The "Rush Limbaugh Show" says its investigation has discovered the secret behind the Stop Rush campaign that has sought to pressure the program's advertisers: it's pushed by progressive activists and even violates Twitter rules.
This May 14, 2012 file photo shows conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh speaking during a ceremony inducting him into the Hall of Famous Missourians in the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. (AP Photo/Julie Smith, File)
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently sent out a round of emails to potential donors echoing the Stop Rush group, and asking people to sign a petition to demand companies stop sponsoring the conservative talk radio program that airs from 12-3 p.m. ET on weekdays.
That group has promoted itself as grassroots consumers. However, a spokesman for the Limbaugh program said the program's own investigation found it was founded by Angelo Carusone, executive vice president of Media Matters for America.
Rush Limbaugh Show spokesperson Brian Glicklich said the investigation of the group has been going on since it began in 2012.
"Since they started, this small group of people has bullied and harassed small businesses through their petitions," Glicklich told TheBlaze. "At some point, you just have to put the facts out there."
Glicklich said he doesn't know if there is any coordination between the group and the DCCC.
Carusone, of Media Matters, contends the effort is a grassroots effort.
"Rush Limbaugh's show has reportedly lost millions of dollars in revenue for radio companies, thousands of advertisers big and small refuse to run ads on the program and radio stations are dropping the show," Carusone told TheBlaze in a statement.
Carusone further challenged the numbers.
"After initially insisting there were no troubles with advertisers, two years later Limbaugh's crisis team comes out with a report attributing this massive exodus to just 10 people?" Carusone added. "The numbers just don't add up. This is a grassroots effort that grows every day. Instead of attacking people on the internet, Limbaugh's team would better fill their role by advising their client not to excuse rape in some situations (as he did just last week). Rush Limbaugh is bad for business -- and the only thing Limbaugh has to blame for that is his own repeated conduct."
The activists have been able to make their reach look larger by using automated tweeting software, which is in violation of Twitter rules, according to a release by Limbaugh's camp. The automated tweeting software allows them to send tweets faster.
The Limbaugh show is releasing the names of those top 10 tweeters, who account for 70 percent of all tweets.
One of the top tweeters is a professor at Kent State University. Another is a contributor to the liberal blog Daily Kos.
The DCCC appeal, sent to donors already inclined to disagree with Limbaugh, included an e-mail from former Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, whom Limbaugh used a derogatory term against in 2012.
In the email Fluke said, “As a previous target of Limbaugh’s sexist attacks, take it from me: we need to stand together and call Rush out. The DCCC has a petition to tell advertisers to stop funding this repulsive commentary.”
The DCCC said “Sign your name and demand that companies pull their advertising from Rush's program.”
The DCCC reportedly surpassed their goal of 300,000 names.
The DCCC quoted Limbaugh saying, “How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that ‘no’ means ‘yes’ if you know how to spot it?”
Glicklich said the DCCC is echoing the Stop Rush with a series of emails over the past several weeks.
"What the DCCC is doing is flat out reprehensible," Glicklich said. "They are interfering with private businesses, lying about what Rush said and using violence against women to get the vote out and raise money. It is outright cynical."
(This story was updated to include a comment from Angelo Carusone.)