Rush Limbaugh isn't going to be a part-owner of an NFL team thanks to the smears that were hurled at him by media voices and political opponents who didn't bother to see if the "evidence" against him was even true. Turns out, it wasn't.
A few weeks ago, I talked about the "death of journalism" and pointed out that in today's world of rushing to get things on the air or in print, the old fashioned practices of fact checking, verifying, and editing have been replaced by breathless self-congratulations for getting it first rather than getting it right.
And sometimes, the stories run not even to be first, but to simply validate a point of view or score political points in the effort to personally destroy the credibility of an opponent.
That is a cheap and sleazy substitute for simply presenting a differing point of view with the confidence that it will be better. If you can't beat the other guy's position, just destroy him and his ideas die with him.
To this day, I fight perceptions based on distortions and outright lies that were put in print and on the airwaves in the course of my political career at the state and national level.
Ironically, one of the most ridiculous labels thrown on me was that of a "big government liberal," and even Rush Limbaugh said it during the presidential campaign. It certainly wasn't good for my political career and now Rush is experiencing a bunch of lies being thrown on him and finding that it can matter.
What was done to him is absolutely wrong and should be subject to legal action. Rush has the resources to fight it and for the sake of everyone in the public eye, I hope he does.
No one — Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, candidate or commentator — ought to have a career wrecked by reckless, irresponsible and fabricated statements from those with a financial, political or philosophical interest in taking the coward's way by lobbing a cheap shot while hiding in the bushes and then running from the responsibility by claiming free speech or honest mistake.
I oppose many of President Obama's policies, but I want my focus to be on his policies and not him personally.
Rush Limbaugh didn't ask to invest in a football team; he was asked to be an investor and had every right to put his own money into a legal enterprise. Even if what he was accused of saying was true, and it wasn't, he shouldn't have been disinvited as an investor because of beliefs or the exercise of free speech.
If that is the new criteria for ownership of a sports team, then the NFL has a responsibility as the new version of the thought and speech police to investigate every investor who has even a partial bit of ownership in a team to determine if they have ever made a statement that is offensive to someone based on race, religion, ethnicity or gender.
It would pretty well eliminate NFL team ownership by private investors and then, well, heck, I have an idea, I can't believe that Congress hasn't already thought of this: Maybe the federal government could take over professional football and run it too!
That's my view, I welcome yours. E-mail your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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