Dear Mr. Limbaugh,
Well, you’ve really put your foot in it this time. As I’m sure you’ve admitted to yourself by now, your comments on ESPN last Sunday regarding Donovan McNabb and why in your opinion the NFL media overrates him were a big mistake. You’re a big enough guy–though not so much in the literal sense any more: congratulations on the recent weight loss–to admit when you’ve screwed up.
Mind you, I’m not saying you should pay any attention to the babblings of the usual suspects as they pander to the illiterates (of all ages, genders, and ethnic makeups) among their would-be constituents by demonstrating that they can’t read either. No, we both know that you were not racially insulting Donovan McNabb–you were suggesting that the NFL media might be actively race-conscious in deciding what athletes they wish to promote. Let’s be blunt, Mr. Limbaugh–you’ve done the men and women in question (including some of your new coworkers) a grave injustice.
Now, we both know that the NFL itself has shown itself to be more than a little willing to pander in the way you’ve suggested, by by mandating a ludicrous process where teams must make a show of considering minority candidates even when it is obvious to one and all that the team had a particular candidate in mind all along (as has always been typical when head coaching or managerial positions are concerned), thereby wasting the valuable time of the individuals who are called in to meet what is in fact a quota. If you had been talking about a minority head coach who was hired with questionable credentials and had performed in a mediocre fashion (as opposed to the numerous individuals who happened to be minorities who have done their jobs superlatively as head coaches/managers in major league sports), you would have been dead on in directing an accusation along the same lines of the McNabb remarks at the NFL itself. But you didn’t–you addressed what has been a dead letter in the NFL for at least ten years now: there’s no one with half a brain in the post-Doug Williams/Warren Moon era who thinks that black quarterbacks can’t cut it. Even Al Campanis wouldn’t be saying that, if he were still with us.
Now, I can understand why you might jump to such a conclusion. Since you apparently think that the praise directed at McNabb is completely unjustified, you looked for what seemed to be a reasonable explanation, and you chose one which you were familiar with from your full time job during the week. After all, you are very aware that the national media, particularly such institutions as the New York Times, is quite fond of the practice that you accused the NFL media of; namely, inflating the importance of certain otherwise unworthy individuals largely because of the skin color they happen to have. Examining the field of Democratic presidential candidates reveals two such individuals (one of whom would be an obscure local politician and the other of whom would be an obscure preacher rather than an ex-US Senator and a powerful political broker running for the Presidency without being laughed out of the country, were it not for the attention paid to and excuses made for them due to their race), and I think you’d agree that Jesse Jackson would have been sent up for extortion a long way back if Justice Departments of both major parties hadn’t decided a long time ago that a justified prosecution wasn’t worth the heat it would cause them.
Mr. Limbaugh, your mistake was mistaking ignorance with cravenness. The sports media in the United States is capable of great idiocies–in baseball, they’re going to deny the best player in the American League yet another MVP award because his teammates are inept, and they’re thinking about giving the NL MVP to someone other than Barry Bonds : have they completely taken leave of their senses? However, at no time did the professional media who cover the National Football League give you cause to accuse them of being the same kind of leftist-bias addled hacks with whom you have to deal with on a daily basis in the course of your everyday duties, and to accuse them of being such was a vile insult.
So swallow your pride and apologize to the NFL media, Rush. In your heart of hearts, you know they deserved better than to be compared to the New York Times editorial page.