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

Posted by: ST on October 17, 2009 at 12:07 pm

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.

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29 Responses to “The latest on the Rush/NFL drama – and what it means for conservatism”


  1. It needs to be remembered: Mr Limbaugh was fired resigned from a short-lived job as an NFL analyst on ESPN after he made comments concerning Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb. Yeah, you can look at the comments he made, and say that no, they weren’t racist, but they walked on the edge of saying that MrMcNabb was given greater fame and credit than he deserved because he is black. In a political blog, you can say things like that, and continue to make your arguments; as an NFL analyst, or a part-owner, no, you can’t.

    I’d point out that Marge Schott, then the owner of the Cincinnati Reds, was suspended from managing her team by Major League Baseball for making (more outrightly) racist comments.

  2. Courtney says:

    I guess the more the race card works, the more people continue to use it. When will someone stand up to it?

  3. T-Steel says:

    The fact is that the market decided. The NFL has majority black players. Rush Limbaugh has said “some things” that COULD BE taken a certain way. And heck, that’s his right and I’ll defend that to my dying day. BUT the NFL can’t have it’s meal tickets, the majority black players, openly boycotting a team and it’s owner (and by proxy) the entire NFL. Sometimes baggage, whether perceived or real, comes back to bite ya in the arse. And that’s what happened to ol’ Rush. Sharpton and Jackson are just simple-minded and backwards opportunists that piggybacked on “market rumblings”.

    So even if Sharpton and Jackson were quiet (WE CAN ONLY PRAY), those black players is the real reason that Rush couldn’t get over the hump. Now we can criticize those black players all we want but that’s the lay of the land right now. Fair or not.

    As far as the race card being played, when that card is wrapped around a multi-billion dollar industry, it’s not a card anymore. It’s world-destroying asteroid. :-(

  4. Seems to me that the NFL’s meal ticket are the consumers, who buy the tickets to see the games or watch them on TV which drives the value of the network contracts to air those games and who also purchase the cross-marketed merchandise, etc…. I’m fairly sure that a hefty percentage of Pro Football fans are “conservative” leaning and probably don’t much care for the treatment Limbaugh received at the hands of Eric Holder’s former protege and Obama transition team member DeMaurice Smith (now Executive Director of the NFL) and accomplished race-baiting skank Al Sharpton.

    What would happen if all “those” fans stopped buying game tickets, NFL sanctioned merchandise and turned the dial on Monday nights? Would we see an NFL attitude adjustment?

    Yeah, I know its a pipe dream.

  5. Independent says:

    If Sharpton and Jackson can attack Limbaugh & win, then they can eventually attack you & me. If you believe Limbaugh is fighting just for himself…then you need to read that new book, A Time To Stand by Oliver, cause he is fighting for all of us.

    1. From bondage to spiritual faith;
    2. From spiritual faith to great courage;
    3. From courage to liberty;
    4. From liberty to abundance;
    5. From abundance to complacency;
    6. From complacency to apathy;
    7. From apathy to dependence;
    8. From dependence back into bondage’

    The book is insightful based in part on real Americans/events & it could be your hometown one day soon. It’s superb cause it’s so contemporary. Read it.

  6. T-Steel, as always, I appreciate your opinions, but I have a quibble: Was it “the market” that decided, or the players and owners? Are they “the market” or are the fans?

  7. LC Gregory says:

    As observed on this site, last weekend’s games were a passel of really good teams playing really bad teams – leading, for the most part, to really bad games. This weekend promises to be some really good matchups – I was particularly looking forward to the NY Giants / Saints game (combined record of 9-0).

    But not now. I would like to say I will Never Again watch the NFL, but I know I’ll break down in the future. But I sure won’t break down for the next few weeks.

    This is an attack on All public conservatives. Rush is a big boy, and he’s still flush with cash. He can take care of himself. But this legitimizes all attempts to keep conservatives out of the public square.

    I was upset enough with the Philly Eagles for giving Michael Vick another chance, when he should have just gone on into an anonymous retirement. But now the whole league has lost a big, big fan.

  8. all jokes aside, why dont we organize a real boycot of all NBC pregame, postgame and halftime shows….to see if it would affect their advertising revenue

    the left has done it for years, its our turn

  9. and T steel….get real….to these players all that talk are the almight dollar

    its their language….and they dont care where it comes from

    and maybe its just a bit reverse racist when everytime you criticism someone of another skin color that whole race decides youre racist…..

    maybe goodell needs to start a black player/white person tolerance program?

    or maybe a differing opinion tolerance program for his players?

    the market didnt speak
    let me tell you the truth about the MARKET
    here in st louis, our left leaning paper had a poll and 70% said he should have been able to buy the team

  10. and for the first post……rush was indicting the media with what he said…..
    he didnt disparage McNabb, he questioned the media over blowing him because of his race….

    sorry, theres no racism there except he might have mentioned a persons color while saying the media is cheering for him for that reason….you might want to see it, but come on

    did he say blacks cant play the position, question black players skills?\

    no, he questioned the medias motives

  11. I keep wondering–or mabye it’s just a silly-nilly dream of the type that Bo Peep would have–that someday this whole race-bait, hustle-move, power-politics now inserting itself into everything from cereal choices to sports venues, will just….go away.

    It can be argued, of course, that Rush’s observations about McNabb being hailed by the media were off the mark. I don’t know enough about McNabb (vs. other players) to make a sound or off-the-cuff judgement on his abilities.

    But whatever the case, Rush was merely pointing out (and we DO see this more recently in the slobbering, wet-kiss media fawning over Obama)that the major media can and do pick “favorites” for reasons that have less to do with ability and more to do with race and other “cosmic justice” balances.

    For that sin of stepping over the PC sin lines, he was deemed racist.

    He didn’t so much offend actual race sensitivities as offend PC sensitivities. Liberals in the media (which is most of them) don’t get their knickers in a wad about falsity.

    They generally only get mad when you’re telling the truth about their latest shinanigans and stunts.

    That’s when Olbermann gets on his putrid groove on and starts with the meatbag gig.


  12. jann says:

    Rush just helped expose Obama’s agenda to more people, the NFL world which is alot of people. Very smart man that Rush. If you think he even said any of those things that they said he did you dear are the fools. Wise up and do some research to get it right! This is a war, the government against the people. Rush knew exactly who he was getting involved with and I think he knew exactly how it would go down. Get em Rush!!!

  13. MarkJ says:

    The Cincinnati Reds fan Dana,

    Your post would have been fine if you’d have just stopped after “no, they weren’t racist.” But, nope, you needed to take that swan dive into the Vortex of Moonbattery. It gives your life meaning and enrichment, doesn’t it?

  14. Robert Lewis says:

    Comes at a time when the NFL is totally overrated as a sport. Watched the Cowboys destroyed by Jones and become no longer America’s team, but America’s drug user black men. For me and my family and friends, we are going to high school football, neighborhood baseball and soccer. NFL advertisers can find someone else to show Janet Jackson’s breast to.

  15. Great post.

    The irony of Jesse Jackson and especially Al Sharpton accusing anyone of racism makes the head spin no matter how many times it happens.

    And Sistertoldh is right; the market did not decide this one, a small bunch if idiot leftist commentators did. The made up a bunch of quotes (and/or quoted made up quotes) and created the impression that there was a lot of outrage when there was one.

    In other words, it was the triumph of the intolerant left.

  16. Peter says:

    Seems that a team with Limbaugh’s millions behind it would be in a position to pay more that a team without those millions. And since Limbaugh counts as friends many black NFL stars, I seriously doubt that many black players would refuse to play for a team that was partially owned by Limbaugh.

    I quit watching the NFL some years back when the overt criminality of the players got too much to stomach. But I’ll not watch louder, now.

  17. Desert Rat says:

    And now, Sharpton is threatening to sue Limbaugh for libel! You can’t make this stuff up!

  18. TWoPolitics says:

    We live in a new era of “racist incrimination.” It began January 20, 2009.

  19. Tango says:

    …seems clear to me that there were many losers in this little circus, not the least of which was the NFL. b-)

  20. nina says:

    The majority of NFL players are nothing but thugs in tights. They kill dogs,beat up their wives and their girlfriends,shoot themselves. They are a disgrace. Now they have become political thugs just because BO is black. The white guilt part doesn’t work for me. They can take the race card and put it u know where. Boycott the NFL.

  21. Carlos says:

    Great comment, Desert Rat!

    And as far as Olbermann goes, he may consider MM a “big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick,” but that’s got to be miles better than the pig without lipstick he is. He really does need to stick to his sty and never be let out in public.

  22. Lorica says:

    If I owned a newspaper I would have a headline. “Rush Limbaugh Lynched by Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson”. Seems fitting to me, sorta like calling President Bush a “Nazi” or people who are protesting the new massive Gov. takeover of our healthcare.

    BUT the NFL can’t have it’s meal tickets, the majority black players, openly boycotting a team and it’s owner (and by proxy) the entire NFL.

    Why would they boycott the NFL?? The majority of blacks have voted for the Democratic party for many years now, who have been openly discriminatory toward black folk. Seems to me very little difference in this situation. – Lorica

  23. T-Steel says:

    Let me clear that up, ST. “The market” is a poor choice of words. The fans are “the market” but the players (black players) could have caused major headaches for the owners. Conservatives are not about to bail on the NFL or football in general because Rush Limbaugh doesn’t own a team. Since I moved to suburban/rural Georgia, football is a drug who’s addiction is lifelong. So the NFL wasn’t worried as much about the fans as they were worried about the players messing up “the product” which would THEN cause the fans to bail.

    Like I’ve said many times where I blog at about this issue, if conservatives, like LibertarianAdvocate said, stop purchasing those tickets because of the Rush Situation, THEN we would have some ACTION. But conservatives love football more than Rush (or they have priorities).

    GO FALCONS! :d

  24. Severian says:

    I wonder just how dedicated the “black” players in the NFL would be to an actual “strike.” Remember football players in general are not that overly skilled with respect to doing another job, definitely not for high 6 or 7 figure salaries. How many would really endanger their lavish lifestyles, fame, and fortune for something as inane as this. I think they talk a good talk, but would fail to walk the walk. Both for money, and ego reasons (hard to be an important person when you’re looking for a job).

    And ultimately, if they did strike and get replaced, that’d be for the better IMO. Replace them with people for whom playing the game is more important than silly political grandstanding.

    But I guess we’ll never know. I’m sure many of them could have had a wonderful career in dog fighting or such. Face it, from the behavior of too many of them, football players, regardless of race, are not exactly people who should be idolized. Even Babe Ruth was not a saint, and times have degenerated since then.

  25. T-Steel says:

    I wonder just how dedicated the “black” players in the NFL would be to an actual “strike.” Remember football players in general are not that overly skilled with respect to doing another job, definitely not for high 6 or 7 figure salaries. How many would really endanger their lavish lifestyles, fame, and fortune for something as inane as this. I think they talk a good talk, but would fail to walk the walk. Both for money, and ego reasons (hard to be an important person when you’re looking for a job).

    I agree 100%. But the owners flinched first. And Rush got booted. I’m not a Rush fan but it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest if he owned a team. But that’s just me.

    As a former collegiate offensive lineman, I have to agree with you on the character issue in general. I wasn’t a thug but I did have a genuinely nasty streak that made me very successful as a left tackle. My upbringing did allow me to reign it in MOST of the time. But I was involved with a few scuffles with other “jocks” on campus (nothing that got me arrested). So you take a nasty streak, add lack of “home training”, you get alot of football players (whether from the “ghetto”, suburbs, or country).

  26. Severian says:

    Well T-Steel, your behavior and opinions as expressed here at least show that you do reign it in better than many, and you are right that a lot of it is home upbringing, how one is raised. Like a human being or a wild animal, everyone has darker impulses, rationality and discipline let you keep them in check. Sadly not that common in today’s society.

    And you’re right again, the owners blinked. I think far too often people fold when they should stand their ground, but for many I think it was a convenient excuse to provide cover for what they wanted to do anyway, I think there are a lot of left leaning team owners and league officials. I’d have had more respect for them if they came out and were open about it and took whatever lumps came from it, but it’s also a rarity these days. Not too many people say what they mean and mean what they say, especially in these overly PC times where allegations of racism and other nasties get hurled far to freely and to far too much effect.

  27. Carlos says:

    Used to be that the owners were somewhat far to the right of where Rush is now, but in a world where the leftists and socialists see nothing wrong with being capitalist pigs in real life and socialists in their ideology/fantasies, they have become the “rich man’s party” that used to be the Republicans (and the Repubs are still caricatured as such) and have become the rich man’s club as owners of major sports franchises.

    As such, why would they want an old-school conservative amoungst themselves who would remind them of what empty-headed, hypocritical jerks and liars they are?