Radio AM to FM: October 10, 2003
Last week wasn't an easy one for popular syndicated talk host Rush Limbaugh, heard locally weekdays 9 am to noon on KFI (640 AM).
First was what the Wall Street Journal called "the patently fake outrage over his ESPN remarks about (Philadelphia Eagles quarterback) Donovan McNabb" that were made on the cable network's NFL Sunday Countdown September 28th. In it, Limbaugh said,
"Sorry to say this, I don't think he has been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well, black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."
Limbaugh said later that the comment was directed at the media and that he had "no racist intent whatsoever," but it was too late. By Wednesday, criticism started pouring in, including calls from three Democrat presidential candidates to have him fired. Limbaugh resigned from the show late Wednesday night, October 1st.
Racist or not, the general consensus was that the remark was ignorant. As my wife, Jean -- the family sports fanatic -- said, "he certainly doesn't know much about football."
Yet that was just the beginning. That same Wednesday was also the day that word leaked out regarding a probe by the state attorney's office in Palm Beach, Florida regarding possible illegal prescription drug use. The original source was the National Enquirer, which paid Limbaugh's housekeeper for the information; the story was then picked up by the New York Daily News, which printed a story regarding the probe the next day.
Already the Limbaugh haters have predicted his doom. Personally I'm not convinced. He's made it through other problems, admittedly not so personally serious, and already word is out that any case against him in the drug probe is weak.
Limbaugh promised his listeners that he will will tell "more than you want to know" regarding the case as soon as he can. And while there will be those who state he is a hypocrite for preaching virtue and moral character on the air while allegedly being addicted to prescription pain killers, others may notice that he hasn't denied anything, nor attacked anyone.
As the Wall Street Journal said on October 6th, "It does not excuse anything he may have done to say America will not know the full measure of the man until we see how he responds."
Play at Work
KLOS (95.5 FM) is recycling an old contest, calling it the "KLOS At Work Triple Play," in which a listener can win $1000 by being the 95th caller after the station completes playing three songs by the same artist.
Sure this has been done before, though not in a while. What caught my eye was the example given by KLOS in their official rules: "Three songs performed by Led Zeppelin would be considered valid. Two songs by Led Zeppelin and one song by Robert Plant as a solo artist would be invalid."
That could make the contest a lot of fun for the station and a bit frustrating for some listeners. The original "Layla" is by Derek and the Dominoes, for example, even though many people think of it as lead singer Eric Clapton, who later did a solo version of the same song.
I like it.
Copyright © 2003 Richard Wagoner and The Copley Press.
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