Ta-Nehisi Coates is not one of the flame throwers on the left. While I don’t agree with him on many policy issues, I have found him to be one of the more reasonable left-wing bloggers. But even Coates got caught up in the fabrications spread about Rush Limbaugh.
Coates wrote a post today, One Last Word On Rush, arguing that Limbaugh was denied an NFL ownership opportunity not because Limbaugh was conservative, but because he’s a “white populist.” One key piece of evidence? Limbaugh’s alleged believe that slavery had some merit.
The significance of that allegation warranted an “update” to his post, at the urging of a commenter, so that Limbaugh’s statement could be seen in its full context.
UPDATE: A commenter below rightfully notes that that Limbaugh quote deserves it’s full context:
“I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.” [3/14/03]
The implication in my post is that Rush was defending slavery. That isn’t what he said, and I was wrong for implying it….But not wrong for banning the dude who pointed it out 🙂
Of course, the referenced statement was one of the fabricated allegations against Limbaugh which had been exposed as a lie in full force all over the internet the day before. But Coates fell for it.
To his credit, Coates ran the following second update:
UPDATE #2: It’s completely fabricated. Context isn’t the issue. He never said it. I should have checked it before attributing it to him. I apologize to Rush Limbaugh.
The good news is that Coates was honest enough to recognize and apologize for the error. [The error need have taken place, since the link to the quoted language in the first Update itself pointed out that the source was questionable.]
The bad news is that these pernicious lies perpetuated by bad people take on a life of their own, consuming even good people along the way.
Update: For an example of smears being spread, see Limbaugh as Hitler