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Limbaugh's friend Olbermann

October 16, 2009 - Jim Anderson
Keith Olbermann was on Rush Limbaugh’s side?

Sort of.

Olbermann’s “support” is an interesting twist in the story about Limbaugh being dropped from a group trying to buy the St. Louis Rams.

Last week, Olbermann rejected the idea that Limbaugh should not be allowed to take ownership in the National Football League:

"There are now going to be character tests for sports owners?" Olbermann asked on his MSNBC Countdown show. “There will only be three of them left. Unless they beat the Vikings Sunday, as of next Thursday it will have been a full year since the Rams won a game. My God, if Limbaugh wants to buy them, far be it for me to tell them he’s flushing his money down a rat hole.”

At the conservative watchdog site NewsBusters, however, Jeff Poor was skeptical.

“Olbermann could have his own self-interests in mind,” Poor wrote. “It's possible he could be concerned what sort of precedent a denial by NFL owners could set. Olbermann doubles as an anchor for NBC's Sunday night NFL broadcast for the pre-game and halftime shows and he certainly has said some less-than-flattering things about conservatives over the years.”

As it turned out, the owners were never forced to reach a decision.

On Wednesday, St. Louis Blues chairman Dave Checketts, the leader of this effort to buy the team, said Limbaugh had been dropped from the bid.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Colts owner Jim Irsay had each expressed misgivings about Limbaugh's involvement, the Associated Press reported. Goodell said Limbaugh has made "polarizing" comments; Irsay vowed to vote against him. Much of the ensuing media controversy has centered on whether Limbaugh has actually said all of the things he’s been accused of saying. Some outlets, including CNN, have issued retractions concerning at least one of the alleged past statements.

My view is that Limbaugh — even with generous interpretations — has said enough to create concerns that he’d be a nuisance. And who knows what he might say down the line? Fair or not, his potential partners decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

But Olbermann had a point. Character tests?

Who would they get to chair that committee ...


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