Jewish Journal


October 20, 2009

Rush Limbaugh and the Use and Abuse of the Racism Charge


Now that Rush Limbaugh’s name has been dropped from a consortium bidding to buy the National Football League’s Saint Louis Rams, there’s a bit of summarizing that needs to be done.

A lot has been said over the last week about Rush’s involvement in the bid, and now that he’s been forced to drop out, based on claims that’s he’s a racist, many are gloating over what they see as a major victory over the hated conservative talk show host.

Rush is a big boy, with one of the nation’s largest megaphones in the form of a nationally-syndicated radio talk show – one that has the country’s largest listener ratings, so he’s more than capable of defending himself.

Seldom however, do the tactics of the nation’s race industry become so completely transparent.  And rarely does the leftward tilt of the nation’s mainstream media get displayed in such obvious ways.

As soon as it became public that Limbaugh had been invited to join with an investment group trying to buy the Rams, Reverend Al Sharpton sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell arguing that the bid should be rejected because Limbaugh is a racist.

What is true is that Limbaugh is flamboyant, can be controversial, and pokes fun at his targets of the day – much in the way that comics and talk-show hosts do on late-night television.

We may need to be reminded that this is the same Al Sharpton who acted as the mouth-piece for Tawana Brawley, a black teen-age girl who claimed she’d been raped by a gang of white men.  As we were to discover, much like the recent Colorado balloon hoax, her story had been completely made-up without a shred of truth after tremendous media attention.  Part of the fall-out was that Sharpton lost a defamation court case.

This is the same Al Sharpton involved in the infamous 1995 “Freddy’s incident” at a Harlem store of the same name.  Sharpton called the Jewish store owner “a white interloper.”  His rabble rousing contributed to an environment that resulted in a shooting and fire-bombing at Freddy’s that left seven innocents dead.

He has never accepted his responsibility for these actions - apparently, being Al Sharpton, especially the 2009 version, means never having to say you’re sorry.

What had Limbaugh done to bring about such an overwhelming media reaction and virtual consensus that he is a racist? 

While briefly working as an NFL commentator for ESPN in 2003, Limbaugh offered the opinion that: “I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL.  The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.” And “There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn’t deserve.  The defense carried this team.”  Take issue with this if you like, but it was simply Limbaugh’s opinion.  Was it racist?  It is … only if you think criticizing a black quarterback is racist.

At the time I disagreed with Limbaugh, I think McNabb has been a tough, competent – if somewhat erratic– competitor; calling Limbaugh a racist for his opinion is at best overly sensitive.  Even the liberal Slate Magazine agreed with Rush’s assessment, saying “Limbaugh was right. Donovan McNabb isn’t a great quarterback, and the media do overrate him because he’s black.”  Is Slate racist as well?  It didn’t matter, the spine-less executives at ESPN summarily fired Limbaugh for his comments.

However, since the 2003 comments weren’t seen as convincing enough of Limbaugh’s racism, stories were concocted out of whole-cloth impugning Limbaugh’s racial attitudes.  Quotes were attributed to Limbaugh, and then were forwarded directly to CNN and MSNBC, which dutifully incorporated them into their reporting … uncritically.

According to the reports, Limbaugh had praised slavery and James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King, on-air.  To his credit, only CNN’s Anderson Cooper took the time to investigate the inflammatory claims and judged them untrue.

The non-stop onslaught to derail Limbaugh’s NFL bid included dredging up a quote saying “The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Crips and the Bloods without any weapons.”  Racist you say? 

A 2008 article in the Los Angeles Times reported that the NFL was so concerned that some players were flashing gang signs that it hired experts to examine game tapes.  An earlier probe examined the criminal histories of all NFL players and discovered that a staggering 21 percent had been arrested or indicted for crimes, 26 times more often than the general public. 

But since the claims have been made, and spread far and wide by the internet and the mainstream media, how do we know that Limbaugh didn’t say the things he has been charged him?

Well, the very left George Soros has employed a team of stenographers, under the auspices of Media Matters, who transcribe every one of Limbaugh’s radio shows, hoping to discover a career-ending comment.  What have they been able to come up with after all these years?  Nada, zip, nothing.

The fabrication of claims against Limbaugh is simply another demonstration of how race is used and abused by the nation’s race-hustlers. 

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