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

    Asking Rush Limbaugh to clean up his language is like asking a cat to stop licking itself. He is an A$$ clown. Why do people keep giving him press? He is only preaching to the ignorant 20% swift boat, birther, tea party base.

    February 6, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    People still write letters? How retarded

    February 6, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  3. Patrick

    Once again...you all have missed the point. The people who say they are for the "little guy" or the downtrodden, are really just the same jerks everyone is in Washington. Rush is not the problem...WASHINGTON IS!!!!!! The mid term elections are coming, and we will see what America really thinks of the progressive, liberal agendas being pushed...

    February 6, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. dandontcare

    Naturally a Hypocrite like Rush would use the same word that he condemns over and over, because he is always right in his mind. I wouldn't want to live in his vision of Utopia. Why people have made a star out of this black whole is beyond me.

    February 6, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Willie

    Another under-educated person !

    February 6, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  6. Steve

    I hope people realize that Rush would say anything or hurt anyone to keep his popularity up, or to at least keep his name in the news.

    He is an absolute waste of human flesh and should be stripped of it immediately.

    February 6, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Mike, Youngstown

    Limbaugh just says this stuff to gin up press coverage and he does so because his commentary hasn't been relevant for years.

    February 6, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  8. Vinny

    Why is there no mention of Sarah Palin? She was outraged when Rahm Emanuel said it and called for him to be fired. Now that Rush Limbaugh is in the spotlight for using the same hurtful language, she is quiet. Where are the comments about her hypocrisy?

    February 6, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Inependent_me

    Isn't it telling that Sarah Palin, who describes herself as a Christian, refuses to chastise Rush and call for his resignation over the use of this word in the same way that she called for Emmanuel's dismissal?

    Such hypocritical behavior is indicative of Ms. Palin's true character: she uses religion to sucker in true Believers, while actively displaying a double standard of behavior with those she favor.

    The media need not hold her accountable. She is just using her special-needs child to her advantage as she pleases. She needs Rush Limbaugh, that is why she is silent when it comes to his use of the word. It is amazing to me that Christians hold these ungodly people up as models!

    I wonder what would Jesus say?

    February 6, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Carol

    Look who it is talking..... If people would not even listen to him he might fade away.....That would be a happy day in radio. But I guess it takes all kinds to make this would. But after he said he hoped President Obama would fail he is a sick person.........

    February 6, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Biased

    As stated:
    "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."

    Unfortunately with Mr. Emanuel's reputation, he made the apology probably because he was told to since it further embarrassed his own boss due to his own actions on national TV and because it was all over the airwaves and he had to. Let's be honest, with his reported choice of salty language, I am sure that is the more gentle of his terms he has called people he doesn't like.

    February 6, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. JonDie

    Oh, yeah right. Rush (as in drugs) Limbaugh only uses the word "retarded" because his idol, Rahm, Emmanuel. The Republican Party's Political Correction Gestapo should get all over Dumbaugh.

    February 6, 2010 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Kate

    Rush thinks he is too "good" to apologize for anything! HE JUST PLAIN DOESN'T CARE ABOUT HUMANITY!! Goes to show where Palin is on the issue...just what brings attention. She didn't even stand up for her own son by not asking Rush to apologize for his remark. Sarah and Rush, what a twosome!!!BLAH

    February 6, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. rjd

    Rush will never apologize for anything. He is nothing but an adult bully who uses his voice and influence to demean others. I cannot help but think that Sarah is afraid of calling him out on his remarks in the same way she did Rahm Emanuel because he (Rush) holds influence over the conservatives she aligns herself with and he will tear her apart on the airwaves if she crosses him.

    February 6, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. Tim

    I want to learn to be tolerant of everyone, especially muslims extremists I just want to be tolerant of everyone because we live in a perfect world. Everyone needs to piss off with their foolishness. It would seem everyone is politically correct in words but inept in any type of actual leadership or substantial progress.

    February 6, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. Don

    Surprise, surprise ... Boss Hog opens his HUGE yap and once again ANOTHER hateful slur falls out!

    February 6, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Julie Thomas

    Where is Sarah's outrage! Only you won't hear it; she is a hypocrit, okay for some too use the word "retard", (which by the way I find extremely offensive),but for other's they should be fired over it, Rush is ignorant and a truely distasteful individual who should be shunned by society as a whole. Anyone who supports him clearly is of the same cloth and should be shunned as well.

    February 6, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Wee Todd

    Takes one to know one Rush.

    February 6, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. Sean from Marin

    If you're looking for acceptance and dignity, Mr. Shriver, then you must have better places to turn. Mr. Limbaugh has neither to offer. It's sad that Rush would take offense to people calling him an "addict" or a "junkie" yet he feels no remorse calling others names everyday.

    Rush will only stop being Rush when his followers understand the meaning of acceptance and dignity. And seeing them in action does not garner hope that the day will ever come.

    February 6, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Eric

    As a long-time conservative, may I just say there aren't many things I agree with Al Franken about but here's one "Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot." He is such a liability to the Republican Party that I sometimes wonder whether he was invented by a Democrat. I believe he and his kind are one of the reasons Sen. Obama was elected president and one of the biggest reasons President Obama will be re-elected; many conservatives are just embarrassed at the thought of being associated with him.

    Some of his "dittoheads" will say I'm not really a conservative if I don't fall in lockstep behind Limbaugh. My first vote was cast for Nixonl; I supported Reagan against Ford and worked on his campaign in '80; and I still think Tom McClintock would make a good California governor or Senator. I was even a fan (I'm so, so sorry) of the Rush Limbaugh who worked the air waves from Sacramento in the mid-80's. My conservative credentials are well established, and I don't need to slavishly follow a self-important, increasingly idiotic gassbag to prove them.

    I suspect that if this country came up with a confident, intelligent conservative l leader (Yeah, yeah. Take your shots.) who is willing to just roll his eyes at the idiocy of Limbaugh and his ilk (or, better yet, speak out against him), that leader would find a strong following from conservatives like me who stay with the Republican Party because of its principles though embarrassed by many of its grovelling leaders as well as from conservatives who have left the party in droves so great was their aversion to being linked in any way to guys like this.

    February 6, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Conservative Voice

    Losing respect for anyone who uses that word....it's like a bunch of grammer school kids trying to outdo each other....othe ssides...know it off!!!!

    It's like how rappers use the "N" word.....that word is disgraceful as well....

    why can't we just quit using this horrible words? Anyone who uses them is just a hate promoter.

    February 6, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. evman

    Limbaugh is a dirt bag...

    February 6, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. Hugo

    This whole thing about what words are now acceptable is RETARDED! You cannot regulate morality or how people wish to describe their views with descriptive language. How about spending as much time as wasted on "what is acceptable language" on ending two wars and kick starting the economy?

    February 6, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. J. Alejandro

    I think what Rush should have used is the word MORONS! And he should have used it for you in the media. He really knows how to play you like a violin and you fall for it all the time, which is why his audience grows. Everyone who listened to that show knows he was mocking Rahm Emmanuel and the double-standard of the liberal media. Everyone from Zsa Zsa Huffington-Puffington to MSLSD have immediately forgiven Rambo. If it had been a Republican or conservative they would still be calling for his resignation.

    February 6, 2010 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. anti-whinning

    Stop your Whinning about him using the word "RETARD". It is only a word and if it hurts your feelings, tough.......Put on your big boy/girl pants and stop whinning about stupid things. Everyone is so worried about offending anyone else that they have stopped worrying about important things like the economy and how our government has been sinking into a hole......so for a short recap......Grow up and don't whine.......

    February 6, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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