During a recent radio broadcast, Rush Limbaugh laughed at the fact that the fifth largest earthquake ever recorded struck Japan despite that nation's environmentally conscious record. However, this is part of a long pattern from Limbaugh of outrageous responses to human suffering.
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Limbaugh Launches Attacks In The Wake Of Natural Disasters
Limbaugh Amused That Earthquake Hit Environmentally Conscious Country. From the March 15 edition of Limbaugh's talk radio show:
CALLER: I need some of your wisdom. I'm confused. If -- at the top of the first hour, you played a clip -- Diane Sawyer, I believe -- about the recycling that's still going on in Japan.
LIMBAUGH: I did. You're right.
CALLER: If these are the people that invented the Prius, have mastered public transportation, recycling, why did Mother Earth, Gaia if you will, hit them with this disaster?
LIMBAUGH: Well, that's an interesting question. Let's go back and grab Diane Sawyer -- audio sound bite number nine. This is her report on a shelter for refugees in Japan and how they're handling their waste management.
DIANE SAWYER: This is a shelter. Some of these people here for days, and look, it's recycling -- organized for recycling.
GUEST: Plastic, combustible, burnable, canes.
LIMBAUGH: Did I really hear this? Did I really hear -- Diane Sawyer is in a refugee camp in Japan. Play this again. This is almost like a kindergarten teacher talking to the 4 year olds. That is how old you are in kindergarten, right? Five? Five? Four? All right. This is -- some of these people here for days, and look, look, it's recycling -- organized for recycling.
SAWYER: This is a shelter. Some of these people here for days, and look, it's recycling -- organized for recycling.
GUEST: Plastic, combustible, burnable, canes.
LIMBAUGH: My god, she sounds like she saw her husband for the first time in six months there. Oh, it's recycling, look, organized for -- these people are in the midst of earthquake devastation and the credit they're getting is for recycling and our caller Chris with a great question.
The Japanese have done so much to save the planet. He's right. They've given us the Prius. Even now, refugees are still recycling their garbage. And yet, Gaia levels them; just wipes them out. Wipes out their nuclear plants, all kinds of radiation. What kind of payback is this? That is an excellent question. They invented the Prius.
In fact, where Gaia blew up is right where they make all these electric cars. That's where the tsunami hit. All those brand new electric cars sitting there on the lot. I like the way this guy was thinking. It's like -- it's like Gaia hit the Prius in [inaudible]. It's like they were in the crosshairs -- if we can use that word. It does. What is Gaia trying to tell us here? What is the mother of environmentalism trying to say with this hit? Great observation out there, Chris. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/15/11]
After Earthquake, Rush Says Haiti Produces "Zilch, Zero, Nada." From the January 13, 2010, edition of Limbaugh's show:
LIMBAUGH: I have been to Haiti way, way back, long time ago when it was a cruise ship stop, Port-au-Prince. And I've seen pictures of Haiti. It is a devastatingly poor place and it -- nothing has ever changed. And right across the mountain ridge, in the middle, you've got the Dominican Republic, which is like night and day. It's like night and day. And what is the -- what's the one common factor?
That place, Haiti, has been run by dictators and communists, and how long is it going to be -- how long is it going to be before we hear Obama and the left in this country say that what we really need to do is reinstate the communist Aristide to the leadership position down there to coordinate putting the country back together? The Haitian economy is entirely dependent on foreign aid. They produce nothing -- zilch, zero, nada. And it's been that way for the longest time. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/13/10]
Limbaugh: "[W]e've Already Donated To Haiti. It's Called The U.S. Income Tax." From the January 13, 2010, edition of Limbaugh's show:
CALLER: My question is: Why did Obama, in the sound bite you played earlier, when he's talking about if you wanted to donate some money, you can go to WhiteHouse.gov --
LIMBAUGH: Yeah. Yeah.
CALLER: -- to be directed -- you know, to direct you how to do so. Why would -- if I want to donate money to the Red Cross, why do I need to go to the WhiteHouse.gov page and look at their propaganda?
LIMBAUGH: Exactly. Exactly. Would you trust that the money is going to go to Haiti?
LIMBAUGH: But would you trust that your name is going to end up on a mailing list for the Obama people to start asking you for campaign donations for him and other causes.
LIMBAUGH: Absolutely right.
CALLER: That's the point.
LIMBAUGH: Besides, we've already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/13/10]
Limbaugh On South Asia Tsunami Disaster: "[W]e Do Have A Tendency To Blow These Things Up." From the January 4, 2005, edition of Limbaugh's show:
LIMBAUGH: I have been suspicious of these numbers [of deaths in the tsunami] from the get-go. First day, 12,000; then 14,000; then 50. Then 60, then 100, then 140 -- there was even a number, 400,000 thrown around out there. And it just -- who's verifying this? I mean, has anybody actually asked for a count? Has anybody done a count? Has there been a count? How do we know this? It may be true, but it may not be true either.
LIMBAUGH: But I -- you know what I'm reminded of? 9-11. When that happened, we just threw money left and right, and look at the end result. The families of the victims of 9-11, some of them got $24 million; some of them got $10 million -- many of them are set for life here because so much money was given.
LIMBAUGH: I'm just gonna wait to have this proven to me -- is that there are conflicting stories about how many of these places -- the damage was only along the beach and a mile inward. That's not nearly all of these countries. This is not to suggest the disaster is not real. Please don't put words in my mouth and don't -- don't do to me what I think is being done to the rest of us. Don't interpret me saying things I'm not saying here. I'm not suggesting it's not a true, devastating disaster and so forth. But you know, we do have a tendency to blow these things up. We have a tendency to rally around disaster; it makes us feel better to contribute to it. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/6/05]
Limbaugh Attacks People With Health Problems
Limbaugh On Michael J. Fox Ad For Dem Candidate: "Either He Didn't Take His Medication Or He's Acting." In October 2006, Limbaugh discussed an ad in which actor Michael J. Fox appeared for then-Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill. In the ad, Fox, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, endorsed McCaskill for supporting embryonic stem cell research, which her opponent, Sen. Jim Talent, opposed. Limbaugh stated:
LIMBAUGH: You need to see this. It's a spot running in St. Louis during World Series games, bought and paid for and approved by the Democrat [sic] Senate candidate, Claire McCaskill. Now, I want you to listen to this. This is Michael J. Fox, aired during a World Series game, and I will describe for you what he's doing in this commercial after you've heard it.
LIMBAUGH: Now, this is Michael J. Fox. He's got Parkinson's disease. And in this commercial, he is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He is moving all around and shaking. And it's purely an act. This is the only time I have ever seen Michael J. Fox portray any of the symptoms of the disease he has. I know he's got it and he's raising money for it, but when I've seen him in public, I've never seen him betray any of the symptoms.
But this commercial, he -- he's just all over the place. He can barely control himself. He can control himself enough to stay in the frame of the picture, and he can control himself enough to keep his eyes right on the lens, the teleprompter. But his head and shoulders are moving all over the place, and he is acting like his disease is deteriorating because Jim Talent opposes research that would help him, Michael J. Fox, get cured.
Jim Talent does not oppose stem cell research, he opposes fetal stem cell research but not adult. But this is reminiscent, and I don't have time -- yes, I do. Here, listen to [then-Democratic vice presidential candidate] John Edwards, the Breck girl, on the campaign trail, October 11th, 2004:
EDWARDS [audio clip]: If we do the work that we can do in this country, the work that we will do when John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk -- get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.
LIMBAUGH: And I think, didn't he even say -- they said it at a debate. I don't know if he said it at a convention. So this is really shameless, folks, this is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting, one of the two. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/23/06]
- Limbaugh subsequently "apologize[d]" for being "wrong" in "speculat[ing]" that Fox "didn't take his medication or he was acting." But then he immediately returned to attacking Fox by baselessly accusing him of intentionally taking "too much medication" to induce the tremors visible in the ad. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/26/06]
- Limbaugh has continued to defend his attacks on Fox, most recently during his January 11 radio show. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 1/11/11]
Limbaugh To Caller Who Can't Afford $6,000 To Treat Broken Wrist: "Well, You Shouldn't Have Broken Your Wrist." From the August 20, 2009, edition of Limbaugh's show:
LIMBAUGH: The only way that cost or price ratios make sense is based on the consumer's ability to pay. There has to be a direct relationship between the customer and the business at the surface.
CALLER: OK. I just broke my wrist and it's costing me $6,000. I can't afford that.
LIMBAUGH: Well, you shouldn't have broken your wrist.
CALLER: That's true.
LIMBAUGH: You know why it costs $6,000? Because you, technically, aren't paying for it. An insurance policy's paying for it, backed up by some government insurance policy, or what have you. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/20/09]
Limbaugh's Health Care Plan: "If You Don't Have Any Teeth, So What? What's Applesauce For?" On his show, Limbaugh attacked Rep. Louise Slaughter for telling a story about a woman who was forced to wear her dead sister's dentures because she did not have health insurance or the means to pay for dentures out of pocket. Limbaugh said:
LIMBAUGH: You know I'm getting so many people -- this Louise Slaughter comment on the dentures? I'm getting so many people -- this is big. I mean, that gets a one-time mention for a laugh, but there are people out there that think this is huge because it's so stupid. I mean, for example, well, what's wrong with using a dead person's teeth? Aren't the Democrats big into recycling? Save the planet? And so what? So if you don't have any teeth, so what? What's applesauce for? Isn't that why they make applesauce? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/25/10]
Limbaugh Mocked Story Of Transplant Patient On Medicare Who Would Have To Pay His Own Bills After Three Years. On February 26, 2010, referring to a story Rep. James Clyburn recounted about the extreme costs a transplant patient faced, Limbaugh said:
LIMBAUGH: This patient was about to receive a transplanted organ -- Clyburn didn't specify what it was -- and the horror -- he's gonna get a totally paid-for transplant. The horror is that he was going to have to start paying his post-op bills in three years.
If this is the worst we can say about American medicine, are we really in that bad a shape after all?
Well, I have a different observation on this. I mean, look at where we are with this. This guy is -- he about had an emotional breakdown because he was told he's gotta start paying his own medical bills after three years. He gets a free transplant; he gets a free after-care for three years and then he's on his own, and he's mad and thinks he's getting screwed.[Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/26/10]
Limbaugh Dismisses Plight Of The Poor
Limbaugh Attacks School Lunches, Suggests Hungry Children Should "Dumpster Dive." From the June 16, 2010, edition of Limbaugh's show:
LIMBAUGH: You know, one of the benefits of school being out -- in addition to your kids losing weight because they're starving to death out there because there's no school meal being provided -- one of the benefits of school being out, college campi being vacant this time of year, is that our audience levels go up. I think, you know what we're going to do here, we're going to start a feature on this program: "Where to find food." For young demographics, where to find food. Now that school is out, where to find food. We can have a daily feature on this. And this will take us all the way through the summer. Where to find food.
And, of course, the first will be: "Try your house." It's a thing called the refrigerator. You probably already know about it. Try looking there. There are also things in what's called the kitchen of your house called cupboards. And in those cupboards, most likely you're going to find Ding-Dongs, Twinkies, Lays ridgy potato chips, all kinds of dips and maybe a can of corn that you don't want, but it will be there. If that doesn't work, try a Happy Meal at McDonald's. You know where McDonald's is. There's the Dollar Menu at McDonald's and if they don't have Chicken McNuggets, dial 911 and ask for Obama.
There's another place if none of these options work to find food; there's always the neighborhood dumpster. Now, you might find competition with homeless people there, but there are videos that have been produced to show you how to healthfully dine and how to dumpster dive and survive until school kicks back up in August. Can you imagine the benefit we would provide people? [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 6/16/10]
Limbaugh: "Would Somebody Tell Me The Last Time You Saw A Kid Sleeping Under A Bridge?" Responding to reports that one in 50 American children experiences homelessness, Limbaugh stated:
LIMBAUGH: This guy asked the strangest question. This bogus statistic that one out of 50 American children are homeless. And what do you -- what are you gonna do about that.
I want to see the facts on that. Just like how we have the "2-3 million people homeless" during the late '80s and early '90s, Mitch Snyder and his bogus homeless numbers. I mean that was obviously huge. A bogus discussion about homeless children, just after Obama got animated about cutting charitable deductions. He got happy. So he's happy, he can't wait to cut the charitable deduction, he gets a question about one in 50 kids being homeless? If that were true, why would somebody want to cut charitable donations?
I think a caring person would want to triple the deduction in order to reduce the bogus number of one in 50 children who are homeless and living under bridges. Would somebody tell me the last time you saw a kid sleeping under a bridge? I want to hear from somebody who's seen it. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 3/25/09]
Limbaugh Dismisses Plight Of Journalists Arrested In Egypt
Limbaugh: "The Egyptian Army Is Rounding Up Foreign Journalists" And "I Don't Feel Any Outrage Over It." From the February 3 edition of Limbaugh's show:
LIMBAUGH: Ladies and gentlemen, it is being breathlessly reported that the Egyptian army ... is rounding up foreign journalists. I mean, even two New York Times reporters were detained. Now, this is supposed to make us feel what, exactly? How we supposed to feel? Are we supposed to feel outrage over it? I don't feel any outrage over it. Are we supposed to feel anger? I don't feel any anger over this. Do we feel happy?
Well, do we feel kind of going like, "neh-neh-neh-neh"? I'm sure that your emotions are running the gamut when you hear that two New York Times reporters have been detained along with other journalists in Egypt. Remember now, we're supporting the people who are doing this. [Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/3/11]