I've been thinking a little more about the to-do over Rush's comments on ESPN -- it's not that I really want to, but I can't escape it. The one thing that stands out to me is that these comments weren't spontaneous, they were scripted out days in advance in collaboration with the other panelists and the producers. The on-air conversations are planned ahead of time; each member comes up with their own lines, and the group then tries to work them together into a cohesive whole.
ESPN had a chance to prevent Rush from saying what he said, and they had a chance to allow him to say it and to then rebut his position. There were, in fact, two black fellows on the show with Rush at the time. (Sorry, I don't know any of their names.) But obviously no one had a problem with Rush's comments during pre-production.
ESPN should have stood by Rush, since they were complicit in his actions. The producers thought his words were acceptable at the time, and they should explain their reasons to the public.