Rep. King Talks to NewsBusters About Rush Limbaugh and NFL

November 5th, 2009 6:59 PM

Last week Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) made quite a splash when he raked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over the coals for the decision to stop Rush Limbaugh from becoming an owner of the St. Louis Rams.

On Wednesday I spoke to King about this episode as well as it's bigger meaning as it pertains to what's happening in America today.

King described what he sees as "victimology and multiculturalism...where the liberals decide that they’re going to be the judges of what goes on in the heads of people."

As a result, he wasn't going to sit by and watch Goodell "pass judgment on Rush Limbaugh for what he thought Rush thought" or for what "some irresponsible bloggers had to say about what Rush said."

In King's view, the witch hunt against Limbaugh is emblematic of how liberals and the media "have been so steeped in this for so long that they believe they're right, and they believe that the people that disagree with them are evil racists."

As such, King feels the Left have adopted the Marxist philosophy of Antonio Gramsci who argued "a lie [has] as much virtue as the truth, you just [need] to create the case for that in the constituency group that would support the lies" (20-minute audio available here with relevant section beginning at 2:15, transcript below the fold): 

NEWSBUSTERS: I want to switch back to last week. You had a very, very interesting encounter with the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. And first, the owner of the Media Research Center wanted me to make sure, Brent Bozell, wanted me to make sure you had gotten his message of thanks last week.

CONGRESSMAN STEVE KING (R-IOWA): Well, I just went to his website and read what he wrote on that, and I appreciated Brent's comments more than any others. Honestly, I did. You know, I sometimes sit there at night, I don't sleep too well, and I go down through that and I read his statement on that, and I laughed out loud, "Yeah, that sends the message."

NB: Well, he'll be glad to hear that. Just, bring us back to that moment. What, what inspired you to bring this up during that, during that hearing concerning head injuries in the NFL?

KING: Well, you know, I've been one who has been really out front on these issues of special rights for, for minorities, and I believe that we are all created in God's image, and we have equal rights and equal opportunities. And when I watched this society move where we're seeing all this victimology and multiculturalism, and when you see it manifested where the liberals decide that they're going to be the judges of what goes on in the heads of people that just simply want equal rights for everybody, I've been in that fight before. I sued Gov. Vilsack back in Iowa over a very similar issue and won. I had to go against the Republican establishment to get it done. And, so, and that time, I drilled down through the Constitutional, historical, and potential statutory aspects of this kind of thinking. And Roger Goodell deciding he was going to pass judgment on Rush Limbaugh for what he thought Rush thought and for what some pundits, or I should say some irresponsible bloggers had to say about what Rush said. And, so, when I looked at the nine quotes that were out there on one of those websites that alleged that Rush had made these statements, eight of them were completely fabricated. And the ninth one, there was nothing racist in Rush's statement whatsoever except that he, Rush implied that the media was trying to advance a quarterback because of his skin color. Now, that doesn't make the guy that says that, Rush himself, even racist. But, if so, it isn't Roger Goodell's call. And, so, then when the information came into my hand about Fergie and about J-Lo, that was it. It just was too blatant an example of hypocrisy to let that go by me in the Judiciary Committee.

NB: Well, and what I thought was fascinating, and get your opinion on it, was when Goodell said, "Well, I'm not an expert on what Rush Limbaugh had said." Well, then how did he come to any conclusion that he had made "divisive comments?"

KING: Well, and if you noticed, I came right back at him on this, and, "You did use his name." And I read the quote back to him where Goodell had said "Rush Limbaugh" and went on with what he alleged that Rush said and done. So, you know, there's something I just ask the people who read and listen and pay attention to these things to keep in mind is that I get five minutes in that window. And I've got five minutes to make the case, ask the questions, do the follow-up, and close my case. And if I bring up a subject matter that doesn't fit with the subject of the hearing, the chair can wrap the gavel at any instant and call me out of order. And, so, I'm grateful that Sheila Jackson Lee was there and opened up the issue when she spoke against Rush. But I also had one eye on the Chairman at the whole time to see if he was picking up the gavel and getting ready to try and cut me off. Because, so you know people wonder why didn't Steve King follow-up and take him all the way to the woodshed and thrash him. There wasn't time to do that. It had to all be compressed into five minutes.

NB: Well, how did your other members of Congress that were there at the hearing and your constituents and the media, how did they respond to your questioning?

KING: Well, the other members were not ready for it or they likely would have followed him up and pressed him further. But I didn't want to let anybody know that I was thinking about it because there might be a chance that it gets preempted. You know, in this town if you tell your shadow something everybody knows it. So, that was part of it, the other members in the committee just weren't informed enough to pick it up and go. But what I noticed just in the media, within the next 24 hours, I was getting just thrashed in the blogs and on the media on it. But the second 24 hours and from there on, it went the other way. And after that, all of those things that my press shows me and the clippings, not all of them but a large percentage of them came back positive. So, what that says to me is if you take a stand, take a stand on truth, it's awfully hard for them to peel you off of that. I'll say if I'm out on a, out on the end of a limb, but there's a branch of truth, they haven't invented a saw that saws that branch off yet.

NB: Well, has Goodell, you had, you had told the Commissioner that you were going to be sending him information concerning the matter, and that you'd like a response or an apology. Has, has that transpired, and have you gotten anything back from Goodell?

KING: Well, my staff takes care of that along with the Judiciary Committee staff, and I'll have to circle back on that and look at the exact language that's gone out. But I know the directive went out. And they follow-up, they've got so many days to get that done. So, we shall, if we get anything out of that that has any news value we'll have to make sure we get that back to you.

NB: We'd love to hear. Now, something else came out of all of this that surfaced last week. We identified, I'm not sure if you're familiar with a Rapper by the name of Snoop Dogg, but he's actually doing commercials for ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown. And if you're not familiar with him, he's got a bit of a rap sheet, and I don't mean as a Rapper rap sheet. This is a guy who actually was accused of murder at one point. Kind of interesting that he'd be allowed to represent the NFL but Rush Limbaugh can't.

KING: Well, yes, when I think Snoop Dogg I think guns and bullets and gangsters. Gangster rap. And, this story is probably not over. We do need to hold people in the public eye accountable. And Roger Goodell is one of those people. It is, it is so sanctimonious for him to, and by the way, to leap to a conclusion and take a public position and he, I think that he was the straw that broke the camel's back or the rug that was ripped out from underneath Rush's endeavor to buy into the Rams because it was October 13 when Goodell made his statement and October 14 when they withdrew the offer. So it was picked, the time, the timing was chosen to be I think as effective as it could be if you were anti-Rush. You know, how can a man, Rush Limbaugh, 20 years in the media, nearly everyday out there several hours a day? You know, of all the things that I've said over the last 20 years, if I had a tape recorder on me, and I had people that despised me the way the Left despises Rush, and it's because he's effective. To only have one thing on him, and that's the allegation he had a racist thought even though it was as Rush pointed out very succinctly that it was the media that was trying to advance a black quarterback. Now, I don't know that I have this information in front of me or I can speak to it directly. If I can find it while I talk I will. But I asked them to go back and take a look at what are the real facts, and I wanted to know how many, how many white running-backs there are in the NFL. I mean, if you really want to be objective about this, you'd want to ask that question. Does it work the other way? And, there's, my staff handed me those numbers, and I don't have them in front of me. So, I want to be careful that I'm not trying to represent something that's perfectly factual. But there are not very many white running-backs in the NFL. And my oldest son pointed out to me that there's a red-headed white running-back for the Northwestern University. He was on his last stop to go play for a Division I school, and his difficulty was, and it was in the article, that the recruiters couldn't seriously advance a white kid that could be a running-back.

NB: Wow. Well, wait a minute, are we sure it wasn't his red hair?

KING: Well, maybe I forgive them if it was only red hair. No, I love red-heads myself. But, it had to, it had to do with skin color, hair color, not too many red-headed African-Americans. And it was plain, out in the open, and it was blatant. And they can get it by with that when they're prejudiced against a white kid. So, why don't we have, why don't we have white kids that are tailbacks in college football? Well, there's a mindset in the recruiters in the colleges. They just don't think they can do it. Now, is that a racist thought? I don't know. I want meritocracy. I want every person to be able to do the best they can do without regard to people measuring their, their race, their ethnicity, their skin color. It, this country needs to have opportunity for everybody. That's what Rush believes, that's what I believe, that's what everybody in your operation believes. And we need to get there as a nation or we'll be at each other's throats forever.

NB: Well, you know what's interesting, and I hadn't considered it until I was listening to you speak, do you think that this same attack on Rush from the NFL would have occurred if this was last year or two years ago and George W. Bush was President or if McCain had won?

KING: Hmmm.

NB: Do you think this has a lot to do with Obama as President? And I'm not blaming him just the different environment we're currently in as a result?

KING: If you had asked me that question a year and a half ago as when Obama was a candidate, I would have said, "If a man who presents himself as a, as a black man gets elected to the office of the Presidency of the United States, this focus on race must dissipate because he's clearly proven definitively that race is not a factor of impediment to a person rising to the very top of everybody's profession in the world." Yet, we've seen President Obama focus on race, we've seen him point his finger at Officer Crowley, and, and make, and just make the implication that because Professor Gates was black and the officer was white there must have been some prejudice against him. The President was completely wrong on that, and I wish Officer Crowley would have refused to go to the beer summit until he got an apology from Gates.

NB: Well, what's interesting, I don't know if you, you saw ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, but Stephanopoulos had mentioned a poll that was taken back in 1963 asking people whether they thought that, if racism would ever be over in their lives, lifetime, and at the time the number was something like 42 percent or thereabout said, "No." A year ago right after the election, that number had dropped to about 30 percent. And now that number is back up to almost 40 percent almost what it was before the Civil Rights Acts.

KING: I have to tell you that I would have ten years ago, 20 years ago or 40 years ago I would have believed that racism be over in my lifetime. And after the election of President Obama, I would have said, "Yes." But what I'm seeing now, with the race-baiting that goes on, the playing of the race card. I'm watching legislation come through this Congress. There was legislation offered in the Small Business Committee by, by Nadia Velazquez who's the Chair of Small Business. She will tell you she is of Puerto Rican descent. Legislation that setup special benefits for small business set aside for women and minorities. And I made the point that you need to write that, instead of saying women and minorities, you need to say, "Anybody but white men." And she nearly came unglued. I mean, she was physically, you could visibly trembling before the microphone. Anybody that had the audacity to point out the hypocrisy of what she was trying to do.

NB: Well, and would a white male who had made the comments that Justice Sonia Sotomayor had made concerning Hispanic women, if it had been a white man that said that about white men, would that person have survived the hearings?

KING: It would have been five to ten times worse than the high-tech lynching they delivered to Clarence Thomas.

NB: Yep.

KING: And, by the way, Clarence Thomas would be one of those people that I would think would be supportive of Rush Limbaugh's position on this, and critical I would think of Roger Goodell.

NB: What do you think the, the position of the media is on all of this, or more to the point, do you think that this is a media driven witch hunt against conservatives and against folks that are not behind the Obama agenda at this point?

KING: Well, once I say that it is a media driven witch hunt, and I could make the case for that myself. I'm wondering, and I hesitate to answer that because I'm wondering how much of this the media and the liberals actually understand. They have been so steeped in this for so long that they believe they're right, and they believe that the people that disagree with them are evil racists. And they've characterized people that disagree with them on these concepts of individual rights and individual freedom as opposed to special privileges for groups who they identify. It is two completely different approaches to the world. They, they are rooted in, and hardly anybody talks about this, but Antonio Gramsci was the father of multiculturalism, and he was also the president of the Communist Party in Italy from 1919 until 1926. Mussolini put him in prison, he wrote his Prison Notebooks there along with a number of other works. And I believe I've actually read them all. But he argued, Gramsci is the one who took Marxism to another level, the level of victimology and multiculturalism. And he argued that this culture of Western civilization needs to be torn apart piece by piece into shreds and that, that this moral, the moral foundation of a, of a Judeo-Christian society isn't based in anything eternal or spiritual. It's just simply, he argued, a social construct created by those in power to enhance their power. And, and he argued that a lie had as much virtue as the truth, you just needed to create the case for that in the constituency group that would support the lies.

NB: Wow!

KING: That's Gramsci, the father of multiculturalism/victimology, and when you listen to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and Sheila Jackson Lee and the race-baiters out there, that trade in this, trade in divisions between people to advantage people to be able to take the labor of one and put it into the pocket of the other. That tells you what's going on. It's about aggregating power, and, and the class envy component that Obama has so masterfully played at least up until this point, up till Virginia and New Jersey.

NB: And doesn't that basically explain the whole movement towards healthcare reform?

KING: It does. It's a transfer of wealth, and it's built on class envy, and it's based on two flawed premises: one is that we spend too much money. Now you can argue that whether it's flawed or whether it isn't. But spending one to two trillion dollars more is not the solution to the problem of spending too much. Second one is, the argument that, they say they think they've already won the argument that everybody deserves health care. And they may have won that argument. But they had to move onto the next socialist argument which is everybody deserves their own personal health insurance policy handed by the federal government to those individuals. And the, so they argued that there are too many uninsured. 47 million is their number. So I subtract from the 47 million those illegal aliens that should be disqualified, and those who qualify for a government program, and those who qualify for an employer program, these that don't sign up, and those that make over $75,000 and don't have health insurance. Now you're down to not 47 million but 12.1 million, less than four percent of the population. They want to socialize everything in this country that's big enough for them to bother to manage. They are elitists. They are the antithesis of the things that made America great. And it is a very critical point that we have in front of us coming up tomorrow when we're calling everybody into this city at 12:00 noon.

NB: And what do you envision happening tomorrow, Congressman, and what do you envision happening with this legislation?

KING: I'm, I'm calling for every American that can drop what they're doing and come to the Capitol, come in here and fill these Capitol grounds. Fill the grounds, fill the Capitol building, fill the Congressional offices and the hallways. And first it's a press conference at 12:00, that's formally what it's called. There will be lots of people there. Michele Bachmann, myself, Mike Burgess, Scott Garrett and others. There'll also be Mark Levin, Jon Voight, Tony Perkins and others will be there tomorrow. And we'll intersperse this and we'll have a prayer and we'll have a Pledge and we'll have, we'll sing the National Anthem, and we'll talk about freedom and killing this socialized medicine beast that is hanging over our heads. When that is over, the call to action is going to be now fill up the Congressional offices, look these members of Congress in the eye, tell them not to take away our freedom.

NB: That's spectacular. Well, I know you've got a very, very busy day ahead of you tomorrow, so I thank you very, very much for your time and my readers at NewsBusters very much appreciate you taking time out of such a busy day to talk to us.

KING: Well, Noel I appreciate the chance to do so, and there's a lot more left in me yet, but you know I'll sleep better because you let me vent. Thanks a lot.

NB: Thank you. You have a great night and a great tomorrow.

KING: Appreciate it.

NB: Thank you, sir.