Here are my thoughts on the ESPN-Rush controversy:
- Why did they hire Rush in the first place? Sure, he slightly boosted ratings, but the folks at ESPN simply had to know he’d say something controversial sooner or later. The people at MSNBC hired Savage and had to dump him soon after. Right-wing radio talk show hosts simply don’t make for good TV (usually: see Sean Hannity).
- His comment was not racist. He didn’t suggest that black QBs couldn’t handle the job. He just said that McNabb was over-rated, and the reason for this was media liberalism. You may not agree with the premise, but it wasn’t bigotry.
- Rush might have been right. McNabb hasn’t been as good or as successful as one might gather by all the press attention surrounding him. No Super Bowl rings, a fairly mediocre QB rating. His errors are largely covered by a terrific defense. Sure, he runs like a champ, but he’s not a running back; he’s a QB.
- Rush wasn’t the victim of censorship. ESPN made a business decision. The threat of boycotts made his continued employment untenable. Sorry, Rush: you were canned by the same free-market system you claim to have so much faith in. Those supporting the proposed boycott and demanding Rush’s firing (like Howard Dean and General Clark) might not have been acting in a pure and decent fashion, but hey, that’s life. Deal with it, and go back to your multi-million dollar radio career.
- What about the drugs? I could care less about some off-hand comment or a change in the ESPN pre-game roster. What about the possibility that Rush will find himself in handcuffs soemtime soon? What if the War on Drugs he supports leads him to lose his freedom? Ironic? You betcha. Stay tuned…