O'Reilly strikes me as being out of his league here.
On "The O'Reilly Factor," Detroit Free-Press columnist Drew Sharp argued that the NFL has a right to turn down a "a very polarizing, controversial figure whose occupational practice is largely predicated on making people feel comfortable with their own biases and prejudices."But, although O'Reilly claims that his crack research team could find no "sound recording" of Limbaugh's comments that the NAACP should rob liquor stores, one has to wonder why Bill is insisting that he needs a sound recording. Limbaugh's comment was very widely reported and, to my knowledge, he has never denied saying it.
After Sharp refers to "racially tinged sound bites" that O'Reilly and his crack research team could not uncover, O'Reilly plays the comment Rush made on ESPN in 2003 regarding Donovan McNabb, then asks if it should disqualify Limbaugh from owning an NFL team.
"What it does qualify him for is being a race baiter," Sharp responds. "I do believe he throws in sound bites... strictly for effect."
And there are sound recordings of him referring to the NAACP as the "NAALCP" which he says stands for the "National Association for the Advancement of Liberal Colored People." Believe it or not, he used to say that it meant "lazy colored people", but changed this to "liberal" because he didn't want to be accused of racism! You couldn't make this stuff up.
Indeed, the comment which Bill plays in Limbaugh's defence is quite clearly racist. And, although Limbaugh denies that what he said was racist, he actually had to resign after he said this.
Nor is this the first racist comment that Limbaugh has made. Indeed, there are many examples where Limbaugh makes statements which are simply disgraceful.
1. I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.Now, O'Reilly has a point when he says that some of the things Limbaugh says are said for effect, and I would also accept that some of the above might be misquotes or things taken utterly out of perspective, but telling an African American caller to, "Take that bone out of your nose and call me back"? Please....
2. You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.
3. Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?
4. Right. So you go into Darfur and you go into South Africa, you get rid of the white government there. You put sanctions on them. You stand behind Nelson Mandela — who was bankrolled by communists for a time, had the support of certain communist leaders. You go to Ethiopia. You do the same thing.
5. Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.
6. The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.
7. They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?
8. Take that bone out of your nose and call me back (to an African American female caller).
9. I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They’re interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there’s a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn’t deserve.
In the end, even Bill seems to agree that he is not on his strongest footing here.