On his show yesterday Rush Limbaugh responded to Attorney General Eric Holder's charge that Americans had been a "nation of cowards" on the subject of race.
I, El Rushbo, am no coward. … In fact, I show bravery on race. I am totally willing to discuss it openly and honestly. How does one show bravery on race as I have? You talk about media bias, you talk about slavish media coverage of Black quarter backs in the National Football League. Then see what happens. Then watch all hell descend upon you from every quarter of this nation’s media. From print to broadcast to internet. … I show bravery on matters of race.
Limbaugh is referring to his very brief stint in 2003 as football commentator for ESPN. The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Donovan McNabb, had a couple of bad games early in the season. Rush Limbaugh proclaimed on a national broadcast that McNabb's poor performance was because he had never been that good to begin with and had only been proclaimed a great player because the media was eager to promote black quarterbacks. I believe Rush Limbaugh was fired just a couple of days after that broadcast.
The way I remember the incident the general feeling among football fans was that he was fired mainly because his comment was so totally wrong it would be absurd for him to continue posing as a football expert. The comment showed he was a racist, but the main problem was that his racism was causing him to be wrong in his football judgments. After the slow start that season Donovan McNabb went on to have a great season, as if to demonstrate just how wrong Rush Limbaugh had been.
Since Rush Limbaugh had really wanted to be a television football commentator, he views the incident as him being forced to sacrifice for his (racist) truth. But there is no need for those of us who do not share his racist views to see any nobility in his actions. He was and is just stubbornly wrong.