The latest on the Rush/NFL drama – and what it means for conservatism


After race hustlers Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton got their wish, which was to have Rush Limbaugh dropped from the group bidding on ownership of the St. Louis Rams football franchise, a lot of people are weighing in in the aftermath, including Rush himself.

In an opinion piece published yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, Rush provides a mini-recap of the week’s events, and how it came to be that he was forced out of the Rams bid from David Checketts (via Memeorandum):

David Checketts, an investor and owner of sports teams, approached me in late May about investing in the St. Louis Rams football franchise. As a football fan, I was intrigued. I invited him to my home where we discussed it further. Even after informing him that some people might try to make an issue of my participation, Mr. Checketts said he didn’t much care. I accepted his offer.

Having brought me into his group [and succumbing to NFL pressure over racist quotes Rush never uttered], Mr. Checketts now wanted a way out. He asked me to resign. I told him no way. I had done nothing wrong. I had not uttered the words these people were putting in my mouth. And I would not bow to their libels and pressure. He would have to drop me from the group. A few days later, he did.

The most disturbing thing about this? That the race card has been played again, and so effectively:

As I explained on my radio show, this spectacle is bigger than I am on several levels. There is a contempt in the news business, including the sportswriter community, for conservatives that reflects the blind hatred espoused by Messrs. Sharpton and Jackson. “Racism” is too often their sledgehammer. And it is being used to try to keep citizens who don’t share the left’s agenda from participating in the full array of opportunities this nation otherwise affords each of us. It was on display many years ago in an effort to smear Clarence Thomas with racist stereotypes and keep him off the Supreme Court. More recently, it was employed against patriotic citizens who attended town-hall meetings and tea-party protests.

These intimidation tactics are working and spreading, and they are a cancer on our society.

How could this have happened, Diana West asks, when you consider what apparently IS acceptable to the NFL:

I will start with two words: Keith Olbermann. In addition to his nightly gig on MSNBC — a numbing blend of Leftist politics and something approaching Tourette’s syndrome — Olbermann is a co-host of NBC’s “Football Night in America,” the pre-game show that leads into “Sunday Night Football.” Naturally, that would be Sunday night NFL football.

This job, now into its third season, makes Olbermann not a team owner, of course, but certainly a public face of the NFL. And a public face of the NFL with many filthy things coming out of it. These include, just sampling from recent days, his pronouncement that Limbaugh claiming his own success paved the way for Glenn Beck is “is like congratulating yourself for spreading syphilis.” We could slap a headline on that — “NFL talker compares star radio and TV conservatives with venereal disease” — except that trash talk against conservatives doesn’t generate mainstream outrage.

Take Olbermann’s noxious attack this week on Michelle Malkin for what he characterized as her “total mindless, morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred without which Michelle Malkin would just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it.”

Get that? Olbermann calls an accomplished and best-selling conservative author, commentator, blogger, wife and mother (who also happens to be beautiful) a “big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick,” but such dehumanizing venom doesn’t count as controversial, or even lightly strain his NBC-NFL connection. Why, at this rate, he could end up on a box of Wheaties. His comments certainly don’t rate as “divisive” or “inappropriate” – two of the coded charges leveled at Rush Limbaugh’s “public remarks” by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay that got Limbaugh’s blackball rolling in the first place.

And that’s not all. Stage Right has a good rundown of what else is apparently acceptable by the NFL from some current NFL team owners. Double standards, anyone? You betcha.

What does this all mean for the state of conservatism? Back to West:

It goes down in the annals as the day the demonization of conservatism achieved not consensus, but normalcy, and the day the marginalization of conservatives became not a public sport but a civic duty. Think about it. What happened to Limbaugh didn’t happen to a “dead white male” on a college campus; nor did it happen to a live white male in a government-mandated “sensitivity course.” What happened to Limbaugh took place in a uniquely exclusive slice of the private sector frequented by the super-mega-rich and ostentatious, the kind of people with the kind of money that buys protection from the pressures of what is thought of as public opinion. But what happened to Rush Limbaugh – call it “Rush-baiting” — reveals that what conservative blogger Lawrence Auster calls the “dictatorship enforced by the charge of racism” has absolutely no boundaries.


But with the successful transformation of Limbaugh the potential team owner into Limbaugh the expendable “distraction,” his brand of opposition — a plain-speaking adherence to a conservatism best described as Reaganesque — has been judged unfit, unworthy even, for the sports-loving mainstream and sentenced to the margins. And that is what is most disturbing about this story. Conservatism in our time has been publicly defined as extremism. Which means, for conservatives, it’s time for some intensive historical revisionism of our own.

As for the NFL, Macsmind has some ideas about payback. Not sure it will make a difference, but it’s worth a shot.