Updated: PR weasel words from Carbonite CEO David Friend re: Limbaugh’s slut-shaming libel of Sandra Fluke

Short-tailed weasel
What I don’t say is the important thing.

Update from Carbonite @ Facebook/Carbonite Website:

A Statement from David Friend, CEO of Carbonite:
“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We hope that our action, along with the other advertisers who have already withdrawn their ads, will ultimately contribute to a more civilized public discourse.”

That’s a step in the right direction, Mr. Friend.  Iff only you hadn’t supported his massive assortment of egregious gaffes with your advertising dollars in the first place.   Sadly, you remain silent on those matters.  Perhaps if you had a black child you would suddenly get it? What other children would you need to have before you understand the damage Limbaugh does with the nature of his discourse? To top it off, you also perpetuate the myth that Limbaugh’s Saturday comments constitute genuine apology.

Original Story

On Friday, March 2, 2012, David Friend, CEO of Carbonite, an online data backup company that has earned kudos from Inc. and PC World for company growth, ease of use and affordability had this to say:

A Message from Carbonite CEO, David Friend Regarding Ads on Limbaugh

Over the past two days we have received a tremendous amount of feedback on Rush Limbaugh’s recent comments. I too am offended and very concerned about his comments. Limbaugh’s remarks have us rethinking our future use of talk radio.

We use more than 40 talk show hosts to help get the Carbonite message out to the public. The nature of talk radio is that from time to time listeners are offended by a host and ask that we pull our advertising.
This goes for conservatives like Limbaugh and progressives like Stephanie Miller and Ed Shultz. We even get customers who demand that we pull the plug on NPR. As an advertiser, we do not have control over a show’s editorial content or what they say on air. Carbonite does not endorse the opinions of the shows or their hosts.

However, the outcry over Limbaugh is the worst we’ve ever seen. I have scheduled a face-to-face meeting next week with Limbaugh during which I will impress upon him that his comments were offensive to many of our customers and employees alike.

Please know your voice has been heard and that we are taking this matter very seriously.

Sincerely,
David Friend

Let me see if I understand this correctly. With a long and documented history of making over-the-top and outrageously bigoted comments, Rush Limbaugh finally offends David Friend.

Rush’s racist comments didn’t offend Friend enough to rethink “use of talk radio.”

REPUBLISHED! Top 10 Racist Limbaugh Quotes

Blaming the Sierra Club for oil accidents…okay by Friend. Downplaying the BP spill in the Gulf as “something the ocean will take care of”…okay by him as well. Suggesting terrorists support Obama…this, too. Overt sexism…yup. Comparing Obama to Hitler…it’s all good.

Rush Limbaugh Quotes

The list just goes on and on and on. But you fuck just one goat call a girl a slut, whoops, crossed a line.

Sorry, Friend, that line was crossed so long ago as to qualify as history. Slut-shaming alone should have been enough to trigger righteous indignation.

If Friend’s belated recognition of Limbaugh as an assnozzle isn’t enough (though it’s arguable that such recognition has actually occurred), Friend can’t quite just own it as it relates to just Limbaugh. Oh, no. He’s got to water it down as much as humanly possible by diluting Limbaugh’s rancid message with 40+ other talk show hosts, some of whom may also have said ugly enough things to warrant listener complaints and requests for withdrawal of advertising support.

He’s strikingly silent on exactly what horrible things were said on any of these 40+ other shows. He mentions Ed Schultz, but leaves out the bit where Schultz calls Laura Ingraham a slut. Is calling any woman a slut for any reason a bad thing? I’m inclined to think so. So why not pull ads from Ed? Even so, is likening that situtation to Limbaugh’s repeated vicious attacks against Sandra Fluke (aka Susan Fluke – we’re seeing her name both ways in a variety of sources) even close to fair? I think not. If you think it is, diagram it out for me because I’m clearly too stupid to see the connection. Maybe Stephanie Miller jokes at Scooter Libby’s expense were in the ballpark? Bah. Maybe Friend just missed out on the little detail that talk radio is overwhelmingly conservative. Without a list of the predominantly conservative talk radio hosts likely to populate Carbonite’s talk radio advertising audience, we can’t know for sure what else might not have offended Friend. That’s okay. Friend is clearly very thick-skinned. Maybe my delicate mind couldn’t handle more.

Rancid personal attacks on women notwithstanding, what else might Friend be diluting? Oh, his and Carbonite’s responsibility. “Carbonite does not endorse the opinions of the shows or their hosts.”

Bullshit. When you pay the messenger to get the word out to their select buying audience, one that’s actually amused, entertained and “informed” by a poo-flinging messenger like Limbaugh, you get shit on your hands. Carbonite aids and abets Limbaugh in spreading his special brand of ignorance, hate and race-baiting.

And just what does Friend intend to do about this? Wipe the shit off? Immediately pull the plug on the ad spots with a promise that maybe his ad money will return to Limbaugh’s shows when Limbaugh stops being a turdmonkey? No, that might be seen as principled. Instead, Friend is going to have a little face-to-face with Limbaugh to impress upon Limbaugh what Limbaugh already knows. As far as Limbaugh is concerned, that’s practically congratulatory. All he’ll hear is Limbaugh, Limbaugh, Limbaugh and maybe feel a little tingle where the sun don’t shine.

It could be that Carbonite’s customers are predominantly Dittohead-level right-wingers who think Obama painted as The Joker is funny. That women are life support systems for vaginas. That oil spills like Exxon’s Valdez and BP’s Deepwater Horizon will go away if you ignore them long enough. If so, Friend has nothing to lose. If that’s not the case, he might be better served finding another venue for his ads.

Stormfront could probably use the sponsorship. NAMBLA, maybe? How about a little victim advocacy? National Center for Men could use the funds. That would be okay, right? After all, Carbonite wouldn’t be endorsing them.

Update: Rush Limbaugh apologizes to Sandra Fluke for ‘slut’ jibe

In Limbaugh’s non-apology, he states, “I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.”    Further, Limbaugh continues to inappropriately re-frame the core issue in complete disregard of Sandra Fluke’s statement.  The issue, you may recall, is whether there should be a religious exemption for coverage of “birth control,” which itself is an unfortunate misnomer.  “Birth control” may be taken for a variety of reproductive health reasons.  WebMD outlines nine of them here, including lower cancer risk, relief from endometriosis, and relief from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).

I’m not sure how one takes being called a slut and likened to a prostitute as anything but personal, but hey, this is about as close to a Limbaugh apology as I can remember.  If he really wants to enjoy a misogynistic dig, perhaps he could focus on some of the other reasons for taking the pill…minimizing number, severity, and frequency of periods and relief from PMS.  I can’t speak for women, but maybe they would find it in their hearts to indulge him that one if he lays off with his mischaracterizations of the issue.  Per the PMS stereotype, one would think misogynistic and unsympathetic men in particular would be lining up to support “birth control” availability on these grounds alone.

As for Limbaugh’s advertising supporters, this should be a lesson to the ones that are still on the fence.  Pull the plug.  Pull it while it’s hot and fresh.  Get out “clean.”  “Why?” you ask.  Limbaugh  just “apologized,” after all.  Because if Limbaugh, of all people, can at least create the appearance of recognizing the magnitude of his impropriety and you cannot, you’re actually now a step worse than Limbaugh.  He capitalizes on his BS and “apologizes.”  You can’t just capitalize on his BS and keep on rolling with it like it never happened.    Besides, there’s still that whole backlog of racism, misogyny, and hate-mongering linked above to consider.

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Image credit:  Short-tailed weasel by Tom Brandt, licensed under Creative Commons.

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