Left, Media Gearing Up to Thwart Limbaugh's NFL Bid
We've already seen CNN's Paul Begala, affectionately referred to as "The Forehead" by Rush Limbaugh, and one ESPN personality, Fred Roggin, taking shots at Limbaugh on the heels of news of his interest in the National Football League's St. Louis Rams.
But it was just a matter of time before the usual culprits on the left would attempt to make an issue of it, in what seems to be an effort to gin up some reason for the talk show host not to have an ownership stake in an NFL team. And, MSNBC's Ed Schultz isn't waiting for pointers from the left-wing blogosphere to set the "Stop Rush's Bid for the Rams" agenda. He took it to Limbaugh on his Oct. 6 program immediately.
"There's also some comical football news out there," Schultz said. "The drugster's talking about buying the St. Louis Rams. That's right, the leader of the Republican Party is bidding for ownership of a team that's been giving more money to Democrats than any other team has over the last 10 years, at least that's what the survey says. He'll have to do something about that I'm sure."
Schultz revisited his 2003 remarks about the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, insisting they were "racially charged" despite Limbaugh arguing otherwise.
"Also, remember that Rush once got kicked off the club of ESPN because he said some very surprising racially charged comments about a quarterback," Schultz said. "But now he wants to be back in the game. Now, how's he going to do? Well - you know, he's got plenty of money. Heck maybe he could do the games. I do know what his team's going to look like - very white and very underpaid."
And earlier in the day, on CNBC's Oct. 6 "Street Signs," fill-in anchor Mark Haines wondered if the owners should accept Limbaugh's bid, in reference to those remarks.
"Have they ever turned anyone down?" Haines said. "Here's my question - this is kind of a club - these owners. Don't the other owners have to vote whether they accept - I mean this is a man who six years ago ticked off just about everybody with the Donovan McNabb comment about black quarterbacks."
CNBC sports reporter Darren Rovell said it could play a role, but ultimately it would come down to who was willing to pony-up the cash for the team.
"It's going to be money," Rovell said. "It is also according to how they vote. I would not entirely take that out of the equation. I will also say though that this Rams team, they've been trying to sell for a long time and if he comes through with the right number, there's a chance they will be able to forgive him for what he said, but I do think that's a factor. That will automatically not go in the garbage."
There are two other prominent ESPN personalities - "Pardon the Interruption" hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, that don't think this will be the issue that prevents Limbaugh from having an ownership stake in the Rams. Kornheiser asked Wilbon if the NFL owners would accept his bid.
"In a half second, Tony," Wilbon said on their October 7 ESPN program. "Yeah, money. It's about money and how much do you have to spend or buy this team or be in the group that can buy this team. I don't know that Rush Limbaugh's politics, in fact, I'm betting they aren't that much different than the politics of many of the owners in the NFL. Now they don't have his bombast. They don't publicly offend as many people as Rush Limbaugh does with glee. But, when it comes to buying the team, I don't see where there is anything that Rush Limbaugh has done is going to make that off-limits."
And Kornheiser agreed.
"He's not going to disqualify himself in that regard," Kornheiser said. "He's going to sit in that room and if they ask him particularly about the Donovan McNabb incident, which everybody remembers - he's going to say, ‘I'm an entertainer. If I erred, I erred on the wrong side of the entertainment. But I don't really mean that. In fact, I'll hire Donovan McNabb to be my quarterback if you let me own the Rams.'"
The NFL isn't completely devoid of political figures. MSNBC's "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann doubles as an anchor for NBC's Sunday night NFL broadcast for the pre-game and halftime shows and he certainly has said some very bad things about conservatives over the years.