Revealed: Media Matters Operative Behind Rush Limbaugh ‘Advertiser Boycott’

Media Matters' Angelo Carusone

Left-wing activists have been gleefully pushing the story that Rush Limbaugh has been supposedly losing advertisers ever since Limbaugh called contraception mandate advocate Sandra Fluke a “slut” on radio. But was this loss of advertisers really a reaction to genuine public outrage, or a coordinated plan waiting to be executed the instant Rush said anything remotely controversial? New evidence unearthed by Alana Goodman of Commentary Magazine and William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection suggests that the latter was definitely the case.

Specifically, Jacobson and Goodman finger Media Matters for America as the culprits behind the “advertiser boycott” on Limbaugh’s show. Their evidence is an interview with Media Matters’ Director of Online Strategy, Angelo Carusone, published in the Village Voice. Carusone has a rap sheet that many of our readers will be familiar with in a different context — he’s also behind the supposed “advertiser boycott” of Glenn Beck! Here’s Carusone in his own words on that topic:

I was trying to figure out what I was going to do, and for me, it became clear that things were pretty messed up. Our policies are messed up, and didn’t think the conversation around them was going well. I started looking at the irresponsible, reckless pillars of the media. Beck represented the worst of them at the time. He was extremely reckless, and illustrated the very worst of the media abdicating their responsibility. That’s why I picked him as a first target. Things for him turned out to be bad business. I think people should have opinions, and express them passionately, but there is a responsible way of doing that. He was being completely irresponsible, and that’s why I started Stop Beck, in July of 2009.

And Carusone didn’t stop with Beck. Again, in his own words, here’s where the Limbaugh “boycott” originated:

Stop Rush, I initially rolled it out in late 2009 and early 2010. At the time, the Beck work was doing well. I thought that in dealing with advertisers, some really appreciated being educated about where their ads were running. The ad market took care of this. The word “boycott,” it’s very rare that I called for a boycott or attacked a company. For the most part, I let advertisers know where there money was being spent, where it was going, and what it was helping. They made the decision themselves.[…]

Rush had spent three full days digging in. I started talking to advertisers on Thursday, and got a lot of feedback on Friday, and I knew a lot of movement was taking place. This was important to think about from a business perspective. The very clearest example was when Carbonite came out on Saturday night. That was significant because they had been one of his biggest advertisers, and they announced their drop after the so called apology. They said the apology didn’t matter. Rush had exposed himself as too volatile to do business with.

And lest you think Carusone has no more projects to push out, don’t be so sure. Moonbattery reports that he has similar hit jobs waiting in the wings to be used on Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity and…CNN? Oh, and apparently Joe Scarborough owes Carusone an ‘apology’ for saying he wants government to stay out of marriage because it’s none of their business. Read the reasoning below:

First, sorry dude but the entire point is that my fellow queer Americans and I are prohibited from marrying who we want. Joe’s response here is so dismissive that it’s an insult. It’s one thing to oppose marriage equality. But, Joe is pretending that such opposition doesn’t have any effect at all. It does. If you’re going to take this position at least have the decency to acknowledge its effects on your fellow citizens.

Joe’s position is sort of like telling a woman during the suffrage movement that she should just vote. Even though she couldn’tjust vote because the law and opponents of suffrage wouldn’t allow her.

Second, Joe wants “the Feds out of gay marriage.” This is odious subterfuge, plain and simple. While a member of Congress, Joe supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Now, before you say ‘but Bill Clinton signed it and lots of people voted for it‘ – consider this: Bill Clinton and those that voted for it aren’t willfully ignoring the existence and effects of DOMA.

Odd choice of targets, perhaps. But Carusone is clearly going to be a dangerous force for conservative voices in the days to come.