UPDATED 03/06/2009! See the bottom of this post for a link to more current information.
I have a request for someone who knows Rush's current broadcasts better than I do. I found this list on the DailyKos, and I can't for the life of me believe these quotes are accurate, even out of context. Well, the McNabb one is true. And one or two others could be cherry picked to sound worse than they are. But several are so absurd, I can't imagine they are accurate.
Well, I won't reproduce the entire article, just the quotes:
- 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.
- You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.
- Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?
- Right. So you go into Darfur and you go into South Africa, you get rid of the white government there. You put sanctions on them. You stand behind Nelson Mandela — who was bankrolled by communists for a time, had the support of certain communist leaders. You go to Ethiopia. You do the same thing.
- Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.
- The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.
- They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?
- Take that bone out of your nose and call me back(to an African American female caller).
- I think the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They’re interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well. I think there’s a little hope invested in McNabb and he got a lot of credit for the performance of his team that he really didn’t deserve.
- Limbaugh attacks on Obama. Limbaugh has called Obama a ‘halfrican American’ has said that Obama was not black but Arab because Kenya is an Arab region, even though Arabs are less than one percent of Kenya. Since mainstream America has become more accepting of African-Americans, Limbaugh has decided to play against its new racial fears, Arabs and Muslims. Despite the fact Obama graduated magna [c*m]* laude from Harvard Law school, Limbaugh has called him an ‘affirmative action candidate.’ Limbaugh even has repeatedly played a song on his radio show ‘Barack the Magic Negro’ using an antiquated Jim Crow era term for black a man who many Americans are supporting for president. Way to go Rush.
Looking at the quotes, number 4 seems likely, as objecting to Mandela is not exactly "racist". I have problems with Mandela. Only a die hard race baiter would think any criticisms of the ANC or Inkatha is racist. Number 3 could also be one of those Rush off the cuff comments. It isn't racist, unless you are looking for racism everywhere. Number 5 is not impossible, as the criminal record of the NFL is pretty sad, and Rush is hardly the only one to point this out. Number 6 is also possible, as the NAACP, despite the opinion in the DailyKos, is no longer the "storied civil rights organization", but the pressure group run by Ben Chavis and Julian Bond. And number 7 may very well be an accurate quote, but without the context it sounds much more inflammatory than it did in context, I am sure. Likely it was a comment on Republicans being afraid of offending black voters, or possibly about pandering by politicians. In that context, it is hardly a "racist" quote, simply an accurate observation that bending over backwards to appease 12% of the population is probably bad politics. (Though "who the hell cares" doesn't sound like Rush either. He rarely swears even in mild terms, at least he did not back when I listened int he late 80's and early 90's. He may have changed and "who the hell" may be in character now, but somehow I doubt it.)
And number 10 just makes no sense. Rush talks about himself in the third person when pretending to be his critics, but he usually is coherent when doing so, and number 10 simply is too incoherent to be a Rush quote. I may have some objections to Rush's changed tone, but I still think the man is eloquent and professional, and he would not be caught dead making such a jumbled comment.
Which brings us to the absurd and inflammatory quotes, the ones I seriously doubt. Let us start with number 8. Even Mark Levin would likely not say something that crass, and certainly not Rush. Not that they would not insult a listener who was particularly difficult, but they would do it in a more witty way. That quote is simply not the style Rush would use.
Number 1 sounds very much out of character. It is remotely possible Rush would say slavery built the south, but event hat seems unlikely, as I can't see what point he would try to illustrate using that argument. However, if that part is remotely possible, the streets safer after dark part is simply absurd. Rush has often commented on crime, and I have never heard him attribute it to race. And to attribute safety to slavery is simply out of character to an absurd degree.
And finally, number 2. This is the one I cannot believe. I have never, in my life, heard Rush give his blessing to an assassin. Nor have I heard him insult Martin Luther King. In fact, if the DailyKos crowd was better informed,t hey would know that King has become something of an icon among conservatives, as we use his "content of their character" quote as a counterpoint to modern race-based thinking. Which make sit very unlikely any conservative would be giving Jame Earl Ray any kudos.
Now, as I said, my Rush listening was done in the late 80's and early 90's, supplemented by watching his television show during the same time, so I may be wrong. perhaps Rush magically became a ranting race baiter in the intervening decade and a half. I have only heard him a few times in the past year.
However, I have to think it far more likely that this is a DailyKos hit piece, taking one real (and not racist) quote, a few snippets which sound somewhat racist without context, and a few fabricated and quite offensive lines.
But I don't have the evidence to substantiate my feelings, so, if possible, could some Rush fans help confirm that the quotes in question were either picked to sound racist out of context, were altered, or were created out of whole cloth by some Angry Leftist?
Thanks in advance for any help.
* The text here is only altered to allow it to get past TH language filters. The original stimply uses the word C U M. However TH will not allow em to use that word, hence the asterisk.
By the way, could TH tone down the filters just a little bit? Not only can't I type "que*r the deal" or "que*r eye for the straight guy", a phrase which appears in TV Guide and has the FCC's blessing to appear on network TV, nor can I write "the er*ction of trade barriers" - presumably as it would make frat boys giggle -- but I now can't write "magna c*m laude", which also means that any attempt to quote Latin will probably be filled with asterisks. And the same will be true when writing about the law, though fortunately the Latin habit of affixing "c*m" to the end of pronouns may hep avoid some, such as the "subpoena duces tecum" (or, on a religious note, "pax vobiscum").
Should it turn out I am wrong, and these are all accurate quotes from Rush Limbaugh, I will also state so here, and will offer up my apologies to the DailyKos writer I wrongly maligned. At the moment I don't think I will be offering any apologies, but as I have no proof yet either way, I could be wrong. So check back to see which way the story unfolds.
Author Barack Marley attributed several of these quotes to Wikiquote. I see they do have sources listed, but I still suspect that several of these quotes are fabrications. I was planning on writing a new criticism of Wikipedia tomorrow, and this confirms that urge. I had mainly planned on writing how absurd the application of "No Original Research" rules ended up, but now I have some additional criticisms.
So, stay tuned tomorrow for yet another in my series of Wiki-bashing articles!
Apparently, according to Snopes.com, the Rush quote about taking the bone out of your nose was admitted by Rush, as something he said while a Top 40 DJ in the 1970's and about which he now feels bad. So I suppose it is an accurate quote, though the context makes a lot of difference. (And, while it is a bit racist, I respect that Rush feels bad about it, something we cannot say about, for example, Jesse Jackson, who has never said he regrets his "Hymietown" comment.) So, yes, in the 70's Rush said something mildly racist about which he now feels bad. Is that evidence that he has a sheet and hood in the closet? I think not.
UPDATE 03/06/23009: PLEASE, if you are coming here from a link, check out my most recent post on this matter! I have gathered together all my writing on the topic in one place. This single early post is not the final word on the topic.
Originally posted in Random Notes on 2008/10/21.