A businessman forming a group to purchase a minority interest in the National Football League's St. Louis Rams approached popular conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Would Limbaugh be interested? Yes, said Limbaugh, but he warned there would be a firestorm of protests. The man was assured that this had been thought through. Not to worry.
"Responsible" cable news outlets CNN and MSNBC "reported" that Limbaugh once spoke positively about both slavery and the assassination of Martin Luther King. What???!!! "News anchors" such as CNN's Rick Sanchez even "quoted" Limbaugh speaking positively about slavery. That alleged quote and another supposedly applauding King's assassination whipped around cable news, newspaper opinion pieces and the Internet faster than you could say "balloon boy."
Never mind that Limbaugh denied saying such outrageous things. Never mind that no record exists of him ever uttering anything of the sort. Limbaugh threatened legal action against the "news" organizations that either "reported" these things as accurate or "reported" about others attributing these statements to him. Sanchez finally issued a retraction -- but never apologized to Limbaugh.
But the damage was done. The man who approached Limbaugh asked the host to remove himself from the group. Limbaugh refused. So he was dropped.
I feel Limbaugh's pain. If he is so offensive and has uttered incendiary, inflammatory remarks that render him unfit to the NFL, why lie in order to make the case?
It's happened to me.
Shortly after I started on radio, my station's account executives -- those who sell radio time to advertisers -- began getting distressing phone calls. Why is Elder so "offensive"? Advertising agencies and sponsors received numerous letters complaining about me from "the black community." These letters included statements I allegedly made, such as:
"Blacks are morally corrupt."
"Blacks are lazy."
"It's okay for white people to call black people (the N-word)."
"Blacks are immoral."
"It is understandable to be racist against blacks."
"Blacks are the cause of all crime in America."