Rush Limbaugh surprisingly open-minded on Steroids.

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    Rush Limbaugh surprisingly open-minded on Steroids.


    I won't say I agree with him 100%, but most political figures, pundits and politicians alike are united against any kind of substance use. I believe because they feel it serves them in terms of popular opinion.

    Sportswriters Have Cow Over Steroids,
    But Real Crime Is the Grand Jury Leak

    December 7, 2004


    BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

    Now, this steroid stuff. Before we get into the latest machinations of it, and the latest evolution of where we are in all this, something I have been fascinated about. You watch sports reporters on television or you read sports reporters in the newspaper, and they are agog. They are outraged. They can't believe it. They've got all these guys convicted. They want asterisks, have the home run records taken away from Barry Bonds. They think this is the most outrageous, egregious things. This is second only to what I said about McNabb as far as these guys are concerned. They are all worked up into a tizzy, and yet the fans don't care. There's no indication the fans care. Attendance is up; television viewing audiences are up for all these sporting events. People can't wait. When Barry Bonds comes to town, they want to see whether he's a freak or not.

    They want to see him. They want to see his home runs; they want to see a 40-year-old guy hit 400-yard, 400-feet home runs to the opposite field -- and yet the sportswriter community is just beside itself. They can't get over this. They're outraged. They've got these people convicted, and it's almost like they're totally out of touch with the fan base. It is amazing. There's something else, something about this story, particularly as it relates to the last week, or since Friday. You had a grand jury that was convened out in California to investigate. We guess the players got immunity for their testimony. Investigating this outfit called Balco which is where Bonds trained, and Bonds recommended that Gary Sheffield go there and Giambi, who idolizes Bonds, went there and Sheffield and Bonds went in, and somebody leaked their testimony.

    The real criminal act here is something everybody is overlooking. Grand jury testimony is secret. Now, somebody had access to it and called the San Francisco Chronicle. Jason Giambi went in there and told the truth, and he's being fried. He's being destroyed! In New York they want to take his contract away. They want Steinbrenner to invalidate it, get the money back. They want him on the ash heap of shame like nobody ever has been. Barry Bonds, apparently, according to the leaked testimony, said, "Yeah, I took this stuff but I didn't know what it was, and he's been praised for skirting the issue here. He's been praised for being smart in his testimony. Sheffield, I don't know what Sheffield said, but it's much along the same lines as Bonds, only took it for two weeks. One sportswriter even said, "Well, yeah, Sheffield has only taken it for two weeks but Bonds has taken it forever, and that's worse," or for a long time or what have you. It's crazy.


    Meanwhile, you have the total corruption of the grand jury system with all these leaks. Now, somebody who testifies can come out and say what went on, and they can testify what they said, but these guys hadn't done it. Somebody leaked what they said. You go to jail for that if they catch you. Another thing that's possible, since it's the federal government doing this, the federal government could have had somebody who leaked it. You just never know. But somebody ought to try to track this down. "Well, Rush, you can't track down leakers." Well, it's serious enough that there's a law on the books that you get jail time for it. So now we have these guys who take steroids, and baseball has not banned them. Baseball hasn't; football has, and there's testing for them in the NFL, but baseball hasn't banned them, because they've got a players union. Players union of baseball is very strong. Donald Fehr and Gene Orza continue to serve in the image of Marvin Miller who created the modern entity of the Major League Baseball Players Association, and I'll tell you how powerful they are.

    Last year Alex Rodriguez --Well, yeah, two years ago, the previous season, not this past season, previous season -- Alex Rodriguez played with the Texas Strangers, and the Strangers awarded him the highest, richest contract in the history of baseball, $252 million over ten years, and it turned out that just as happened when Rodriguez played for the Seattle Mariners. They tanked; so did the Texas Strangers when Rodriguez joined them. They tanked, so the Strangers wanted to get rid of him because they didn't want to absorb all this on the payroll, and they tried to arrange a trade to the Boston Red Sox and the Yankees, had the Yankees Red Sox competing for Rodriguez. It turned out Rodriguez was willing to lower his contract in order to make him more accessible to these two teams in a trade and the players association refused to let him. The players union, the Major League Baseball players union refused to let him change the contract because there's no way any player is going to give any money back regardless, no matter what!

    That's considered a setback, even though he wanted personally, he was willing to do it. The union said, "No, you can't." Well, the union has stood in the way of all this testing at the same time, and Orza is out there saying, "Smoking cigarettes is worse than steroids." What the hell we talking about here? And he may be. Who knows? But the point is these guys, we talk about all the damage they're doing to their bodies. They choose to do it. Let 'em do it! Do you know the risk of permanent injury playing in the National Football League drug-free? You know how high that is? Have you seen the statistics on the number of ex-NFL players have a permanent injury, like a knee replacement or the constant limp or something? Some of it's even worse than that. E. J. Holub used to play for the Kansas City Chiefs, can barely walk, Jim Otto, great center with the Oakland Raiders, is basically an invalid -- and these guys aren't taking steroids. It's just the game they choose to play.

    Should the federal government get in and regulate football and say it can't be as violent as it is? Should the federal government, should John McCain pontificate from the senate commerce committee seat or on Meet the Press that football is too violent a game? "Look at what's happening to the people that play it in their later years. We've got to do something about this"? No. If these people choose to do this and choose to play football and so forth, then that's their choice. Federal government, there's nothing illegal about playing football, and so far nobody's made steroids illegal, at least they're not banned in baseball. I mean, depending on the ailment, you can go to a doctor and get steroids, not anabolic which is what these guys are taking. I'm not saying they're good for you, folks. I'm not, but do you know how many things out there in life that are not good for us that we do? Is the government going to come in and be a nanny state and protect from us every darn one of them? I mean, if that's the case they're going to have to get rid of the automobile because I guarantee you far more people die because of the invention of the wheel than because of the creation of steroids.

    Fifty thousand Americans perish in auto accidents every year. If we're serious about protecting people, we've got to do something about the car. We have to do something about the wheel. This media frenzy when it comes to this steroid business, and I'm not defending it or promoting it here. I'm just at this point in the discussion. I'm just sharing with you some of the random thoughts that I've had about all this. Look at Hollywood. Look at actors. Look at TV anchors. How many of them go get Botox. Presidential candidates, how many of them go get Botox? I saw a story the other day that Botox injections can cause damage and can cause infections and you get sick. I mean, Hollywood, look at how many anorexic movie starlets there are who starve themselves and have eating disorders simply so they can look good in front of a camera"? Should the federal government get involved, say, "You can't do anorexia if you're an actress. You've gotta eat. You've gotta do what's best for you"?

    Should we go tell TV anchors nope, "No hair transplant for you, Mr. Jennings. You have to sit there because that's dangerous surgery. You never know. No, Mr. Rather, you can't get a facelift. We're not going to have this in television." The point is that people in lines of work do all kinds of things to give themselves an edge or an assist, what you think is an edge, what they think is an assist and the federal government doesn't move in and say you can't do that. I know the purists of baseball say, "But, Rush! But, Rush! What about the sanctity of the record." Well, let baseball deal with that. I'm telling you, the fan base doesn't care. It appears to me, uh, ladies and gentlemen, that one of the things that's happening in baseball is the fan base has a lot less interest in the tradition of the game. You have your purists that do, but if there are real concern that Barry Bonds is going to beat Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth by cheating, the fans would be banning Barry Bonds and they would not be going to Barry Bonds games and Barry Bonds would be, you know, living in constant shame but that's not the case.


    Now, I know our pop culture doesn't work that way anymore. The more shame you do the bigger you rise in stature, at least the bigger curiosity factor you are -- and I'm not saying the fans should have the ultimate say so, but in a free market system the fan base is paying the bills, and you can see there's not a whole lot of outrage or upset over this. But, boy, when you've got individual senators threatening to do something about this, if baseball doesn't get its acts in gear, then what industry is next? Pick an industry but it will be next, once this kind of thing can be done -- and we're not -- no, no, no, no, we're not -- talking about profanity or indecency or pornography here. If there's a crime going on, it's a crime these players are committing against themselves, if it's -- this stuff is damaging. You know, we talked about all the people saying, "Look at the deaths from steroids." What deaths? Well, well, Ken Caminiti, Houston Astros."

    Yeah, he died after he retired, at age 41, had a heart attack, and he also did all other kinds of drugs as well. Who's to say steroids were the tipping factor? Who knows? "Lyle Alzado, Rush! Lyle Alzado." Well, Lyle Alzado had a brain tumor, blamed it on steroids, but the doctors never said for sure that's why he had a brain tumor and died. But he chose to do it. Now I know when he was on his death bed he urged everybody not to do steroids, Lyle Alzado. He was a great football player with the Cleveland Browns, the Denver Broncos, and the Oakland Raiders, and it was an unfortunate death. But, you know, people choose things. People choose things in life. They choose to get in the car. They choose to cross the street. They choose to get in an airplane, they choose a number of things. There's nothing out there. They choose to go and walk in a national forest where they can get sued and thrown in jail for throwing dirt on a tree in a National Forest. We had that story last week. People choose to do risky things that are not illegal.

    BREAK TRANSCRIPT

    Listen to some of the stuff in this. We'll get to your phone calls on this in just a second here, folks, but I got a piece by Renée Graham in the Boston Globe. Her basic point here is that we accept lip-synching from singers. We accept that. We don't get bothered by that, but we're not accepting steroids? She says, "Questions about Bonds have been around for years, but it's unlikely any of them have prevented many fans' fascination every time he jacks another pitch out of another ballpark. Are athletes who take steroids cheating the fans and impugning the institution of baseball? Without a doubt. Still, such is the nature of fandom that we're more concerned with having a great time and getting a good show than demanding an honest performance. After all, aren't 'singers' who lip-synch through live performances defrauding their audiences, too? To wit, there was Lindsay Lohan yesterday, making what was advertised as her ''live singing debut' on yesterday's Good Morning America. Yet during her opening song, 'Rumors,' Lohan, at times, looked as if she might have been doing a ventriloquist act.

    "It was just a few months ago when Ashlee Simpson was straight-busted for faking it on 'Saturday Night Live' when a backing tape began playing the wrong song. (Simpson blamed her voice troubles on acid reflux disease, and if you believe that, I've got some flaxseed oil that'll help you hit 400-foot home runs.) When, at a London awards presentation several months ago, Elton John unleashed a profanity-peppered tirade against Madonna for her nomination as best live act -- 'Since when has lip-synching been live?' he said -- more people questioned Sir Elton's outburst than the veracity of his statement."

    So her point is -- I'm just throwing this out there for you all to ponder -- if everybody is willing to accept it, I think there is a point to be made. I think all kinds of people will accept entertainers or other people altering themselves, improving themselves, giving themselves an edge, be it changing the color of their hair -- and we know that hair dye, I saw a story not long, hair dye can seep through the skull; shampoo, shampoo can seep through the skull, seep through the skull, destroy your brain cells. They did the test on mice. Now, maybe it's silly; it's ridiculous but the news is out there. Hair color, Botox, plastic surgery. Oh, my friends, look at the horrors that befall those who engage in plastic surgery, and they're doing it to improve themselves, maybe give themselves a competitive edge and so forth, and it's tolerated. But voila! Here comes this steroid business, and, well, everybody is not having a cow. The sportswriter community is having a cow on this, like they haven't had a cow since, well, I guess me and McNabb was the latest cow, but this one, they won't get off of this. This is just huge. Now, this Ms. Graham, Renée Graham concludes, "Entertainment has always been about illusion. Now the difference seems to be our willingness to accept deception, contrivance, and artifice, whether it's chemically enhanced athletes or lip-synching pop performers. As usual, the fault lies as much in ourselves as our stars. Then again, since we rarely demand honesty in our political leaders, why should we expect as much from those whose only responsibility is to entertain us?" Rene Graham's Life in the Pop Lane appears on Tuesday.

    BREAK TRANSCRIPT


    RUSH: We're talking about this steroid thing. We spent about the first half of the program, first half of the hour last hour talking about the new intelligence bill and how we all are safer now. It's wonderful. Move on now, no more terrorism -- and now we're onto the steroid business. I haven't talked about this for a whole year that we've been subjected to the news on this, and so many things that I've observed, and I just spent the last half hour of the first how far previewing with people,my reaction, my observations to all of this, haven't really wandered into an opinion yet. I do think, I want to emphasize here the thing about this that bothers me more than anything is the leaking of grand jury testimony. It's a federal crime for which you can go to jail -- and if the feds did the leaking here. It's outrageous. Somebody called the San Francisco Chronicle with this stuff and of the three people's testimony that was leaked. Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds, of the three of them, only Giambi admitted it, and he's the guy getting creamed! He's the guy getting creamed out there. Jason Giambi is about two inches tall in the New York media right now. He's just been savaged by this. He told the truth in the grand jury. Somebody's leaked it. He had immunity.

    One of the deals is you go in there, you get immunity. You know if, according to the law -- somebody correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I think when it comes to grand jury testimony, after the fact, his lawyer, Giambi's lawyer is not even entitled to know what his testimony was in there, in a grand jury hearing. It's available later if there's action taken against him, but he got immunity. His lawyer's not even entitled to know what he said in there, and yet it's been leaked all over the place here. That to me, this is one thing that nobody is saying. Well, I'm sure somebody is focusing on it. I can't listen to or watch or read everything, but not enough are, but still focusing on the nuts and bolts of this of the steroids business and one of the points I made in the previous hour because I want to add to it here was that it's not just baseball players and athletes that are trying to give themselves an edge. You've got people who are in television or in movies who'll do all kind of things to give themselves an edge. Plastic surgery, hair transplants, Botox injections. Just start talking about plastic surgery. Sometimes that stuff goes wrong; it can be very damaging.

    Botox injections? Look what it did to John Kerry. It certainly didn't help him. But besides that, you've got actresses that are anorexic just so they can get starring roles in movies, and they're not healthy, and in none of these instances does the federal government get in there and say we need an investigation. This whole notion that federal government, John McCain going to get in there, tell baseball what they've got to do with steroids and so forth, when the game has not banned them. Maybe they should. I'm not saying yet they should or shouldn't, "Give us time," but they haven't yet for senators to stand up on television and say, "Well, we're not gonna put up with this. People are risking their lives, just playing in the National Football League can shorten your life span. It does." Just playing in the National Football league without enhancing yourself with any drugs whatsoever can leave you a permanent cripple.

    Getting in an automobile is more dangerous than taking steroids, statistically the number of people that are gonna end up dead or severely injured in an automobile accident is profound compared to what happens with people who inject steroids, or use the cream or I don't even know what it is, take the pill. But the fact of the matter is if we're serious about this, which we're not, you've got to ban the wheel. Look at how many people take risks that don't involve ingesting any drug, just in the normal course of living their lives. How about Viagra, folks? How about Viagra? You people that take Viagra, you know who you are --and don't tell me you don't take Viagra if you're taking Cialis or Levitra or some of these others. You know who you are. What are you doing in you're enhancing performance, are you not? And you poor schlubs that are biting on this Enzyte drug, this penis enhancement thing.

    I mean, who knows what's going to become of this? You seen those cheesy commercials out there? Have you seen them, Dawn? Oh, come on, you haven't seen them? She's not going to admit it. You haven't seen the Enzyte commercial? The cheesiest-looking guy they could find. I mean, these commercials are almost a parody. We refused them here on radio. They've got radio commercials; we refused it. We don't need it. But we had a television commercial, saw a television commercial and this guy's got a cheesy wife and she stays at home she's a stay-at-home Mom and this guy comes home from the office after taking his Enzyte and she's standing there greeting him with like a 14-inch tall glass of iced tea with like a 17-inch straw coming out of the top of it. Or this guy is driving a race car in the latest commercial. He's in a stock car race, he's weaving around. He's obviously a sperm cell race it's as cheesy as it can be. We've got people taking that; we've got people taking Viagra.

    Just because nobody watches you just because nobody sees it, what's the difference? "Rush, permanent damage does happen. You want to recommend it?" People say, "I don't want this stuff, this steroid stuff. It's bad example for my kids. My kid plays little league baseball. I don't want any kid going out there and thinking he can take steroids on the street start taking this stuff and be like Barry Bonds." What if your kid finds your Viagra and doesn't know what it is, and takes it? Ha-ha-ha-ha, happy days are here again. Kid's going to find out about the realities of life a lot sooner than you will tell him. My point is, all of these things are out there. You've got people saying, "Entertainers do a lot of things." We had a piece in the Boston Globe today by a woman is not upset about this at all. She's more upset that we accept this and we accept lip-sync. We get more outraged over lip-synching that we do over this. She says all entertainment is an illusion. We've got to realize this, that none of it's genuine, that none of it is authentic. Argue about all this stuff. I just want to set the table here.

    END TRANSCRIPT

    Read the Articles...

    (Boston Globe: Cheaters are still winners in the eyes of many fans -Renée Graham)
    (NY Post: What's Wrong With Players On Steroids?)
    (Denver Post: Owens rips union over steroids issue)
    (AP: Calif.'s First lady defends Bonds in steroids scandal)

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    duckway's Avatar
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    Go Rush.. Damn straight! Very surprising considering the source... Maybe the Oxycontin thing helped his perspective.
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    Good ol rush!
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    Good to hear, this is the 2nd time he has stuck up for steroids. John McCain, however, well nevermind - i dont want to type anymore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deoudes59
    Good to hear, this is the 2nd time he has stuck up for steroids. John McCain, however, well nevermind - i dont want to type anymore
    Deoudes I like your avatars

    Esp Laurie Dhue
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelton
    Deoudes I like your avatars

    Esp Laurie Dhue
    thanks! I try to keep them random
    thus far: Laurie Dhue, Rick Martel, Butters & John Elway, and now Barry Goldwater.

    Ron Artest is the opposite of Laurie Dhue
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    that is a good picture of John Cash...
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    I think I'm a Rush fan again
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    Rush always takes great positions on many issues that I agree with. He always promotoes things like small government, believe it or not, social liberalism--as this article points out, and other things like personal responsibility. Rush's only problem is he's ridiculous in his defense of the Republican party. He MAKES excuses for everything they do! Good or bad, he attempts to put a happy face on it. I love listening to him, but when someone calls in and asks him to explain something like...the latest intelligence billl..and he finds some way to defend it, I just turn stations....

    Anyway, that's a pretty damn good transcript there ...props to Rush!
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    I like Rush, hes just been a too much of a Bush-cheerleader lately - when Bush is been hardly a conservative on spending, immigration, and lately "intelligence reform". Rush is taking up for him.
    Michael Savage is my guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deoudes59
    Michael Savage is my guy
    couldn't agree more
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    It's about time to hear somebody outside of a gym with a rational view of steroids. I listen to guys at work and all these other people saying how bad and dangerous roids are, well, where are all the freakin bodies?
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    Having a good body makes you superficial and hated by the standards of the male non-gym goer. Being a lazy drunk with a body that of a fat chunk or a heroin addict makes you cool.

    sorry had to vent, i just love when people who never set foot in a gym tell me about nutrition, fitness, and building muscle.
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