The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, October 02, 2003  

No Apology, But At Least “Regret”

Rush Limbaugh, radio and TV personality and all-around pain in the ass, has resigned from his position as a commentator on ESPN’s “NFL Sunday Countdown,” his departure sparked this comment made during last Sunday’s program:

I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. 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 is 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. The defense carried this team. I think he got a lot of credit for the defensive side of the ball winning games for this team.

ESPN says:

In the wake of his controversial statements regarding [Philadelphia] Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, Rush Limbaugh has resigned from his position on ESPN’s NFL pregame show. ESPN has accepted the resignation.

Limbaugh issued a statement late Wednesday night in which he wrote:

“My comments this past Sunday were directed at the media and were not racially motivated. I offered an opinion. This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret.

“I love [‘]NFL Sunday Countdown[’] and do not want to be a distraction to the great work done by all who work on it.

“Therefore, I have decided to resign. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the show and wish all the best to those who make it happen.”

George Bodenheimer, [p]resident, ESPN and ABC Sports, issued the following response:

“We accept his resignation and regret the circumstances surrounding this. We believe that he took the appropriate action to resolve this matter expeditiously.”

Give Limbaugh partial credit on this one. He didn’t apologize for his stupidity, but at least he had the decency -- I can’t believe I just used that word -- to resign, to retreat back to the sewer whence he came, which is more than can be said for others whose stupidity put themselves in similar positions. Too bad, though, that ESPN didn’t take the high road and fire the big jerk.

Wait a minute. I have to take that back.

Here’s what Limbaugh said yesterday on his radio show:

All this has become the tempest that it is because I must have been right about something. If I wasn't right, there wouldn’t be this cacophony of outrage that has sprung up in the sportswriter community. There’s no racism here. There’s no racist intent whatsoever.

This guy isn’t a special kind of jerk, he’s just a plain old ordinary garden-variety jerk.

[See also: “Limbaugh Quits ESPN Job,” by Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer; “Limbaugh’s Views are not His Alone,” by Stephen A. Smith, Philadelphia Inquirer; “Redskins Players Line Up on the Side of McNabb,” by Phil Sheridan, Philadelphia Inquirer; “Out on a Limbaugh,” by Les Bowen, Philadelphia Daily News; “McNabb Teammates Critical of Rush,” also by Bowen; and “Rush Bails Out ESPN,” by John Smallwood, Philadelphia Daily News.]

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