Congressman Steve King defended radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh Wednesday during a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. King, a Republican from Kiron, Iowa, pressed National Football League commissioner Paul Goodell over the controversy surrounding Limbaugh’s now-abandoned bid to buy the St. Louis Rams.
“I would point out that you have a couple of owners that have performed lyrics in songs that are far more offensive — in fact, I don’t think anything that Rush Limbaugh said was offensive, but with Fergie and J-Lo — they have between the two of them — alleged that the CIA are terrorists and liars. They’ve promoted the sexual abuse of women. They’ve used the ‘N-word,’ verbal pornography, recreational drug use, etc.,” King said. “And they are owners of the Dolphins.”
After King spoke for about three minutes, Goodell responded.
“I’m not shining any kind of a light on Rush Limbaugh here. I’m not an expert on all of his quotes…He was not even under active consideration as an NFL owner,” Goodell said. “…I’ve stated this several times before that we had not started a process to review ownership groups. They had not even determined to sell the St. Louis Rams.”
King interrupted Goodell at this point and their discussion turned to comments Limbaugh made a few years ago about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.
“You were speaking directly of Rush Limbaugh. You said the comments that Rush made specifically about Donovan I disagree with very strongly,” King said. Goodell responded: “I do, because I think that Donovan McNabb is an outstanding young man. He’s an outstanding young quarterback. It has nothing to do with the color of his skin.”
Earlier in the exchange, King read Limbaugh’s quotes about McNabb aloud.
“I would point out for the committee the statement that Rush Limbaugh made is this that it seems to be the one that survives the criticism and that is, ‘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. They’re interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. McNabb got a lot of the credit for the performance of the team that he really didn’t deserve.’ Now, I’ve scoured this quote to try to find something that can be implied as racism on the part of Rush Limbaugh and I can’t find it,” King said. “There is an implication of racism on the part of the media.”