This CNN Reporter Accuses Limbaugh of 'Racist Comments,' 'Hateful Rhetoric'

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On Thursday morning, in the aftermath of conservative icon Rush Limbaugh being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, CNN's New Day show ran a piece in which correspondent Sara Sidner accused him of a history of engaging in "hateful rhetoric" and of making "racist comments" directed at former President Barack Obama.

After beginning by recalling Limbaugh's appearance at the State of the Union address, Sidner claimed he had made a "mockery" of the American Dream: "Limbaugh has lived the American Dream, but, at the same time, he's used his words to make a mockery of that dream, sometimes sharing xenophobic, misogynistic, and racist sentiments with the masses."

 

 

Sidner covered a couple of comments the talk radio host was criticized for, and then brought up the time he accused actor Michael J. Fox of exaggerating his Parkinson's Disease symptoms:

MICHAEL J. FOX (IN AD): As you may know, I care deeply about stem cell research.

SIDNER: When actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease did this ad for a Democratic candidate who supported stem cell research, Limbaugh pounced.

LIMBAUGH: 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.

SIDNER: After outrage over his comments, Limbaugh apologized the next day, saying: "I will bigly, hugely admit that I was wrong."

It was not mentioned that Fox himself, in his book, confessed that he had once deliberately avoided taking his medication so that his symptoms would look worse than usual as he lobbied for federal spending on stem cell research.

After recalling the time Limbaugh called birth control activist Sandra Fluke a "slut," Sidner accused him of making racist comments:

SIDNER: But he reserved a great deal of his racist comments for one man, Barack Obama, both as President and as a candidate. In 2007, as Obama campaigned on "Hope and Change," Limbaugh debuted a racist parody of "Puff the Magic Dragon" sung by a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee. 

SIDNER: Then, Limbaugh defended his decision to air it.

LIMBAUGH: Every one of you out there that think that you've got something there on Barack the Magic Negro, I'm going to try to help you and save you.

The CNN correspondent incorrectly stated that the singer of the musical parody was a candidate for Republican National Committee chairman when, in fact, it was impressionist Paul Shanklin who sang the parody that was based on a Los Angeles Times piece that called Obama a "magic negro."

Sidner accused him of "hateful rhetoric" as she concluded: "His adoring fans believed he was saving them from liberal bias, but his critics recognize he also delivered hateful rhetoric that helped usher in a new era of extreme political polarization."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Thursday, February 6, New Day on CNN. Click "expand" to read more. 

New Day

2/6/2020

SARA SIDNER: Limbaugh has lived the American Dream, but, at the same time, he's used his words to make a mockery of that dream, sometimes sharing xenophobic, misogynistic, and racist sentiments with the masses. This is how he chose to speak of a New York Yankee icon the day he died in 2010.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Steinbrenner has passed away at age 80. That cracker made a lot of African American millionaires.

SIDNER: In 2011, Limbaugh decided to mock the Chinese president during his visit to the United States.

LIMBAUGH: Hu Jintao was just going (speaks gibberish sounding similar to Chinese).

SIDNER: Limbaugh attacked those who didn't agree with his political ideas with a fervor and harshness that stood out amongst his talk show peers.

MICHAEL J. FOX (IN AD): As you may know, I care deeply about stem cell research.

SIDNER: When actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease did this ad for a Democratic candidate who supported stem cell research, Limbaugh pounced.

LIMBAUGH: 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.

SIDNER: After outrage over his comments, Limbaugh apologized the next day, saying: "I will bigly, hugely admit that I was wrong."

(...)

SIDNER: But he reserved a great deal of his racist comments for one man, Barack Obama, both as President and as a candidate. In 2007, as Obama campaigned on "Hope and Change," Limbaugh debuted a racist parody of "Puff the Magic Dragon" sung by a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee. 

CLIP OF SONG: Barack the Major Negro.

SIDNER: Then, Limbaugh defended his decision to air it.

LIMBAUGH: Every one of you out there that think that you've got something there on Barack the Magic Negro, I'm going to try to help you and save you.

SIDNER: His adoring fans believed he was saving them from liberal bias, but his critics recognize he also delivered hateful rhetoric that helped usher in a new era of extreme political polarization.

 

NB Daily State of the Union Conservatives & Republicans Race Issues Racism Abortion Birth Control Sexism CNN New Day Video Rush Limbaugh Barack Obama Donald Trump


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