Tuesday, November 3, 2009

El Rushbo - Racist?

Rush Limbaugh, after being dropped publicly by a group of investors seeking to buy the St. Louis Rams, was mad. The head of the group, Dave Checketts, said the Limbaugh involvement became “a complication and a distraction to our intentions”.

Rush told the Wall Street Journal he’s colorblind, not a racist, and said “These intimidation tactics are working and spreading, and they are a cancer on our society”.

Well, he oughtta know.

Jay Leno weighed in. On his show, he said Rush wants to know if he’s a racist, why would he want to be part of a business that’s 70% African-American. Leno said “So he can OWN them!”

My friend Holland Cooke, who is probably the best and most sought-after News-Talk Radio consultant in the world, put together a montage of Rush quotes in his monthly newsletter. Holland’s summary is a cautionary tale for anybody who’s in the talk-show-host business. Rush is fond of saying “words mean things”. Cooke points out “words have consequences”.

Anyone who’s listened to the Rush Limbaugh show more than a couple times knows that up until he joined the group trying to buy the Rams, he played a parody song called “Barack, The Magic Negro” every few days. Oh, but that’s not racist. That’s Limbaugh humor.

Cooke has pulled some quotes including this very-much-on-topic one: “The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips”. Or how about this one: “We are being told that we have to hope [President Obama] succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles…because his father was black”. No race-card-playing there.

Or how about Limbaugh’s frequent references to the President as being “Halfrican-American”. More humor, huh? Rush has also said “Obama’s entire economic program is reparations”. Just run-of-the-mill hyperbole, the kind of stuff you might hear on any right-wing talk show.

But I’m sure you’re seeing a pattern here.

Rush also said “in Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering”.

These are just a handful of actual Limbaugh quotes that Holland Cooke put together. Rush indeed was misquoted several times by the national media, in the coverage of the story surrounding his failed attempt to get a piece of the Rams. There’s no excuse for such sloppy work by what’s left of the (as Rush would say) “state-controlled drive-by media”.

All they would have had to do is turn on his radio show and listen for an hour. They’d have had plenty of “ammunition” to make the point that Limbaugh is everything he accuses Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson of being.

My friend Holland Cooke is right: words do have consequences.


  1. Rush Limbaugh is easily one of the most bigoted "media personalities" in American history. He ranks up there with Father Coughlin. Limbaugh channels Strom Thurmond and Orval Faubus and Bull Connor (whose real name, btw, was Theophilus) and makes common cause with every Grand Dragon since the Civil War.

    Limbaugh's limbic reaction is to deny he's a racist and insist he's as beige as can be. Talk about color blind. Not only do words have meaning and consequences, these days they possess a persistence that on-air utterances never used to have. So it happens that the words of Rush Hudson Limbaugh III, over the course of years, give lie to his claim of innocence. It is not piling on to examine a few more snippets of the long record he's trying to deny:

    "The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well." February 7, 2003 (The comment marked the end of his brief stint as a CNN sports broadcaster.)

    "The government's been taking care of [young blacks] their whole lives." February 1, 2007

    "Obama has disowned his white half ... he's decided he's got to go all in on the black side." March 21, 2008

    If "feminazis" had remembered to oppose affirmative action for black guys ... "they wouldn't face the situation they face today."

    "You can't criticize the little black man-child." August 20, 2008

    Obama is "more African in his roots than he is American" and is "behaving like an African colonial despot." June 26, 2009

    Obama "wants us to have the same health care and plan that he had in Kenya" and "wants to be the black FDR." August 24, 2009

    Basketball is "the favorite sport of gangs." October 7, 2009

    Limbaugh routinely refers to American Indians as "injuns."

    Not that we really need any more of this, but here is a list of another 10 racially tinged Limbaugh canards:

  2. It's oft been said that the Left is a grim group of people.

    You offer another bit of evidence for that.

    Too bad.

  3. Hey Tim, your a leftist!
    But what does that make me?

    It's oft said that "tribalism is the father of racism."
    Stanley Crouch"
    Too bad dad29

  4. So Rusky gets punked because he does not fact check (Not the first time)? Wow, what a surprised.

    Oh, and when contronted that he was punked, he defended himself by saying “we stand by the fabricated quote because we know Obama thinks it anyway” (Yeah good try to save face, what a loser)

    After so many years of mis-labeling and mis-characterizing others he gets smacked down by the NFL “Not For Limbaugh”. Way to go NFL, great job!

  5. Tim: I miss hearing you on the radio!


  6. Colonel,

    To throw my (considerable) weight behind Limbaugh's defense...

    If he is racist then might he have no black employees? His main call screener is black. I understand that you might reply that he is forced to comply with EEO regulations and so forth...but would he feature that black employee on his web site? I guess that employee could be an Uncle Tom...

    If he is racist would he feature a black guest host as he has done for years in the person of Walter E. Williams? Or is that explained away by EEO or whatever? Maybe Williams is an Uncle Tom, too.

    If he is racist would he trumpet his friendship with Ken Hutcherson so much? Or is Hutcherson an Uncle Tom, too?

    The trouble with the "racist" label is that it sticks so almightily much better to persons of the Caucasian persuasion. I believe that Limbaugh is correct (along with many others) in saying that to criticize the President is to invite the "R" label. It is such a knee-jerk reaction by Obama supporters and advisers that I can't help but think that it's too convenient. Drop the "R" bomb and no one has to think about it. It's such a handy, all-purpose epithet.

    How can commentators avoid sounding racist when Obama's own supporters make such a career out of spreading the "R" label?

    Is Michelle Malkin racist when she criticizes Obama? Is any black commentator that criticizes Obama racist? Williams, Thomas Sowell, and Larry Elder come to mind.

    I've seen the quotes Mr. Cooke posted as well as others. Yep, Limbaugh steps over the line many times. But is he simply a smarter David Duke? That is, smart enough not to have joined the KKK or some other white supremacist group?

    The NFL doesn't want any additional controversy, so they say. I suppose that it has enough on its hands with union negotiations, steroid abuse, felons, and drug addicts in general.

    I don't listen to Limbaugh as much as, apparently, you do. I prefer Dennis Miller. The third hour of Miller's show is pre-empted by the start of Limbaugh's show, unfortunately.

    It may be infuriating that he and Hannity and Beck and Savage and Belling, et al, do so well ratings-wise...but, to me, it's an indicator of the market giving people what they want. Sure they overstep and, sure, they deserve criticism when they do so. But where are the comparable radio left-wingers? Air America? Anything else? Why is talk radio the medium for right-wingers?

    Is my mention of Limbaugh's call screener and his black guest host and former NFL player friend racist itself?

    Steve Erbach

  7. oki, but who is explicit on the "other side?