This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 14, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And Rush Limbaugh shocked the sports world last week when he revealed that he was part of a team bidding to purchase the St. Louis Rams' NFL franchise. Now immediately following that announcement liberals from coast to coast, they lined up to attack the conservative radio talker.
And tonight it looks like their efforts to politicize Rush's bid to buy the team may have, in fact, succeeded. Dave Checketts who is chairman of the St. Louis Blues hockey team and leads the group bidding on the Rams announced just a short time ago that Rush, in fact, will be dropped from the proposal.
And all of this begs the question, what in the world Rush Limbaugh's politics have to do with him buying a football team?
Joining me now is journalist and commentator, Stephen A. Smith, and Michael Meyers from the New York Civil Rights Coalition.
STEPHEN A. SMITH, JOURNALIST/COMMENTATOR: It's always politics when you're talking about the NFL. This is a league that is close to perfection as it gets.
HANNITY: Rush's politics.
SMITH: Well, Rush.
HANNITY: Rush is a conservative commentator.
SMITH: OK. Well, what I'm saying to you is that anything that's controversial or divisive in any way is something that the NFL is going to shun from. They are a multi-million — a billion-dollar business. And it's as close to flawless as you get in terms of the image or whatever. They're going to do anything to protect it and obviously they felt this was.
HANNITY: OK, wait a second. Hold on. Let's talk about a hypothetical here. So if Jesse Jackson was part of a group that wanted to buy the — an NFL franchise, would he be denied because he said (INAUDIBLE) town once?
SMITH: Quite possibly.
HANNITY: You think so?
SMITH: Quite possibly.
HANNITY: Do you think so?
MICHAEL MEYERS, NY CIVIL RIGHTS COALITION: No. It's a part of double standard. You know what offends me about this whole thing is political posturing. This is racial buffoonery. It's the race baiting. It's the racial hustling. It's the constant finding of racist (INAUDIBLE) at every rock.
We see white people all over and every time. Everybody is a racist. And we have these instant experts on who is a racist like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who by the way embraced the real racist, Louis Farrakhan, but nobody ever talks about that because that was a real black racist and an anti-Semite to boot.
But they are the experts to whom the leftist, liberal media go in order to shout and scream about Rush Limbaugh and in terms of not being politically correct.
• Great American Blog: Sound off on Limbaugh controversy!
SMITH: You have a valid point, but at the same time, let's keep in mind that Rush Limbaugh does have his 13 to 20 million listeners per day, 15 hours a week. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don't have that.
SMITH: I'm not disagreeing with him. I'm just making that point.
HANNITY: All right, both have — you know, I find this amazing. You know you think of Anna (INAUDIBLE), Al Sharpton using the N word about the African-American mayor of New York City.
SMITH: I can (INAUDIBLE).
HANNITY: Well, OK, so he's.
MEYERS: Talk about being divisive. Who's more divisive than Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson?
HANNITY: No, but the point is.
MEYERS: Oh come on.
SMITH: I'm just saying some would say that.
MEYERS: Even if that's the case, these owners, I think, on my part, this is just cowardice on their part in terms of not standing up on terms of a general principle. And now — who is Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to rush before their cameras and the microphones and say — and Jeff Vangeli, by the way, whose name is appropriate because he's jealous of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in terms of publicity.
Who are they to say that Rush Limbaugh can't spend his own money to own or co own.
MEYERS: And win this team?
SMITH: Let me put this on, first to you. My thing was, I felt — I had no problem with Rush Limbaugh for....
SMITH: He had every right to go for it and if they wanted to protest, let them protest. I was interested in seeing the African- American ballplayers that swore they would stand up and say, no way I will play for Rush Limbaugh. Oh really? He throws you millions your way, you're going to turn it down? I wanted to see that happen because I was...
HANNITY: Do you believe.
SMITH: Absolutely. I would tell you right here I believe that.
MEYERS: On that point, if Rush were in a position to deny a black player the right to play, or in a position to say, I'm not going to field any black players, or in the position to say I'm not going to get the best in the field because they are black. That's racism. This isn't racism.
HANNITY: Listen, Rush is probably one of the biggest NFL football fans in the country.
SMITH: That's true.
HANNITY: And one of the most knowledgeable, and one who admires the talent of the players on the field.
MEYERS: Allow me to play the role, Sean Hannity, here to play devil's advocate. But you do that quite well on a daily basis.
SMITH: Here's the deal. Rush Limbaugh is the guy that said what he said about Donovan McNabb and the media (INAUDIBLE) to be well. Rush Limbaugh is the guy.
HANNITY: Wait a minute, you said you agreed with that comment.
SMITH: That's right. No, no, no. What I said was, when he what he said he was talking about the media, I didn't feel that initially that he should have been dismissed over such a comment until he refused to apologize.
HANNITY: Was that a fair commentary of Rush's point?
MEYERS: Let me put it this way. I don't get the fixation, the obsession with Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh is not only offensive in terms of being on the air, he is also very funny. I loved his comment, by the way, when Obama.
MEYERS: When Obama did not get the Olympics. Rush Limbaugh goes the microphone and he says, "The eagle has landed." Great line.
MEYERS: Now to some it was offensive. To some it was offensive. I found it very funny. I find it corny. We have different opinions.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this. You said that about Rush, let me ask you a question. When — I've got a tape of President Barack Obama talks about white folks' greed running the world of need.
SMITH: If that.
HANNITY: Hang on a second.
SMITH: I haven't heard that tape. But if you have that tape...
HANNITY: Well, the president talked about the typical.
HANNITY: I have the tape.
SMITH: If the president said that, he was wrong. Period.
HANNITY: So if Al Sharpton associates with the president, and now he's going to attack Rush Limbaugh so is Al Sharpton a hypocrite?
SMITH: Well, it depends on what Al Sharpton is advocating.
HANNITY: He's criticizing Rush. I've got the tape.
SMITH: But Sean, what I'm saying to you, OK, if you want to point he's actually — say he's a hypocrite, fine. What I'm saying to you is this, if Rush Limbaugh, you're talking to a guy that have no problem with him pursuing ownership of the team. But if Rush Limbaugh owned it — Rush Limbaugh says the NFL is tantamount to the bloods and the crips that looked like the bloods and the crips without any weapon. That is a racist statement.
SMITH: That's all I'm saying.
MEYERS: The problem is that we have too — so-called civil rights leaders. I put that in quotes who would chase after so-called racist cartoons, who engage in racial buffoonery, who want to boycott every radio host and TV host with whom they disagree.
HANNITY: That's what it's about, isn't it?
MEYERS: That's what it's about. It's a larger issue.
HANNITY: It's about his politics.
MEYERS: That is right. And it has to stop. And people who disagree have to find their voice and their guts.
HANNITY: All right, based on your statements here tonight, can I assume that you're going to say that President Barack Obama, who hung out in Jeremiah Wright's church and that Barack Obama, you know, who said white folks' greed runs the world of need, are you going to make the same incendiary judgment against him?
SMITH: No, no.
HANNITY: No, no, no.
SMITH: No, no, no.
HANNITY: No, no, no. Now you're not being honest.
SMITH: I am always honest.
SMITH: Let me tell you something. If Barack Obama said what you say you have a tape of him saying, I would go up against him. As a matter of fact, I'll shock you. I happen to agree with you half the time. I think (INAUDIBLE) there's too many taxes, I think there's too much government.
SMITH: But I am a fiscally conservative independent. My point to you, though, is this.
HANNITY: This is politics.
SMITH: I would not call — yes, to some degree.
HANNITY: This is unfair.
SMITH: In NFL anything is politics when you're talking about that much money. Why are you acting shocked? It’s a multi-billion dollar industry.
SMITH: Of course it is politics.
MEYERS: What it is.
SMITH: So what? So what?
MEYERS: It's buffoonery. And people who want to go before the cameras, get a quick win because they know the owners and the people who work.
SMITH: There's a difference between race debate from time to time from being a racist. I would not call Rush a racist.
MEYERS: From time to time?
SMITH: I said I would not call Rush a racist. I want to make that clear. But I do think that he has said some racially insensitive things. And I don't think that.
HANNITY: And so has Barack Obama and so has Jeremiah Wright.
SMITH: OK. Well, then get.
SMITH: I didn't hear that, Sean, but I do agree.
HANNITY: You think hanging out in that reverend's church was...
MEYERS: I don't think that was a good idea.
HANNITY: You think he didn't know?
HANNITY: Do you believe him when he said, I had no idea?
SMITH: Of course not.
HANNITY: Of course. So he lied.
SMITH: Of course not.
HANNITY: All right, we got to go.
SMITH: What politician doesn't?
HANNITY: Ronald Reagan didn't.
SMITH: Oh my lord.
HANNITY: And coming up.
MEYERS: The great American hero.
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