By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Jeff Jacoby doesn’t listen to Rush, either

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, in the course of thrashing Colin Powell, cites a 16-year-old William Raspberry column in which Raspberry apologized for accusing Rush Limbaugh of bigotry without having listened to him for more than a few minutes in bits and pieces.

Powell, who’s been critical of Limbaugh, must be similarly ignorant, according to Jacoby.

But wait. Has Jacoby seen the “Top 10 Racist Limbaugh Quotes”? [Link now fixed.] Two of them, at least, have been verified by Snopes, the gold standard for such things:

  • “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?”
  • “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.” [Spoken to an African-American woman who’d called.]

Two of the most incendiary quotes on the list — a paean to James Earl Ray, who assassinated the Rev. Martin Luther King, and a comment that the streets were “safer after dark” during slavery — appear to come from a book by Jack Huberman called “101 People Who Are REALLY Screwing America (and Bernard Goldberg is Only #73).”

I do not know the provenance of those quotes, and Wikiquote says they are in dispute because Huberman did not provide dates. So we’ll leave those in the interesting-if-true category.

On the other hand, there is no question that Limbaugh lost his gig as a football analyst after he made racially insensitive remarks about Donovan McNabb, a quarterback who’s black. And he’s had great fun with a parody song called “Barack the Magic Negro,” not least because he gets to claim, over and over, that his critics don’t get it and he’s not really racist.

William Raspberry retired in 2005. But he might want to consider his 1993 apology to Limbaugh. The evidence is clear that Raspberry got it right the first time.

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  1. Johnny

    And when Carol Moseley Braun was in the Senate, he used to have a regular Carol Moseley Braun update:”When Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL) was in the U.S. Senate, the first black woman ever elected to that body, Limbaugh would play the “Movin’ On Up” theme song from TV’s Jeffersons when he mentioned her.”

  2. Rich

    I thought Limbaugh said that the sports media was softpedalling McNabb’s (alleged) faults because the media wanted him to succeed because he was black.How is that a “racially insensitive” statement?

  3. Rich

    (I’m not claiming Limbaugh’s statement is true, mind you. I don’t recall what the Philly press and ESPNs of the world were writing about McNabb back then.)

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Rich: You don’t think it’s racially insensitive to say that the media are pretending McNabb is better than he really is because he’s black? Good grief. What would it take to qualify as racially insensitive in your eyes?

  5. amlaped

    I had exactly the same thoughts as you, Dan, when I read Jacoby’s column. Just two days ago, Rush said this about Obama’s economic recovery program:”This is the objective. The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state. And the objective is to take the nation’s wealth and return to it to the nation’s quote, ‘rightful owners.’ Think reparations. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what actually is going on….”This sort of race-baiting is contemptible. You’ve got to wonder what made William Raspberry change his mind.

  6. Nial Liszt

    I’ve got it. Let’s organize a boycott and contact all his advertisers and set up and, and…

  7. HNG

    The “Top 10 Racist Limbaugh Quotes” link takes me to the old William Raspberry column. Not that I’d die if I didn’t see the list.Also: Does Rich need to attend a “racial sensitivity seminar”?

  8. Bill H.

    Rush is just another symptom of our times: Angry, coarse and aggrieved. And with several others like him, he has almost nothing in common, except complexion, with those for whom he purports to speak. His spite has made him a wealthy man, far removed from the world that he supposedly champions. I bet he laughs all the way to the bank. And Cheney is absolutely correct: Rush is the prototype modern day Republican, as well as the poster child for everything that has sent the party into decline.

  9. bob gardner

    Forget about listening to Rush,I don’t think Jeff Jacoby even reads his own columns. Here’s a quote from a column he wrote in Jan 1995 after two doctors claimed the health of some formerly rent-controlled tenants might be adversly affected by eviction. The column (Liberal Arguments Will Just Kill You) ridicules that idea. “Somehow, in all the months that the rent-control debate hissed and billowed in Massachusetts,” Jacoby writes, “it never occurred to me that the best way to shed light on the issue was to talk about killing.”And here is what Jeff wrote about rent control and killing, just three months earlier.”(the rent board)slashed the rent on the upstairs apartments to a fraction of the fair amount. It ordered them to pay ‘damages’ to their tenants. Poor Peter, he didn’t have the money. The stress crushed him. He had a heart attack and died.You’ll never forget Peter, or what rent control did to him.” (At Stake in Question 9, fairness for property owners.)Ah yes, poor Peter, Jeff will never forget him.

  10. Tunder

    I thought that the Raspberry mention sounded rather specious. Thanks for letting us know it was 16 years ago. Somehow citing Raspberry was enough to give Limbaugh legitimacy?!?What an absolutely lame piece from Jacoby.

  11. Al

    What an absolutely lame piece from Jacoby.nothing new, my friend…

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