It's tempting to think Bill O'Reilly will emerge from the advertiser boycott of his television show unscathed. After all, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh survived something similar a few years ago.

The problem with this idea is that the 2012 advertiser boycott actually hurt Limbaugh's business, the Weekly Standard's Ethan Epstein documented a little while back.

Limbaugh is still on the air, and he is broadcast on hundreds of radio stations. But his program never quite recovered from the controversy surrounding the moment he called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a "slut."

"[T]here are signs that all is not well in the Limbaugh radio empire. Because even as his influence is sky high and his dominance at the top of talk radio remains unchallenged, as a business proposition, Limbaugh's show is on shaky ground," Epstein wrote.

"In recent years, Limbaugh has been dropped by several of his long-time affiliates, including some very powerful ones: He's gone from WABC in New York, WRKO in Boston and KFI in Los Angeles, for example, and has in many cases been moved onto smaller stations with much weaker signals that cover smaller areas," he added.

Limbaugh renewed his contract with iHeartMedia in August 2016, but both parties kept the value of the contract hush-hush. This was a change of pace from 2008, when iHeart was very vocal about his $400 million contract.

"It's kind of a joke for people to throw out numbers anyway because I don't earn a salary," Limbaugh said after he renewed last year.

To be sure, he is still the king of talk radio. It's his platform. Still, according to Epstein, there's no denying the Sandra Fluke incident did real damage to the show.

The sponsors "never came back, for the most part, and that has had a seriously deleterious effect on his business," Epstein wrote.

This brings us to O'Reilly, who is facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

The sheer number of women who've alleged misconduct by O'Reilly has scared off more than three dozen advertisers from the cable news program, and it looks like the exodus will continue well into the weekend.

This isn't the cable news host's first brush with allegations of sexual misconduct. In the past, he has come out of these situations unscathed either by denouncing his accusers or agreeing to settle with massive payouts.

This time may be different, though, as the current scandal has sparked a major advertiser boycott.

Like Limbaugh, O'Reilly will likely come out of this with his show still on the air. However, if the current boycott is anything like the one Limbaugh got for his Fluke comment, O'Reilly may also experience lasting damage to his program.

That would be new ground.