Limbaugh launches 'Rush Babes' campaign10:11 pm - 05/09/2012
Rush Limbaugh is fighting back against the National Organization for Women, the progressive women's group that has been targeting local advertisers and affiliates in an effort to get the conservative talk show host off the air.
On his program today, Limbaugh announced a new National Organizaion for Rush Babes "dedicated to the millions of conservative women who know what they believe in: family, American Values, and not being told by Faux Feminist Groups how to think."
"Sometime later this month the Femi-Nazis are going to be working with Media Matters for America in kicking off some giant program, some coordinated plan to have me taken off the air, under the premise that women hate this program and that this program is an unfriendly environment for women, that this program laughs at, impugns, makes fun of women," Limbaugh said during today's program. "Of course, the flaw in this is that the National Organization for Women thinking that they speak for women. If there was ever a group that speaks for an almost infinitesimal minority of women, it's them."
NOW announced the launch of the "Enough Rush" campaign on April 19 to protest his attack on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, with protests planned for at least eight cities, including Washington, D.C., and New York City. Earlier this year, NOW president Terry O'Neill called on Clear Channel to "pull the plug" on Limbaugh's program.
O'Neill was traveling by plane this afternoon and unable to comment, but a spokesperson with NOW said she would provide comment later today.
Angelo Carusone, the creator of Media Matters' "Stop Rush" campaign, cited "Rush Babes" as evidence that Limbaugh was struggling under pressure from advertisers.
"Rush Limbaugh and his crisis manager continue to claim that everything is fine and yet continue to act otherwise," he said, adding that it was "a telling coincidence that Limbaugh launched 'Rush Babes for America' on the same day that one of his affiliate providers reported millions in losses directly attributable to Limbaugh's show."
Cumulus Radio Networks CEO Lew Dickey said Monday that the advertiser boycott cost his company "a couple million" dollars in ad revenue in the first quarter and "a couple million" in the second quarter, and said 1 percent of the 3.5 percent revenue decline could be attributed to the boycott. The conservative website The Right Sphere called that 1 percent decline the equivalent of a rounding error, and dismissed Carusone's efforts as exaggeration.
"The Democrats, Media Matters, Obama, the left, the NAGs, are on this faux War on Women, where Republicans want to take away their contraception," Limbaugh said during today's program. "But I know and you know that this whole War on Women thing is a joke and a distraction, get people not paying attention to Obama's dismal economic policies and their results. And I have -- I've been tired a long time of these faux female groups which are really nothing but groups of liberals."
"The National Organization for Women is not a female organization," Limbaugh continued. "It's a liberal organization disguised as a group that's interested in the rights of women."
A source close to Limbaugh similarly described "Rush Babes" as "a way of properly characterizing NOW as not about women, but about a liberal political agenda in women's name."
"NOW does not represent millions of women, and would happily harm the huge number of women who choose to listen to Rush," the source told me.
NOW president returns fire on Limbaugh
Terry O'Neill, the president of the progressive National Organization for Women (NOW), is returning fire on conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who yesterday called her organization a "faux feminist group" and its members "femi-nazis," and launched an anti-NOW Facebook page called "National Organization for Rush Babes."
"I don't think conservative women want to associate themselves with his hate. I don't think they would want to associate themselves with his bullying," O'Neill told me this morning. "I don't think conservative women would want to associate themselves with his vitriolic attacks."
Limbuagh yesterday described National Organization for Rush Babes as an effort to counter NOW's "Enough Rush" campaign, which encourages advertisers to boycott his program. Limbaugh said NOW was wrong to think it speaks for women: "If there was ever a group that speaks for an almost infinitesimal minority of women, it's them," he said. "Rush Babes for America [is] dedicated to the millions of conservative women who know what they believe in: family, American Values, and not being told by faux feminist groups how to think."
But O'Neill said that conservative women, while they may agree with Limbaugh on matters of policy, would not support his "bullying," citing his recent attacks on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, who he referred to as a "slut" and a "prostitute."
"I think there are extraordinarily few people who agree with what he said about Sandra Fluke," she said. "I don't think women want to watch Sandra Fluke having sex in a video tape for the sexual gratification of men."
O'Neill broadened her criticism to Limbaugh's comments about other groups as well: "He says vicious, hateful thing about gay people. He says vicious, hateful things about African American people," she said.
"He just goes on the attack against anyone who, in his view, crosses him," O'Neill continued. "That's what bullies do."