In a segment that even Rush Limbaugh admitted would probably get picked up by an army of his critics (hi!), the conservative radio host pretty much ran with a caller's theory today that Clippers owner Donald Sterling was set up. That theory makes one big assumption: that Magic Johnson, the subject of Sterling's latest recorded racist rant, orchestrated the whole controversy in order to open up an opportunity to buy the Clippers for a lower price. Sterling was suspended for life from the NBA today, and the league will try to force him to sell his team.
"What if the reason Sterling told [his girlfriend] V Dot that he didn't want her showing up in pictures with Magic [Johnson]," Rush wonders in today's fashionable Bundy style, "is that he knew that Magic was gonna make a play for his team?" That is, what if Sterling was not, as he said on the audio recording, criticizing his girlfriend for "taking pictures with minorities," but instead was referring to an objection that is completely different from what he said on tape? Makes you think. The host then says that by repeating the theory he is "giving some gifts here to Erin Burnett and Don Lemon, Mr. Black Hole at CNN." Which is actually a pretty good joke. Don Lemon said some dumb stuff about black holes, once. But then Limbaugh added that Don Lemon "‘sleeps with men, proudly," and meant it as an insult. So that's offensive.
Anyway here's more from the transcript, which begins with a somewhat paranoid caller explaining the theory to Rush. Then, Rush begins doing research during his breaks, returning each time with new evidence supporting the Magic Johnson theory. The result is a dramatic monologue worthy of a struggling actor's audition material (emphasis ours):
RUSH: Look at this. Looky here. Look what I just found at Yahoo News. Headline: "Exit Strategy for NBA Donald Sterling: Sell Clippers to Magic Johnson." YahooNews.com. I haven't clicked on the link yet. I just got this right as the break was ending so I haven't had a chance to click on it, but there it is: "Exit Strategy for NBA Donald Sterling: Sell Clippers to Magic Johnson," and that would make it all better.
That would make it all good, and Sterling would be a hero again.
Well, I don't know he'd be a hero, but it would be okay. Now, what if Kareem wants 'em, though? What if Kareem's group doesn't have the money that Magic's group has got? Didn't Magic try to buy the Dodgers? V. Stiviano's involved with Dodgers players. Folks, there's an intricate web being woven here. This babe, this sugar baby's all over LA sports. She with Sterling. She's with Magic.
I saw a picture of her, I think, with Steve Kemp of the Dodgers. Magic tries to buy the Dodgers. Wait a minute. Did Magic's group get the Dodgers? (interruption) Magic's group did get the Dodgers, and the Dodgers apparently aren't enough. Magic wants the Clippers. Yahoo News says. Not me, CNN. It's Yahoo News. (interruption) Guggenheim Partners? Who's partners with Guggenheim Partners? (interruption)
Magic's partners with Guggenheim Partners? Not to be confused with the Getty Museum. So, well, "Exit Strategy for NBA Donald Sterling: Sell Clippers to Magic Johnson." Damn it, I was gonna make a move on 'em. I guess I just got outflanked here. I wasn't thinking fast enough. Okay. Here we go. Here we go
Media Matters picked up the clip of what followed, as Rush and another caller begins to discuss the Clippers player protest of Sterling's comments (emphasis again is ours):
CALLER: They need to be stood behind by their fans and push forward and overcome what one idiotic person says. But instead they're being told not to go to the game. The person who was supposed to sing the national anthem is no longer going to be singing the national anthem at this game. So they're completely disrespecting the players themselves for all their hard work that they've done to get to the playoffs and not supporting them all.
RUSH: Let me tell you something. Whoever set this up is really good. They covered every base.
CALLER: Yes, they did.
RUSH: They've got the media wrapped around their little finger. I mean, when you get rid of the anthem singer, I used to be in charge of anthem singers at the Kansas City Royals. When you can get rid of an anthem singer, you've got power. Let me just tell you, 'cause those people will go anywhere to sing the anthem on TV in front of a crowd. If you can get rid of them, you've got real power.
As you might have heard, Sterling got into a lot of trouble over the weekend after an audio recording of him chastising his girlfriend V. Stiviano for "associating with black people" made its way to the media. Sterling also told his girlfriend that "You can sleep with [black people]. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it … and not to bring them to my games."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.