In a misguided effort to finally rub out the social media movement that has dogged his friend Rush Limbaugh since 2012, former Premiere Radio Networks vice president Brian Glicklich has published a list of ten names and email addresses of StopRush activists. His purposes are (A) to fill the right wing echo chamber with his imaginary “good news” that StopRush is just a tiny clique of haters organized by a sinister conspiracy, and (B) try frightening activists into silence with crowdsourced threats and intimidation.
He will fail on both counts.
The fact that most of the activists identified are women is just a bonus for Glicklich, who insists that Limbaugh is the victim of a smear campaign organized by Media Matters, and not really a flaming misogynist and racist after all. Because when Limbaugh says that women who say ‘no’ really mean ‘yes‘, we’re just taking his words out of context. See how that works?
When Rush Limbaugh first called Sandra Fluke a “slut” on March 3, 2012, a social media groundswell sought to translate their outrage into action. Right away, they found a couple of competing anti-Limbaugh campaigns already in place. One was the Flush Rush group on Facebook, which boasts more than 20,000 members today. Another was @StopRush, a dormant project of Angelo Carusone that actually predates his work for Media Matters. In addition to other, smaller groups, they all adopted the #StopRush hashtag as an organizing umbrella on Twitter, but retained their distinctive identities elsewhere. None of them felt or observed any kind of ‘central leadership’ from anywhere.
No one needed to tell us what to do, either. Like the waitress who gave Limbaugh’s hefty tip to charity, our natural disgust for his defamation and smears was more than enough to energize us into action. When the DCCC recently put up a petition to his advertisers, it got 300,000 signatures. No one has to pretend to be angry at Rush Limbaugh. No one needs any encouragement or inducement to want to see him diminished. I know because I was there when StopRush happened, and saw how we reached critical mass once Limbaugh pretended to apologize to Fluke.
Stricken immediately by lost advertisers, Limbaugh brought on Glicklich to try and manage the crisis about five days after his “slut” rant. Right off the bat, Glicklich offered his friend terrible advice, especially about social media. For instance, Limbaugh tried to repair his image on Twitter by using sockpuppets, and when that didn’t work Glicklich tried buying Facebook ‘likes’ from India. So when Glicklich calls StopRush “astroturf,” he’s psychologically projecting his own failed social media efforts on the thousands of activists who have given him such tremendous butthurt over the last two and a half years.
And make no mistake, many thousands of people have taken part in StopRush since 2012. As a result, the artificially-inflated cultural value of Limbaugh has been severely diminished. His show has been sinking in the ratings — while the stations that play him sink in the rankings. To some extent, this is because Limbaugh’s asinine, bigoted statements keep getting worse all the time in a desperate bid for relevance, while his key demographic (older white males looking for affirmation of their hateful attitudes) is dying off.
But it’s also because of our efforts, which is why Glicklich is so desperate to smear us.
I’m not going to bother with a point-by-point rebuttal of Glicklich’s claims, which have already been echoed credulously by birther website World Net Daily. I’ll simply point out that the #StopRush formula includes entire groups of people for whom Glicklich has not accounted in his conspiracy theory.
For example, volunteers living in radio markets around the country listen to Limbaugh’s show to keep the database of current advertisers updated. A separate cadre of volunteers contacts the advertisers — mostly by phone, or email, but also online. This includes Twitter, but most of our social media activity has always taken place on Facebook.
Of course, when liberals reach out to a company and ask them to divest from Rush’s hate-radio show, Glicklich calls it “harassment.” Apparently, corporations aren’t just people, they’re people who are better than you, and that you’re not supposed to address without Glicklich’s permission. He has so far failed to present a single actual example of a StopRush volunteer being disrespectful to any business during contact, but that complete absence of evidence has not stopped him from calling our contacts “harassment.”
Most StopRush Twitter users who once took part in regular ‘Twitter bombs’ have since lapsed and gone on to other causes — for as is normal with social movements, our success has ironically led to diminished interest over time. And frankly, we found long ago that Twitter is ineffective for putting actual pressure on advertisers, so it has mainly served as a way for us to vent in public. Glicklich has presented a dishonest and misleading list of the ten most active #StopRush Twitter users right now and would like you to believe that this represents the true size of the movement in the past.
If his goal was to introduce us to Limbaugh’s fans, who are such wonderful people, Glicklich need not have bothered. For example, if you Google “Rush Limbaugh’s biggest fan,” you’ll find out about a FreedomWorks member named Christopher Hermann of Canton, Ohio, who likes to choke women and has spent almost all day, every day trying to harass and threaten StopRush activists — especially women — who say bad things about his hero. Hermann is hardly the worst actor: since March of 2012, we have endured hacking, identity theft, harassment, intimidation, death threats, false reports to law enforcement, and even real-world stalking by fans of Rush Limbaugh who think exactly the way Glicklich does.
Glicklich is dismissive of these experiences, of course, because if he acknowledged us as human beings then he wouldn’t feel right about inviting strangers to harass people from what appear to be fake, or throwaway, email accounts:
Jeffrey Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org): I hear you’re crying about the #1 rated radio host in America for the past 20+ years. Too bad you dumb cunt. There’s not a thing you can do to stop Rush Limbaugh. Now change your nasty tampon and go suck some dick.
“Professor Barko” (email@example.com): I don’t know what you are, but you’’re life is going to change.
“Peter Gauge” (firstname.lastname@example.org): What a diseased slit you’ve become.
“Al Bore” (email@example.com): How does it feel to work for a paranoid, chain-smoking, schizophrenic nut job with a tiny flaccid penis like David Brock? Does he have to bend over every time he wants more funding from Uncle Georgie (Soros), the Nazi sympathizer? But then again, FUGLY liberal women are used to “men” with tiny balls, & limp dicks.. I mean what red-blooded American male could possibly get stiff looking into the face of Debbie ‘I comb my hair with a pork chop’ Wasserman-Schultz? If there was a battle fought in the ‘War on Women’ it was fought on Nancy Pelosi’s face!
You can read more erudite examples of Rush’s fan base here, here, or here. These people are angry because we have had such a huge effect on the business model of their right wing talk radio echo chamber. Limbaugh is no longer untouchable — and they blame us. We’ll take the credit, too. Nearly four thousand advertisers have pulled their spots from Limbaugh’s show as a result of our work — so many that in some markets, volunteers have been reduced to contacting nonprofits and asking them to pull their public service announcements from his show because there are no advertisers left.
Of course, Glicklich just considers this further evidence of our perfidy and evilness. We’re using the exact same tactics that right wingers used 20 years ago against Howard Stern, but when we do it, it’s got to be illegal or immoral or something because we’re not right wingers. See how that works?