Opinion: Rush Limbaugh and Standing up to Corporate Censorship

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

An American icon has passed away. Rush Limbaugh departed this mortal coil yesterday for his well-deserved heavenly reward, which I pray will be substantial. I won’t even try to convey the depth of personal and gut-wrenching grief that I’m feeling at this tragic event. Rush Limbaugh was, indeed, one of a kind. If nothing else, men who aspire to be real men should take a page out of the manner in which he faced his impending death, right up until the end. He displayed a fortitude, determination I’ve rarely seen. You can read more of my thoughts regarding how Rush bravely and forthrightly faced up to this ultimate obstacle.

Read: Opinion: Rush Limbaugh: The Measure of a Man’s Courage in the Face of Adversity

Eulogizing Rush Limbaugh isn’t my purpose here today. Nor am I going to expound on all the advances Mr. Limbaugh has brought forth, that enabled Movement Conservatism to sally forth into the mainstream of public discourse. My colleagues have all of that well covered. Today, I’m going to focus on what I believe is one of, if not the single most important of, Rush’s contributions to America and American conservatives.

Rush Limbaugh has taught us to be unafraid of the left. He has often accurately — and brutally — exposed them for the tyrants they are towards people who push back at their ideas in the slightest manner. In his own words:

Liberals are not about choice; they are about imposition. The way they live, the way they believe, must be imposed on people, otherwise they won’t do it on their own,” he added. “It’s taken them 50, 60 years to get to this point of conditioning people, of taking hold of the education system, the university, academia system, the media. It’s taken a long time to condition people not to stand up for themselves, not to exercise freedom, not to speak outside the acceptable norms. What is political correctness but speech censorship, is all it is.

And:

Every Democrat constituency group has at least two things in common. They hate us. They despise opposition. That’s why they created political correctness. Speech censorship. They hate opposition and they’ll do anything they can to eliminate it.

Read: Inspiring Quotes

But Rush, eloquent speaker that he was, wasn’t merely about the spoken word. He has demonstrated, by personal example, that it is possible to stand up to corporate CEOs who use their financial juice to stifle conservative communications. He has personally demonstrated that standing up to virtue signaling CEOs need not be the kiss of death.

Back in 2012, Rush Limbaugh had pointed out the financial ignorance of one Sandra Fluke, an ObamaCare advocate. He questioned a cost of, from what I seem to remember, $2,000.00 annually, for contraception. Limbaugh jokingly applied that number to the price of condoms, did some math, and then made an interesting connection between the resulting number and a lifestyle that might require that large of a supply.

As we all know, radio requires corporate sponsors. Like internet web pages and TV programming, no sponsors equals no revenue. No revenue equals no program. On the other side of that is viewership. Programs with a large audience can charge premium prices for advertising slots. “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” with 35 million weekly listeners, sits at the top of the AM Radio advertising market.

Over at CDN, back in January of 2019, Terry Ponick wrote of some unintended, yet entirely predictable consequences for CEOs who virtue signal instead of minding the store. One of the more egregious examples was the CEO of Carbonite, the data backup company, who decided to take Limbaugh to task for his remarks.

Regular readers know that for years in these columns, I’ve recently criticized companies like Gillette whose CEOs or marketing chiefs embark on public virtue-signaling sprees. The current wave of corporate PC nonsense arguably started with the grandstanding exit of advertiser Carbonite from the popular Rush Limbaugh radio show. Since that day in 2012, ongoing, business-destroying virtue-signaling  nonsense has cost many of the companies involved in it — and their stockholders and employees — money, jobs, and prestige.

Read: The Fluke / Limbaugh flap: When Carbonite became investor Kryptonite

Ponick goes on to expand on the 2012 Limbaugh remarks, basically calling into question the ability of the Carbonite CEO, David Friend, to understand brand economics, finishing with the numbers (emphasis mine):

Prior to the Limbaugh flap, Carbonite had already retreated this year to slightly below its IPO offering price. Since then, it’s continued its downward cascade, closing today at $8.05 per share, roughly a 20% drop pre-Limbaugh / Fluke and a nearly 60% drop from its 2011 peak.

I listened to that episode and Limbaugh’s commentary during and after the incident. I’m pretty sure I remember Rush Limbaugh never backing down and being adamant that even if Friend asked to come back, he (Rush) wouldn’t take him on as a show sponsor. In my lifetime, I can remember only four, count them, four public figures who were that willing to push back on the popular or politically correct position: Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King, Donald Trump, and Rush Limbaugh. I’m pretty sure there was a reason that President Donald Trump and El Rushbo got along so well. They are both of a type.

Conservatives can take heart that we were blessed with such a man to take up the cudgel on our behalf. After the conservative punditry and their corporate media masters are done with the requisite, and in some (far too many) cases, pro forma eulogies, they might wish to take a page out of Rush’s book.

Be not afraid. People will try and attack you for telling the truth. People will threaten you. Some companies will try to control your words using financial coercion…or worse. Coworkers might even shun you. Stand up for what is right. Be like Rush Limbaugh; be stalwart and bold, swinging the bat until the very end. Be. Not. Afraid.

Some Commentary From My Colleagues:

Nick Searcy: The Saddest Day

We Shall Not See His Like Again: Godspeed, El Rushbo

The Limbaugh Influence – Broadcasting’s True Revolutionary Managed to Lead to All of Us