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. Redman, CA

    imbaugh said of the report on Wednesday's show. "These liberal activists are kooks, they are looney tunes."

    I guess Limpaws missed that it was his hero – Sarah Palin that was crying the loudest. Unless she has changed affiliations and become a "liberal", then I would say the PC Police is sitting way right of center on this issue. Then again her indignant outrage was only directed at Rahm, she was only mildly offended by baldy, fatty.

    But Limbo won't let the facts get in the way of his opinions, after all everyone knows "facts" have a liberal bias.

    February 6, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Kyle

    Apologize for using the "R" word, yeah right...that would be retarded

    February 6, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. frank

    This is one sick person, on radio. and still gets away with it.

    February 6, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. ManuelV

    Anybody who listens to Rush is a retard

    February 6, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Total BS

    You are all retarded !!!

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

    This drama over the use of the word underscores how ignorant this society truly is.

    The word is being used to disparage individuals who supposedly "know better", because among other things, they possess all of the mental faculties required to reason and rationalize.

    Those individuals afflicted with a diminshed capacity, like the ones Tim Shriver represents, aren't retards. They have a genuine physical condition that they cannot control.

    But when you know better, yet remain ignorant, arrogant and close-minded, you deserve the label.

    February 6, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. SC-Pub "no" more

    two questions:

    (1) CNN covered in exhausting detail Emanuel's use of the word and the ensuing Sarah Palin fake outrage. They have waited three days to even mention Rush's use of the word. CNN even covered Perry of Texas incorrect use of the word.. BUT NO REPORT OR CRITICISM ON RUSH!
    My question, CNN are you afraid of Rush as are the Rushlicans?

    (2) Sarah Palin, Todd's assistant governor, rightfull demanded an apology from Rham and then went so far as demanding his firing. Was she sincere in her outrage or was this another feigned shout out?"
    My question, why has Palin personally said NOTHING about Rush?
    Her spokeswoman even called Rush APOLOGIZING that she had to say something generic ("Rush we did not use your name.") about "anyone" using the "r" word.
    Sarah has lost all credibility with me... she has cried "wolf" too many times!

    February 6, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Bobbo2

    The only thing Rush Limbaugh cares about is his public visibility. The best way to deal with him is to ignore him. Like Ann Coulter, he's so far removed from mainstream politics that he's not even respected by his own party.

    February 6, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  9. John in Indy

    I LOVE LIBERALS! Its always "do as I say, not as I do" hypocracy from the. Rahm Emanual is a political thug and bully from Chicago. He will be obecient to political correctness but down deep he really doesnt care. I personally love the sign at the NBC 30 Rock cafeteria that perported to celebrate Black History Month by serving Fried Chicken, collard greens, corn bread, and kool-aid. Why wont anyone hold NBC to the same standard they held Fuzzy Zeller in '96, or anyone who has been racially insensitive . Such double standards!!! And yes, jus google the pic, its all over the net.

    February 6, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Pat

    Pot calling kettle black.

    February 6, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Ed

    Hypocrisy in action Palin is as fake a politician as you can get. First she make national news for something that Emanuel said a decade ago, but Limbaugh says the "R" word all day long everyday it is O.K. She makes no comment on her own she hides behind a press sec. Chenney gives people the finger and say " F- off" in public it is O.K.
    Palin uses her uselessness to show how fake her ability to do anything in life is. From her husband running the real actions behind the governorship to her ability to not be able to run for vice president. To abandoning the Alaskan people in after 18 months in office for the greed of making money for herself and not "for the people".
    It just show again and again the republican party is a party of sensationalism and fear. Not for the people by the people. It is their own self interest and only their self interest that they care about money and greed for corporations all over the world specially in Saudi Arabia with the oil. As Bush showed kissing the Saudi King and kissing his butt. Thank Palin, every time she speaks the country shutters in embarassment. And the GOP gets smaller and smaller as the party of NO!!!!!!

    February 6, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Independent

    Limbaugh takes heat...not from hypocritical Palin.

    February 6, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. james

    I could see why people like this guy. I don't particularly care for him in that he is a blowhard and a fake. But I do see the attraction for my idiot brethren.

    February 6, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Rob R.

    By Sarah Palin's logic, I think that Rush Limbaugh should resign for his comment. As the only post he holds is that of radio talk show host, I think that would be a great sacrifice for him and of great good for America.

    February 6, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. David Jones

    Sarah Palin demanded that Rahm Emanuel be fired for using the term "retarded". Do tea partiers realize Palin is a liberal activist?

    February 6, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. JT the Show Me State College Freshman

    Mr. Limbaugh,
    I understand that everyone has freedom of speech to say what they please, and I understand what Rahm said was very disrespectful and unnecessary; to use that to your advantage, and use the very same word over and over again, is over stepping your boudaries in this situation. I do not agree with you in most of your personal/ political stances, but I want to at least respect you. You using that word for your own advantage, makes it really difficult to do so. Mr. Limbaugh, I encourage to think of every situation that comes to you in a broad perspective; economically, psychologically, politically, legally, cultural, scientifically, mythologically, and in a moral/ personal perspective as well. Look at all of those perspectives for every complex issue that comes across you; every American needs to look at complex, complicated issues in that manner.
    Speaking of freedom speech, I know that the recent Surpreme Court decision had to do with the Corporate companies wanting to have the same freedom of speech rights as the rest of us; if you want to be treated as people, that's fine, but remember this, "freedom does not come free and without rules and limitations for your own good." Every American follows that; that means, you would have to abide by the same rules and restrictions that we are subject to under the consitution. In other words, someone is going to have to make sure you make the right, responsible decision. Allowing the big corportate companies to make unlimited donations to their prefered canditate, is very unwise. This quote by FDR describes it perfectly, "Government by organized money is just as bad as government by organized mob."

    February 6, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. tjk

    Tim Shriver invents the "R" word or "retartd"? Tim, get a lie. You are a jerk.

    February 6, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. Pat

    Words matter. It is not disabled people, but people with disabilities. The idea is you put people first.

    February 6, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. Fooled Again

    Rush is a NEO-CON. Nobody listens to him anymore

    February 6, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. me

    this guy is like a wild cat..he is old but he is a kid..he cant hold his stinky mouth shut even for a minute..wow...what a shame..

    February 6, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. texaslib

    Rush an "agent of acceptance and dignity?"

    well at least this guy has a sense of humor.

    February 6, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Rush is the biggest bigot in this country, what would you expect.

    February 6, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. Raul Texas

    Where was Palin on this issue? She hates the "R" word and is always correcting others that use it. Why not Rush Lim-bum, because he is is actually, retarded.

    February 6, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. JD, NY

    Why isn't Sarah Paling crying foul? Why are Republicans so afraid of this dirt bag?

    February 6, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. indiana voter

    Emmanuel is right though. Liberals are a bunch of retards. All you have to do is read the posts coming from this website to see that ALL liberals are retards and pansies. Screw political correctness. Just call it like it is! There are a bunch of retards in the White House now too. The whole lot is a bunch of idiots. Obama doesn't even know how to say the word "corpsman" correctly, but you don't hear that in the media. The idiot pronounces the "p" and doesn't realize it is silent. If Bush had said that, it would have been front page news. Obama says it more than once in a speech this week and no word mentioned of it. Must be retards running the media too.

    February 6, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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