No, you didn't. Not the way you will in a minute. But first?
It's time to turn the tables.
It's time to stand up to the bullies.
It's time to Rally for Rush.
Rush Limbaugh has discussed at length -- at length -- what Sandra Fluke and her statist cronies are up to. Yes, he used the words "slut" and "prostitute" -- using the ludicrous to make his point. Ms. Fluke, in one of the most pathetic, shamelessly whining stories in recent memory, demands to be paid for her sex life because it costs $3,000 for three years of birth control while she's at law school. She demands that a Catholic university violate its fundamental right to religious liberty so she can have others pay for her sex life. So Rush asked the farcical obvious about somebody who demands that someone else pay her for her apparent, self-admitted prolific sex life. He spent two solid days relating her greed for other people's money and a lack of personal responsibility to the oldest of principles.
Right on cue, the blacklisting crowd came out of their Stalinist caves. Having driven Lou Dobbs from CNN, cut off Beck's windpipe at Fox, severed Pat Buchanan from MSNBC, thus emboldened they have now set their sights on Rush.
And Rush, threatened with his livelihood, has issued this statement:
- For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
- I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone's bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.
- My 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.
This, but of course, was not enough to satisfy. Sandra Fluke herself raced to the Ed Schultz show on MSNBC to denounce Rush. Yes, the same Ed Schulz who not long ago called conservative radio and TV commentator Laura Ingraham a "slut." And he wasn't joking either. But suddenly, Ms. Fluke simply didn't care. Why? Because this entire controversy over Rush's words was never about the actual subject. It was really about yet another drive to blacklist yet another conservative in the media.
Big mistake. Really big mistake.
Did I mention Carbonite yet? Hold on.
IN THE DAYS AFTER the death of Andrew Breitbart, perhaps the question can be phrased this way: "What would Andrew do?" Well, first, he would suggest you go to one of his sites to learn the facts -- and in this case a very interesting fact about Sandra Fluke's view of free speech. Here's the link at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government where you will find this opening in a story by Charles Johnson:
- As a student at Cornell and treasurer of a pro-choice organization at the school, Sandra Fluke, helped shut down a pro-life speech on Cornell's campus by counter protesting. She argued that a pro-life organization at Cornell was about "manipulating [students'] emotions" with misleading statistics about abortion. But when it is her turn to speak on Capitol Hill, the third-year Georgetown Law Student demands she gets her say in a hearing that has nothing to do with birth control.
Well, well, well. So Sandra Fluke has a record of denying free speech to others? In addition to giving a pass to Mr. Ed on the slut business? Free speech for Sandra Fluke but not Rush Limbaugh or those pro-lifers at Cornell? Interesting, yes? Hypocritical and thuggish, definitely. She also walked out in protest of the congressional hearing where supporters of religious liberty were allowed to speak. It turns out, as reported here, that Fluke is no struggling law student -- she's already a professional far-left genderist, long deeply into the leftist scam of judging others by skin color or gender.
We all know the answer as to what Andrew Breitbart would do in this situation. He would stand up to the bullies.
So buckle in. And when you are finished reading -- don't sit there pondering. Stand up. Do something. And yes…. I will have suggestions as to exactly what you can do to Rally for Rush.
As a matter of fact, let's start right there. Let's start with what you can do right now.
First, read this story from the Friday Huffington Post. [ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/rush-limbaugh-sleep-train-sandra-fluke-slut_n_1315900.html?ref=mostpopular ] It provides a snapshot of what's going on in the effort to intimidate Rush Limbaugh -- and in so doing intimidate the rest of us.
Now take a look at this story from Politico from January 12 of this year. [http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71385.html] That's right, the one that begins this way:
- Conservatives continue to make up the largest segment of political views in the country, outnumbering liberals nearly two-to-one, according to a new poll Thursday.
- The Gallup survey found that 40 percent of Americans consider themselves conservative; 35 percent consider themselves moderate; and 21 percent see themselves as liberal. The figures did not change from 2010.
You with me? Conservatives outnumber the left in this country by two-to-one. If you add in moderates, that means 75 percent of the American people do not identify with the kind of people these sponsors are so publicly trying to appease.
So let's start with that recognition as we go through the list of sponsors who are buckling to left-wing bullies. Caving in to thugs who claim to represent a mere 20 percent of the American public. Caving in to fanatics who, unable to sell their ideas by beating Rush Limbaugh in the ratings, seek to drive him from the air, wreck his career -- and most importantly, attempt to intimidate the 40 percent of the American people who self-identify as conservatives. Not to mention the other 35 percent who, as self-defined "moderates," surely don't support left-wing extremists who wish to shut down free speech. To shut us -- their various customers -- up.
These sponsors are:
So also in The Huffington Post story is a tweet from Pro Flowers saying they will "reevaluate their marketing plan." They have now done so, and, as seen here, become the seventh sponsor to withdraw from Rush's show. [Ed. Note: The number of sponsors either terminating or suspending advertising is now over 24, though many are local market advertisers]
So what we have are seven intimidated ex-sponsors.
Perhaps it's time to confront every last one of them with a taste of their own medicine. Here's their information.
• Sleep Train: This gutless company says it has been advertising with Rush for 25 years. They should be ashamed of themselves. Absolutely ashamed. The founder of Sleep Mattress is Dale Carlsen.
Mr. Carlsen may be the salt of the earth, but he is about to give his employee-owned company and his employees an enormous, self-inflicted black-eye. Here's the information you need to reach Dale Carlsen.
This is the e-mail for Sleep Train's customer service: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the 800 phone number for Sleep Train: 1-800-919-2337
This is the 800 fax number for Sleep Train: 1-866-293-5719
This is the snail mail address for Sleep Train:
Sleep Train Mattress Centers
2204 Plaza Drive
Rocklin, CA 95765
• Sleep Number: The President and CEO of Sleep Number is Bill McLaughlin. This company has contact through an e-mail form they provide here. [http://www.sleepnumber.com/eng/aboutUs/redirect.cfm?sectionID=contact/contact.cfm]
More about McLaughlin in a minute.
• Legal Zoom: The Co-founders of this company are Brian Liu, Brian Lee, Eddie Hartman & Robert Shapiro. Again, more on these guys below. The contact info for Legal Zoom is as follows:
The address for e-mails is http://legalzoom.force.com/LZWTC
The Corporate Headquarters phone number is: 1-323-962-8600. The fax number is: 323-962-8300
The Corporate Headquarters snail mail address is:
101 N. Brand Blvd., 11th Floor
Glendale, CA 91203
• Citrix: Mark B. Templeton is the President and CEO, his bio here.
The contact info for the Citrix Corporate Headquarters is: [http://www.citrix.com/lang/English/lp/lp_2315837.asp?ntref=footer ]
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-424-8749
Citrix Systems Fort Lauderdale
851 West Cypress Creek Road
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
• Quicken Loans: Quicken, under the leadership of its Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert [ http://www.quickenloans.com/press-room/leadership-team/dan-gilbert ] has gone the extra mile to antagonize the 40 percent. It has this statement on its website:
- Due to Rush Limbaugh's continued inflammatory comments -- along with the valued feedback we have received from our clients and team members -- Quicken Loans has suspended all advertising on the Rush Limbaugh radio program."
Note: Quicken is so skittish the above message appears for mere seconds before vanishing. It took repeated tries to copy verbatim the simple, highly provocative message above.
The Quicken contact info is found on this page of their website. [http://www.quickenloans.com/about/contact ] Note: The company has an online chat function on this page. Also:
Phone, Client Relations: 1-800- 863-4332
Snail Mail Address:
Quicken Loans - Main Office – Compuware
1050 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226
• Second last on the list is Pro-Flowers. Their contact info is here. [http://www.proflowers.com/ContactUs.aspx ]
• Carbonite: OK. Now we'll talk Carbonite. And about Mr. McLaughlin of Sleep Number. And two of the co-founders of Legal Zoom.
Carbonite's statement was especially and curiously unctuous, its withdrawal of sponsorship coming as it did after Rush's apology. Here is Carbonite's CEO David Friend:
- No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show.
Mr. Friend added:
- We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.
Now. Carbonite really deserves some special attention.
David Friend is making his attack on Rush sound like he's one upset a friend with a couple of nice young daughters. And oh, yes, he wants a "more civilized public discourse."
Is that all there is to Mr. Friend? Quite aside that he gives a pass to Sandra Fluke for her obnoxiously intolerant behavior when it comes to the free speech of others, is there anything else going on here?
Yes. Of course.
Take a look here [http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=4249346 ] This is a link to Bloomberg/Business Week which profiles Mr. Friend and affirms him as "General Partner" of an investment group called "Orchid Partners" in Boston, Massachusetts. And Orchid Partners? Yes indeed, they are the venture capital firm behind… Carbonite.
Where Mr. Friend is listed as "Co-Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President."
So when you cross check Mr. David Friend of Orchid Partners in Boston with the Federal Election Commission, one finds -- ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh shocker!……… that a Mr. David Friend of Orchid Partners in Boston has been a contributor to… ready? Here's the list of just where David Friend spends his political money:
MoveOn.org, America Coming Together and Democracy for America, all three listed here [http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/GEORGE%20SOROS'%20WEB%20OF%20OBSTRUCTION.htm ] as George Soros funded groups, the latter set up by Howard Dean. Texans for Truth also drew Mr. Friend's support. This group, according to Wikipedia, was set up by MoveOn.org spin-off Drive Democracy.org in 2004. Why? To… wait for it… challenge then-President Bush's service in the Texas National Guard. The precise same stunt for which CBS fired Dan Rather after documents were discovered to have been forged. The Bush-Cheney campaign said of Texans for Truth that it was "a smear group launching baseless attacks on behalf of John Kerry's campaign that will be rejected by the American people." They were. But that didn't quench Mr. Friend's affection for either the smear campaign or supporting leftist candidates such as Howard Dean, and John Kerry.
And get a load of this - listen right here at the Ed "Laura Ingraham is a slut" Schultz's site for his radio show.
Who is listed as a Schultz sponsor? That's right: Carbonite. Like Rush Limbaugh, Ed Schultz apologized. The difference? If Rush uses the word "slut" to illustrate the absurdity of the left-wing Sandra Fluke's views -- David Friend is outraged. But when Ed Schultz refers in hostile fashion out of the blue to conservative and Catholic Laura Ingraham as a "slut" -- hey, no big deal for Carbonite.
In other words, to put it politely, Mr. Friend's woe-is-me I'm-withdrawing-my-company's sponsorship-from-Rush Limbaugh-because of-my-lovely-daughters is as close to certifiable BS as one can imagine. Mr. Friend, one can only suspect, placed Carbonite's ads with Rush Limbaugh because he knew it would make him money -- which he obviously then funneled to MoveOn and the rest. Meanwhile, he keeps advertising on the Ed Slut Show… sorry… Ed Schultz Show. His daughters? His daughters? What a deeply cynical man.
Not to mention Friend's chutzpah calling for a "more civilized public discourse" when he is busy contributing to MoveOn.org, the self-same group that put together this charming video comparing George W. Bush to Hitler. Not to mention MoveOn's "Bush Lied" routine. This is pathetic.
And oh yes, Mr. Friend isn't the only Rush-drop out whose leftist connections are suspect in this episode. Sleep Number's CEO Bill McLaughlin, Sleep Number being a product of a company called Select Comforter? That appears to be the same "William McLaughlin" who identified himself to the FEC as being with Select Comforter of Minneapolis -- when he contributed to the same Soros-funded "America Coming Together" as Mr. Friend.
And how about two of the four guys running Legal Zoom? Mr. Brian Liu is recorded as giving tens of thousands of dollars to two Obama campaign outlets, including the Obama Victory Fund 2012. Brian Lee gives his bucks to the Democratic National Committee Services Corporation. Did I mention Mark Templeton of Citrix gave Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign $2,300?
Here is Carbonite's contact info, not that it will do you any good. [http://www.carbonite.com/en/about/contact-us]
• Last on the list is the newly added Pro-Flowers. Their contact info is here. [http://www.proflowers.com/ContactUs.aspx ] And yes, you got it. Founded by a now Democratic congressman, Jared Polis, the company is currently owned by Provide Commerce, itself owned by Liberty Media. Provide Commerce's CEO William Strauss is a contributor to the Pro-Flowers founder, the Democrat Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado.
NOW, LET'S UNDERSTAND a few things here. Let's pull back the curtain and see what's really going on.
Remember the recent spate of stories on Media Matters from Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller?
The first one found here. [HERE] To summarize, the Daily Caller discovered the leftist Media Matters, along with other leftist groups, had engaged in an intense behind the scenes campaign to fire Don Imus, at one point employing some fifty people in the effort, while Media Matters head David Brock "personally called the heads of various liberal activist groups to coordinate a message. By the end of the week, Imus was fired."
Writes the DC:
- Media Matters soon became more sophisticated in its campaigns against non-liberal cable news anchors. Lou Dobbs, then of CNN, was a frequent target.
- "As part of the Drop Dobbs campaign," explains one internal memo prepared for fundraising, "Media Matters produced and was prepared to run an advertisement against Ford Motor Company on Spanish Language stations in Houston, San Antonio, and other cities targeting its top selling product, pick-up trucks, in its top truck buying markets."
- Ford pulled its advertising from Dobbs's program before the television ad aired, but Media Matters kept up its efforts, working primarily with Alex Nogales of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and with the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and other self-described civil rights groups.
- In November of 2009, Dobbs left CNN. "We got him fired," says one staffer flatly.
- Certainly Media Matters deserves a lot of credit for the work they did," Nogales said in an interview. "They're very effective."
- Glenn Beck, the former Fox News Channel host, drew the ire of a wide spectrum of liberal groups while his program aired nationally. But according to several people who watched the process from the inside, it was Media Matters that orchestrated much of the opposition to Beck
- "We called it 'fingerprint coverage,'" explains one former staffer, "where you know it was the result of your work." As an example, he cites the left-wing group Color of Change, co-founded by the controversial former White House "green jobs" czar Van Jones, which received much of the credit for pressuring advertisers to drop their sponsorship of Beck's show. But in fact, he says, Media Matters developed the campaign that cowed Beck's sponsors.
DO YOU GET the picture? The American Left -- whether it pops up in the form of Media Matters, Color of Change, MoveOn.org, Texans for Truth or other groups -- is determined to shut off conservative dissent from their agenda by whatever means necessary. Fueled in part by money like that they received from David Friend of Carbonite. To do this they are quite specifically going after conservative talk radio hosts and television commentators one by one by one. The fact that David Friend of MoveOn.org/Carbonite is there to stick it to Rush is all the better. The fact that Ed Schulz called Laura Ingraham a slut is one big no-big-deal to Sandra Fluke herself when she wants air time on with Mr. Ed. Why should David Friend care if Ms. Fluke doesn't? So, Carbonite continues as Mr. Ed's sponsor, sluts be damned.
As noted earlier, what began with Don Imus, Lou Dobbs, and Glenn Beck has just hit Pat Buchanan.
Now, they want Rush's scalp. So all these companies are bleating about angry customers demanding they stop sponsoring Rush? Mr. Friend of Carbonite has the gall to lay off his decision on his daughters when he's a card carrying leftist who gives the slut business the brush-off when it's Ed Schultz?? Are these people (other than Carbonite, whose CEO manifestly appears to have an agenda) really that professionally incompetent as a company that they don't understand what the Daily Caller story was saying?
Are they really, seriously that clueless when there is a very detailed story out there X-raying in graphic detail just how this anti-free speech game is played? Fifty people assigned just to get Don Imus alone? The head of Media Matters personally calling "the heads of various liberal activist groups to coordinate a message" to fire Imus -- having the job done within a week? What don't these sponsors understand when a left-wing radical activist crows that "we" got Lou Dobbs fired? What don't they understand about "fingerprint coverage" designed to fire prominent conservatives?
Are these sponsors really that stupid that they aren't aware they are being played for suckers by leftist radicals? Or, in fact, like David Friend and Carbonite, are they shadowy, behind-the-scenes participants?
Once upon a time -- in 1962 when Ronald Reagan was the host of General Electric Theater on CBS -- there was a call for Reagan's scalp for the same reason. The Left didn't like what he was saying. In fact, Michael Reagan once wrote about the day GE fired his Dad for speaking what we now call truth to power. Wrote son Michael Reagan of his Dad's encounter with saying the politically incorrect:
- General Electric wants us to feel warm and fuzzy every time we screw in a GE made-in-China twisty light. But I haven't felt warm and fuzzy toward GE since that day in 1962 when Dad came home and told us he had just been fired by GE and his show, "General Electric Theater," was canceled.
- Dad explained that CBS hadn't canceled the highly rated show. Instead, GE had pulled the plug. As the company was negotiating some government contracts, Bobby Kennedy, the attorney general of the United States, bluntly informed GE that if the company wished to do business with the U.S. government, it would get rid of "General Electric Theater" and fire the host.
- Dad had criticized the Kennedy administration in some of his speeches, and the administration fought back through the president's brother. Within 48 hours of Bobby Kennedy's call, Ronald Reagan was out of a job.
Ronald Reagan in 1962. Rush Limbaugh fifty years later in 2012. The left never changes.
But conservatives have changed in those last fifty years. In his last speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) just weeks ago, Andrew Breitbart stood at the podium and said: "Conservatives used to take it and we're not taking it anymore."
There isn't going to be any of this intimidation anymore.
Conservatives are the majority in this country politically. No longer are they required to sit meekly, just take it and shut up. Rush Limbaugh's audience doesn't have to put up with this garbage as conservatives of an earlier era once did.
Make no mistake. The question is now on the table: should the sponsors who allow themselves to be intimidated by these bullies into attacking Rush Limbaugh deserve commercial support from conservatives? Some are doubtless sponsors of other conservative shows. Carbonite is now instantly revealed by its own CEO as being a cynical player of a double game -- funding left wing groups who participate in blacklisting campaigns, giving a pass to lefty Ed Schultz for using the exact word as Rush, then helping from the inside and laying the blame for withdrawing Carbonite's ads from Rush on his daughters. But clearly, if they are abandoning Rush Limbaugh, this serves as an implied threat to every talk radio host in the land who has these companies as sponsors. By doing what they have now done, these one-time sponsors of Rush Limbaugh's show have now startlingly indicated that they are signing on with anti-First Amendment thugs.
How does the far left play this blacklisting game? They exploit race and gender to try and destroy First Amendment protections. People who support a philosophy long on record as supporting every racial gambit from slavery, segregation, lynching and the Ku Klux Klan right on through to the violation of voting rights by the Black Panthers, racial quotas and illegal immigration have no scruples. Genderism, as Sandra Fluke demonstrates anew, is not about individuals, it's about the left's concept of one gender. And, as Ed Schultz's slut comment about Ingraham demonstrated, if you don't fit that profile well -- you're a slut.
No one disputes the right of any would-be sponsor to choose where they place their advertising dollars. That simply isn't the question.
The question is: do these sponsors listed above, all willing participants in this thuggish behavior, understand that they are going out of their way to self-identify with those who have quite effectively demonstrated themselves to be anti-free speech thugs?
Do they understand that they are, with enormous effectiveness, voluntarily identifying themselves as peddlers not of mattresses, legal services, high tech gizmos, mortgages, computer back-ups or flowers -- but radical left wing politics designed to deliberately blacklist, insult, target and shut down the free speech of 40 percent of the American people? Their own customers? And that in some cases the people engaged in these efforts use their addiction to skin colorism or judging by gender to do these things? Clearly David Friend does believe this or he wouldn't be supporting MoveOn.org and Ed "The Slut" Schultz -- but the rest? (Note: Another Mr. Ed sponsor? That would be ESPN -- which forced Rush out after he suggested Donovan McNabb wasn't that great of a quarterback but the press covered for him because of his skin color. Apparently ESPN doesn't care about Schultz's slut problem either. Yet another double-standard.)
Do these companies understand that the message they are sending to every single Rush Limbaugh listener is that they are going to play hard ball with their own conservative customers?
If so, why in the world should any conservative -- part of that two-to-one 40 percent identified by the Gallup Poll -- ever in a million years want to buy a product from these people? .
AND LAST BUT not least: Rush Limbaugh, now a very familiar figure on the American political scene, is one of the most decent human beings on the planet. He is well known to his listeners. There is zero need here to say a word about this man's character, his endless devotion to charitable causes, his staunch support for the American men and women in the military, and much more. The mindless treatment these sponsors are engaged in with this man is shameful. Disgraceful.
So. Let's note carefully. This is exactly the moment where a talk radio host -- this one the most prominent in the land -- needs help from his longtime listeners, fans and friends. For the record, it's safe to say I have not contacted Mr. Limbaugh or sought him out for contact on this story. He will be reading this for the first time.
As this Rush-drama unfolded over the weekend I had an over-the-Internet-transom e-mail from a woman identifying herself as a "Rush Fan -- Ellie from Akron." Said Ellie: "We all need to stick by Rush in this latest assault by the attack dog media…. how many of these cowardly, so-called 'indignant' sponsors deserting him now, came to Rush's defense 3 years ago when the NFL, CNN, ESPN were calling him a racist simply because he wanted to be part owner of a pro-football team." Excellent question, Ellie from Akron.
It's time to fight back.
To take on Sleep Mattress, Sleep Number, Legal Zoom, Citrix, Quicken Loans, Carbonite and, now that they've caved, Pro-Flowers. And anybody else who wants to play this disgraceful blacklisting game with their customers.
To expose the hypocrisy and double standards. To make it crystal clear that that those who sell out our First Amendment rights to far left radicals are in fact going to be actively perceived as collaborating in a deliberate attack on their customers, real and potential.
It's time to stand up for free speech. To draw a line in the sand. And let these companies know that the blacklisting line stops with Rush.
It's time -- way past time -- to stand up to the blacklisting free speech bullies. By phone. By e-mail. Twitter, snail mail or whatever.
But however you do it?
It's time to Rally for Rush.
Jeffrey Lord, writing for The American Spectator: