A Statement from Kim Komando Regarding Rush Limbaugh
On Thursday, March 1, I began receiving a series of complaints from both listeners to The Kim Komando Show and non-listeners, concerning on-air comments made by Rush Limbaugh about Georgetown University Law Student Sandra Fluke and Ms. Fluke’s comments.
News stories of these comments and the ensuing fallout are readily available. Therefore, it is not necessary to provide a synopsis within this Statement.
The majority of the comments directed toward me were critical that:
Certain sponsors of The Kim Komando Show were also sponsors of the Rush Limbaugh Show.
To that end, I had not brought pressure on those sponsors to discontinue their advertising schedules with The Rush Limbaugh Show.
Therefore, I must, in some way, agree with Mr. Limbaugh’s positions.
Further, as a woman, I should be especially sensitive to his comments and should have been among the first to denounce him.
Over the years, it has been my decision and policy to refrain from the insertion of general politics, candidate endorsements or criticisms of public officials in my program. This has not always been possible for me because, from time to time, our government will set about passing laws and policies which have a direct impact on your lives and my program’s focus: Consumer Electronics, the Internet, privacy issues, and the economy as it relates to all of the foregoing. To that end, I have made no secret of the fact that I am a free-market capitalist.
It is also within my sole discretion whether I will endorse any particular advertising client or not. If and when I do provide a personal endorsement, it is because I believe in the product or service on a number of levels, which includes the advertiser's overall conduct from a public relations perspective.
Should a spokesman for a product or service violate various laws and/or the public conscience in a way that brings that spokesman or his/her broadcast partners into public ridicule, it falls to the judgment of the advertiser as to how they wish to proceed.
All of this brings me back to Rush Limbaugh.
The old saying that, “Hindsight is 20/20,” is especially true for those of us in media who speak extemporaneously and perform our work without a script. And yes, I believe that Mr. Limbaugh could have phrased his opinions in this matter differently and should have acted much sooner to diffuse the entire situation (if that is possible at all).
However, I also firmly believe in the First Amendment.
Rush Limbaugh has the right to say whatever he wants.
The public has the right to champion those comments or reject them.
The public also has the right to bring any of the comments that we, as radio talk show hosts, make to the attention of advertisers, whether those comments are made on or off the air.
Advertisers, in turn, have a right to spend their advertising dollars as they see fit.
Finally, in turn, you have the right to patronize those advertisers or not.
A good number of Rush Limbaugh advertisers have already withdrawn their business from the program. More will undoubtedly follow.
In this instance, everyone is clearly within his or her Constitutional rights.
It’s all part of the First Amendment, but sometimes free speech isn't pretty, in good taste or well chosen.
With all this said, I know that some of the comments directed at me have come from long-time listeners to my program. I appreciate them all.
But many others are not my listeners. Rather, they are individuals who are motivated by commentators, bloggers and others with a particular political agenda. It is therefore clear that there is an on-going attempt to use me and my program as leverage to bring further pressure upon Rush Limbaugh.
I also do not believe that, “as a woman,” I should be particularly offended at Mr. Limbaugh’s comments. If you perceive a situation as tasteless or offensive, your gender, beliefs or other demographics do not intensify your opinion or obligation to comment.
It is regrettable that this situation has occurred. Nevertheless, above all else, The Kim Komando Show values its advertisers and its listeners, and I in particular value the loyalty and trust they have shown to me over the years.
We are not a part of the Rush Limbaugh controversy. We will continue to make the best decisions for our program and for our listeners and our advertisers regardless of the politics involved.