February 6th, 2010
01:41 PM ET
8 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)

    Who cares what this IMPOTENT, DRAFT DODGING JUNKIE says?

    February 6, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. BPinSC

    I absolutely hate Rush Limbaugh. He is a bigoted idiot, but come on, LIGHTEN UP, PEOPLE.

    February 6, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  3. MisterPL

    Here we go again with the politically correct nonsense.

    This is about intent, not content.

    Limbaugh's use of the word is offensive because he meant it to be. He used the word to describe people and attract attention.

    Rahm Emanuel's statement was describing policy, not people. If the policy is offended, then it has every right to post all about it on its Facebook page. Until then, everyone needs to grow thicker skins and stop squealing like stuck pigs when someone dares to call a spade a spade.

    February 6, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Kaye

    Where is your outrage Sister Sarah?

    February 6, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. guest

    It will be interesting what Sara Palin says of this after her remarks against the Chief of Staff....

    February 6, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Anonymous


    February 6, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. Sweetwillie

    Just another example of Liberal hyprocrisy. Rush is over the top, but he is masterfully proving a point. If Liberals call folks "retards" or "clean, articulate black men" then they are expressing sympathy. The second a conservative does it, they are insensitive, racist, bigoted, homophopes! LOL!

    February 6, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. flguy81

    seriously, who listens to Rush Limbaugh anyway

    February 6, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  9. Brandon

    Someone needs to duck tape this fool's mouth shut.

    February 6, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Mark Knox

    Hm. I wonder if Sarah Palin will be demanding his job like she is R.E.'s? Yeah...that's what I thought.

    February 6, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Richard L

    If there ever was an expert on "looney tunes", it's Limbaugh.

    February 6, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. jlb

    I guess it's only ok to use the "R" word if your part of the Moral Majority or a "gift from God" as Limbaugh claims to be.

    February 6, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Terry - Indiana

    I am not a Limbaugh fan, but we need to bring this "politically correct bologna" to an agreed upon halt. If I can find a word in Webster's Dictionary, I assume it is there to define the word, perhaps offer it in a sentence, and for those who are tired of this PC Bologna, use it at will. Where are all of the PC Folks when children hear F*&#, Mother*&!#ER, WH+#$, and hundreds of other phrases or words on everything from CD's to the subway, to primetime television on most cable channels. I am sorry, but when someone calls a Member of Congress or the Senate, perhaps even the President, no one calls them a liar, they just want an apology for some group that was not even addressed when the term was used. Come on folks, focus. We need jobs, more manufacturing, and the right to free speech, even when it offends someone else.

    February 6, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Marty

    Rush seems to be going thru a mid-life crisis. He takes his "Party Planner" girlfriend to Hawaii over Christmas. and parties to the point of having a "heart attack". He dances at the Miss America pagaent. He is acting a little boisterous – must be the totallity of the quantity of drugs he has allegedly been taking for decades to support his big frame. I expect to see him blaze out in a dramatic celebrity fashion.

    February 6, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. BJs65

    Oh but it's OK when Rush uses the word – it's just HORRID for anyone else (especially those on the other end of the political spectrum) to use it.

    February 6, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Marilyn

    I totally agree, in principle. But there must be a typo in the article. The article says "These liberal activists are kooks, they are looney tunes." The correct statement would be "These conservative activists are kooks, they are looney tunes."

    February 6, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Donna

    So where's Queen Sarah asking that Rush Dumbaugh be fired?

    February 6, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. James

    The use of this word is not the problem. What America should be worried about is the day to day treatment of people with mental retardation. I have an uncle who is metally retarded. Caregivers are underpaid, undereducated, don't care, no comittment, incompetent. He was mentally and physically abused by his caregivers on numerous occasions. The State and the facility are extremely incompetent and can't even conduct a timely and proper investigation. The local police department is useless in this process. I would rather someone call my uncle a retard then allow the SYSTEM to physically and mentally neglect him. What have we done as a society lately for this segment of our population?

    February 6, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. Ken in Gainesville

    Limbaugh is an anti-American jerk. He should be consigned to the outhouse where he belongs.....with the rest of the tea-baggers, militia paranoics, kluckers, birthers, and flat-earthers.

    February 6, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Christy

    Years ago, my mentally and physically challenged little girl was called a "retard" by another child in school. My daughter could not say too many words, but she understood everything that was said to her. When that boy called her that horrible name, she cried. No one should EVER think it is okay to call others by that name. It just proves to me that Rush is an uneducated and bigoted man who should never be able to speak in public again. His insensitivity to those less fortunate has once again reared its ugly head.

    February 6, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. CTSadler

    I imagine the pain caused in the community was offset by a trip to McDonalds.

    February 6, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    I would have thought that Sarah would demand that he be fired. I demand that Sarah demand that he be fired, along with the coordinator of the Rick Perry campaign for using the "R" word. Hypocrites.

    February 6, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. ME

    It's a shame to raise up people like Limbaugh by acknowledging their spew-of-the day. This is just the sort of thing they thrive upon, and they delight in using whatever vehicle – the derrogatory label, "retard," for instance – that's handy to drive home their political viewpoint. Rush probably gets a rush or his own ,with each utterance of his slurs.

    Shriver, a KENNEDY-by-marriage(!), should've avoided this exchange – much as one walks around a pile of dog poo and continues on with the work that needs to be done.

    And yeah, Rahm needs to be traded in for a something better. I hope President Obama will do some housecleaning soon. Please, sir!.

    February 6, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. J.Havis

    The Lush is one big pig. He does not have a brain or the common sense GOD gave. All he can does is jiggle around and look like a fool. Pity him and pray for his soul. Hell fire burns long and forever. Those pills he pops will not help the pain from the fires of hell. He is angry that he is ugly and a sewer mouth.

    February 6, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. Tom

    Where is Sarah Palin in all this? Shouldn't she be calling for Rush's head as well? She went after Rahm Emanuel, so I can't wait to hear if she takes The Mighty Limbaugh to task or if she will somehow rationalize his lack of sensitivity.

    February 6, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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