Brian Glicklich, a spokesperson for Rush Limbaugh's show, published an opinion piece yesterday in Politico that takes aim at Media Matters For America.
Limbaugh has maintained for weeks that the backlash against his "slut" comments about Sandra Fluke has not bothered as many people as you might think. Instead, he says that ll the outrage is manufactured by MMFA. Limbaugh says that MMFA is behind all the advertiser boycotting and media attention that his comments have generated.
Now, Glicklich takes that a step further and accuses Media Matters of waging a war against business. Specifically, he says that David Brock - former conservative journalist and founder of Media Matters For America - was lying in wait for Limbaugh to slip up so he could "manipulate a media frenzy".
Glicklich goes on to say that Brock is a "censoring thug" that will "deny that right of expression to others" and that MMFA is targeting "small business", no matter what the cost.
By putting small business in the crosshairs of their war on expression, Media Matters is causing real harm. They are hurting these businesses, their employees and their families. As a business owner, imagine waking up one morning and being assaulted by hundreds of coordinated attacks from operatives who never were or will be your customers.
These Media Matters mobs bear a simple message: Renounce our enemies or become one of them. They distribute target lists of advertiser phone numbers, email addresses, Facebook links and Twitter handles, and then they come out of nowhere, en masse, against selected advertisers in rotation. They barrage small business with threats until they cancel their advertising.
Customers either can’t get through the fog of messages, or see a business under attack. Everyone is so busy with the protestors that no one is left to talk to customers. You call that education, David? Reasonable people identify what you organize by a different name.
If businesses give in to these demands, they lose access to the customers who helped build their company. Let’s be clear — most advertisers aren’t making a political statement when they decide where to spend their money. Most chose varied programs to reach audiences with different points of view. When they buy talk radio advertising in general, or “The Rush Limbaugh Show” in particular, they are reaching an audience, as well as creating jobs and supporting families. That’s all they want.
But Media Matters says you can’t talk to that audience anymore. And when these businesses shrink, because they’ve lost access to half their customers; when they lay off employees or even shut down, whom will Media Matters blame? Probably not themselves.
The question that needs to be asked is: Even if Glicklich is right and there is no authentic public movement in this country to get rid of Limbaugh's brand of talk - even if this is manufactured out of whole cloth by Media Matters - is that censorship? Is that the same as a governmental blackout on ideas and speech? Is this a First Amendment issue? Or is it the other side of the free market sword that Limbaugh's show has to live - and maybe die - by?