Rush Limbaugh is a widely-listened, right-wing radio personality in the USA.
Wikipedia describes him as “an opinion leader in American conservatism”.
Recently, he took to attacking university student Sandra Fluke for her testimony before Congress on contraception and healthcare. Apparently he characterised her as a ‘slut’ and a ‘prostitute’. Of course, she’s no such thing.
Let’s leave to one aside the difference in the balance of free speech rights between the USA’s First Amendment and Europe’s Article 10. (Although, it seems to me that had a radio DJ in the UK done something similar, I would venture to suggest he might be receiving stiff letters from Messrs Sue Grabbit and Runne without any possibility of responding like Pressdram Limited, and by now Mr Limbaiugh might possibly be having some mild difficulty in having to explain to a judge exactly why he shouldn’t pay a large libel award to Ms Fluke).
No, what is interesting about this case, is that this seems to be the ‘Gerald Ratner’ moment for Limbaugh, and perhaps the whole ‘right-wing shock-jock culture’ in the USA.
For those who aren’t from the UK, or are too young, Ratners was the most successful High St. jewelers in the British Isles until in an intendedly humorous speech to the prestigious Institute of Directors, its CEO Gerald Ratner jokingly described his own company’s products as ‘total crap’ which resulted in the complete collapse of the business.
In my opinion, this is probably Limbaugh’s ‘Ratner moment‘.
Apparently, despite an apology (itself a remarkable course of action for Limbaugh) advertisers are deserting the former darling of the Right in droves
Rush, I feel for you. (Not!!).
And some of us do know total crap when we see (or hear it). Apparently the American public is beginning to, as well.