It's only Tuesday, but there's already a ton of developments on the Limbaugh front. Let's begin by following the money:
- Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicates the Limbaugh show, has told its affiliate radio stations that they are suspending national advertising for two weeks (March 12/19), according to Radio-Info.com. These "barter spots" are how Premiere makes its money off of Rush Limbaugh and other shows it syndicates.
- Meantime, ThinkProgress has obtained an internal memo from Premiere listing 96 national companies that have “specifically asked” their advertisements not be played during the Rush Limbaugh Show. The advertisers have also requested to be excluded from other right-wing hosts including Michael Savage, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. The publication of the memo adds an additional 90 companies to the list of 140 companies that have dropped Limbaugh.
- A petition to have Limbaugh pulled from the Armed Forces Network has gotten the 25,000 online signatures required to get a formal response from the White House. However, it not clear whether whether there's any chance of his show actually being pulled from the military’s overseas radio network.
- Another threat to Limbaugh's show is coming from former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. He's starting up a radio program April 2 that's scheduled to be in direct competition with Limbaugh. That's expected to give Limbaugh advertisers yet another opportunity to go elsewhere.
- Probably one of the reasons Limbaugh continues to bleed advertisers is that only 29 percent of likely voters believe his apology to Fluke was sincere, according to a new Rasmussen poll.
- Fluke, who refused Limbaugh's apology, wrote an op-ed today explaining her motivations for speaking out about family planning. Without referring to Limbaugh by name, she wrote: "Attacking me and women who use contraception by calling us prostitutes and worse cannot silence us."
- However, Limbaugh continues to get a free pass from the candidates on the current GOP campaign trail. A Rick Santorum mailer sent to voters in Alabama includes a quote from Limbaugh praising the candidate.
- UPDATE: Rush said (repeated) today that Sandra Fluke is part of an Obama conspiracy.
"It's all part of a plan," Limbaugh said. "It's all orchestrated."
Sorry Rush, but Ed basically debunked this nutty right-wing conspiracy theory last Friday: