Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 2, 2003
FOOTBALL/POLITICS: More McNabb

While I tend to agree with my co-blogger The Mad Hibernian that some of the outrage at Rush Limbaugh over his comments on Donovan McNabb is rather artificial (Howard Cosell got away with worse), the fact is that this was a really idiotic thing for Rush to say, and one that will probably doom his second career as a sportscaster. Let's put this in perspective: Rush has a new job. He comes with a reputation. Ex-ballplayers have to prove to the audience that they're not just dumb, inarticulate jocks. Dennis Miller had to prove that there was a place for a comedian in the Monday Night Football booth. The one thing Rush has to prove is that he can keep his politics out of his football commentary. Responding to questions about the NFL's silly minority-hiring mandates is one thing; the network asked him to give his take on that controversial subject.

If Terry Bradshaw or John Madden said Donovan McNabb was overrated in part because of his race, it wouldn't be news. Bill Simmons, last Friday:

I can't imagine any QB in the league playing worse than McNabb did two weeks ago. Is he even that good? It's like the Ben Affleck thing -- everyone keeps telling me that Ben Affleck is a major movie star, enough times that you even start believing it ... but check out his filmography on IMDB.com some time. Not exactly a bevy of hits. Same goes for McNabb. For a few years, he was a winning QB on a very good football team. Doesn't make him a superstar.

But a lot of people will now just say, "Limbaugh. We knew he was a bigot." And that doesn't help Rush's ability to get people to hear his political message, either.

UPDATE: I seem to be behind the news cycle a bit on Limbaugh - more on the broader story later.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:24 AM | Football • | Politics 2002-03 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Agreed - there's no doubt it was a dumb thing to say: it plays into people's stereotypical views of Limbaugh's worldview, its just plain wrong and it was mighty uncalled for.

Now he has stepped down and I can't argue with his doing so - free speech is not speech without consequences. Yet, when someone like the Dixie Chicks (i.e. someone enlightened) says something stupid and catch heat for it, then there is a "chilling effect" on free speech exemplifying America's stifling of dissent and the free choices of private people electing not to temporarily listen to or buy their music are referred to as "Nazi stuff" by the likes of Jeaneane Garaofalo, etc...

Again, not defending Limbaugh here, but the double standard is truly laughable.

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at October 2, 2003 10:20 AM
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