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Limbaugh Says Business Is Fine; Maybe 28 Of 18,000 Advertisers Have Left

Things are fine, Limbaugh says. (January 2010 file photo.)
Ethan Miller
Getty Images
Things are fine, Limbaugh says. (January 2010 file photo.)

Saying that "everything is fine on the business side" and that the number of advertisers who have left his show is akin to "losing a couple of french fries in the container when it's delivered to you at the drive-thru," conservative radio broadcaster Rush Limbaugh today took time to clear up what he says has been "misinformation" about the repercussions from his recent comments about Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke.

In case you need a reminder, Limbaugh called Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" because of her support during Congressional testimony for the Obama administration's policy mandating that most employer-provided health insurance plans cover women's contraception costs.

After much outrage from critics and some who are normally his supporters, Limbaugh apologized. Meanwhile, some companies started to announce they were pulling their ads from his show.

On his show today, Limbaugh disputed reports that he has lost 28 sponsors. But even if that figure were correct, he said:

"Sponsors of our program are both nationwide companies, like Two If By Tea (my tea company), and local companies, like 'Mike's Auto Body Repair' or a local bank. If we added up all of our affiliates (let's choose the number 600) and we assumed that each of those affiliates had 30 such sponsors in the course of our three-hour program, there might be — all across this country — as many as 18,000 different sponsors of this program. Let me put it another way: There might be 18,000 different people buying advertising within this program alone."

Hence, the french fries analogy.

Limbaugh also said "three brand-new sponsors ... will be starting in the next two weeks" and that "two of the sponsors who have canceled have asked to return." He declined to name them.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.