Friday, October 16, 2009

Sending Rush to the Pillory - Letter to the Editor

(The following letter to the editor will be appearing shortly in the Belleville [IL] News-Democrat.)

The news that Rush Limbaugh will not be a partial owner of the St. Louis Rams should not be too surprising. The outcry was loud, widespread, and predictable. If Mr. Checketts had not removed Rush from the bidding group, the PC football league would never have approved the deal.

More of a GOP hack than a truly principled conservative, Rush is best at being provocative and talking about football.

While most of the negative reaction has been directed at quotes of spurious origin, people seem to be consumed by the wrong issue. What is plain to see is that while we have freedom of speech in this country, some speech is more equal than others.

Even if the most acidic of Rush’s quotes are real, what difference should it make? If a statement is offensive, let us discuss why it is offensive instead of criminalizing the opinions of private citizens some of us don’t like.

This attitude is also evident in Rush’s quotes that are verifiable.

Whose civil liberty is infringed upon when we are pressured from discussing whether a particular football player might be overrated because of his skin color? Is it the person who asks it or is it the rest of us who are to resist talking about that because it is considered offensive to somebody?

Like Don Imus two years ago, Rush Limbaugh is guilty of a thought crime against elites who are uninterested in hearing anyone else’s opinion except the ones they give us.


Steel Phoenix said...

Freedom of speech is there to prevent the government from persecuting citizens for their opinions. Whether or not the owner of a football team chooses to sell it to a talk show host hardly seems relevant. If anything, arguing that the league should be forced to give him equal consideration would be the more PC thing to do.

I'm betting if Limpbaugh were selling his radio show, he would strongly defend his right to sell it to whoever he wants rather than have to sell it to someone like Mike Malloy.

TRUTH 101 said...

This is about business Carl. Adding or removing Rush from a team of buyers was a business decision.

The buyers are just as free to associate with whomever they think is in their best interests as Rush is to say whatever he says on his show.

Personally, although I have no use for Limbaugh, I thought adding him to an ownership team is good business. Branch Rickey and P.T.Barnum thought any publicity was good publicity. They know more about that than most of us.

What is both frustrating and bemusing is Rush and many of those on the Right are labeling this as an attack on free speech. When Rush's radio show is removed from the air by the government, I will be glad to join any movement around that protests taking away of his free speech. Even though he gets millions for it. Until then, Rush's rights were not violated. Rush got fired just like many others have because an employer or partner didn't want him around anymore.

Paul said...

It seems to me that all the negative vibes this blowhard (Rush Hudson Limbaugh A.KA. Jeff Christie) has been spewing over these many years has come back to blow back on his face (A classic “Blow Back”). He always tries to give off the airs that he can have anything he wants but as we all witness those with more money and more influence tossed him aside like sack of potatoes and the ultimate insult was that it was done in public (money don’t buy you everything butterball).

Now of course he blames everyone else (Michael J. Fox, Perez Hilton, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor, Hillary Clinton, Olympia Snowe, ESPN, NFL, the media, basically people of color, the handicapped, women and gays) when of course all you have to do is listen to his show and plainly hear his daily prejudices filled sermons. So NFL, I salute you decision, job well done. And to the whaling cry baby perched on his self made pedestal, quit your whining it was your own fault. Don’t we all feel better?

Carl Wicklander said...

I normally address my commenters one at a time, but I’m going to answer you collectively because it seems that you’re all pounding on the same general theme.

I’m not saying that Rush has been denied his right to own an NFL team. No one has a right to own a team – his right was to pursue the purchase of a team. It never mattered to me whether he became the owner the Rams. It wouldn’t matter to me if he was awarded ownership on account of his opinions or denied ownership on the same grounds. As you know, I’m not a Rush fan anyway. It’s the choice of the NFL and its other owners.

My concern is about the reaction to things Rush has and has not said. I am not actually trying to charge that the government is abridging free speech in this instance, at least the federal government. Last week, a St. Louis alderman proposed a resolution that the team reject Rush’s bid on account of not saying things they liked to hear.

The situation I compared this to is Don Imus. Sure, he said something stupid and the government didn’t fire him. However, there was such public outcry for him to be fired because of his words that the situation tells us that there are things we’re not supposed to say. That is a de facto infringement that doesn’t have to come from the government.

It also tells us what can be accomplished when someone is repeatedly lied about, even if it is Rush Limbaugh.

Paul said...

The NFL decides who becomes an owner not the other way around.

All this blowhard (Rush Hudson Limbaugh A.KA. Jeff Christie) has to offer is his money and his opinions, (which in my opinion are on the fringes of racism, one mans opinion). There are many more groups biding for the Rams, not just his group. Lets face it there are more men with money (Marshall Faulk) that will gladly fill the slot and the Rams will win or lose depending on how well they work as a team and not on whether or not Rush is an owner.

As for Vick, well he is a player (he has talent not like you, Rush or I, unless you are a NFL player?) and he served his time and the NFL decided we live in the land of second chances, so why not (I personally don’t like it but, oh well). Life has never been fair (NEWS FLASH!)

Now as to the “Free Speech” argument, I guess many of you like myself heard Rush on Thursday “Almost in tears”, priceless. But the last couple of days he now is in his normal ranting and will continue until someone surpasses him, “Free Speech” continues, so what is being stifled, it simply is not true, of course, you may not have a radio, so you might want to get one.

PS – I am sure someone is working to put the tapes together maybe all you subscribers can help, since you are all about getting to the truth?

PPS- Beauty Pageant Judge - Now I understand why he lost the weight, to find a new wife, creepy.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Personal attacks aside, I get your point. With the proliferation of hate crimes, the criminalization of thought is really disturbing. When someone is punished for what he says or didn't say and should have, we are in real trouble.

As a police officer I stood between the KKK and the protesters against them. We were the only group everyone hated. But that moment stood for freedom of speech and we protected everyone's rights. The ACLU espouses the protection of free speech, we stood on the front lines.

I mourn the loss of free speech to the forces of political correctness. I want to agree with Truth in that Rush was simply fired in a business decision, but the presence of Al Sharpton gives the lie to that.

Al is a race baiter of the first degree and has made a career of it. Good work if you can get it.

Carl Wicklander said...

Law and Order Teacher,

Thanks for the visit and thanks for sharing your story.

I'm with you in that I wish it had only been a business decision. If I thought it had been, I probably wouldn't have bothered to write this.

This incident is about outlawing certain thoughts and having what is considered "acceptable discourse" dictated to us. It's maybe not coming from the government in this case, but it's still unhealthy.