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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Al Sharpton for NFL Commissioner

The new topic of the week is the ugly campaign by CNN's Rick Sanchez, the head of the NFL players union, a variety of loony left-wing blogs, Al Sharpton, and the George Soros crowd, to prevent Rush Limbaugh from being part of a group purchasing the St. Louis Rams based upon entirely fabricated racist statements attributed to Limbaugh.

The meme from the haters is that Limbaugh has to prove he did not make these statements, rather than the accusers proving he did make the statements. This is not a Van Jones situation, where Jones was run out of town based upon what he demonstrably did say as recorded on video and audio tape.

This is similar to the smear against Glenn Beck accusing him -- in the form of a question -- of murder and then demanding that he prove he didn't do it, and the smear against Robert Stacey McCain by Little Green Footballs accusing McCain of being a "white supremacist" based upon out of context and plainly insufficient accusations.

The point of this tactic is to repeat accusations frequently enough that fiction and reality merge in the public consciousness. And on the internet, all you have to do is repeatedly put someone's name in close proximity to the inflammatory words, so that the search engines associate the name and the accusation.

And it works. Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, has cast doubt on whether Limbaugh ever would be allowed to be a team owner based upon the controversy.

Unlike the pathetic kowtowing by NFL leadership to the Al Sharptons of the world, on the field the NFL, to its credit, is a meritocracy when it comes to player selection. The best players are selected by coaches, without regard to race. It so happens that the result is a vastly higher percentage of black players in relation to the percentage of blacks in society. No one suggests that there is racism involved in this process which results in racial disparity, nor should they. Let the best players play.

But it does go to show that racial disparity is not always the result of racial motives. When the percentage of blacks in the quarterback position was lower than one would expect given the percentage of blacks overall in the NFL, there were accusations of racism or racial profiling of black players. But why would we assume a coach would pick the best players for all positions except for quarterback?

And this situation regarding the quarterback position was the one situation in which Rush Limbaugh actually did make a statement attributed to him. Limbaugh stated many years ago that the media was going easy on Donovan McNabb's inadequate performance because the media wanted a black quarterback to succeed. I didn't follow the controversy closely enough at the time to state absolutely that Limbaugh was correct, but it was not out of bounds for Limbaugh to point out what arguably was true.

The use of false accusations of racism for tactical purposes is so pervasive that it is part of the political and social landscape. And now it is part of the NFL.

Unlike play in the NFL, however, there is no concern with reality and there are no challenges and instant replay. The truth matters on the football field, but not when it comes to the use of the race card.

Why not be done with it, and just make Al Sharpton Commissioner of the NFL? After all, someone told me that someone told them, that they heard that possibly, sometime, maybe, Roger Goodell said [insert false accusation here].... and Goodell hasn't proven he didn't say it.

Related Posts:
Psychology Today: "Will Blacks play football for Massah Limbaugh?"
Charles Johnson and Robert Stacy McCain
An Allergic Reaction To The Race Card

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  1. Look Rush Limbaugh is a very smart man. Love him or hate him, you’ve got to realize he’s no dummy.

    So, do you really, truly believe that ‘ole Rushbo didn’t know that his bid (with others) on the Rams would not create a crescendo of race baiting and an immediate full-on attack by Liberal smear campaigners? Are we really all expected to believe he had no knowledge that DeMaurice Smith of the players union isn’t a bono fide member of the dear leader’s gang of political haters? Are we to believe that Rush had no hint that maybe Al and Jesse would appreciate the opportunity to browbeat the Commissioner?

    Come on. Pigs don’t really fly. Rush knew this would happen. Controversy is his middle name. Rush will profit no matter what happens.

    The real "cleverness" in all this is the extension of the culture war into the NFL. Now for weeks when we turn on the game, we'll have to listen to political propaganda from sportscasters...

  2. Would Condi Rice work? She did express interest in the job afterall. And not only is she black, she is a woman. And not only a black woman, but a Republican, kind of like a trifecta of identity politics.

  3. Rush has the resources, so he needs to just go ahead and sue the hell out of some of these "journalists", news organizations, and bloggers. I'm not a 1st Amendment attorney, and the NYT v. Sullivan standard is tough to meet, but some of this stuff, particularly the made-up quotes, is so egregiously over the top and reckless that it would seem to clear the malice hurdle.
    But even if it doesn't, he can financially ruin some people with legal fees. They'll never play it straight until he brushes them back off the plate. A little chin music seems in order.

  4. Actually, an article on Slate.com, no less, discusses Limbaugh's 2003 comments quite well, concerning the media's coverage of McNabb.
    The mistake Rush made was to bring intelligent, semi-political discussion to a Sunday morning NFL pre-game show. Then again, as the writer concludes, what did ESPN hire Rush for, if not to discuss off-the-field football issues?
    Rush Limbaugh was Right

  5. Assuming this is true, damages are no longer speculative.

    Me? I hope he takes Rick Sanchez to the cleaners.

  6. You just received a mention on The Michael Savage Show. Congrats!

  7. I hope that Rush sues Rachel Maddow, Rick Sanchez, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson just for starters. He should also sue any of the liberal bloggers who repeated the smear... it was not the 2003 quote but the smear that was written in a book and placed on Wikpedia by someone named "Cobra". If Cobra can be outed then he should be sued as well.

  8. and THANK YOU for not calling Al Sharpton "The Rev." That makes me so sick!!!

  9. It will be interesting to see whom, if any, Rush will go after now that he's been dropped from the interest group.

  10. FWIW- the "smear" you refer to against Glenn Beck is not a smear at all. It is not, and has never been, intended to actually get people to believe that he is guilty of rape and murder. It is a satire, intended to highlight the tactics he uses (a hotline for the White House to call- Oh, they're not calling, so whatever I'm saying must be correct). Almost every media outlet that has written about the "Glenn Beck 1990" website has referred to it a parody or satire.

  11. Uh, satire has nothing to do with Google bombs. If the goal is to satirize something, you do it within the context of a site. Working it into the 'suggested searches' on search engines is an attempt to get the allegation into the public's consciousness without any satirical (or other) context.
    Normally I'd be inclined to give someone a pass on something like that and write it off as someone just doing something stupid. But given the Left's near universal penchant for screaming 'Nazi' at anyone who disagrees with them, or declaring on the floor of Congress that Republicans want the elderly to die as a matter of policy, or virally publishing the most blatantly fraudulent racial quotes, I'm not really inclined to give the Lefty blogosphere the benefit of the doubt on such things.
    BTW, I'm pretty sure the Google bomb pre-dated the White House hotline for complaints about FNC by a few weeks (or more).

  12. The "Glenn Beck 1990" incident was not a Google Bomb (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Bomb) in the strict sense of the term. It was not an organized attempt to affect search results. Someone just posted a comment on a discussion site that other people found funny, and a meme was born. Yes, the origin predated Beck's "hotline," but it is a good example of the tactics Beck is perceived to use. Other examples go back to Beck's tenure at CNN. Just because lots of people happen to be repeating something, that does not mean that there is any organized or coordinated effort behind it.