Rush Limbaugh and Fox News too damned cheap to pay for their own bandwidth

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Screenshot of Limbaugh's website as of 4PM EST today

Being as they obviously can’t afford to serve their own Internet files, both Rush Limbaugh and Fox News have been hotlinking the now-infamous Department of Homeland Security report this site recently released. Since the report was published, we’ve experienced a tremendous burst of traffic, and been working overtime (special kudos to Brad) merely to keep this site operational. Hotlinking is a no-no in the Internet community. If you are new to the Internet, here’s a good explanation as to why it’s so frowned upon. It would be difficult to characterize Limbaugh or Fox as being an Internet newbies, however.

We’d take to take time to offer a special thank you to Michelle Malkin for going out of her way to serve a copy of the report on her own site.

I first learned that Rush had hotlinked us last night. The “talent on loan from God” webteam still doesn’t seem to be aware of what their readers see when clicking on the link.  Here’s what people coming from hotlinked sources will find.

In the meantime, if you came here to read the report, here’s a copy of the .pdf file.

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Blowup of the Rush's frontpage hotlink

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  • Marcel

    How dare they drive traffic to your site! Did you ask them to stop or did you just decide to “fight back” and insult their viewers at the same time? “What a country!” Well, I got the last laugh. I still used your bandwidth to get the report and thanks to your insulting tactic I’ll never be back. Bwahahahahahaha!

  • http://www..higherground4x4.com Chris Brewer

    lol nice job!

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Marcel,

    They aren’t driving traffic to the site, they’re leaching off our servers by linking to a PDF file rather than hosting it themselves.

    If they’d linked to the actual blog post, rather than the file it referenced, there wouldn’t be a problem.

    And, oh yea, so long.

  • mr.pink

    came to your site via google! looking for the documents not rush,or fox ,followed a link on your own website ,for what a very nice not about bandwidth . thanks for the nice informative website!

  • http://www.simplifylunch.com Jeff Molby

    Marcel has half of a point. Driving traffic to your site is a Good Thing, but linking directly to the pdf doesn’t accomplish that. If they had linked to your original post instead, that would have given you the publicity you deserve.

    So instead of redirecting them to the scolding pdf, perhaps you should redirect them to: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2009/04/12/homeland-security-document-targets-most-conservatives-and-libertarians-in-the-country/

  • http://www.simplifylunch.com Jeff Molby

    Or at least serve up a pdf that says “Fox & Co gave you a bad link. Click here to go to find the DHS report.”

    And of course your link would take them to the original post.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    I’ve modified the PDF to point out that Fox has changed the link, and included a link to the original blog post.

    Looks like Rush’s link is now onto yesterday’s show postings site, but it’s still hotlinking the original file.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Jeff,

    But the thing is there not really driving traffic to the site when they hotlink like this.

    Brad will correct me if I’m wrong, but hotlinking doesn’t even show up as a hit to the blog, certainly not on Sitemeter, just a use of resources that, as the post says, costs money.

    And it’s sort of a tradition to punk the guy who hotlinks you without permission

  • Eric

    I would also give a short explanation in the PDF of why it’s a bad link. Still, I think the redirect is the best idea Jeff. That way you get all your good karma traffic without having the bad karma of appearing to be petulant. I always figure that I will just let the other guy look bad and not doing something cause I’m angry that ends up with me looking bad too. To non internet geeks, this looks bad.

  • http://www.simplifylunch.com Jeff Molby

    Or even better… Since you know that most of the new people seeking that report are Republicans, you should create a new post that gives them what they want, but also pitches the philosophy of freedom to them. Most will just hit and run, but there are probably some open minded people out there that could become regular readers.

    If you don’t have time to write something up, I’d at least embed this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z1buym2xUM

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  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Doug,

    That’s correct, it doesn’t even show up as a sitemeter hit (since the PDF has no code to alert sitemeter).

    Essentially, Jeff, they weren’t linking to our *site*. They were linking to our web host and our wallets. We’re running a blog here, not an FTP service.

    Michelle Malkin was kind enough to link to The Liberty Papers and Stephen’s original blog post. That’s what people who actually understand this whole “new-fangled media” do (and hence why Stephen thanked her for it).

  • http://www.simplifylunch.com Jeff Molby

    Essentially, Jeff, they weren’t linking to our *site*. They were linking to our web host and our wallets. We’re running a blog here, not an FTP service.

    Right, I understand that. Re-read my posts. I’m saying you should redirect them to your site. You can’t change the link on their site, but you can mitigate the problem by redirecting users to the page that they should have linked to.

    That way you get what you want (a fair chance to acquire new readers) and they still get what they want (acquiring the desired content via a pleasant experience).

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Yes… I updated that PDF so it now contains a link to the original post.

  • http://www.simplifylunch.com Jeff Molby

    But why publicly shame Rush (and formerly, Fox)? As bad as the GOP has been, there are still a fair number of truly liberty-minded people over there. Yeah, it was bad form to post the link that they did, but the bottom line is that this is a rare opportunity to speak to a large number of potential new readers.

    Considering how pissed off the foot soldiers of the GOP are, it’s an rare opportunity to speak for our movement. I hope you decide to put your best foot forward. If it’s purely a matter of bandwidth, I’d be happy to share the burden. I’m sure there are many others out there that will as well.

  • Eric

    I say get the good karma and take the opportunity. I will happily chip in some money, if needed. Take the high road! That’s my advice.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Well, because publicly shaming hotlinkers is internet tradition! I could have gone far worse with it (I’d considered the photo Stephen Gordon has used once or twice of a particularly large woman), but I tried to keep it factual and brief. Simply put, this is well-known netiquette that they violated, and frankly they deserve to be called out on it.

    After another day or two, I’ll clean it up, because a number of little web sites (who probably can’t host their own documents) have linked the PDF, and I’ll put up a redirect.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Alright, folks… Per popular request, I did a simple redirect.

    (Had I known I could do that, with some nice googling, I would have done it yesterday).

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/21/who-is-eric/ Eric

    Very cool!

  • http://www.simplifylunch.com Jeff Molby

    Thanks, Brad! Very nice.