Whoopi Goldberg: "If you don't like something that somebody is saying, you have the right to protest. But to take away their livelihood, I think is not the right way to go."I could go on. You've seen others yourself.
Sarah Palin: “I think the definition of hypocrisy is for Rush Limbaugh to have been called out, forced to apologize and retract what it is he said in exercising his first amendment rights . . ."
Bill Maher: “I don’t like it that people are made to disappear when they say something, or people try to make them disappear when they say something you don’t like. That’s America. Sometimes you’re made to feel uncomfortable, okay?”
Some have said the threatened boycott of advertisers' products if they don't pull their ads has put a chill on our right of free speech. FREE speech? See there's the thing. Rush Limbaugh's speech happens to be PAID speech. Advertisers pay handsomely to have spots aired on his program. In turn advertisers get to reach his audience and influence them to buy products. If the advertising is not effective, advertisers will not pay to advertise and Rush will not get paid either. That's a free market thing not a free speech thing. Two totally different things.
So if advertisers fear that sponsoring Rush's program will cause them to lose business, it's nothing more than a business decision to pull those ads. As consumers, we vote with our pocketbooks and we have a powerful voice when we choose to use it.
Rush Limbaugh is a commodity. He puts on a deliberately outrageous and provocative program that some like and some hate. As his popularity grew, his ability to charge more for advertising grew, too. But when he went too far and people said they'd had enough, his ability to get advertising changed. These are market forces we all understand in a capitalistic system. It didn't happen over night either. Rush has been rude and crude for a long, long time. But the Sandra Fluke three-day attack was the last straw and it broke him.
No-one is stopping Rush from saying what he wants to say. He has all the rights we all have to FREE speech. But if he wants to get paid to speak, he may just have to finally learn some manners.
I'm not predicting he will go away any time soon. In fact, I've no doubt he will find new advertisers who appeal to his very specific demographic. But we have sent a message to him and to all talk show personalities. You may think you are just exercising your free speech when you blather on without a thought for the consequences, but think again. You are working for the consuming American public, and as a group we are powerful and we will make our wishes known.