There’s more bad news for right-wing radio star Rush Limbaugh today, as the talk-show pundit is getting a formidable foe in Mike Huckabee as competition for rightie radio listeners in several national markets.
Limbaugh was struck a massive blow earlier this year after controversial remarks he made during congressional hearings about birth control coverage. During the overall brouhaha, Limbaugh took participant and Georgetown student Sandra Fluke to task on his show, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute” and saying that in testifying in support for insurance coverage for contraception, that Fluke was expecting to get paid to have sex. (Perplexingly, Limbaugh also seemed to believe that the cost of birth control was somehow relative to the frequency of sex one has.)
The ensuing debate ultimately tarnished Limbaugh’s image, and left many with a bad taste in their mouths when it came to listening to the far-right radio maven. Soon, it was announced that Mike Huckabee would move into the same spot in many markets, offering up a more moderate, reasoned right-wing voice for listeners and even perhaps former Rush fans.
General Manager of WOR-AM in New York Jerry Crowley told Radio Ink that the addition of Mike Huckabee to the afternoon radio lineup could win back disillusioned Rush listeners who tuned out. Crowley commented:
“We like to have hosts who are rational and controlled, and don’t upset the landscape in a manner that is shouldn’t be upset when you are discussing issues. You’ve seen a lot of that recently. Obviously, the 800 pound gorilla in the room is what Rush did.”
“I think that it dealt a serious blow to talk radio. I think, in a number of ways, certainly advertisers have raised an eyebrow about how and when and where they want to advertise with respect to that. I just don’t think it was a good thing.”
The tagline for Mike Huckabee’s show? “Conservative… and not mad about it.” Oh, burn.