Hilo’s talk radio station KPUA has booted the popular Rush Limbaugh Show.
The cancellation comes days after Limbaugh excoriated Georgetown University law school student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified publicly to Congressional Democrats that the health insurance program at her Catholic university should cover contraception.
Chris Leonard, President and General Manager of New West Broadcasting, which owns KPUA, published the following statement on the station’s website:
“We have always encouraged spirited discussion about national and local issues on KPUA and from time to time those discussions may be deemed by some to be objectionable. We are strong believers in the first amendment and have recognized Mr. Limbaugh’s right to express opinions that often times differ from our own, but it has never been our goal to allow our station to be used for personal attacks and intolerance. The most recent incident has crossed a line of decency and a standard that we expect of programming on KPUA whether it is locally produced or a syndicated program like the Rush Limbaugh show.
While much of the national debate regarding this issue is now being framed in political terms, the decision for us is one of decency and responsibility. Regardless of one’s political views on the issue being discussed, we feel the delivery was degrading and the continued comments over several days to be egregious. As a result, we are discontinuing the Rush Limbaugh program on KPUA effective immediately.”
In an interview with the AP published in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Leonard said the cancellation of Limbaugh’s show was a matter of “decency and responsibility”.
Limbaugh’s Show was also cancelled by WBEC in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
As of Monday, 12 advertisers have pulled their advertising from The Rush Limbaugh Show: Sleep Number, The Sleep Train, Quicken Loans, Legal Zoom, Citrix, Carbonite, ProFlowers, Tax Resolution, AOL, Bonobos, Sears, and Allstate Insurance.
The Rush Limbaugh Show is aired by approximately 600 radio stations throughout the U.S. on Premiere Radio Networks and has been the highest-rated talk-radio program in the United States. Limbaugh is in the fourth year of an 8-year, $400 million contract which he signed with Clear Channel in 2008.