It is a sad day for America and her cherished heritage of free and protected speech with the departure of Rush Limbaugh from the financial group that was in the running to purchase the St. Louis Rams. Limbaugh was but one of many partners in the Dave Checketts group that is still in the running to purchase the sports team, but without Limbaugh’s contribution.It is a sad day for America and her cherished heritage of free and protected speech with the departure of Rush Limbaugh from the financial group that was in the running to purchase the St. Louis Rams.
Limbaugh was but one of many partners in the Dave Checketts group that is still in the running to purchase the sports team, but without Limbaugh’s contribution. It is clear that Limbaugh was singled out and his name leaked to the media by one of three entities simply because of how outspoken he is on his radio show broadcast nationwide, and locally in St. Louis on KMOX. We, the general populace still don’t know the names of the other financial partners in the Checketts group, other than Checketts.
And does it really matter? It does to those who evidently do not believe in equality or free speech or simply would like to brand Limbaugh’s show and the things he says as hateful, racist or full of bile. You would have to be living in a cave to not be able to at least listen to the program, to discover if the labels fit. That does not seem to matter to those who wish to penalize Limbaugh for his “transgressions.” One would think that if his program were that bad, St. Louis residents would be picketing the offices of KMOX. But that hasn’t happened either. Why?
It’s because Limbaugh is successful – at mocking and pillorying liberals and Democrats, powerful people who do not appreciate his attention – people like the Revs Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, U.S. Reps. Charles Rangel and former Rep. Barnie Franke among others. For many liberals, his shenanigans are worse than anything foul or offensive broadcast on the radio. Because the content of his show is not close to being offensive, those who opposed his views had to use a few examples of provocative statements during the entire range of his broadcast career to make their case.
The attack amounts to a political double standard, as taken up by at least one local sports columnist, Bryan Burwell, of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who has suddenly become an arbiter of broadcast standards – for at least one conservative talk show host. It seems that for Burwell, polarizing racial politics amounts to any conservative as popular as Limbaugh, with a successful radio show.
Conservatives like Limbaugh are divisive and mean. Those who tolerate foul lyrics in popular hip-hop music or other songs that broadcast an angry, menacing, or sexually explicit message must be enlightened about politics and black culture. Some music stars have produced music with lyrics that are far worse than anything that Limbaugh has said on the air. A few have become investors in professional sports teams.
It is simply a double standard for those like Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, who do not wish to play by the liberal media rules. Should other high profile conservative broadcasters also be deemed unworthy of investing in a professional sports team because they are expressing their conservative views? What if Ann Coulter wished to be a part owner of a women’s professional basketball or soccer team? Would she be immediately disqualified because she is an outspoken conservative author and frequent TV critic of liberals?
Perhaps the greatest error in this entire saga may have been committed by the NFL owners and Dave Checketts for not standing up for a successful business man, one who endlessly promotes professional football.
The move by Checketts and the owners was also a loss for St. Louis and Missouri. While Limbaugh promotes KMOX radio in St. Louis because of his relationship with the station, his partial ownership of the team would have allowed him to freely promote the city, the state and St. Louis Rams on his radio program. Because after all of the fury about Limbaugh surfaced, Checketts and the NFL owners group could have and should have stood by him.
© 2009 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as on topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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