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First Posted: 03/ 3/2012  8:34 pm Updated: 03/ 4/2012  6:13 pm

Huff Post

As the controversy grew over Rush Limbaugh’s latest incendiary comments — he called law student and birth control advocate Sandra Fluke a “slut” on Wednesday — his show’s advertisers began to flee in droves.

On Saturday, Limbaugh apologized. But for at least one CEO, that wasn’t good enough.

David Friend, who runs the online backup company Carbonite, issued a statement on his company’s website saying that Carbonite would no longer advertise with Limbaugh despite the host’s rare admission of regret. From the website:

“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency. Even though Mr. Limbaugh has now issued an apology, we have nonetheless decided to withdraw our advertising from his show. We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”

UPDATE (3/4/2012):

On Sunday, ProFlowers said it was also pulling ads from Limbaugh’s show. On the company’s Facebook page, it criticized Limbaugh’s comments as “beyond political discourse to a personal attack” and stressed that they “do not reflect our values as a company.”

According to ThinkProgress, five other companies have vowed to stop sponsoring the show.

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Huff Post- Posted: 2/7/12  |  Updated: 2/7/12

Last week, Jon Ralston, a veteran Las Vegas Sun columnist, dared reporters to ignore Donald Trump’s unveiling of his presidential endorsement — with low expectations about how that might play out.

“I suggest media boycott of @RealDonaldTrump event in Vegas,” Ralston tweeted. “Anyone with me? That’s what I thought.”

Ralston knew, of course, that the nation’s political reporters — the same tribe who breathlessly covered Trump’s half-hearted flirtation last year with a presidential run, his “birther” sideshow and his thwarted plans to host and moderate a GOP debate — wouldn’t ignore the real estate huckster’s “major announcement.”

And, indeed, they didn’t, thereby sparking the latest mini-drama in the reality show otherwise known as the 2012 Republican presidential primaries.

While any campaign reporter you meet will say it’s ridiculous to give any more oxygen to Trump in this election cycle (and some of them will even go so far as to mock the primaries’ circus-like atmosphere on Twitter) many of them still raced to cover the Trump endorsement.

In their haste, several major news organizations — including the Associated Press, The New York Times, Politico and CBS News — erroneously reported that Trump planned to endorse former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Countless others, including The Huffington Post, repeated those reports. All had to backtrack when it became clear former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would get the Trumpster’s nod. Come showtime, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News all had Romney live, standing at a podium featuring a Trump plaque, in a Trump hotel, accepting a Trump endorsement.

Reporters swarmed the Trump event for the same reason they have pursued and then coughed up almost every other bit of minutiae, no matter how irrelevant or meaningless, around the primaries. In a media landscape replete with Twitter, Facebook, personal blogs and myriad other digital, broadcast and print sources, nothing is too inconsequential to be made consequential.

Political junkies, political operatives and political reporters consume most of this dross, and in this accelerated, 24/7 news cycle, a day feels like a week, with the afternoon’s agreed-upon media narrative getting turned on its head by the evening’s debate. Candidates rise, fall, and rise again, all choreographed to the rat-a-tat background noise of endless minutia.

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FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2009 file photo, MSNBC talk show host Keith Olbermann attends the Defying Inequality Broadway concert, a celebrity benefit for equal rights, in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, file)

FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2009 file photo, MSNBC talk show host Keith Olbermann attends the "Defying Inequality" Broadway concert, a celebrity benefit for equal rights, in New York. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer, file)

Hannity Waterboard Offer: Olbermann Increases The Pressure

DAVID BAUDER | April 28, 2009 09:03 PM EST | AP

NEW YORK — The debate over torture is getting personal for two of cable TV’s prime-time hosts. After Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity made a seemingly impromptu offer last week to undergo waterboarding as a benefit for charity, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann leapt at it. He offered $1,000 to the families of U.S. troops for every second Hannity withstood the technique.

Olbermann repeated the offer on Monday’s show and said in an interview Tuesday that he’s heard no response. He said he’ll continue to pursue it.

“I don’t think he has the courage to even respond to this _ let alone do it,” Olbermann said.

Fox News Channel representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

The two men are on opposite poles of a debate that has preoccupied the worlds of talk TV and radio. Hannity says waterboarding is a fair and necessary interrogation technique for suspected terrorists; Olbermann calls it torture, says it’s ineffective and should not be done by Americans.

Charles Grodin was challenging Hannity on the issue on Fox last week, and asked whether he would consent to be waterboarded.

“Sure,” Hannity said. “I’ll do it for charity … I’ll do it for the troops’ families.”

It wasn’t exactly clear how serious the conversation was, since Grodin joked, “Are you busy on Sunday?” and Hannity laughed.

“I’ll let you do it,” Hannity said.

“I wouldn’t do it,” Grodin said. “I’ll hand you a towel when you come out of the shower.”

Olbermann’s offer was quick. Besides the $1,000 per second, Olbermann said he’d double it if Hannity acknowledges he feared for his life and admits that waterboarding is torture.

“The idea of putting somebody in a position they have volunteered for, for charity, to respond to their own unsupportable claims, is in many ways priceless,” Olbermann said.

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New York Post Chimp Cartoon Compares Stimulus Author To Dead Primate

Huffington Post- Sam Stein

February 18, 2009 09:41 AM

A cartoon likening the author of the stimulus bill, perhaps President Barack Obama, with a rabid chimpanzee graced the pages of the New York Post on Wednesday.

The drawing, from famed cartoonist Sean Delonas, is rife with violent imagery and racial undertones. In it, two befuddled-looking police officers holding guns look over the dead and bleeding chimpanzee that attacked a woman in Stamford, Connecticut.

“They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill,” reads the caption.

An email to Delonas and a call to the New York Post went unreturned. The cartoon appears both on the New York Post website and page 12 of the Wednesday paper.

At its most benign, the cartoon suggests that the stimulus bill was so bad, monkeys may as well have written it. Others believe it compares the president to a rabid chimp. Either way, the incorporation of violence and (on a darker level) race into politics is bound to be controversial. Perhaps that’s what Delonas wanted.

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New York Times, Tribune Company, NBC Announce Problems Monday

HuffPo|  Katharine Zaleski   |   December 8, 2008 05:46 PM

Three major media companies all revealed grim news Monday.

The Tribune Company announced
it would be seeking bankruptcy protection:

Media conglomerate Tribune Co., smothered by $13 billion in debt and a drop-off in advertising, on Monday became the first major newspaper publisher to seek bankruptcy protection since the Internet sent the industry into a tailspin.

Most of the company’s debt comes from the complex transaction in which the company was taken private, with employee ownership, by real estate mogul Sam Zell last year. Although Tribune’s next major debt payment isn’t due until June, the company has been in danger of missing financial targets set by its lenders.


The New York Times Company
said it would try to ease a cash problem by borrowing up to $225 million against its mid-Manhattan headquarters.

The New York Times Company plans to borrow up to $225 million against its mid-Manhattan headquarters building, to ease a potential cash flow squeeze as the company grapples with tighter credit and shrinking profits.

The company has retained Cushman & Wakefield, the real estate firm, to act as its agent to secure financing, either in the form of a mortgage or a sale-leaseback arrangement, said James M. Follo, the Times Company’s chief financial officer.

NBC Universal Chief Jeff Zucker told investors that he was considering scaling back the network’s programming hours:

A terrible fall season at NBC is forcing the network to consider scaling back the number of hours it airs programming, Chief Executive Jeff Zucker told an investor conference Monday.

While NBC will continue to fund the creation of pilots, Zucker told analysts at a media investor conference sponsored by UBS that NBC is considering cutting the number of hours or perhaps even the number of nights it provides programming.

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