Late Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh was bounced out of contention to buy into a pro football team. That happened because various people, like Al Sharpton, put forth that Mr. Limbaugh had made a series of racial comments and thus did not deserve to be part of the National Football League. That race theme quickly became a hammer used against Limbaugh:
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't see him as much as a racist, as he makes racial remarks, but I see him more as a bigot. And a bigot is someone who, regardless of the facts in evidence in front of them, they still go their own way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I know is about what I read about Rush Limbaugh. But I do know what he talks about and the line that he tries to play. It's an easy line to play. It's a race line.
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So what's the evidence that Limbaugh is a race-baiter? We investigated the statements that are being tossed about.
The first one allegedly has Mr. Limbaugh praising James Earl Ray, convicted of assassinating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There is no evidence Rush Limbaugh ever did that. The accusation comes from a far-left guy named Jack Huberman, who provided no evidence to back up the claim.
Huberman is also the source for Limbaugh's alleged quote saying slavery was not entirely bad. Again, Huberman provided no back up. The allegation was also published on Wikipedia without any sourcing.
Mr. Limbaugh denies making both comments.
Finally, a Kansas City Star columnist named James Fussell quoted Limbaugh as saying bad things about the NAACP. The quote came from a newsletter called "Flush Rush," but so far there is no confirmation that the disparaging remarks were ever made.
So what we have here are accusations without merit, but in our hype-media age that's enough to paint someone as a racist.
I've been through this. A couple of years ago I said on the radio that having dinner in Harlem was the same as having dinner anywhere in America. The context was my grandmother, who was very afraid of blacks even though she never even met a black person. Her fear was irrational, and I made that point quite clearly.
But the vicious Web site Media Matters put forth that I was denigrating a black-owned restaurant, and some people believed it without even listening to the radio broadcast, which I posted on BillOReilly.com.
There goes my NFL career.
Fair-minded Americans know that playing the race card is easy and hateful. The only thing we can find about Rush Limbaugh is that he thinks quarterback Donovan McNabb is overrated by some people who want black quarterbacks to succeed. Mr. McNabb resented the remark, as he should have. He's a good player and his color has nothing to do with his performance. I think Limbaugh made a mistake with that analysis, but that doesn't make him a racist and should not disqualify him from owning part of a team.
Let's stop the racial witch-hunting in America.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
Nine-year-old Oliver Wahlstrom, who lives in Portland, Maine, is quite the hockey player. In a goal-scoring competition held in Boston, there goes Oliver. Watch this. Whoa, look at that. A little Gretzky. Slow mo. Oliver, woo! Nine years old. For his prowess at such a young age, Oliver is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, our pal Michael Moore takes the spotlight again:
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MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: I don't know how many gated communities — these people who are taking this $140 billion in bonuses. I don't know how many castles with moats around them they can build, but I'll tell you something. There's an anger that's building out there.
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Well, here's the deal. I actually agree with Moore that people are getting fed up with all the Wall Street greed-heads. However, the filmmaker has been a pinhead for so long we can't just throw out that designation. But on this, Michael Moore has a point.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill O'Reilly currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel's (FNC) The O'Reilly Factor (weekdays 8PM/ET), the most watched cable news show for the past 13 years. He joined the network in 1996 and is based in New York.