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Ad Time's a Terrible Thing to Waste: Strange But True Twists In Limbaugh Scandal


The continuing exodus of advertisers from the Rush Limbaugh radio show following his vulgar rants about a female law school student is generating many strange twists.

One exodus-related twist is the filling of the air-time ad void on Limbaugh’s program with public service announcements.

Ironically, that void is now being filled by public service announcements from entities Rush loves to hate like the federal Environmental Protection Agency – the entity responsible for regulating the toxic polluters Limbaugh’s always so quick to defend.

One of the stranger twists in having PSAs fill the paid-ad void on Limbaugh’s program is broadcasting PSAs from the United Negro College Fund.

The UNCF is an organization founded originally for financially assisting black students attend college and earn degrees. The UNCF currently aids over 60,000 students who attend 900 higher education institutions nationwide according to its website.

Rush Limbaugh, brought to you by the United Negro College Fund and the Philly Orchestra?Rush Limbaugh, brought to you by the United Negro College Fund and the Philly Orchestra?

Even stranger, the UNCF refuses to remove its PSAs from the Limbaugh radio program, though Limbaugh has built and sustains his bombastic right-wing on-air persona by routinely bashing black people. It doesn’t take a college degree to know that Limbaugh's listeners are not likely sources of large contributions to the UNCF.

UNCF public service announcements have aired on New York City’s WABC-AM, the flagship of Limbaugh’s nationally syndicated program, according to organizations like Media Matters For America that monitor the show.

A UNCF spokeswoman referred media inquiries about UNCF airing ads on the Limbaugh program to The Advertising Council, a NYC-based entity that assists non-profit organizations and governmental agencies get messages to the American public through the media.

The Council “is handling all media inquiries,” the UNCF spokeswoman said.
But an Ad Council spokeswoman directed an inquiry about the UNCF’s ad airing on Limbaugh’s program back to the UNCF.

That Advertising Council spokeswoman did say, “Neither the United Negro College Fund nor the Ad Council has requested that the UNCF ad be pulled from the Limbaugh show.”

The Ad Council spokeswoman said her organization “can’t predict” where PSAs will be placed, because placement decisions are made by the broadcast stations donating the air time.

However, unlike the UNCF, some non-profits aided by The Advertising Council have asked the Council to pull their PSAs from stations that carry the Limbaugh program.

One of those non-profits is Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
And unlike the no-comment posture of the UNCF, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia-based Big Brothers Big Sisters did respond directly to media inquiries.

That spokeswoman said that Big Brothers Big Sisters made its decision to exit the Limbaugh program “at the request of national and local donors, some of whom made their concerns known via Facebook and Twitter posts,” according to published accounts.


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