A tipster sent along this very interesting August interview with Darren Davis, President of iHeart Radio and Clear Channel Networks. In it, Mr. Davis admits that Clear Channel funded the "investigation" of ten people who use Twitter to contact advertisers about Rush Limbaugh. They are not the only people involved in the StopRush effort but they are the ones Clear Channel paid Brian Glicklich and his firm $900 per hour to investigate and dox.
That's right. This large corporation paid to have 10 people -- mostly women -- doxed in order to intimidate them into leaving Rush Limbaugh alone.
This is what he has to say about Rush Limbaugh and his critics:
The traditional talk hosts - Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck -- have been a tremendous business for us ...and they continue be tremendous business. Rush is, far away, the most successful program on radio, and a huge focus for me is to have Rush be appreciated for what he truly is. He has been unfairly painted negatively as a mean conservative, but the truth is that he's a champion of American business and someone who creates jobs. When he talks about a business on-air, that business thrives -- and jobs are created. The big story - and what we have learned - is that virtually all the negativity around him over the last two years has stemmed from very small number of people in social media. We have found that 70% of the attacks are coming from just 10 people. Ten people around America - and we know who they are -- sit at their computers all day sending out tweets, then use computer technology to amplify them. What's unfair about this is that it's not hurting Rush or Premiere; we're fine. It is hurting small businesses in America, causing small businesses in particular to shy away from advertising on the most effective radio show to grow business. We're really committed to countering the negativity.
The fallout from their effort to "counter the negativity" resulted in emails like this:
From: Nicholas Hayman [email redacted]
Date: Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 8:23 AM
Subject: Rush Harasser
Exposed daily KOS writer, you write for a commie blog full of haters, burn in hell when it's your time, demon of satan! We're on to you.
And these, all sent to women, via Breitbart Unmasked:
“Professor Barko” (email@example.com): I don’t know what you are, but you’’re life is going to change.
“Peter Gauge” (firstname.lastname@example.org): What a diseased slit you’ve become.
“Al Bore” (email@example.com): How does it feel to work for a paranoid, chain-smoking, schizophrenic nut job with a tiny flaccid penis like David Brock? Does he have to bend over every time he wants more funding from Uncle Georgie (Soros), the Nazi sympathizer? But then again, FUGLY liberal women are used to “men” with tiny balls, & limp dicks.. I mean what red-blooded American male could possibly get stiff looking into the face of Debbie ‘I comb my hair with a pork chop’ Wasserman-Schultz? If there was a battle fought in the ‘War on Women’ it was fought on Nancy Pelosi’s face!
That's what Clear Channel Networks and iHeart Radio paid to have done. Some of the emails they received appear to have come from Glicklich or one of his employees. The names of some domains match up with domains he owns, with thinly disguised sock puppet names as senders.
Darren Davis didn't stop with the StopRush folks, either. He also had some reassuring words for investors with regard to advertisers.
What does that make of the advertising community, which seems to cower at the mere mention of a polarizing program or personality?
They don't know whats really going on. We funded some very extensive research to get to the bottom of these negative social media attacks, so now we're armed with all the facts. The trouble is if you run a small business and your phone rings four times a day ... and they're complaints about something ... that's probably an unnecessary headache you don't have time for. Even if it's the same person calling from halfway around the country to scold you about your support of Rush Limbaugh ... small business owners are busy people. They don't have the time to deal with that, which sometimes prompts them to pull their support. And that's unfortunate because there's no better way to grow a business than to have Rush talk about it.
This leads another very large point: 80% of the attacks come from a different state than where the business exists. It's really amplified when you look at it that way. A small business in New York is getting letters, Facebook posts and tweets supposedly from customers boycotting their business -- when it's all coming from a person who actually lives in Nevada. It's the biggest bunch of nonsense I've ever come across. We're definitely going to do a big job of telling the truth.
Here's some truth-telling for Mr. Davis to chew on. The reason smaller businesses are being contacted is pretty simple: There are people listening across the nation to see who funds hate radio. Then they reach out and contact them to see if they really wish to continue funding hate radio.
There's another reason, too. National advertisers have run as fast as they can in the opposite direction from the hate Limbaugh spews on a daily basis, leaving only local markets and house ads to pick up the slack. Davis can spin this as ten dedicated people, but the fact is that the Flush Rush Facebook group has more than 20,000 members, and there are members listening and updating the database daily with the names of advertisers.
Darren Davis' pathetic effort to use the conservative media machine to browbeat and intimidate ordinary people who are standing up for what they think is right will not succeed.
It does, however, highlight just how desperate Rush Limbaugh, Clear Channel Networks, and iHeart Radio have become.
I used to have the iHeart Radio app on my phone and iPad. I no longer do and I'm calling for everyone who reads this post and thinks it's wrong for a multimillion dollar corporation to slap around ordinary citizens to delete theirs too.