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amigo32
October 1st, 2003, 07:14 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/01/entertainment/main576030.shtml

Furor Over Limbaugh's QB Remark

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 1, 2003

(CBS/AP) Quarterback Donovan McNabb said Wednesday he isn't looking for an apology from Rush Limbaugh for a racially tinged commentary because it's too late.

Limbaugh said on ESPN's pregame show Sunday that McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback do well.

"He said what he said. … I'm sure he's not the only one that feels that way, but it's somewhat shocking to actually hear that on national TV," the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback told reporters Wednesday. "An apology would do no good because he obviously thought about it before he said it."

Before McNabb led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 23-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Limbaugh said on the pregame show that he didn't think McNabb was as good as perceived from the start.

"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well," said Limbaugh, the outspoken conservative radio talk show host who joined ESPN this season. "There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

Limbaugh's remark has already had a ripple effect.

In Washington, Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark urged ABC to fire Limbaugh. The retired Army general called Limbaugh's remarks "hateful and ignorant speech."

McNabb, who was runner-up for the league MVP award in 2000, a member of three Pro Bowl teams and has led the Eagles to two-straight NFC championship games, said he has no quarrel with Limbaugh's comment on his playing ability. "I know I played badly the first two games," he said at his nationally televised news conference.

McNabb got off to the worst start of his career this season and was the NFL's lowest-rated starting quarterback after losses to Tampa Bay and New England. Still, the Eagles are 36-22 in games he started.

He said Limbaugh's comments about his race were out-of-bounds and added that someone on the show should have taken him on.

"I'm not pointing at anyone, but someone should have said it," McNabb said. "I wouldn't have cared if it was the cameraman."

A decade ago, there were few black quarterbacks in the NFL. This season, 10 of the 32 teams will have started black quarterbacks in at least one game.

Before McNabb's news conference, an ESPN spokesman said he didn't think the comments were racially biased.

"He was comparing McNabb's performance on the field to his reputation in the media," spokesman Dave Nagle said. He said Limbaugh doesn't do interviews.

Limbaugh has helped increase the ratings for "Sunday NFL Countdown." Nagle said ratings are up 10 percent overall, and 26 percent among the 18-to-34 male demographic. Sunday's show drew its biggest audience in the regular season since November 1996.

"ESPN hired Limbaugh for his passion and his ability to express opinion and spark debate as a football fan," Nagle said. "In just one month, he has certainly delivered."

Nevertheless, Limbaugh and ESPN have not exactly been smothered in love in the City of Brotherly Love.

“The sick thing is, this is exactly what ESPN had in mind when the all-sports network hired veteran provocateur Rush Limbaugh for its Sunday NFL pre-game show. You can imagine the meeting. The ESPN bigwigs must have needed drool cups to handle the runoff when they discussed the controversy Limbaugh would generate,” wrote Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan.

Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia News complained about the failure of Limbaugh’s studio colleagues to challenge him: “Limbaugh's black-quarterback comments were ignored. His easy dismissal of everything that McNabb has accomplished was not challenged. His cavalier, hurtful words were left to sit there and sting. On the central issue, nobody took the bully on.”

Limbaugh is best known as the radio host of the politically focused "Rush Limbaugh Show," which is syndicated in more than 650 markets worldwide.
He spent most of the 1990s assailing then-President Clinton and now spends Sunday mornings talking football, a job he called "the fulfillment of a dream."

ZippyTheChimp
October 1st, 2003, 07:52 PM
He may be slimmer, but he's still a big gas bag.

amigo32
October 2nd, 2003, 03:10 AM
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/01/entertainment/main576030.shtml

Rush Limbaugh Resigns

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 2, 2003

(CBS/AP) Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh resigned from ESPN on Wednesday night, three days after his comments about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb being overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.

Earlier Wednesday, Democratic presidential candidates Wesley Clark, Howard Dean and Rev. Al Sharpton called for the cable sports network to fire Limbaugh.

"My comments this past Sunday were directed at the media and were not racially motivated," Limbaugh said in a statement Wednesday night. "I offered an opinion. This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret. I love 'NFL Sunday Countdown' and do not want to be a distraction to the great work done by all who work on it. Therefore, I have decided to resign. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the show and wish all the best to those who make it happen."

George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports, accepted the resignation.

"We regret the circumstances surrounding this," he said in a statement. "We believe that he took the appropriate action to resolve this matter expeditiously."

Earlier in the day, before Limbaugh bowed to criticism and resigned, McNabb himself commented on Limbaugh.

"He said what he said... I'm sure he's not the only one that feels that way, but it's somewhat shocking to actually hear that on national TV," the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback told reporters. "An apology would do no good because he obviously thought about it before he said it."

Before McNabb led the Philadelphia Eagles to a 23-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Limbaugh said on the pregame show that he didn't think McNabb was as good as perceived from the start.

"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well," said Limbaugh, the outspoken conservative radio talk show host who joined ESPN this season. "There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

Limbaugh's remark has already had a ripple effect.

In Washington, Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark urged ABC to fire Limbaugh. The retired Army general called Limbaugh's remarks "hateful and ignorant speech."

Front-running candidate Howard Dean, a former Vermont governor, followed up with his own assessment: "absurd and offensive." "There is no legitimate place in sports broadcasting for voices that seek to discredit the achievement of athletes on the basis of race,'' said Dean in a statement.

Sportswriters across the country, both black and white, weighed in with disbelief and disgust.

"To say that there's a social concern and a belief to want black quarterbacks to do well is ludicrous," Sports Illustrated's Roy Johnson told CBS News Correspondent Byron Pitts.

McNabb, who was runner-up for the league MVP award in 2000, a member of three Pro Bowl teams and has led the Eagles to two-straight NFC championship games, said he has no quarrel with Limbaugh's comment on his playing ability. "I know I played badly the first two games," he said at his nationally televised news conference.

McNabb got off to the worst start of his career this season and was the NFL's lowest-rated starting quarterback after losses to Tampa Bay and New England. Still, the Eagles are 36-22 in games he started.

He said Limbaugh's comments about his race were out-of-bounds and added that someone on the show should have taken him on.

"I'm not pointing at anyone, but someone should have said it," McNabb said. "I wouldn't have cared if it was the cameraman."

A decade ago, there were few black quarterbacks in the NFL. This season, 10 of the 32 teams will have started black quarterbacks in at least one game.

Before McNabb's news conference, an ESPN spokesman said he didn't think the comments were racially biased.

"He was comparing McNabb's performance on the field to his reputation in the media," spokesman Dave Nagle said. He said Limbaugh doesn't do interviews.

Limbaugh helped increase the ratings for "Sunday NFL Countdown." Nagle said ratings were up 10 percent overall, and 26 percent among the 18-to-34 male demographic. Sunday's show drew its biggest audience in the regular season since November 1996.

"ESPN hired Limbaugh for his passion and his ability to express opinion and spark debate as a football fan," Nagle said. "In just one month, he has certainly delivered."

Nevertheless, Limbaugh and ESPN have not exactly been smothered in love in the City of Brotherly Love.

“The sick thing is, this is exactly what ESPN had in mind when the all-sports network hired veteran provocateur Rush Limbaugh for its Sunday NFL pre-game show. You can imagine the meeting. The ESPN bigwigs must have needed drool cups to handle the runoff when they discussed the controversy Limbaugh would generate,” wrote Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Phil Sheridan.

Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia News complained about the failure of Limbaugh’s studio colleagues to challenge him: “Limbaugh's black-quarterback comments were ignored. His easy dismissal of everything that McNabb has accomplished was not challenged. His cavalier, hurtful words were left to sit there and sting. On the central issue, nobody took the bully on.”

Limbaugh is best known as the radio host of the politically focused "Rush Limbaugh Show," which is syndicated in more than 650 markets worldwide.

He spent most of the 1990s assailing then-President Clinton and now spends Sunday mornings talking football, a job he called "the fulfillment of a dream."

NYatKNIGHT
October 2nd, 2003, 10:19 AM
No doubt this is all Bill and Hillary Clinton's fault!

TLOZ Link5
October 2nd, 2003, 01:17 PM
Associated Press:

Updated: 12:06 PM EDT
Limbaugh Resigns Over Comments
Newspaper Says Commentator Linked to Drug Probe;
Limbaugh Says He Doesn't Know About Investigation
By JASON STRAZIUSO, AP

Advertisement

PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 2) -- Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh said Thursday he resigned as an ESPN sports analyst to protect network employees from the uproar over critical comments he made about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Limbaugh stepped down from the sports network's ''Sunday NFL Countdown'' late Wednesday, three days after saying on the show that McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.

''The great people at ESPN did not want to deal with this kind of reaction,'' Limbaugh told the National Association of Broadcasters at its convention in Philadelphia on Thursday. ''The path of least resistance became for me to resign.''

Limbaugh did not directly address media reports that began surfacing Wednesday that said the talk show host was under investigation in Florida for allegedly illegally obtaining and abusing prescription painkillers.

Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicates the politically focused ''Rush Limbaugh Show,'' issued a statement from Limbaugh earlier Thursday saying: ''I am unaware of any investigation by any authority involving me. No government representative has contacted me directly or indirectly. If my assistance is required, I will, of course, cooperate fully.''

On Wednesday, McNabb said he didn't mind criticism of his performance, but was upset Limbaugh made his race an issue and said it was too late for an apology.

''It's somewhat shocking to hear that on national TV from him,'' McNabb said. ''It's not something that I can sit here and say won't bother me.''

Chris Berman, who anchors the ESPN show, said he did not believe Limbaugh's tone or intent was malicious.

''As cut and dry as it seems in print, I didn't think so when it went by my ears,'' Berman said. ''I probably should have looked to soften it.''

Democratic presidential candidates Wesley Clark, Howard Dean and the Rev. Al Sharpton had called for ESPN to fire Limbaugh over the remarks. The NAACP also condemned Limbaugh's remarks, calling them ''bigoted and ignorant.''

Talking about the ESPN comments, Limbaugh said Thursday he had thought about the issue the night before making the comments. He said he was used to scrutiny after 15 years in radio and expects to get attention.

''I figured if I'm going to do this (the ESPN show) I should be who I am,'' he said.

About a half-dozen people protested outside the convention.

Limbaugh has denied the comments he made on the show were racially motivated.

''I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,'' Limbaugh said on Sunday's show. ''There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team.''

George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports, accepted Limbaugh's resignation Wednesday. ABC and ESPN are owned by Walt Disney Co.

''We regret the circumstances surrounding this,'' Bodenheimer said. ''We believe that he took the appropriate action to resolve this matter expeditiously.''

Limbaugh is the radio host of the politically focused ''Rush Limbaugh Show,'' syndicated in more than 650 markets. ESPN spokesman Dave Nagle said ratings for ''Sunday NFL Countdown'' were up 10 percent overall since Limbaugh joined the show this year.

The Daily News, without identifying its source, reported Thursday that Limbaugh was being investigated by the Palm Beach County state attorney's office. The newspaper said it had confirmed the allegations, first reported by the National Enquirer. CNN reported Thursday that sources close to the investigation said Limbaugh had turned up as a buyer of powerful painkillers but that he was not the target of the investigation.

Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the Palm Beach County state attorney's office, told The Associated Press his office could neither confirm nor deny that an investigation was under way.

The Enquirer had interviewed Wilma Cline, who said she became Limbaugh's drug connection after working as his maid, according to the Daily News. She said that Limbaugh had abused OxyContin and other painkillers.

A Miami lawyer for the Clines, Ed Shohat, said Thursday, ''The Clines stand by the story.'' Shohat said neither he nor his clients would comment further.

10-02-03 11:41 EDT

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

amigo32
October 2nd, 2003, 06:23 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/10/02/opinion/meyer/main576291.shtml

He Who Lives By The Loudmouth ...

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2003

(CBS) Rush Limbaugh says he’s a victim of the thought police. In his latest Against the Grain commentary, CBSNews.com's Dick Meyer says, in a nutshell, 'spare me.'
Live by the loudmouth, die by the loudmouth.

Poor Rush. Not.

Do I think Rush Limbaugh’s cracks about Donovan McNabb are seriously racist? Not really.

Do I think they were offensive? Mildly, not profoundly.

Do I like it when the thought police, the language cops and the political correctness enforcers pounce on an utterance and declare it illegal? No, I hate it.

Am I delighted to see Rush Limbaugh attacked, ridiculed and forced out of his ESPN gig? Absolutely. Justice is being served.

Limbaugh routinely insults those he disagrees with. He gives them nasty nicknames; he mocks them, besmirches them and makes fun of them far more adeptly than his current attackers. This is how he makes his millions. It is ludicrous for him, and for his defenders, to claim he is being treated unfairly. Others are simply doing unto him what he does unto others. That’s justice in my book.

Limbaugh’s public shtick for years and years has had a constant hum of low-grade racism and race baiting. When he talks about black people on his radio show, he often uses "ax" instead of "ask," apparently to be funny. When the topic is Carol Moseley Braun, his producers play the theme song from "The Jeffersons." This is how he entertains his audience. This is how he makes his millions.

Given Limbaugh’s track record, why did the McNabb remark cause such a frenzy when so many other cracks hadn’t? I really don’t know. Maybe because it was on TV. Maybe because it was about football and his audience, for a change, was actually knowledgeable about what he was talking about – and knew that what he was saying was stupid and wrong. I don’t know, but as I said, I am delighted.

It doesn’t matter if I think Limbaugh’s remark was racist or offensive. Many other people did. And just as Limbaugh has a right to speak his piece, so do they. And they did. And Limbaugh left the ESPN gig. What is unfair about that?

Limbaugh is an entrepreneur who peddles the spoken word in the open market. The market has firmly rejected his latest public offering. Markets do that, and Limbaugh worships the market. So what’s unfair here?

Well, Limbaugh and his defenders say he is being deprived of the right of free speech. I quote from his Web site:

"You know, this is such a mountain made out of a molehill. So much needs to be said here. I guess at the top of the list would be that we supposedly have freedom of speech in this country, but if you don't say what people who consider themselves the Arbiters of What Can Be Said agree with, then they want to come after you with everything they've got and try to humiliate you and take a stab at your reputation and otherwise get your mind right."

That, of course, is exactly what Limbaugh does for a living – he humiliates those who he thinks don’t have their minds right and he takes stabs at their reputations. He calls opponents of the Iraq war unpatriotic, for one very mild example. This doesn’t deprive anyone of his or her free speech rights. Nor is Limbaugh being denied his rights now.

Poor Rush, say his defenders, is being held to a politically correct double standard. It may be that he is being held to a political standard, but it isn’t double. The last sports and race flap was instigated by Dusty Baker, the manager of the Chicago Cubs, who is black.

This summer Baker said he thought black and Hispanic players probably tolerated playing in extreme heat better than did white players. The Arbiters of What Can Be said machinery started to crank up, columns were written, talk radio hashed it out. But it turned out that not very many people were offended. Was it because Dusty is black or because what he said really isn’t very disturbing? It doesn’t much matter; many people were offended by what Limbaugh said and they get to be, and if there are consequences for Rush, so be it.

Personally, I think as a culture we’ve become over-sensitive to insignificant offenses and insensitive to significant offenses – poverty, lack of public services for the impoverished, for instance. I think jumping on people for using the wrong buzzword or a politically incorrect locution does nothing to breed tolerance and public cheer. But as someone who also peddles words in the public market, I am acutely aware that if I write something that offends, no matter what my intentions, the offended have every right to feel offended and call for my head. They are not tampering with my freedom of keyboard.

My only concern about the Limbaugh Affair is that he’ll make money on it.

(An earlier version of this story mistakenly said Limbauch was fired from ESPN. I apologize for the error.)

Dick Meyer, the Editorial Director of CBSNews.com, is based in Washington. For many years, he was a political and investigative producer for The CBS News Evening News With Dan Rather.