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Area man's outrageous comments met with outrage, outrage ensues.
October 2, 2003 12:19 AM   Subscribe

On sunday, Rush Limbaugh commented that Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles, was overrated and was only seen favourably by the media because they want to see a black quarterback do well. McNabb responded, and earlier tonight Limbaugh resigned from his post on ESPN's pre-game show. N.D. Kalu, one of the Eagle's defensive ends, offered this choice quote: "He speaks well, he's well-read, but he's an idiot."
posted by The God Complex (100 comments total)

 
I just can't get over the fact that Limbaugh thought he was on to something because of the outraged response his comments garnered, as if somehow saying something ignorant and having people upset at you means you're secretly right. For what it's worth, I don't know if I'd qualify this as racism (although I think it suggests Limbaugh might hold some of these beliefs or he wouldn't even be thinking of this in the first place) as much as I'd classify it as a very stupid bit of sports commentary; it's foolish to suggest he went to as many Pro Bowls as he has this early in his career, and was runner-up for the MVP one year, because the media wants a black quarterback to do well. It also makes me wonder if Rush Limbaugh has ever heard of Warren Moon or any other number of black quarterbacks before Donovan McNabb who have already done well (or any quarterbacks who are currently doing well, such as the injured Michael Vick).

Related: Things you'd never say to Rush Limbaugh (it's at the top of the page). Just because, you know, when confronted with shallow observations, it's usually best to fire some back, or something... (it's worth it for the roseanne joke).

(sorry for the format error: I shortened the post and apparently missed the breaks at the end. Hopefully Matt gets a chance to shore that up.)
posted by The God Complex at 12:23 AM on October 2, 2003


For more information on this topic, please refer to previous post.
posted by paradigm at 12:28 AM on October 2, 2003


You mean the post about the pig roast was actually about.... I give up.
posted by The God Complex at 12:31 AM on October 2, 2003


Rush Limbaugh is one in a seemingly never ending line of self styled 'conservatives'. One of the 'not-my-fault' types. In this case hes harping the untrue and over beaten dead house of 'the media'. Instead of coming up with some valid criticisms of the man game play or perhaps even his attitude, it has to be 'the media' that is doing it.
posted by MrLint at 12:36 AM on October 2, 2003


My first response to this when I heard about it yesterday?

Who fucking cares? Both Rush Limbaugh AND pro football lost their relevance years ago.
posted by mischief at 12:42 AM on October 2, 2003


When you take these right wing idiots like Rush (ESPN) or
Michael Savage (MSNBC) out of their talk show safety box they just seem to implode.
posted by thedailygrowl at 12:46 AM on October 2, 2003


we haven't come very far in 15 years.

seriously, i think rush is behind the times, maybe 10 years ago a black quarterback was something to talk about, but now half the teams in the league have one. it's a non-issue. i have no idea what caused his comments, but i think i heard somewhere he's a big fat idiot...
posted by rswst8 at 12:57 AM on October 2, 2003


So why didn't Rush serve in vietnam?

LOL.
posted by lilburne at 1:22 AM on October 2, 2003


The fact that he said this doesn't really surprise me. He says crap like this all the time on his show. ESPN shouldn't have been surprised and in fact probably should have never hired him to begin with.
posted by whirlwind29 at 2:23 AM on October 2, 2003


Rush Limbaugh is one in a seemingly never ending line of self styled 'conservatives'. One of the 'not-my-fault' types. In this case hes harping the untrue and over beaten dead house of 'the media'. Instead of coming up with some valid criticisms of the man game play or perhaps even his attitude, it has to be 'the media' that is doing it.

posted by MrLint at 5:36 AM on October 2


And here I thought it was only the bleeding heart liberals that play the victim card. Damn you mean conservatives do it TOO?
posted by whirlwind29 at 2:30 AM on October 2, 2003


Let's take 'em down. One post at a time.

Metafilter: Talent On Loan from The God Complex

You're welcome The God Complex.
posted by crasspastor at 3:07 AM on October 2, 2003


This Limbaugh....it says stupid things?
posted by MrBaliHai at 3:57 AM on October 2, 2003


I know that it's fashionable to bash conservatives on MeFi. But take a look at the transcript at what he SAID and the context in which he said it. It really wasn't THAT big of a deal.
posted by insulglass at 4:12 AM on October 2, 2003


Insulglass,
Take into context what Rush says on a regular basis and it truly IS that big of a deal. I'm surprised he didn't say if McNabb would take that bone out of his nose he would make a better quarterback. But you're correct in that context matters. Rush's racism is well documented on the web.

Does this statement make me fashionable? Ooooh! What sizzle I have!
posted by nofundy at 4:45 AM on October 2, 2003


"He speaks well, he's well-read, but he's an idiot."

Shouldn't that be "big, fat idiot..."
posted by jpburns at 4:54 AM on October 2, 2003


Rush even runs the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced Republican Studies.

Oh the irony.
posted by CrazyJub at 4:54 AM on October 2, 2003


Thankfully Rush and the stupid challenge system are gone from ESPN. The only impressive part of Rush on ESPN was that he made Steve Young worse as a commentator. Instead of intoning stupid banalities like normal, Steve kept tripping over his own righteous indignation and couldn't get the insults and veiled hatred out fast enough. It looked like a scene straight out of junior high: jock attacks fat kid he's sure everybody hates, turns out no one cares about either of them.

Never mind Rush; fire whomever hired Rush and Michael Irving and ruined a good pregame show.
posted by yerfatma at 4:54 AM on October 2, 2003


And in other Rush news,

NY Daily News Rush Limbaugh in pill probe
posted by CrazyJub at 4:58 AM on October 2, 2003


Bill Hicks is high-fiving Jesus as we speak.
posted by angry modem at 5:09 AM on October 2, 2003


who gets rid of Sterling Sharpe for *Michael Irvin*???
posted by djspicerack at 5:34 AM on October 2, 2003


Wow, CrazyJub - Rush Limbaugh is an OxyContin addict? [..."There were times when I worried," Cline told the National Enquirer, which broke the story in an edition being published today. "All these pills are enough to kill an elephant - never mind a man." (from CreazyJub's linked story)]

Well, maybe he needs the painkillers because he's in agony from his "special Vietnam War deferment" anal cyst.
posted by troutfishing at 6:44 AM on October 2, 2003


"...he's an idiot."

This news is brought to you by Professor Duh! at the Department for Studies Of The Incredibly Obvious At No Shit University.
posted by jonmc at 6:46 AM on October 2, 2003


Unfortunately, I think Sterling left on his own accord...

Damn, he always dressed sharp too... And he wasn't such the loud mouth dumbass that Michael Irving is.

Irving just exudes arrogance. At least Sterling was humble and knew what he was talking about.
posted by da5id at 7:04 AM on October 2, 2003


Department for Studies Of The Incredibly Obvious A No Shit University?

DSOTIOANSU is not a funny acronym. Do it over!
posted by Fezboy! at 7:05 AM on October 2, 2003


jonmc, that was hilarious. I too am wondering why the hell people are surprised that Limbaugh is a racist idiot. It's the kind of crap he espouses to his "angry white male" audience all the time. His core audience generally hasn't done anything with their lives, despite having all the societal advantages of being white and male. Their pathetic lives must be black people's fault, because obviously it couldn't be THEIR fault at all. Right? Oh, and also, they are persecuted for being Christian, because viewpoints other than their own are allowed to exist, and not only does that constitute persecution, obviously that's the worst kind of persecution that ANYONE has ever had to endure. MUCH worse than concentration camps or lynching, obviously.

Fucking morons.
posted by Shoeburyness at 7:07 AM on October 2, 2003


Well, shoeburyness, he's an idiot but he's also a shrewd bastard. The "angry white male" is a real phenomenon, and some of the anger is legitamite and needs to be addressed, but that's not what Limbaugh's about. His job is to sell the politicians he likes to that AWM audience, who the politicains will proceed to screw over even further.

Limbaugh portrays himself as the champion of Joe Sixpack, even though he's never had a shred of Joe's experience. But he postures and tells his audience, "You're underpaid? laid off? feeling pissed on? Blame blacks, feminists, lesbians, gays, the Philadelphia Eagles, etc." when they should be blaming their CEO's and political leaders. It's classic divide and conquer. Sadly, many on the left play into the trap, by ignoring or diminishing the concerns of this emographic or on occassion blaming them for the worlds problems. And, yes, the AWM's deserve some blame for swallowing the malarkey that's leading to their own disenfranchisement.

Whichever Democrat is gonna defeat Dubya is gonna have to court that segment of the population hard and carefully.

I know I've been taken to task for my "common man" posture here and I'm not claiming to speak for him, but what I just said I think is very relevant to what's happening politically right now.
posted by jonmc at 7:21 AM on October 2, 2003


His core audience generally hasn't done anything with their lives, despite having all the societal advantages of being white and male.

I'm not picking on you but think of how that would sound to a laid-off white coal miner in West Virginia or autoworker in Michigan someone working multiple jobs to pay the bills (like both my parents). It's a perfect opportunity for the Limbaughs of the world to say "See? They hate you!"
posted by jonmc at 7:27 AM on October 2, 2003


Not that I care about the man or anything, but exactly what was wrong with what he said?

If a black guy said that about a white guy, which basically happens all the time, there would be no fuss.

So, what gives?
posted by eas98 at 7:28 AM on October 2, 2003


emographic

Typo or brilliant neologism?
posted by elgoose at 7:39 AM on October 2, 2003


eas98, isn't it that mcnabb is in truth a really good quarterback, and isn't where he is because the media wants to promote blacks? When a white guy is a good quarterback, is it not because of his abilities and talents, or is it because of a media plot?
posted by amberglow at 7:40 AM on October 2, 2003


elgoose- both, cause I'm just that good.
posted by jonmc at 7:43 AM on October 2, 2003


Unfortunately, I think Sterling left on his own accord...

My understanding was that, in classic New England prep school fashion, he was "not asked back." He should have done like the problem child in my class year and just kept showing up anyway.
posted by yerfatma at 7:43 AM on October 2, 2003


On the topic of the pill-popping: Rush has apparently had some fairly serious ear-issues over the past few years. He had lost most of his hearing and it was getting worse so he elected to have some sort of ear-surgery that seemed to have temporarily fixed the problem.

At the time, it came up that the sort of hearing loss that he was experiencing was usually associated with painkiller addiction.
posted by bshort at 8:20 AM on October 2, 2003


He says crap like this all the time on his show.

Exactly. That is the point. It is an art they develop over time. It guarantees ratings. It is obvious bait meant to stir things up. Numerous radio hosts do it. Here in Boston we have Jay Severin, who drops bombs daily that get people riled up, thereby generating ratings. It is just another way to spoonfeed the public. I would not let this bother you too much.

The worst quarterback in the league, is still a great quarterback. Wouldn't have a job otherwise.

Limbaugh just made the mistake of applying some of his radio antics to a forum where it was probably totally unnecessary.

Having read what he actually said, I don't feel it was racist, but merely a statement more meant to implicate the "lefty media." Which is what his type do on a daily basis on their various radio shows.
posted by a3matrix at 8:22 AM on October 2, 2003


Well said jonmc. Loved emographic .

Thanks for not just jumping in with a sarcy one liner. :)

Rush? Rush whom?
posted by alicesshoe at 8:23 AM on October 2, 2003


"He speaks well, he's well-read, but he's an idiot."

Who woulda thunk?!

Franken does make mistakes, however. He once declared on SNL that the eighties were his decade, but it appears that he was off by twenty years.

This is the decade of "he, Al Franken"...
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:30 AM on October 2, 2003


eas98 to date I have not heard anyone saying that overrated white qb's are overrated just because they are white. let me know if you can find some examples of that.
posted by chaz at 8:41 AM on October 2, 2003


"Only NFL, Liberal Sportswriters Can Mention McNabb's Race?"
posted by hama7 at 8:54 AM on October 2, 2003


Shoeburyness, I can't believe what a racist you are.

Oops, but it's that "acceptable racism."

Take what you wrote and substitute Black for White and White for Black and see how fast everybody is all over your ass for racism. Do it. I tried it. I was embarassed to have my name attached to it, even if I was just trying to make a point, so I wouldn't post it.

See what a disgusting racist you are?

MeFi: Where racism is OK as long as it's the right SORT of racism.

You're as bad as Rush.
posted by swerdloff at 8:55 AM on October 2, 2003


^
divide and conquer in action.
posted by jonmc at 9:03 AM on October 2, 2003


You're as bad as Rush.

I agreed with you completely until that last line.

Even Camille Paglia says that, "Limbaugh brings a genuine intellectual service to American culture.", an appropriate compliment. And no I shan't link to Salon.com ever again.
posted by hama7 at 9:10 AM on October 2, 2003


Yeah, I can't think of one example of where a black sportscaster has said that people are rooting for or against a white athlete because he was white, or even where a black sportscaster said that we all want a black athlete to succeed, because that would be both provocative and ignorant, and presuming a lot of things that are just stupid dogmatic generalizations.

ESPN hired him, and on some level expected provocative content. If you want to blather stupid generalizations on your hair-brained theory of “the liberal media” on your own show, that’s one thing, but on a football game, his social/political tripe is just stupid (I mean, who cares why a quarterback is overrated.) and out of place. I think on some level he’s tried to make himself a martyr here. He knew this would get a rise out of people, and that’s the exact reason he said it. Seems he had this stepping down thing planned out. And, while I haven’t listened, I’m sure he’s patting himself on the back for having the moral conviction to “tell it like it is” or something equally insipid.
posted by GiantRobot at 9:16 AM on October 2, 2003


take a look at the transcript at what he SAID and the context in which he said it. It really wasn't THAT big of a deal.

Ok, fine. Then this is just a good opportunity to reduce the mass media exposure of one seriously sorry piece of shit. Unfair? Over-reaction? I couldn't care less.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.
posted by scarabic at 9:19 AM on October 2, 2003


"Only NFL, Liberal Sportswriters Can Mention McNabb's Race?"

Yes. Damn the cultural elitism of the blatantly left-wing professional sports reporting industry.

(Laughs ass off)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:21 AM on October 2, 2003


First, apologies to you Iggles fans out there...

Listening to Rush backpedal and explain what he meant yesterday, I thought he's both right and wrong. McNabb is lionized by sportswriters right now. But it has nothing to do with an agenda to see a black quarterback do well. It's because he and his team are having a disappointing start to their season, and the sportswriting community mostly roots for the underdog. (Not that I'm comparing McNabb to any opressed canine individuals.) McNabb and the Eagles aren't impressing me so far this year, but he and they do have a very impressive record up to now.

And I like the soup commercials, too.
posted by alumshubby at 9:24 AM on October 2, 2003


>>And I like the soup commercials, too.<<

I like the soup commercials with the white players much better.
posted by GiantRobot at 9:31 AM on October 2, 2003


Now I'm the one laughing, the vast majority of comments on this post are so incredibly predictable!

Well, like him or not, Rush must be doing something right (no pun intended) if nothing less than to resonate with the majority of the public out there. He certainly makes a tidy profit by putting his opinion and belief in front of the masses. There is no one with a liberal background that even remotely can be deemed as successful as a competitor.

Granted, I live and work in a traditionally conservative Southern state, in a traditionally conservative industry. In an informal "water cooler" poll, most of my co-workers, by about a 3:1 margin agree with Rush. Yes, most of my co-workers are indeed Sunday afternoon armchair quarterbacks, and most of them believe that McNabb is indeed overrated.

Finally, ESPN hired him to provide commentary and opinion. Do you think they actually want to see him go? And is Rush really sad about this? "NO" on either front as ratings skyrocket through the roof. In reality, though we may not agree with the method, he did his job well - he increased ESPN's ratings and gave them a shot in the arm they would have sacrificed a goat at midnight to get.
posted by insulglass at 9:37 AM on October 2, 2003


Even Camille Paglia says...

Oh, OK, if Rush is getting support from such a sober, non-sensationalist source, we're probably making too much of this.
posted by soyjoy at 9:42 AM on October 2, 2003


In an informal "water cooler" poll, most of my co-workers, by about a 3:1 margin agree with Rush. Yes, most of my co-workers are indeed Sunday afternoon armchair quarterbacks, and most of them believe that McNabb is indeed overrated.

But do they believe he's overrated because of a media plot to help black players? That's the difference...we're all armchair quarterbacks about everything--we don't all ascribe it to conspiracy theories.
posted by amberglow at 10:02 AM on October 2, 2003


I feel somewhat at ease, now the Fat Jaw Limbaugh is starring in his own rural American OxyContin passion play.
posted by the fire you left me at 10:05 AM on October 2, 2003


I don't get it. Supposing it were a fact, for a moment, that a black/female/gay/transgender sportsperson was being hyped up and overrated because the media wanted their chosen person to succeed because of their own political "positive discrimination" agenda, would nobody be able to say so?

Rush Limbaugh is surely a vile pox on satan's scrotum, but I don't see this as remotely rascist, so much as a point that's open to debate and/or easily proven/debunked.

There are so many more reasons Limbaugh should have been cast from the airwaves, than this. It seems pretty ridiculous.

<waits for stoning, tarring & feathering or cool, clear & reasoned counter-argument>
posted by Blue Stone at 10:09 AM on October 2, 2003


The NFL is color blind. They were one of the first sports to have both black and white players, and practically 100% of commentators do not care whether you are black, white, red, green or yellow. If you can run, catch, tackle or throw, you are held in high regard as a good player. Race is never an issue.

Rush MADE it an issue, and that's what the whole mess is about. The only perceived bias is in his highly medicated brain.

Ad by the way, the only reason that Rush calls the sports media "liberal", is that they are not bashing liberals thenselves. Like when Clinton was censored, The Sporting News only had a small mention on page 63! Damn bias!
posted by CrazyJub at 10:11 AM on October 2, 2003


Shrub, Rush and Ahnold all in the same week?
How philharmonic...
I don't wonder who's pulling the strings, so much as why now...
posted by BentPenguin at 10:11 AM on October 2, 2003


waits for stoning, tarring & feathering or cool, & reasoned counter-argument

Motherfu__%#@$%^&*$%3...
Actually, Limbaugh presented no evidence of his claim at all, and when one makes what is essentially a sociological assertion, it ought to be because data and some sort of process led him to that assertion. If Limbuagh is going to appoint himself ESPN's chief social scientist, he ought to behave in some methodological way.

It is true that people should be able to discuss these issues, and I'm often bothered by our inability to be frank or to really learn much about race and sports (not from a "why are those negroes so fast?" perspective, but phenomenologically, in terms of sports as these closed societies that can provide information about larger societies). But whenever Limbaugh brings up topics such as this one, he does so in a way that is strictly opinionated, and he never presents anything--reasoning, evidence, empirical examples, analgoies even--to be inspected. How can you take someone seriously when it is so obvious that they try to fit the world into their little model and not the other way around? Who here thinks that Limbaugh has ever said anytying like "wow, I never looked at it that way. Thanks for showing me a new way to think about that."

Some of us are alarmed by the promulgation of the thoughts of someone who doesn't think.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:34 AM on October 2, 2003


swerdloff, what exactly are the societal advantages of being black? Black people today may face less discrimination than previous generations, but it's still there. You can't reverse what I said, because it's just not true. People who don't make anything of their lives because they can't be bothered and then blame it on some other group are pathetic, regardless of their race. However, there is historically and currently some truth to the fact that there is/was widespread discrimination against blacks and other minorities. When a white person starts whining about how they are dicriminated against and persecuted, it's 99.9% of the time self-indulgent bullshit. If an auto worker is out of work, it's probably because his company moved the plant to another country-- that's got nothing to do with affirmative action. If a coal miner is out of work, it's probably due to the decreased reliance on coal as a fuel--again, nothing to do with affirmative action. If people were hired based only on their merits, we wouldn't need affirmative action. But when you listen to Limbaugh and the "angry white males", it's obvious racism is alive and well in America. And I'm white, by the way.
posted by Shoeburyness at 10:35 AM on October 2, 2003


Limbaugh got slammed first and foremost in the Philly papers because his insinuation that "the media" was hyping McNabb beyond what his performance on the field actually deserved was in many respects an indictment of the Philadelphia media, which covers McNabb/the Eagles with far more scrutiny than the national media.

The insinuation being that Eagles beat writers had some sort of agenda. The writers didn't take kindly to that, nor should they have.

And insulglass, there's a big difference between "resonating with the majority of the public out there" and saying something that is factually correct. Bullshit resonates as loudly as truth, sometimes. And just because a lot of people think something doesn't make it the truth.
posted by kgasmart at 10:42 AM on October 2, 2003


Godwin's Law needs to be redefined to include references to Camille Paglia.

One elitist stands up for another elitist. woo hoo.
posted by archimago at 10:44 AM on October 2, 2003


If an auto worker is out of work, it's probably because his company moved the plant to another country-- that's got nothing to do with affirmative action.

Exactly. But that autoworker (of any race) has every right to be angry. But the Limbaugh's of the world misdirect that anger for their own political ends, is what I was saying.
posted by jonmc at 10:51 AM on October 2, 2003


Ignatius I agree with your assessment, but it proves what? That Limbaugh is an opinionated arsehole. We already knew that.

It doesn't mean what he said was rascist, and that what happened subsequently was not a gross overreaction [which IMO it is.]

[I mean, the distasteful thing for me, would have been having him hired for the show in the first place.]

<waits for soyjoy to infer rascism on my part -heh>
posted by Blue Stone at 10:58 AM on October 2, 2003


Funny thing, that racism. For example, host Neil Rogers' show on South Florida ESPN affiliate WQAM, often played the following song parody (lyrics excerpt) (to the tune of Nat King Cole's "Mona Lisa). But frequent complaints to the NAACP were ignored. Is racism okay if liberals do it?


"Condoleezza, Condoleezza, what you be doin'?
That neo-facist black-haired token schwarze dog.
"Is you there 'cause you a high-toned public Negro?
Is you their black-haired answer-mammy who be smart?

"Does they like how you shine their shoes, Condoleezza?
Or the way you wash and park the whitey's cars.
"Georgie junior says he trusts you, Condoleezza.
Who said our [unintelligible] off the greedy oil woes.

"But then he make you clean all the White House bathrooms.
The public sink, the toilet and let's scrub the floors..."
posted by kablam at 11:07 AM on October 2, 2003


Rush Limbaugh is still a big fat idiot

The creation of the Rush Limbaugh era was a move of astonishing cynicism by ESPN, a race down the low road in search of a buck or two, middle finger extended out the driver's side window at its best customers, hardcore sports fans. Knowing that any publicity is good publicity and that hiring Limbaugh would have tongues wagging, the network hired him knowing he'd add nothing to viewers' enjoyment of the games but plenty to the bottom line as the curious tuned in to see how Rush would try to shape the events on the field to fit his know-nothing political agenda.

Time and again in his brief, idiotic tenure Limbaugh returned to one of his favorite themes, the liberal media, sometimes imagined as an unthinking horde marching in lockstep, sometimes as individual reporters, legions of them, all acting in exactly the same way for some reason that's obvious to Rush if not to the rest of us.


I don't have cable, so I never had the privilege of seeing Rush opine on football, but the idea that he complained of the "liberal sports media" is laughable on its face. And what would that even mean? A bias toward the passing game?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:10 AM on October 2, 2003


I don't get it. Supposing it were a fact, for a moment, that a black/female/gay/transgender sportsperson was being hyped up and overrated because the media wanted their chosen person to succeed because of their own political "positive discrimination" agenda, would nobody be able to say so?

Exactly. Rush believed this guy was gettnig more credit than he deserved. He didn't say he sucked becasue he was black, didn't say he couldn't be *that* good because he was black, he simply suggested that the media was giving him a pass because they (the media) had a vested interest in hyping a star black QB. I gather, though, that such an idea is beyond all possibility.

Now, if somebody suggested that, say, a white boxer was being given undue attention because the press wanted the next Great White Hope, there would be applause all around. But apparently no one can suggest such a thing about black atheletes. And that's the real racism.
posted by Ayn Marx at 11:27 AM on October 2, 2003


If the "liberal agenda" have an agenda to hype black quarterbacks, do any of you fellow NFL fans think they'll get around to talking up Kordell Stewart's potential after that Packers-Bears game Monday Night?

I didn't think so either.
posted by alumshubby at 11:28 AM on October 2, 2003


Is racism okay if liberals do it?

No. (shudder.) Next question?

Also, jonmc: First, I am going to start using the word "emographic." Can't wait for it to come into common use, so I can point to this thread.

Also, I intended to contribute to the dialog, but as hama7 has appeared, and made his predictably ludicrous point (even Paglia supports Limbaugh? She's a lap dog of the right, and you know it) I no longer have the stomach.
posted by Fenriss at 11:31 AM on October 2, 2003


Also, jonmc: First, I am going to start using the word "emographic." Can't wait for it to come into common use, so I can point to this thread.

Wow, 3 years of thoughtful (and not-so-thoughtful) commenting online and I gain fame through a typo.

Fate, thou art a cruel mistress.
posted by jonmc at 11:39 AM on October 2, 2003


Exactly. Rush believed this guy was gettnig more credit than he deserved. He didn't say he sucked becasue he was black, didn't say he couldn't be *that* good because he was black, he simply suggested that the media was giving him a pass because they (the media) had a vested interest in hyping a star black QB. I gather, though, that such an idea is beyond all possibility.

I call bullshit. You can argue that Limbaugh's comments were right/wrong from a societal point of view, but from a purely football point of view, he's completely off-base. Check McNabb's stats, check the pedestrian supporting cast on offense the Eagles' management has saddled him with. Watch the tape of his gritty-as-hell performance against the Rams in the 2001 NFC championship game. McNabb is the real deal, though he's slumped badly so far this season.
posted by kgasmart at 11:46 AM on October 2, 2003


The Quarterback, as a position, is given too much credit. When the team wins, the QB gets the credit and when they lose, the QB gets the blame. I believe that when salary caps were imposed the age of the QB essentially came to an end - we are in the era of the coach now.

Anyhow, McNabb was great during 2001 and even pretty awesome during 2002. He blew the first two games this season, but had a great third game.

I'm reading lots of the same sports pages that Rush is reading and I don't see McNabb getting any exaggerated praise. Quite the opposite - in the last couple of weeks, I've seen him get quite a bit of flack.

Is there a media bias towards black players? I really can't say for sure, but I don't think there is. It seems to me that if the player is good, the media is interested regardless of race. It also seems that if the players was overhyped by the NFL, the media is merciless.

I think Rush was wrong based on the statistical evidence. I'm also disappointed that he resigned over this - one of the only admirable qualities he has is that he generally doesn't back down from a fight. I believe the resignation was a sign that he's not standing behind what he said.

Should ESPN have hired him? Should Monday Night Football have hired Dennis Miller? Should any legitimate sports show hire an entertainer to cover something that they don't apparently have expertise in? That is another issue entirely.

On preview, what kgasmart said.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:03 PM on October 2, 2003


So I guess if you listen to the elitist liberal sports media, I nor anybody else who hasn't been somehow close to the game or played it or whatever shouldn't be on a program where these items are discussed. And by the same token, I guess if you haven't served in the military you can't talk about war...

If Rush thinks that the sports media is liberal, then he's more cracked than I thought. I really enjoyed his "poor me" response. Thanks, hama7!
posted by norm at 12:05 PM on October 2, 2003


Exactly. Rush believed this guy was gettnig more credit than he deserved. He didn't say he sucked becasue he was black, didn't say he couldn't be *that* good because he was black, he simply suggested that the media was giving him a pass because they (the media) had a vested interest in hyping a star black QB. I gather, though, that such an idea is beyond all possibility.

I call bullshit. You can argue that Limbaugh's comments were right/wrong from a societal point of view, but from a purely football point of view, he's completely off-base. Check McNabb's stats, check the pedestrian supporting cast on offense the Eagles' management has saddled him with. Watch the tape of his gritty-as-hell performance against the Rams in the 2001 NFC championship game. McNabb is the real deal, though he's slumped badly so far this season.


Then the flack should be over Rush's ignorance of the sport, not supposed racism.
posted by Ayn Marx at 12:30 PM on October 2, 2003


Exactly. But that autoworker (of any race) has every right to be angry. But the Limbaugh's of the world misdirect that anger for their own political ends, is what I was saying.

Well, okay, I agree with that. But to paraphrase a famous saying, no one can misdirect your anger without your consent.
posted by Shoeburyness at 12:32 PM on October 2, 2003


Limbaugh should get flak both for ignorance of the sport (after all, half the starting quarterbacks in the NFL are African American--they can't all be being hyped because "the media wants to see a black quarterback succeed"--and for automatically reaching into his radio demagogue's bag o' tricks when he doesn't have anything informed to say.

Then, to suggest "I must be right! Otherwise people wouldn't be so angry with me" smacks profoundly of fourth grade recess to me.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:40 PM on October 2, 2003


Rush must be doing something right (no pun intended) if nothing less than to resonate with the majority of the public out there.

Damn that silently resonating majority.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 12:41 PM on October 2, 2003


Also, McNabb's performance in his last game certainly serves as a brilliant riposte to Limbaugh's idiocy.

Now, if we Red Sox fans can just get Limbaugh to make some stupid comments about Pedro Martinez...
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:43 PM on October 2, 2003


Well, okay, I agree with that. But to paraphrase a famous saying, no one can misdirect your anger without your consent.

True enough, but there's very few people out there pointing their anger in the right direction right now and the political future of the country relies on that to some extent, plus as an American, I'd like to see those issues addressed honestly.

Besides, channeling the feelings of the populace (correctly or incorrectly) is what politicians do. It's like high school to a degree: when someone feels excluded by one clique, often they'll run to the opposing clique out of pique. Stupid yes, but human nature. Let 'em in the clique, those dittoheads are a bad influence and I think they're on dope.
posted by jonmc at 12:46 PM on October 2, 2003


this edtoon is like three years old People still listen to Rush Limbaugh? People still watch football? Will wonders never cease? Not that I watch, but they should bring back Dennis Miller. I mean, what could it hurt? "Between Rush Limbaugh and myself, he's the fatter, louder and richer one. Otherwise, we're just two disingenuous egomaniacs who'd rather hobnob with the pompous and powerful than scrutinize them... Despite grudging acceptance by some conservatives, I'm not all that funny anymore. When I'm the only one laughing at my jokes, it's usually because half the audience doesn't understand me and the other half doesn't really like me - kinda like when I was on Monday Night Football." My kinda guy!
posted by ZachsMind at 1:11 PM on October 2, 2003


The Quarterback, as a position, is given too much credit. When the team wins, the QB gets the credit and when they lose, the QB gets the blame.

Normally, I'd agree with you. Then I look at the inconsistency of the Eagle's running game and the below-average receivers McNabb's forced to throw to, and it becomes painfully clear that tha Iggles have had two things going for them over the past several years -- Donovan and their defense.

As far as I'm concerned, Donovan is the real deal and always has been. He's had precious little to work with, but has consistently been an offensive workhorse leading an otherwise mediocre team to a couple of playoff seasons. In many ways, Donovan is the heart and soul of the team, and I just don't see how you can call the man overrated. But that's just me.

But to take it one step further, and to blame his fame and hype on some liberal vested interest... I'm sorry, but you lost me there. First of all, anyone who's ever followed Philadelphia sports and the sports media there would have to be a complete idiot to think that anyone gets a free pass in that town. Last year when he came back from a six-week injury stint just in time for the playoffs, and the rust was showing, the media was consistently calling for him to be benched. At the beginning of this year, when everything was going wrong, the team couldn't get on the board, and the Eagles went 0-2, I don't think there was a single journalist who stuck up for McNabb -- or anyone else on the team, for that matter. So I can understand why a few of them might get a little upset when it's not-so-subtly suggested that they're caving to some straw man affirmative action bullshit, and I completely agree with them.

Even if all Rush meant to do was to push forward some ill-advised jabs at the so-called liberal media, his handling of the subject, and the subject matter, was downright stupid. For one thing, there's no need for the media to latch onto and hype a black quarterback to show one can do well anymore. The year is no longer 1985, and journalists are not bending over as apologists for minority QBs. Where has Rush been for the last fifteen years "as a fan," anyway? Maybe he missed the legacies of Doug Williams, Randall Cunningham, and Warren Moon... Or maybe he just hasn't noticed that about 1/3 of all NFL quarterbacks are African-American. Does this so-called "liberal media agenda" include journalists making up excuses for the likes of Kordell Stewart or Jeff Blake? Does this mean that McNabb, Culpepper, McNair, or Vick aren't just as good, if not better, then nearly every other QB out there?

The complete and utter stupidity of the argument, and Rush's subsequent whining as though he's a victim in some sort of ridiculous, desperate conspiratory drama just utterly baffles me. No one's got it out for him because he's a conservative -- they've got it out for him because he's completely, utterly wrong.
posted by dogmatic at 1:18 PM on October 2, 2003


(even Paglia supports Limbaugh? She's a lap dog of the right, and you know it)

Far from it, though you might like to read it for yourself, if it's not to outrageously "ludicrous".

Speaking of reading it for oneself: Quotes from Rush on McNabb.
posted by hama7 at 1:30 PM on October 2, 2003


Great post, dogmatic.

I tend to think that if Limbaugh wasn't so completely wrong from a football standpoint, he'd have been able to withstand this. Having been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan all my life, I can tell you without a doubt that some in the Pittsburgh media stood up for Kordell Stewart while he was there because he was black, and because a good deal of the criticism heaped upon Stewart was motivated by racism (though he sure as hell didn't help his own cause by throwing key picks and skipping the ball off the turf on quick slants).

And I think the racist bullshit turned some writers' stomachs and prompted them to stick up for Stewart even when, by any objective football standard, he deserved to be benched.

But Limbaugh's decision to single out McNabb was racist, I think, because there is so little in the way of facts to back up the allegation. Which leads me to believe that he could have said it of Steve McNair, he could have said it of any other black quarterback, it didn't matter, because in his head all black quarterbacks are given too much credit because they're black.
posted by kgasmart at 2:01 PM on October 2, 2003


"If the sports media are going to get upset with me for saying that their desire for black quarterbacks to do well might influence their opinion and coverage of McNabb, I'll take it back and say, 'Okay, you're not interested in black quarterbacks doing well.'"

I've made several attempts to try to comment on this quote, but it's premise and logic are so flawed I'm having a hard time knowing where to start. It struck me in the article as bizarre, and that it's been selected as Rush quote, I think it deserves some attention.

Is it supposed some kind of indictment? The "liberal sports media" is saying exactly that, they are insulted by the notion that they are interested in seeing black quarterbacks succeeding over white quarterbacks.

Do you Dittoheads only listen to Rush because he's white? Wouldn't you be outraged if that was said on national TV?
posted by betaray at 2:18 PM on October 2, 2003


I agree with CrazyJub. Anyone who knows football will understand that this game is color blind ... except to the racist. Donovan McNabb is a big story, because he is one of the only reasons to expect the Eagles might win a Championship. He is that good.

Anyone who knows the game, pays attention to the traits and habits of individual players and the teams they play for. Randy Moss passed his ability for temper tantrum off to Terill Owens. Jake Plummer is showing impressive growth but he'll be cursed against Kansas City because he made the cover of Sports Illustated. How will Junior Seau blend with a team other than the Chargers? Who put a quarter in the Panther's Nickle slot?

The only reason to bring up race in the NFL is because you think it matters to the game as its played. Rush didn't do that. He brought up race as an indictment that the media, and the fans by extension, were racist in promoting *a* black quarterback beyond his real importance. That's a lie and an offront to any who follow the game.

Personally, I wish Rush hadn't quit. Witnessing the disconnect as Rush alienated all his Football loving fans would have been more pleasant than this sudden Martyriffic flameout.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:57 PM on October 2, 2003


Before we put the spaghetti in the machine, could someone please explain to me what the hell "liberal sports media" means? How can sports journalism be liberal?

"Well Bill, the Packers may have lost, but it's probably because of the social framework the team had to play in. Let's raise taxes."

"Yeah Frank, and all those fat-cats in the season ticket seats, what about the children?"


And does that even mean anything except putting "liberal" in front of anything??

Of course it's raining! It's the damn liberal weather media that caused it. Will all the rain, we can't play with our guns!

I'd get my car fixed, but you know how those damn liberal mechanics rip you off!
posted by CrazyJub at 3:01 PM on October 2, 2003


The Bears' offensive line just has baby after baby in order to keep those welfare checks rolling in. Their running game will be forever stalled unless they stop the culture of entitlement.

I predict that Dat Nguyen will have a breakthrough season this year, as his people did quite well on the bell curve.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:32 PM on October 2, 2003


eas98 to date I have not heard anyone saying that overrated white qb's are overrated just because they are white. let me know if you can find some examples of that.

Isiah Thomas said Larry Bird would be just another player if he wasn't white.

You can find example on both sides. That's not important. A statement is either wrong or right, racist or not.
posted by justgary at 4:12 PM on October 2, 2003


As others have noted, most likely this is the reason Limbaugh resigned--not the McNabb remark.

Speaking of the man in his own words, via atrios:
Rush Limbaugh on Drug Addiction

...and just keep scrolling down for more juice.
posted by y2karl at 5:18 PM on October 2, 2003


Isiah Thomas said Larry Bird would be just another player if he wasn't white.

Right. Bird never asked to be the Great White Hope. I do recall a quote from black sports/music journalist Nelson George: "During his career Bird was beter than 98% of the NBA. Not bad for a white boy. Or anyone else."
posted by jonmc at 5:24 PM on October 2, 2003


Well, gee, I find Rush to be moron (and I make a point of reading his magazine about every other month to find him distressingly predictable) but asking him to resign because he did what he was paid to do? Overall, this is a win-win situation for everyone involved, ESPN gets the publicity and Rush gets to complain about the mythical liberal media cabal that persecutes him at every turn.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:26 PM on October 2, 2003


i think Rush knew the drug thing was coming--the Enquirer almost always contacts the people they're going to expose ahead of time. He maybe decided that was a more important thing to fight than the espn thing.
posted by amberglow at 5:49 PM on October 2, 2003


it looks like the drugs story has some legs, so that may be a reason, but i think Wulfgarl hit it right on the head:

"Witnessing the disconnect as Rush alienated all his Football loving fans would have been more pleasant than this sudden Martyriffic flameout."

after only a few shows, Rush found out he couldn't hang. he took the coward's way out, blaming the liberals all the way.

that's not to say that the "liberal" democratic candidates didn't embarrass themselves as well. don't they have better things to do besides demanding the firing of a television commentator?

and isn't this America? aren't you free to be as much of a racist as you want (as long as you don't create a threatening work environment)? is that really grounds for termination? i should hope not, cause there would be a lotta dudes outta work.

espn knew what they were getting. they fired him b/c he stunk, and they used this incident as the excuse. cowardly actions all round. bravo, television! you've shown us the way once again! racism is over!
posted by mrgrimm at 6:13 PM on October 2, 2003


My favorite line from Karl's link:

"I know every expert in the world will disagree with me..."

Does it even matter what the second part of the sentence is?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 7:17 PM on October 2, 2003


Am I missing something? Every source I've seen states that he resigned - I haven't seen a single source that suggests he was even asked to fall on his own sword. Why are people saying he was fired?

Apologies in advance if I have failed to read something carefully.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:34 PM on October 2, 2003


I'm assuming he was asked to resign, Joey, and his comments about his cohosts kinda reinforced that for me. Dropping a gig like that without a fight doesn't seem to be his style, either.
(There are also tons of cases of people resigning because they didn't want a public firing ruining their reps)
posted by amberglow at 8:43 PM on October 2, 2003


I'm assuming he was asked to resign, Joey, and his comments about his cohosts kinda reinforced that for me. Dropping a gig like that without a fight doesn't seem to be his style, either.

On the contrary, that is his exact style. He says something indefensable, and then runs away shrieking that the liberals are ruining America and his persecution is proof of that thing. Show me one time, just once, when Rush actually stood his ground against critics outside of his own radio, TV, or publishing show. Need we be reminded how Letterman and audience sent him scurrying like the cowardly cockroach he is? Never assume that a shreaking cornered vole will behave like a trapped wolverine just because it tells you it can.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:55 PM on October 2, 2003


i stand corrected then : >
posted by amberglow at 9:07 PM on October 2, 2003


Yes. Damn the cultural elitism of the blatantly left-wing professional sports reporting industry.

Well, we have this ignorant, ignorant hatchet-job.

And a free pass for Dusty Baker's racism.

And this pablum about Tiger Woods' lack of concern for social justice.

Three stories do not a trend make, but your assertion is a bit careless.
posted by trharlan at 9:46 PM on October 2, 2003


This whole things reminds me of the time last year during conference championship weekend when my dad told me he wanted the Bucs and Raiders to win, otherwise "You know what the story is going to be all week."
posted by nath at 1:50 AM on October 3, 2003


Rush has never debated or argued or defended his silly generalizations. He has a forum where he can bark these things unopposed. Have you ever seen him in a debate, or even a rational discussion with any informed person; he's always preaching to the already converted. He only talks where he can get the last, usually only, word in. Him quiting is totally in his character. It makes him a martyr and lets him whine about how unfair it all was. I think we can argue how racist what he said was, but that's missing the point. What he said was ill-informed, wrongheaded, said in the inappropriate forum and meant to be provocative for the sake of being provocative. Who watches football for Rush's trenchant social insight? He says indefensible things then runs away.
posted by GiantRobot at 4:16 AM on October 3, 2003


scarabic: Ok, fine. Then this is just a good opportunity to reduce the mass media exposure of one seriously sorry piece of shit. Unfair? Over-reaction? I couldn't care less.

Thanks for the honesty, scarabic. The end justifies the means, eh? What Rush said may not have actually been racist, but you can't stand Rush on principle, so you're happy to see him tarred and feathered under false pretenses, anyway.
posted by syzygy at 7:12 AM on October 3, 2003


Ah, well. Can owillis have Rush's spot?
posted by black8 at 2:45 PM on October 3, 2003


Oct. 5, 1995, partial transcript from RL show:

"What this says to me," he told his listeners that day, "is that too many whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are
getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to
start letting people out of jail because we're not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the
ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too."




And when Jerry Garcia died ...

"When you strip it all away," Rush had said of the Grateful Dead guitarist, "Jerry Garcia destroyed his life on drugs. And yet he's
being honored, like some godlike figure. Our priorities are out of whack, folks."
posted by elpapacito at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2003


Limbaugh won't be prosecuted, attorneys wager
posted by homunculus at 11:54 AM on October 4, 2003


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