February 6th, 2010
01:41 PM ET
5 years ago

Limbaugh takes heat for using 'R' word

Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver is asking Rush Limbaugh to watch his language.
Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver is asking Rush Limbaugh to watch his language.

(CNN) - Special Olympics CEO Tim Shriver is asking Rush Limbaugh to watch his language.

The request came two days after Limbaugh repeatedly used the word "retard" while talking about White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's own reported use of the offensive term to bemoan liberal activists during a closed-door meeting last year. Emanuel’s comments, first reported in the Wall Street Journal last month, were reportedly directed at liberals opposing President Obama's health care plan.

"Our political correct society is acting like some giant insult has taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, 'retards," Limbaugh said of the report on Wednesday's show. "These liberal activists are kooks, they are looney tunes."

"I am not going to apologize for it, I am just quoting Emanuel… So now there is going to a meeting, there is going to be a retard summit at the White House," Limbaugh also said.

In a letter to Limbaugh Friday, Shriver asks the talk-radio host to take a pledge to no longer use the word.

"In my own experience, when I ask people – be they first graders or media figures – to join in stopping the casual use of the word 'retarded,' they universally agree to do so," Shriver writes in the letter. "Most want to go further: They want to understand better how they can serve as agents of acceptance and dignity."

The letter came days after Shriver and four other disability advocates met with Emanuel at the White House to discuss his alleged use of the word.

"We are thankful to Mr. Emanuel for meeting with us today and hearing our concerns," the group said in a joint statement following the meeting. "He sincerely apologized for his mistake and the pain it caused in our community."


Filed under: Rush Limbaugh
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Jimbo

    I wonder what Sarah Palin thinks about this?

    February 6, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Slider

    "In my own experience, when I ask people – be they first graders or media figures – to join in stopping the casual use of the word 'retarded,' they universally agree to do so." – Tim Shriver

    Uh huh. All in the name of diversity and tolerance, right Shriver?

    Too bad it doesn't stop there. Quoting Thomas Paine, guru of Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers...

    "Tolerance is not the opposite of intolerance but the "counterfeit" of it. Both are despotisms: the one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, the other of granting it." – The Rights of Man.

    Stalin created political correctness. Paine gave words to what Americans operate within.

    Limbaugh has a right to say what he says, and you have a right to object, but you don't have a right to take some moral high ground that simply doesn't exist in an all too common method of stopping it through faux outrage or political intrigue or judicial activism.

    February 6, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. Brooke

    Rush Limbaugh is incapable of serving as an agent of acceptance and/or dignity. He simply does not have the ability to understand those concepts.

    February 6, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. jerseylou

    WHAT, Asking Satan's Son to take an oath and pledge not to say the handicapped word,when talking down to people is a bit much. This Fat PIG would rather see his mother burn in hell first. Maybe she's already there come to think of it,she did give birth to this thing.

    February 6, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. andrewstl

    so a true retard cant even use the word retard.

    sarah can u step away from being tea bagged by the red necks to give us a ruling on that.

    actually sarah can u have todd give us the ruling he seems to make the decisions in your silly little world

    February 6, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    Rush was ridiculing Emanual, and certainly NOT condoning the use of the R word. As usual, the loony libs and the state-run MSM have intentionally got it all wrong yet again!!

    February 6, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. always proud dem in nc

    Hush is the MOST vile, hateful man on this planet. He will be judged one day!!! Fat pig!!!

    February 6, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. Jaclynne

    So where is Palin now? How come she's not all over Rush for his comment? Maybe some double standards happening? TYPICAL!!

    February 6, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. normajean

    Rush Limbaugh is a classic example of what's wrong with the world today.He has no class, no integrity,no character and sadly his fans fall into the same catagory. This is an under educated,loser who flunked out of college and was refused by military service. His god is money. He has publicly said that everything is in pursuit of money to him. He doesn't care whom he hurts nor how much hate he inspires, if they pay him the bucks he'll lay it on any and everybody.How many people did we hear were hoping he wouldn't come out when he went to the hospital recently.? There were quite a lot. In a world, so confused and with so many serious problems we don't need this raving clown to make things worse.

    February 6, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. tony d

    Good luck with getting Limbaugh giving an apology. When was the last time Mr Limbaugh apologize for his outrageous commentary and this time it doesn't matter even if it is to Sarah Palin. Maybe Sarah Palin sould apologize on Limbaugh's behalf to Americans but no Palin will continue to critize Rahm and rightly so but will not demand Rush apology.

    February 6, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Helene

    Besides being Really Retarded, Rush L. is also a Rabid, Racist, Ridiculous, Reactionary, Repulsive, Repugnant Rascal.

    February 6, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. jules sand-perkins

    Another very good reason to avoid use of "retard" as a noun is its questionable legitimacy as an English-language word.
    Of course, we are living in a country where liberals had no qualms about turning the noun "impact" into a "right-speak" verb because it sounded so with-it and cool.

    February 6, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. oxbobend

    Thank God Rush has not had children. The genetic outcome could have been less than desirable. Who knows what effect that oxy could have had on his sperm.

    February 6, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. one voice

    A CLOWN leading the CLOWNS

    February 6, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Pot Meet Kettle

    Mr. Limbaugh lacks the class and respect for others that would lead him to willingly embrace this cause on his own.

    He must be forced into it.

    Odd though that we hear nothing from Ms. Palin with regards to his projection of this word to many milions of radio listeners. Because of his usage, this word, which Sarah Palin says she finds offensive, will be perpetuated by some of his cult-like followers.

    The damage to the national psyche is far reaching as compared to anything Mr. Emanuel has done. Thankfully, Mr. Emanuel had the class to offer to help reduce the use of the word ... unlike Mr. Limbaugh.

    Ms. Palin ... what do you have to say to Mr. Limbaugh.

    February 6, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. sunflower

    That's Rush's nick-name.

    February 6, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. sensible Cape coral FL

    No none knows from "RETARD" better than Limbaugh

    February 6, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. Paul from Phoenix

    Really, political correctness has gone completely overboard. Lighten up people.

    February 6, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. Indy

    What is really and truly sad is that Americans have made this man filthy rich and he got their with hate,lies and fear. It is hard to explain to a child that you can be very financially successful by spreading evil though the airwaves all while sitting on your butt.I am sure he enjoys his money but I would hate to be in his shoes when he meets his maker !

    February 6, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. Texas Jack

    Why you telling him to watch it? So I take it that it is alright if a Democrat government official says it without being fired. But you would criticize a Radio Reporter brining attention to Emanuel's ignorance.

    February 6, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. Dieter Zerressen

    Of course we won't get an apology or even acknowledgment from Limbaugh: what applies to Democrats and liberals doesn't apply to Republicans or conservatives. Palin was demanding Rahm be fired for saying the R word one time in private whereas Limbaugh and Beck used it on TV and radio, again and again, with no consequences. Typical conservative hypocrits – its disgusting.

    February 6, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Hall for Obama

    I don't know why you would ever think Limbaugh would apologize for something as small as a word such a retard. He calls people out of their name all the time. I for one do not feel like Emanuel should have apologize for saying it. Saying retard is not a bad word, if palin get her feeling hurt, to bad she should think about some of the thing she have said and she did not apologize for them. Don't make me start a list.

    February 6, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Freedom of speech does not mention political correct language it is simply freedom of speech after all a spade is still a spade

    February 6, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  24. Jim

    Where is Palin condemning him and demanding that he be fired? Just wondering.

    February 6, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. ajfaber269

    is tim shriver the 'new' policeman on sppech following the steps of al sharpton?

    tim shriver isjust another politician.

    February 6, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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