Monday, October 19, 2009

Rush to buy: issue of free speech

Rush Limbaugh wants to buy the St. Louis Rams. Al Sharpton is leading the crusade against Limbaugh’s efforts, arguing that Limbaugh is unfit to own a sports franchise because he is a racist and an addict; clearly an irresponsible role model for young Americans. While the drug possession charges are general knowledge, the racist argument is yet to be determined.

Common sense dictates that Limbaugh is a staunch conservative and therefor a racist and tainted with prejudice. But where are the facts?

Notwithstanding lack of evidence, is Rush Limbaugh entitled to his opinion? Or is his money no longer good?

This is an important ethical question for our generation to answer. Is it true that 'hate speech' is the antithesis of democratic free-speech and must be censored? If Limbaugh is a racist, should he be bared from participation in public radio, in sports, in business? Is Limbaugh’s money no good or is Limbaugh, in a free society, free to both speak and spend his money as he pleases? Is the NFL unable to stop him?

This discussion might be better framed as good or bad marketing: Does the NFL as a publicly traded organization have the freedom to pick and choose the partners it affiliates with?

David Sirota wrote in Huffington Post: Forget the double standard of Rush Limbaugh, a free marketeer, now decrying as outrageous the NFL corporation's logical business decision to protect its brand from his taint.

Sirota dismisses a good point. The St. Lewis Rams may, as a PR strategy, choose to turn down Limbaugh's offer to buy the franchise. But this decision should come from the Rams and the strategic decision will rest in the symbiosis of brands, weather or Limbaugh’s values are acceptable to the St. Louis Rams and their fans. Of course, we might safely assume that the target audience, Rams fans, are also Limbaugh fans. So.... it would make no sense to stop Limbaugh.

Freedom Watch hosts an interesting conversation:

1 comment:

Paul said...

It seems to me that all the negative vibes this blowhard (Rush Hudson Limbaugh A.KA. Jeff Christie) has been spewing over these many years has come back to blow back on his face (A classic “Blow Back”). He always tries to give off the airs that he can have anything he wants but as we all witness those with more money and more influence tossed him aside like sack of potatoes and the ultimate insult was that it was done in public (money don’t buy you everything butterball).

Now of course he blames everyone else (Michael J. Fox, Perez Hilton, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor, Hillary Clinton, Olympia Snowe, ESPN, NFL, the media, basically people of color, the handicapped, women and gays) when of course all you have to do is listen to his show and plainly hear his daily prejudices filled sermons. So NFL, I salute you decision, job well done. And to the whaling cry baby perched on his self made pedestal, quit your whining it was your own fault. He is reaping what he has sowed, KARMA, "palin and simple" like his followers. Don’t we all feel better?