Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fergie 1, Limbaugh 0

If you're a fan of Rush Limbaugh -- if you believe him to be a great thinker, a sharp political mind and a powerful man who wields influence in this country -- his embarrassing effort to buy into the St. Louis Rams isn't going to change your opinion of him.

But, man, should it.

Rush Limbaugh just got his ass handed to him. He was flatly rejected by one of the most prominent of American cultural institutions. He was told that his hundred of millions of dollars were no good among NFL owners, many of whom likely share some of his political views.

On his radio show today he blames the -- of course -- media for misrepresenting him, but the simple fact of the matter is that he has said too many vile and questionable things to be covered by errors of a few lazy fact-checkers. Within hours the group headed by St. Louis Blues owner Dave Checkett was talking about dropping him.

Limbaugh couldn't even keep his partners in line.

Which brings us to the larger point of this dismal failure. Limbaugh is an entertainer. He is not a power player (there is no conclusive evidence that talk radio changes voters' minds), though his fans think him to be one. One would hope that this exposes Limbaugh as something of an impotent fool who long ago traded away any pretense of respectability for a ton of money and broadcasting fame.

Frankly, this couldn't have happened to a more deserving asshole. Limbaugh has sold himself off as a political expert for decades now, but he couldn't even negotiate the relatively simple politics of getting 24 people to allow him to purchase a team with his hundreds of millions of dollars. (Even Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas managed to get that job done this week.) If Limbaugh can't even figure out how to buy a football team, how the hell is he going to have a chance at interpreting the far more complicated inner workings of Washington?

He's not. He's an entertainer who's getting his karmic comeuppance. There are going to be many Limbaugh haters enjoying this massive Fail on his part. There will also be countless Limbaugh apologists trying to make this about politics or free speech or whatever. It's not. This is all about business, and one of America's most popular institutions wants nothing to do with Limbaugh or his stale product.

Here's Wilbon:
The market is telling Rush Limbaugh, rather loudly, it doesn't want what he sells. Undoubtedly there is support for Limbaugh in some quarters; my guess is there are NFL owners who share his brand of conservatism. But so far the voices that count the most, the ones that belong to people in the private club Limbaugh wants into, are shouting him down.
That's about all that can be said -- there's no way to spin this. Even prior to word getting out that Limbaugh was going to be dropped from Checkett's team sports business observers were dismissing his involvement.

But lest folks on the left start to get carried away, let's make this perfectly clear: This is not an indictment against conservatism. Not by the NFL or anyone else. This is, however, a very personal rejection of Rush Limbaugh. This is as humiliating a rejection as could possibly occur. Yes, it was primarily a business decision, but modern day professional football is also a business of personalities. The NFL -- and now Checketts -- have basically told Limbaugh, "You are such an odious person that no matter how much money you have we want nothing to do with you because you will only lose us money with your personal vileness."

It's like being rejected by the cool kids table in high school on a truly epic scale.

Limbaugh traded respect for fortune and fame long ago. Now it's finally catching up with him. I'm sure I'm not the only one who will be opening a beer tonight and saying to himself, "It's about time."

1 comment:

edwin sanchez said...

No one is really a fan of Rush especially in one of the most integrated American pastimes.