Thursday, October 02, 2003

Rush to judgement
ESPN hired Rush Limbaugh to add a bit of spice to their Sunday morning NFL pregame show. Rush has long been an avid NFL fan, and being an opinionated person by nature, did contribute interesting commentary to the show.

Recently, Rush found some trouble after he made a comment on the show about Donovan McNabb, the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Rush's point was that McNabb is not quite as talented as we are led to believe. Unfortunately, Rush decided to bring race into the picture. His comment eluded to the perception that the media is propping McNabb up because he is black. While I agree with Rush that McNabb's talent is overrated, I'm do not think it has anything to do with race. McNabb plays football in a large media market on the east coast. His football team has been successful the last couple of years. The quarterback is always the focal point for any successful football team. I believe the Eagles' success has been a result of a fantastic defense in tandem with a sufficient offense. McNabb is a good enough quarterback that he won't throw the game away, but I'm not convinced he is an impact player like Michael Vick.

I believe Rush is a victim of the media looking for somebody to attack. Rush has made enough enemies over the years that there are lots of folks looking to tear him down. Nobody even noticed the comments until a full three days after they were made. Is what Rush said right? No, of course not. The media isn't propping up a player because of his race. The media is propping up McNabb because he is the quarterback of a successful team in a large market. Did Rush's comments warrant his resignation? No. What he said was stupid. But that's what he was paid to do: to provoke discussion on the show. I believe Rush would still have his job today had the other cast members successfully argued against Rush on the show. Instead, they didn't seem to put up much fight, and his comments stood on their own. Then, a couple of days later, the media found something they could latch onto to attack Rush. The machine was set in motion, and Rush is now gone from the show.

I've listened to Rush for years on his radio show. I'm somewhat conservative, so I tend to agree with Rush's comments. I don't agree with his comment regarding McNabb, but I don't believe he should have lost his job over it. Why can't different opinions be discussed and differing points argued?

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