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A Spoonful of Saccharine: Second-Stringers Pile on Rush Limbaugh Rams Story

Posted on October 13 2009 12:30 pm
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Editor’s Note: Click here for an explanation of, and links to, Tim and Alissa Birkel’s ongoing series on the Rachel Maddow Show.

The Rachel Maddow show was without its one redeeming quality Monday night, as guest host David Shuster managed to deliver the usual leftist hackery, but devoid of any noticeable charm or smile. Shuster also managed to be the latest body to pile onto the ridiculous cavalcade of left-wing media rushing to the Rush Limbaugh Rams’ ownership story.

In search of someone–anyone–to attack Limbaugh, Shuster (or the Rachel Maddow Show producers) found a sports columnist for the Marxist weekly The Nation — yes, we were just as surprised as you that such a position exists — named Dave Zirin. Where some commenters on the story have seen fit to restrain themselves at least somewhat, Zirin wastes absolutely no time in calling Limbaugh a racist.

On the show, he said:

“the NFL cannot have an owner with a history of statements that, to put it mildly, are racially insensitive or to put it bluntly are stone-cold racist.”

He went even further in a column on his “Edge of Sports” website, calling Limbaugh an “unapologetic racist,” and urging NFL owners to “flush Rush.” Leaving aside for now that the owners of other NFL teams really should have no say in who owns the Rams, Zirin’s attacks were based entirely in the realm of fiction.

Of course, Shuster, by way of introducing Zirin, played the infamous Donovan McNabb clip. And just as obviously, he failed to demonstrate in any way how the comment was racist. As fellow NewsReal blogger Paul Cooper already noted, the comment was a critique of the media, not blacks. But of course, an institution as un-self-aware as the media would never realize this.

Zirin, though, wasn’t content with merely repeating other factual inaccuracies as he went on to insist that NFL owners were “to the right of Genghis Khan.” That would come as a surprise to the Ram’s current ownership. According to actual respected sports writer Peter King of, “no NFL team in the past 20 years has donated more money to the Democratic Party than the Rams.”

Zirin also mines the bottom of the comedy barrel to say that Limbaugh would be worse than any other NFL owner, but not before going after the rest of the owners as “…a group of brigands and thieves. I mean, Al Davis is an NFL owner, for goodness’ sake. The man is practically the crypt keeper.” Really? “Al Davis is old” jokes? Way to make Leno seem like cutting-edge comedy there, Dave.

But Zirin accidentally stumbles into a bit of truth when he says that Limbaugh shouldn’t be an owner because

“Every time a player is drafted by the Rams, it’ll be, ‘What do you feel about playing for Limbaugh?’ Every time there’s a trade, ‘What do you feel about playing for Limbaugh?'”

If Limbaugh does become an owner (and he will be no more than a partner in a group of owners at that), we probably will hear that over and over again. Why? Because of the media. Not because of Limbaugh. He’d probably be happy to serve as a quiet owner in the background. But the media are obsessed with Limbaugh — obsessed with tearing down a man they don’t understand and whose popular appeal far outstrips their own. Just like the Donovan McNabb brouhaha, this situation is not about race, or about politics, it’s about the media — a media so steeped in leftist philosophy that they attack a conservative for daring to do anything that strays outside their little, predefined bubble of what conservatives can do.

It’s about a media with so little self-awareness that they can’t seem to realize that they are the ones pushing this story. That for 99% of the public and 99% of the players in the NFL, Limbaugh will be just another owner. But far be it from the media to give up another chance to play “Conservatives in the Mist” stories and show how “intelligent” and “enlightened” they are for not allowing Limbaugh to pursue in peace what should be a purely business decision.

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