Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 05:04 PM
By Cathy Burke
The Rush Limbaugh Show" on Wednesday accused a "small number of hardcore political activists" and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee of being behind a two-year-old Stop Rush protest that amounts to "blackmail" of small business people who advertise with the high-profile conservative talk-show host.
In a release issued on Businesswire.com, Limbaugh’s show fired back at the smear campaign against him: “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s newest email spam, asking their recipients to sign a petition calling for sponsors to end their relationship with The Rush Limbaugh Show, is based on the two-year old Stop Rush political protest as its inspiration. After an investigation, The Rush Limbaugh Show has discovered a far darker story to Stop Rush, and is today releasing the hidden story of the people and motives behind the Stop Rush conspiracy.”
Limbaugh show spokesman Brian Glicklich said in a post on the show's website that "a small number of politically motivated out-of-state activists are distributing target lists indiscriminately, and annoying small businesses until they give up the advertising deals that help them grow, or risk being unable to conduct business at all."
"It's not even activism … it's blackmail," he said.
The Limbaugh show's website called the number of people behind the protest "remarkably tiny," alleging just 10 Twitter users account for almost 70 percent of all Stop Rush tweets to advertisers, "amplified by illicit software."
"[T]hese activists are not and never would have been customers … their only role is to harass small businesses in an attempt to interfere with their operations, as long as they are advertising with Rush," the website story charged.
According to "The Rush Limbaugh Show," the anti-Limbaugh move uses automated tweeting software that lets users blast out tweets faster than someone writing their own posts.
The show charges the use of such equipment violates Twitter rules.
"They send barrages of thousands of messages through this software until advertisers are bullied and harassed into cancellation," the show said.
Despite claims that a significant grassroots movement opposes Limbaugh and his show advertisers, Limbaugh’s team says it’s a sham.
“These activists have long operated in secret and anonymously," the show says. But now, The Rush Limbaugh Show has the results of an investigation that names the people tweeting, facebooking, and emailing small businesses with harassing and bullying messages over and over until they surrender. These activists have long operated in secret and anonymously, the show says. But now, The Rush Limbaugh Show has the results of an investigation that names the people tweeting, facebooking, and emailing small businesses with harassing and bullying messages over and over until they surrender.”
The list of people the show accused of being behind the movement includes a professor at Kent State University, who allegedly uses her official email account to hound advertisers, the show said.
But the man behind the movement, it maintains, is Media Matters for America executive vice president Angelo Carusone, who was interviewed in the Village Voice about the protest that initially targeted conservative talk-show host Glenn Beck, and then took on Limbaugh two years ago.
"I believe persistence pays off," Carusone told the Voice about his Stop Beck effort. "… it was effective every day, because we attached real financial consequences to what he was doing."