wrongs do not make right. What I am hearing is "they are doing it so why can't we." Sounds like elementary school mentality to me. I would not accept that from my children, and I certainly will not accept it from our so called "leaders".
  • by Wake up people Location: ENC on Mar 6, 2012 at 03:25 AM
    First of all, educate yourselves before posting...Thanks. That includes grammer and what was actually said by this young lady. Obvioiusly, we all have the internet, so lets search for Sandra Fluke Testimony, and watch the video. I would just like to say that I would much rather pay for the birth control than to pay for a child that was not wanted to begin with. I would not want to pay for a child that is abued, neglected, or killed later. Wake put, it does happen. It cost roughly $230,720 to raise a child and send to a public college. I have worked many years in the medical field and have seen many women on our government programs that are having children every nine months. The majority of them have no desire to work or get a higher education. They have no desire to get off the welfare system and help themselves. They aren't having abortions, they are having children and getting more and more money for each of them. I also would like to say that in the mans eyes, they can have sex with as many women as they like, many government officials have got away with it, but they think that women are not allowed to have sexual relations until they are married. They also don't want to be realistic and think they are the only person that their wife has been with. For the pigheaded men that have made inexcusable comments, women take birth control for other reasons besides birth control. Please educate yourselves!
  • by Meg Location: Tiffin on Mar 5, 2012 at 09:44 AM
    I know what Rush was trying to say when he went overboard. I still agree with him. We don't want to pay for her birth control. He was caught up in the moment.
  • by morehead city Location: morehead city on Mar 4, 2012 at 09:21 AM
    he shouldnt apologize she is the one who told the WHOLE WORLD she has soo much sex she is going broke buying contraceptives---well if you cant afford protection KEEP YOUR LEGS CLOSED protection isnt 100% that you wont get pregnant so if you cant afford condoms you cant afford a kid so keep your legs closed--she voiced her opinion so why cant he---remember STICKS AND STONES CAN BREAK MY BONES BUT NAMES WILL NEVER HURT ME he simply voiced HIS OPINION since when did we have to start apologizing for our opinion i dont agree with gay marriage so should obama apologize to me for ridding the us military of dont ask dont tell i think not
  • by DWB Location: Greenville on Mar 4, 2012 at 04:58 AM
    Just a short note. It has been proven that excessive use of contraceptive pills can cause cervical cancer. Everything in moderation.
  • by ~ALPHA female~ on Mar 3, 2012 at 10:24 PM
    Congrats repub party... you just lost the women's vote! And there are over 76,000,000 of us registered!! It's going to be a landslide for Obama...
  • by Parris Location: Md on Mar 3, 2012 at 10:17 PM
    His remarks were way over the pail this time no longer a listner
  • by to BOZO@5:20 on Mar 3, 2012 at 04:24 PM
    Haaa Ha Ha Ha ha Ha...LOL...LOL...LOL, Sad part is...some of you Repugs actually believe it.
  • by To anon Location: enc on Mar 3, 2012 at 04:02 PM
    She was "hiding" her age, but it was told in an interview with Matt Lauer? Strange way of hiding something. So what if she is a female activist? What is Limbaugh-a peacemaker? What would you call him if not a right wing advocate. Did she call him a fat drug addict? Did she call him and adulterer for being married 4 times? Would it have been so funny if she had?
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