Talk show host Rush Limbaugh sought to reassure listeners Wednesday after the tally of local and national companies that have pulled their advertisements from his time slot topped 40, insisting that the show will go on and that the program is not losing revenue from the exodus.
At last count, 42 advertisers, two radio stations and two musicians have closed the door on Limbaugh following incendiary comments he made last week about a Georgetown law student who testified before Congress in favor of having birth control covered under insurance plans.
Limbaugh called the student, Sandra Fluke, a "slut" and a "prostitute." The conservative commentator apologized for his "insulting" comments in a statement posted to his website on Saturday and again on his radio show Monday.
Despite the apology, which Fluke said she did not think "changes anything," customers and listeners have taken to social media to inundate advertisers, stations and sponsors of Limbaugh's show with calls to boycott Limbaugh.
Limbaugh told his listeners today that "everything's cool," noting that many of the advertisers that have yanked their support are local and thus have little if any impact on the show's revenues.
"Nobody is losing money here, including us, in all this," Limbaugh said on his radio show Wednesday. "[The advertisers] are not canceling the business on our stations. They're just saying they don't want their spots to appear in my show. We don't get any revenue from 'em anyway. The whole effort is to dispirit you."
The conservative commentator estimated that as many as 18,000 companies could be advertising on any one of the 600 or so stations that broadcast his three-hour radio program.
"ABC News, who understands how this works and are purposely misrepresenting it, is out there ballyhooing that we have lost 28 sponsors," Limbaugh said. "Twenty-eight sponsors out of 18,000! That's like losing a couple of french fries in the container when it's delivered to you at the drive-thru. You don't even notice it."
While he would not name companies, Limbaugh said three new sponsors have signed onto his show in the past two weeks.
"None of what's happening is out of the ordinary," Limbaugh said. "It's just part of an onslaught to try to convince you that this show's history and our days are numbered. And I'm happy to tell you nothing could be further from the truth."
Here is the list of confirmed companies who have officially pulled their advertisements from the Rush Limbaugh radio show.