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Seventh advertiser suspends funding for Rush Limbaugh's show over "slut" comments

The radio host had harshly criticised a student who testified to Congress over contraceptives.

Conservative US talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Conservative US talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Image: AP Photo/Ron Edmonds/PA File

A SEVENTH ADVERTISER has suspended their support for the conservative US radio show host Rush Limbaugh following his controversial outburst against a law student over contraception.

Sandra Fluke, a law student at Georgetown University, recently addressed Congress in support of insurance covering the cost of contraceptives.

Following her testimony, Limbaugh accused the student of wanting people to pay her for having sex, branding her a “slut” and a “prostitute”.

His comments sparked controversy across the US, with the White House criticising his remarks as “reprehensible”, while President Obama personally contacted Fluke over the incident.

Limbaugh’s comments also caused his show’s sponsors to back away from his broadcasts. The latest, the floral company ProFlowers, said in a message on its Facebook account yesterday evening that it does “not base our advertising decisions to align with any particular political view or opinion as our employees and customers are as diverse as the USA”.

“Mr Limbaugh’s recent comments went beyond political discourse to a personal attack and do not reflect our values as a company. As such, ProFlowers has suspended advertising on The Rush Limbaugh radio programme.”

Limbaugh apologised to Fluke on Saturday after being criticised by both Republican and Democratic politicians and after a number of advertisers left the show. In a statement on his website, he said that he had chosen “the wrong words in my analogy of the situation” and that he had not intended to make a personal attack on the student.

“My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologise to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Clear Channel’s Premiere Radio Networks Inc which hosts Limbaugh’s program, says it is supporting the presenter throughout the controversy.

“The contraception debate is one that sparks strong emotion and opinions on both sides of the issue,” Premiere Networks said in a statement emailed on Sunday to the Associated Press by spokeswoman Rachel Nelson.

“We respect the right of Mr. Limbaugh, as well as the rights of those who disagree with him, to express those opinions.”

- Additional reporting by the AP

Read: Barack Obama condemns US radio host for ‘slut’ comments >

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