Rush Limbaugh's role in a group bid for ownership of the St. Louis Rams pro-football team ended unceremoniously on Wednesday when the conservative talk-radio icon was shot down publicly by the group's leader, SPC Chair Dave Checketts. It was just over a week ago that the Atlantic Wire covered the initial media-furor over Limbaugh's pitch. In the days that followed, commentators on the right, the left, and everywhere in-between heatedly debated whether Limbaugh should even be considered for an NFL ownership position given past controversial comments about race and the NFL. Al Sharpton, NFL players, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell all made prominent objections to his bid. Now that Limbaugh is out of the running, conservative bloggers are livid while liberals are uttering a smug: "told ya so."
- 'So Much for the Post-Racial America,' sniffed a dismayed Andy McCarthy at the National Review's Corner. Echoing a Red-State blogger's contention that Rush lived-up to MLK's calls to evaluate people based on character rather than skin color, called Rush's treatment by the media a "perversion," and called for readers to "tell the race-baiters their time is up."
- He Should Sue! Fellow conservative-media icon Bill O'Reilly consulted special guest attorneys and legal experts on his Fox News program to see what Rush's options were as far as pursuing lawsuits against any of those in the media, mainstream or otherwise, who had incorrectly attributed racist statements to him: "He's gonna get booted off this consortium that was going to buy the St. Louis Rams- they're going to boot him off, that's damages right there, is it not?" He also likened Limbaugh's current experience to his own in 2007, when Media Matters "distorted [an] entire conversation" he had on his radio show to imply that he was racist, a claim he regrets not challenging in court.
- If the NFL Is Done with Rush, I'm Done the NFL, says Dan Riehl on his Riehl World View blog. He admits that he had already been on the fence about the league due to other, non-Rush related factors like free-agency and the prominent arrests of NFL players, but says the treatment of Rush has put "another nail in their coffin." He also links to a fellow blogger proposing an NFL-boycott, and offers support if Limbaugh sues MSNBC and CNN for incorrectly attributing his name to racist-comments.
- Out of Bounds Legal Insurrection blogger William A. Jacobson, a professor of law himself at Cornell, argues that Limbaugh's dropped-bid represented a dark victory for "the Obama administration and its supporters," as well as their increasingly disturbing tendency to pursue political fights into the private realm. He cites the administration's recent public criticism of Fox News as yet another example of this. His conclusion: "We are witnessing on a national level a blurring of political and personal boundaries, driven by the executive branch and its well-financed media operatives. For conservatives, and for anyone else who speaks out against the Obama administration, there are no sanctuary cities."
- 'A Smear Too Far,' Rightwing Nuthouse blogger Rick Moran doesn't mince words when it comes to Limbaugh, yet he still finds the accusations of racism and the subsequent fallout ridiculous: "He’s a blowhard. He’s a conservative poseur. He’s a racial provocateur. He’s a rabble rousing polemicist. But Rush, God love him, would find no advantage to being a racist and hence, doesn’t even try to play one on the radio." He also staunchly critiques NFl members' rejection of Rush as blatant hypocrisy: "When did the NFL become the gold standard of tolerance and diversity?" he wonders, "And since when did the NFL Players Association and its nearly 200 members who have been charged with felonies in the last decade become the arbiter of moral wholesomeness?" TownHall blogger Bob Wood aka TrekTek agrees: " Who is more divisive (and hateful) than the NFL Sunday night anchor Keith Olberman? [NFL Commissioner] Goodell (and ESPN) seem to think he is okay, though."
- Duh! Several left-leaning bloggers say that anyone who thought Limbaugh had a real chance at NFL ownership to begin with were kidding themselves. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's Mark Thompson mocks Rush supporters for hating on the NFL: "After all, it was clearly that dubiously-sourced quote, and only that dubiously-sourced quote, that drove profit-seeking NFL owners to object to Limbaugh’s entry into their prestigious club after decades of discrimination against wind bags. " Democratic Daily blogger Hart Williams explains the motivation behind the NFL's push-back: "I can’t imagine the creepy zillionaires’ club of the NFL agreeing to the guaranteed migrane of endless race-baiting that Limbaugh would provide them with in endless scandals du jour — which is the actual point." At AlterNet, Rory O'Connor agrees: "The real reason is that NFL owners were rightly worried that letting Limbaugh join their exclusive club would be akin to asking for a stink bomb to explode in their clubhouse."