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Amid Social-Media-Fueled Furor, AOL Pulls Ads from Limbaugh's Radio Show

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, March 5 2012

AOL has become the eighth company to pull its advertising from Rush Limbaugh's radio show over his remarks directed to a Georgetown University Law Student over her testimony to Congress in support of coverage of contraception. As with the companies that previously announced removal of their support, AOL has been under pressure through critical social media reactions, and announced its decision using that medium as well.

As the uproar over Limbaugh's comments began to gather steam, several websites began listing his sponsors even though there was some confusion over which companies were in fact sponsors of his show, as the New York Times also noted. ThinkProgress has been keeping a running tally of which companies have not yet responded to protests, as well as reactions by targeted companies on Twitter, using Storify. As the Huffington Post noted, Reddit users began an effort to persuade Limbaugh advertisers to withdraw their ad dollars. In addition to several Facebook pages and the Twitter feed @StopRush, Left Action, Credo action and Sum of Us organized petitions targeting his advertisers in general, and in the latter case, AOL in particular. Shoq, the pseudonymous liberal blogger, has created a spreadsheet in an attempt to list all the various anti-Limbaugh efforts.

AOL announced it was withdrawing its advertising on Twitter and on Facebook, where it also posted a link to its post about the move today as a response to each of several comments that called on AOL to withdraw its advertising from Limbaugh.

AOL's statement reads: "At AOL one of our core values is that we act with integrity. We have monitored the unfolding events and have determined that Mr. Limbaugh’s comments are not in line with our values. As a result we have made the decision to suspend advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Radio show."

Limbaugh created this uproar last week when, after Georgetown Law School student Sandra Fluke was denied the chance to testify before one congressional hearing on employer-provided health care coverage of contraception and later made good on another, he called her a "slut" and a "prostitute" on his program, drawing criticism from the left and right alike. Limbaugh has since apologized more than once on his program, saying his words were "beneath him."