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Under Fire, Rush Now Faces Drug Allegations

by Faux News Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 7:59 AM

For the Record - Rush is a big supporter of the "War on Drugs". Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha....

Under Fire, Rush Now Faces Drug Allegations

Thursday, October 02, 2003

NEW YORK  — Political commentator Rush Limbaugh put one controversy behind him Wednesday night, resigning from ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" after a firestorm erupted over his comments concerning Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb and the media.

But Limbaugh woke up the next morning facing a new, more serious problem: allegations he illegally obtained and abused prescription painkillers in Florida.

The New York Daily News, without identifying its source, reported in Thursday editions that Limbaugh was being investigated by the Palm Beach County (search) state attorney's office.

The newspaper said it had independently confirmed the allegations, which were first reported by the supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer.

•Video: Rush Under Fire

A spokesman for the Palm Beach County state attorney's office told The Associated Press his office could neither confirm nor deny that an investigation was under way.

Keven Bellows, an executive with the Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicates the politically focused "Rush Limbaugh Show," read a statement from Limbaugh on Thursday morning.

"I am unaware of any investigation by any authority involving me. No government representative has contacted me directly or indirectly. If my assistance is required, I will, of course, cooperate fully," the statement said.

The Enquirer had interviewed Wilma Cline, who said she became Limbaugh's drug connection after working as his maid, according to the Daily News. She said that Limbaugh had abused OxyContin (search) and other painkillers.

OxyContin is a pain reliever that contains a very strong narcotic similar to morphine and is only intended for moderate to severe daily pain, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Daily use of OxyContin can result in physical dependence.

Ed Shohat, a Miami lawyer for the Clines, said Thursday, "The Clines stand by the story." Shohat said neither he nor his clients would comment further. The identity of the second named Cline was unclear.

Limbaugh's lawyers could immediately not be located by The Associated Press for comment.

Limbaugh late Wednesday said he was resigning from his ESPN gig because he regretted causing "discomfort" to his colleagues, but he stood by his statement that McNabb  was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.

On Sunday, Limbaugh said, "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 ... There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

Limbaugh was "way off base with that comment," FOX NFL Sunday host James Brown told Fox News. "I've not seen any examples of the media pandering to a quarterback because he is black."

Radio talk-show host and columnist Armstrong Williams told Fox News it was unfortunate that Limbaugh inserted race into the discussion, but said that “If Rush was black he would’ve been saluted for spiking the ratings, he would’ve been given a raise and certainly wouldn’t have resigned. ... The media does go out of its way to celebrate black quarterbacks and coaches.”

Leo Terrell, civil-rights attorney and fellow radio talk-show host, countered that the resignation was necessary.

"He made a racist comment and should resign," Terrell said, adding that pro football is a colorblind activity.

"You think the Philadelphia Eagles are going to put millions of dollars into a player who isn’t performing?" he asked.

Seven black quarterbacks started games last weekend. Two other black quarterbacks who regularly start were out with injuries.

Limbaugh, on his radio program, said people were angry with him because he was correct.

"If I wasn't right, there wouldn't be this cacophony of outrage that has sprung up in the sports writer community,” he said.

During a speech Thursday at the National Association of Broadcasters (search) convention in Philadelphia, the city where McNabb plays, Limbaugh said he’d been making pointed social commentary for years. The problem, he said, was not his.

“It’s not people like me who have put codes on speech and codes on thought, but they [his critics] band together and apparently they can ruffle enough feathers and scare enough people,” Limbaugh said. “On the radio program, none of this affects me.”

Limbaugh's initial comments sparked outrage from politicians, the NAACP and McNabb himself.

Democratic presidential candidates Wesley Clark, Howard Dean and the Rev. Al Sharpton had called for ESPN to fire Limbaugh. Clark, a retired Army general, called the remarks "hateful and ignorant speech." Dean, a former Vermont governor, labeled them "absurd and offensive."

The NAACP called the remarks "bigoted and ignorant," and called for the network to fire Limbaugh or at least provide an opposing point of view on the show.

McNabb had said earlier Wednesday that he didn't mind criticism of his performance, but was upset that Limbaugh made his race an issue and said it was too late for an apology.

"It's somewhat shocking to hear that on national TV from him," McNabb said. "It's not something that I can sit here and say won't bother me."

Chris Berman, who anchors the ESPN show, said he did not believe Limbaugh's tone or intent was malicious.

"As cut and dry as it seems in print, I didn't think so when it went by my ears," Berman said. "I probably should have looked to soften it."

Limbaugh issued a statement on the remarks Wednesday, saying his comments were not racially motivated but instead were directed at the media.

"I offered an opinion. This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret,” Limbaugh said. "I love 'NFL Sunday Countdown' and do not want to be a distraction to the great work done by all who work on it. Therefore, I have decided to resign."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 18 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Barbiturate DumbMasses don't get it. Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:21 AM
Powder Substitute Host Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 9:17 AM
Rush had a substitute host sitting in today. Gosh, I wonder why? answer Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 10:03 AM
Hearing Loss attributed to Pill Popping Dr. Feelgood Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 3:36 PM
Gee, I wonder what the Rush Apologists will make of this? answer Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 3:56 PM
don't do that nonantichrist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 3:56 PM
like green flies to s**t nc Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 4:05 PM
can't help it can you, Bush Admirer (nc) nonantichrist Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 4:20 PM
Bush Admirer, you're such a looser Ralph Friday, Oct. 03, 2003 at 8:17 PM
^ Leisure Suit Larry Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 2:54 AM
well then nonantichrist Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 3:07 AM
^ Leisure Suit Larry Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 3:19 AM
you seem to like wallowing in the mud nonantichrist Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 3:28 AM
^ Leisure Suit Larry Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 3:55 AM
BA LSL Saturday, Oct. 04, 2003 at 4:03 AM

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