Sunday, October 18, 2009

NFL And Rush Limbaugh: Some Real Quotes

I'm not a Rush Limbaugh fan. But I'm not a "hater" either. I simply think that his real influence is overstated by both his supporters and his detractors. And he's laughing all the way to the bank. While I don't listen to his radio show, I was angered by the way he was so easily an eagerly labelled a racist in the mainstream media last week once it was revealed that he was part of a bid for the NFL's St. Louis Rams. I watched on-air commentators, anchors and/or invited guests on each of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News readily and repeatedly attribute fake racist quotes to him. I have found the seeming lack of subsequent on-air apologies (or even just "mea culpas") both disappointing and eye-opening. Instead, the next day many merely retreated unapologetically (and without explanation) to a more tepid 2003 quote from Rush Limbaugh about Donovan McNabb.

That being said, I also saw a segment on Geraldo Rivera's show on Fox News last night that, I thought, laid out a different, and perhaps more compelling case for why Rush Limbaugh was unceremoniously dumped by his group bidding for the Rams. They aired a string of real segments from Rush Limbaugh's radio show. The remarks weren't racist. But they alluded to President Obama's mixed race for the most part. Taken out of context like that and strung together one after another, they seemed very calculated, baiting and maybe even intentionally provocative. If I were an NFL owner, this incendiary style (regardless of political viewpoint) might make me think twice before approving him as an owner, even if some of them might sympathize with his views. ("Man, I do not need this. I don't want to be asked every few days about something Rush Limbaugh said on his show the day before.") The segments from Rush's show start at the 3 minute mark of the clip from last night's episode of "Geraldo At Large" embedded below:

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