Saturday, January 16, 2010

Don't give Haitians a penny, says rightwing US shock jock.

It really does take a particular kind of heartlessness to insist that people should not respond to a human catastrophe, and yet that is where Rush Limbaugh now finds himself.

Rush Limbaugh, the most popular radio talkshow host, who is sometimes described as the real leader of the Republican party, says Americans should not give a penny to a population struggling for survival after the earthquake.
And, completely predictably, his reasoning is utterly false and reflects nothing so much as his visceral hatred for Barack Obama.

Limbaugh agreed with a caller suspicious that the White House website was being used to direct funds to the American Red Cross. "Would you trust the money's gonna go to Haiti?" the caller asked. Limbaugh then said Obama was exploiting the disaster for political ends.

"This [the earthquake] will play right into Obama's hands," said Limbaugh. "He's humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, credibility with the black community – both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. This is made to order for them."

Limbaugh also warned Americans against donating money. "Besides, we've already donated to Haiti. It's called the US income tax," he said.

Which of us don't look at those dreadful images coming out of Haiti and feel a compulsion to help?

One has to be bereft of any ability to empathise not look at those distressed souls and imagine what it would be like to have one's entire left swept away in a nano second.

But Rush's hatred of Obama blinds him to the tragedy which is appalling the rest of us. He sees only that it might play into Obama's hands.

Is there ever a time when these people don't see tragedies far away as separate from US domestic politics? Is their domestic political agenda really the only thing which matters to them?

Are they so myopic that the pain and loss felt by hundreds of thousands of Haitians is rendered unimportant next to their desire to get a Republican president elected at the next election?

The right wing defence of Limbaugh is often that he is a shock jock, that a lot of what he says is for effect. But it's hard to apply that defence here. There are still children under the rubble and people digging with their bare hands in an attempt to get them out.

To suggest, at this moment in time, that people should not offer aid is simply unforgivable. People should boycott any company which advertises on Limbaugh's show.

How advertisers can wish to be associated with this kind of cruelty and heartlessness baffles me.


This is, genuinely, the first time I have ever been aware that there is such a charge as reacting too quickly to a natural disaster. Here, Beck ponders what George Bush might have done differently from Obama.

Unfortunately for Beck, the thing that goes through most people's minds when one mentions George Bush and natural disasters is Katrina. Are Beck and Limbaugh and the American right seriously holding that up as an example to be emulated?

Obama's swift response is to be applauded and the right wing are simply deluding themselves if they think these insane talking points are worthy of anything other than utter contempt.


When you find yourself in a hole you should stop digging. Here, Limbaugh takes a caller to task for objecting to his remarks, which he claims never discouraged donations to Haiti, and tells her that she must have tampons in her ears:

RUSH: No, I’m not evading it at all. If I said it I meant to say it, and I do believe that everything is political to this president. Everything this president sees is a political opportunity, including Haiti, and he will use it to burnish his credentials with minorities in this country and around the world, and to accuse Republicans of having no compassion. [...]

CALLER: [A]re you implying that the Huffington Post as the one and only resource that I [read]? I even watch Fox News once in a while.

RUSH: No, no, no, no, no. I’m not implying that. … What I’m illustrating here is that you’re a blockhead. What I’m illustrating here is that you’re a closed-minded bigot who is ill-informed. … And if you had listened to this program for a modicum of time you would know it. But instead you’re a blockhead. You’re mind is totally closed. You have tampons in your ears. Nothing is getting through other than the biased crap that you read.

I am with Robert Gibbs.

"In times of great crisis, there are always people who say stupid things. I don't know how anybody could sit where he does, having enjoyed the success that he has, and not feel some measure of sorrow for what has happened in Haiti.
And I find it hard to think Rush is not simply lying when he claims that he never discouraged donations to Haiti. After all, he clearly stated, "Besides, we've already donated to Haiti. It's called the US income tax."

Doesn't telling people that they have already donated imply that there is no need for them to do so again?


Nunya has kindly shown me to a list of Limbaugh's advertisers should anyone wish to write and express their outrage.

Click here for full article.


nunya said...

DC has a list of Limbaugh's sponsors and a cut and paste letter to send them asking why they are sponsoring him?

Sometimes I just love some of my favorite bloggers :)

Distributorcap said...

love nunya

so now beck has joined the hate haiti fray

gawd - i hate these people

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Steel Phoenix said...

Why would Obama need credibility with the black community? He already has their vote.