EXCLUSIVE: Rush Fires Back at Advertiser

Today, The Rush Limbaugh Show rejected an overture from Sleep Train President Dale Carlsen to restart its advertising on the show, a week after Sleep Train pulled its advertising. Here’s the text of the letter:

Re: The Rush Limbaugh Show & Your Request

Dear Mr. Carlsen,

Thank you for your requests last week and this week to restart your voiced endorsement in local markets of The Rush Limbaugh Show. Rush received your requests personally.

Unfortunately, your public comments were not well received by our audience, and did not accurately portray either Rush Limbaugh's character or the intent of his remarks. Thus, we regret to inform you that Rush will be unable to endorse Sleep Train in the future.

Rush appreciates your long friendship and your past support, and we wish you good luck in the future.

Brian Glicklich

The Rush Limbaugh Show

Last week, Carlsen’s company publicly denounced Limbaugh over his comments – for which he apologized – labeling Sandra Fluke a “slut.” Sleep Train tweeted, “We don’t condone negative comments directed toward any group. In response, we are currently pulling our ads from Rush with Rush Limbaugh.” Sleep Train, as a company, was made by its advertising campaign on Limbaugh, as Carlsen acknowledged in 2006: “The ad guy said, 'Now he's a little bit controversial, but he needs a bed, would you take care of him?’ I needed every sale that I could get at that time, so I said, 'Yeah, bring him in and I'll take care of him.'”

While the Media Matters strategy seems to be to continue to assault Rush by pressuring his advertisers – even after the apology – they’re bound to fail. Limbaugh is clearly operating from a position of strength. You can bet that Sleep Train will lose a lot of potential customers over this. Perhaps they can sue Media Matters for its terrible strategy here.


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