AOL drops Limbaugh over 'slut' comments

The move comes amid growing criticism of talk show host's comments, his half-hearted apology and a weekend of grousing over the Internet.

Rush Limbaugh may own the talk radio airwaves, but he's clearly losing the PR battle against critics who mobilized over the Internet after the host repeatedly described a Georgetown law student as a "slut" and a "prostitute."

On Monday, AOL became the eighth advertiser to suspend sponsor support for Limbaugh's daily talk show program. The others include Sleep Number, Sleep Train, Quicken Loans, Legal Zoom, Citrix, Carbonite, and ProFlowers.

"At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity," the company said in a statement on its Facebook page. "We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh's comments are not in line with our values. As a result we have made the decision to suspend advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Radio show."

A spokeswoman for AOL was not immediately available for comment.

Limbaugh made his original comment last week after the Georgetown student, Sandra Fluke, testified before congressional Democrats to support federal rules that would require employers to cover contraceptives. That led to a groundswell of criticism on social media channels over the weekend with calls for advertiser boycotts.

On Saturday, Limbaugh issued a statement on his website where he acknowledged that his "choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

During his Monday broadcast, Limbaugh took a harder line against the advertisers who left his show:

Advertisers who have split the scene have done very well due to their access to you, my audience, from this program. To offer their products and services to you through this venue is the best opportunity that they have ever had to advertise their wares. Now they've chosen to deny themselves that access, and that's a business decision, and it's theirs alone to make. They've decided they don't want you or your business anymore. So be it.

 

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