Ever since talk radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh created the StopRush movement by launching into a three-day tirade against Sandra Fluke for the ‘crime’ of understanding how the female reproductive system works, activists have seen extraordinary success in their advertiser divestment efforts. They’ve had the unwitting help of Brian Glicklich, Limbaugh’s longtime friend and PR fixer, who tried using aggressive tactics against lost advertisers and predictably scared the rest of them away. As a direct result of these actions by Limbaugh and Glicklich, the radio company once known as Clear Channel (and now known as iHeartMedia) is currently stuck in junk-bond status.
Their solution? Launch an aggressive campaign of deluded conspiracy theories. For the last several months, Glicklich has propagated an absurd scenario in which a small group of StopRush activists use magic, nonexistent software to pretend they are much larger group of people. Limbaugh isn’t just credulously repeating this nonsense — as of yesterday, he’s expanding Glicklich’s conspiracy theory to claim that StopRush is responsible for everything that happens on the internet.
That same kind of attack that you have seen on this pizza shop occurs every day to sponsors of this program and others, and has been going on for years. It even has a name. It’s called the Stop Rush movement and it’s the exact same thing. We finally, after a number of years of this, invested in research. And I want to repeat what I said yesterday about what we found as it relates to the Stop Rush.
Limbaugh is referring to Memories Pizza, the Walkerton, Indiana restaurant whose owners rather stupidly decided to proclaim their business the first in the state to invoke Governor Mike Pence’s brand-new ‘right to discriminate’ law against gay couples, then acted shocked and surprised when the internet spoke back to them. Because Limbaugh is upset that these poor business owners were ‘forced’ to close their doors after people made fun of them and flooded their Yelp! page with bad reviews, he has somehow concluded that it’s the fault of StopRush:
We found that 85% of all the tweets and e-mails threatening sponsors of this program are created by 10 people. We know their names. We know where they live. We have released this information in the form of a press release to Drive-By Media outlets. They refuse to run it, predictably. But we know who these people are. We know where they live. One is a madcap environmentalist wacko in Camarillo, California. The other one is an active college professor something I think in Northeast New Hampshire.
First of all, note how Limbaugh cites “threats” to sponsors without providing a single example. That’s because the actual StopRush activists doing the actual advertiser contact (and there are way more than ten of them) are constantly coached to be civil and friendly when they do so. Most of the companies with ads running on his show have no idea it’s happening until StopRush informs them, and then most take immediate action to ensure it doesn’t happen again — all without the first hint of a threat. As I say, the movement has been wildly successful thanks in part to Glicklich’s horrible ‘crisis management.’
This is why only a few right wing websites have ever given Glicklich’s conspiracy theory any coverage; the “Drive-By Media,” Limbaugh’s cute name for reporters who do actual journalism, are far too responsible with their facts and research to give such raving lunacy and personal attacks an uncritical airing. Rush continues:
They have developed, in cooperation with some associates at Twitter, an algorithm that creates fake tweets, generates fake tweets in the thousands, made to look like they’re coming from real people, who in this case despise me or, in the case of this pizza joint, hate this little girl owning the pizza joint, this young woman that owns the pizza joint, they hate her. In a matter of minutes they’re able to gin this up. There aren’t that many people that outraged over this reacting in such a manner. This is fake as well, I’m convinced of it. It’s drummed up. It’s made to look like something that’s not.
Where to even begin with such garbage? It’s a good thing that this pizza joint owner (whom Limbaugh condescendingly calls a “little girl”) isn’t trying to access birth control, or Limbaugh would call her a “slut” and a whore. It’s also very telling that Limbaugh believes bigotry is the ‘normal’ setting for Americans and that only a few mean, evil liberals would ever reject such discrimination, or take action to communicate their views.
But let’s skip all that idiocy and focus on the baseless notion that StopRush activists are creating thousands of “fake tweets” with the connivance of Twitter itself. What would a “fake tweet” look like? Does Limbaugh perhaps mean “fake Twitter accounts”? Because StopRush activists definitely know what those look like. After all, we’ve seen thousands of these ‘eggs’ following and retweeting Limbaugh over the years:
And we’ve recently seen thousands of them following Brian Glicklich, the person who actually operates Limbaugh’s Twitter accounts:
Are these perhaps the “fake tweets” Limbaugh and Glicklich are talking about? Are they merely projecting their own behavior on the objects of their hatred in a classic case of right wing authoritarian psychology? I report, you decide!
Here, again, is the deranged Mr. Limbaugh spouting suspiciously-round “research” numbers that smell like they came straight from the dark, dirty crack between Brian Glicklich’s butt cheeks:
Not only have we found that 10 people are responsible for 85% of the fake complaints, we have found that an even greater percentage than that come from locations not even in the same city where the business is located. They are threatening never to patronize. Sometimes they make death threats. It’s the same thing, but it’s been going on, George Soros pays for it in many cases. He’s the one who funds this. But I want to stress it’s not just me. I mean, the Stop Rush movement floats. And right now it’s focused on anybody in Indiana they don’t like.
I’ve communicated with thousands of StopRush activists over the last three years; not one of them has ever seen a check from George Soros. And there are in fact many volunteers in media markets across the country who listen every day to identify his advertisers. I have also examined StopRush.net, which has had hundreds of thousands of visitors in the last three years, without finding a single reference to a pizza shop in Indiana. Checking the various Flush Rush and StopRush-related Facebook pages for the last week, I can’t find any posts calling for volunteers to contact Memories Pizza. That’s because the movement is completely focused on Limbaugh, and the task of defunding his hate radio program, rather than distract themselves with outside issues.
Furthermore, Limbaugh is touting a conspiracy theory that Glicklich invented to explain why Twitter suspended his account four times in recent weeks. Rather than admit that his constant doxing and targeted harassment of StopRush activists clearly violated Twitter’s terms of service, Glicklich has been telling anyone who will listen that his victims (again, using software that does not exist) have secretly colluded to suspend his account by making false reports of harassment to Twitter. See how that works?
Much to the chagrin of Limbaugh, Glicklich, and his Los Angeles PR firm, Twitter refuses to acknowledge this conspiracy theory as even being possible. Neither will any credible news outlet, since a few minutes of research can prove that Twitter’s open API doesn’t work that way. Unable to interest mainstream journalists in his ravings, Glicklich will be going on Glenn Beck’s show next Monday to repeat his conspiracy theory on the one remaining channel where a large, credulous audience might not be able to hear the mendacity in his narrative. Beck is also Glicklich’s close personal friend, but surely that’s just a coincidence, right?