Rush Limbaugh, the Human Tsunami

IJ Reilly

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I don't know if this deserves a thread of its own, but what the heck. From the January 4 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: As long as the press and the Democrats out there are gonna accuse everybody of being insensitive -- let me -- let me raise my hand and try to be called on, here, as insensitive. I gotta tell ya something, folks. Ever since I learned that this number of three million homeless back in the '80s was jacked up, made up, amplified, never changes and so forth, then they finally did a homeless census and they found barely 300,000 truly homeless in this country, I have been suspicious of these numbers [of deaths in the tsunami] from the get-go. First day, 12,000; then 14,000; then 50. Then 60 then 100, then 140 -- there was even a number, 400,000 thrown around out there. And it just -- who's verifying this?

I mean, has anybody actually asked for a count? Has anybody done a count? Has there been a count? How do we know this? It may be true, but it may not be true either. And the number just gets thrown around, and bammo! It's accepted without question. It's -- this -- and the reason I'm startin' to question this is because, I'm seein' more and more stories about how -- it -- how do I put this?

I know I raised my hand. I wanted to be called on as insensitive, but -- I mean, since that's what the Democrats are doin' to us -- but there are more and more stories here about -- like, there's some guy that runs a hotel over there who said, would you please get the news out that we're open? That we've got full services. Our beach is open and everything else. We didn't suffer at all in this disaster. And, nobody's showin' up here because they think they whole country's been devastated, and it hasn't. It was just the coastline -- we're open and we're open for business.

It doesn't fit the story, so you don't see it in the news. The story is utter destruction and devastation -- we had the story yesterday from the vaunted New York Times, that the economic impact of this is gonna be marginal. That the economic impact in these countries where the tsunami hit is going to be marginal. This is not to say the human cost is not real and tremendous. But I -- you know, we're throwin' money at this left and -- 'cause it makes us feel good to do it.

But I -- you know what I'm reminded of? 9-11. When that happened, we just threw money left and right. And look at the end result. The families of the victims of 9-11. Some of them got $24 million; some of them got $10 million -- many of them are set for life here because so much money was given. You could say, "So what, Rush?"

Well, you could say this is more than was necessary. But it's not a criticism, this is just a fact that, people respond in an overwhelmingly compassionate way here. Which is why all of this nitpicking criticism of us, of our own country by our own countrymen -- I don't care what the French or the Germans or anybody say -- but when the U.S. media and the U.S. liberals and Democrats wanna attack this country -- for its stinginess, or for its lack of speed or sensitivity -- it is just bogus!

[...]

LIMBAUGH: I mean, if they're gonna start throwin' the charge "insensitivity" around to George [W.] Bush, I wanna be included here. Because it's a badge of honor to be criticized by these people. You think I've succeeded -- Snerdley thinks I've succeeded.

What -- with just questioning the death toll? I'm-how many of the rest of you are just---140, 160, 180 -- 120 -- where's the official count? How does anybody know this? I heard [United Nations secretary general] Kofi Annan the other day said we have 140,000 confirmed deaths. Fine -- well, I was waiting for the details of the confirmation, and I didn't get it. You know -- we're just supposed to sit there and accept this?

The reason that I have my -- I wouldn't say doubts, I'm just gonna wait to have this proven to me -- is that there are conflicting stories about how many of these places -- the damage was only along the beach and a mile inward. That's not nearly all of these countries. This is not to suggest the disaster is not real. Please don't put words in my mouth and don't -- don't do to me what I think is being done to the rest of us. Don't interpret me saying things I'm not saying here. I'm not suggesting it's not a true, devastating disaster and so forth. But you know, we do have a tendency to blow these things up. We have a tendency to rally around disaster; it makes us feel better to contribute to it. And I think this is a great thing everybody's doing. And it's real, as far as it goes. But all of this -- all of this criticism of us for not doing enough, it's 180 degrees out of phase.

We're doing enough and more so! We're doing enough and more. We're dong so much that they're requesting -- some of these aid groups, Doctors Without Borders, don't send us any more money. And now we've got the stories coming out of Sri Lanka that there's a working state of bedlam. The absence of coordination between aid agencies adding up to a man-made disaster.

That, to me, is just a plea for more money. They're pleading for more aid because we don't know where what we're getting is going. It's not gettin' to the right people. And these things are understandable in a crisis circumstance like this.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Let me try an analogy to explain to you my -- my concern here about just throwin' lump sums of money over there, anywhere -- and expecting it to work magic.

Remember, it wasn't long ago we had -- it was just right before Christmas. We had the story about the lottery winner from West Virginia whose life was destroyed after he won the lot -- won the biggest Powerball jackpot. Forget this guy's name -- but he just descended into a drug- and alcohol-infested life. His family broke up -- all kinds of calamities. And, the Sudden Money Institute -- we learned of them. I never heard of them before. They're right here in Palm Beach Gardens -- Sudden Money Institute. Popped up on television, said if this guy would've come and talked to us we could've helped him out. Well, I think we need to send the Sudden Money Institute over to the disaster area because the effect of what's happening over there is, a bunch of lottery winners are showin' up.

People are winnin' the lottery -- and I'm not talkin' about the victims -- that's the problem. The people that are getting this money, that are in charge of distributing it -- you know, from looking at experiences in this country with the lottery winners. You throw a big pile of money at somebody, it just -- especially people who have never had it.

Or, in some cases, people who have had similarly large piles of money and want them again -- government leaders, bureaucrats, charitable "A" groups -- any number of people. You throw large sums of money at 'em, and I guarantee you, folks, you're gonna have things happen to that money that wouldn't dream of doing yourself if it got to you under similar circumstances.
http://mediamatters.org/items/200501060003
 

zimv20

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what a horse's ass.

i like how he uses the NYT reference when it fits his agenda. and what's this thing about the number of homeless in the 80s? is he just making **** up?
 

mactastic

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So where's Rush's condemnation of the waste inherent in the Operation Iraqi Freedom? Are not members of the leadership in Iraq becoming rich off our largess there 'cause it makes us feel good'? Is Halliburton not making a handsome profit off our adventure there?

Does he really want to complain about waste of taxpayer money, or does he want to belittle liberals with any piece of information he can find?

This is why I don't listen to Rush anymore. He's just full of one sided rhetoric and a part of the corporate/conservative media echo chamber.

And what does he care if the numbers are 50,000 dead vs. 150,000 dead? Those numbers are so big he can't even comprehend them. I don't think I properly comprehend them. And all he can say is that this reminds him of 9/11, which was indeed tragic but still nothing compared to these losses.

People in the US are going to look pretty petty complaining about our 3,000 dead in the face of something that perhaps killed 50 to 100 times that number. Think 1 to 2 9/11s in every state in a single day. Rush's statements indicate to me that he has no clue what the scale of this disaster is.

I wonder if he's considered what the implications of a wave moving one mile inland in the US would be. Sure there would be inland resorts still open. Does that mean there isn't tragedy on the coast? Doesn't he get that coastal regions tend to be heavily populated compared to inland locales?
 

IJ Reilly

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zimv20 said:
what a horse's ass.
Surely, the horses are envious.

All Rush is saying here is, we're in danger of becoming far too compassionate. I mean, that is the really big problem in the world today, isn't it? Well, isn't it?
 

Thomas Veil

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zimv20 said:
what a horse's ass.
My very first thought.

mactastic said:
So where's Rush's condemnation of the waste inherent in the Operation Iraqi Freedom? Are not members of the leadership in Iraq becoming rich off our largess there 'cause it makes us feel good'? Is Halliburton not making a handsome profit off our adventure there?
My very second.

mactastic, it's not really about the issues he's talking about. It never is. It's about taking every news story that comes down the pike and twisting it so that it's liberals' fault somehow. So now we're creating problems for tsunami victims. Jesus H. Christ....

zim's comment bears repeating: what a horse's ass!
 

wordmunger

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My favorite idiotic line: "the damage was only along the beach and a mile inward."

Yeah for 250 MILES, in Sumatra alone. Entire FREIGHTERS were carried 1/2 mile inland. Entire archipelagos were swamped. The damage was felt 3,000 miles away in Africa. Millions of people were directly affected, for thousands of miles. It's not like a dinky little building collapse in New York, or some minor fire in the Pentagon. This is big, Rush, even bigger than your stinking mouth. Yet the world is spending about 1/100 the budget for the Iraqistan war on it.

What a dumbass. You know he wouldn't be talking this way if a tsunami this size hit the U.S. coast. He's a complete moron.
 

IJ Reilly

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Right, it's a big event, and he has to say something. And that something can't possibly be a statement of basic human compassion without a political agenda attached to it because he's made a career out of being a partisan political pugilist. He doesn't know another way. If he'd simply congratulated people for their outpouring of active caring in the fact of massive human tragedy, surely his angry white male fan base would think he'd gone all soft.

Limbaugh is living in a prison of his own creation. In a way, it's kind of interesting to see him rattling around in it.
 

Xtremehkr

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His audience at this point are either complete idiots or as morally baseless and greedy as he is himself.

At least it's distracting the propaganda machine for a while.
 

Chip NoVaMac

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Xtremehkr said:
His audience at this point are either complete idiots or as morally baseless and greedy as he is himself.

At least it's distracting the propaganda machine for a while.
That describes the Angry White Male IMO.

The AWM doesn't have an opinion of their own unless it it is spoon fed to them. That is what Rove and the GOP count on IMO.
 

pseudobrit

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Michael Savage was telling people not to send money, because they all want to kill us.

Then he wondered aloud (which is the equivalent of absolute proof in the realm of hate radio) how much of the donated money will be used to kill Americans.
 

pseudobrit

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IJ Reilly said:
Did you hear this yourself, or read about it somewhere?

Edit: It was on MMA and I missed it.
.
I heard Savage myself. FM was all commercials, no CD in the player, iPod out of juice, so I switched to AM while driving to work 2 days ago.

I've loaded a CD since then.
 

IJ Reilly

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But there's more! This from Neil Boortz:

The world is finding more ways to blame America for the tsunami tragedy.* Already, as I predicted, we have "environmentalists" suggesting that the earthquake, and thus the tsunami, was triggered by global warming which, of course, is triggered by greedy Americans driving SUVs.* Now we are learning that the tragedy in these countries was multiplied because they're so poor, and the reason that they're so poor is because the evil United States refuses to end their poverty through some device or another.* *

As I saw the tragic scene of bodies being dumped ... literally dumped ... in mass graves the thought occurred to me that there are so many families who will never have any solid idea of what happened to their wives, husbands, fathers, mothers and children.* Look for massive insurance fraud.* Who do you think will be the first person projected for saying that their heavily insured wife or husband perished in a tsunami and was obviously buried in a mass grave.

By the way.* I really don't care to read any more about the damned celebrities, including that freaking "supermodel" who were caught up in the disaster.* I'm sure the people who lost their entire families in Sri Lanka don't care either.*

Remember this.* Americans are going to spend tens of millions of dollars helping the victims of this tragedy and rebuilding their countries.* Then, as soon as we are through, these nations they'll be right back to resenting us and hating us for the very wealth that allowed us to help them in the first place.* Also .. many of the nations we'll be spending the money on are heavily or predominantly Muslim.* Remember ... no good deed goes unpunished.
http://boortz.com/nuze/200412/12292004.html
 

IJ Reilly

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Do I have a choice (please, give me a choice!).

The Boortz claim that environmentalists blame the earthquake and tsunami on global warming is a complete fabrication. I traced that one down to Reuters piece saying that if sea levels rose in the future, coastal areas would become more vulnerable to tsunamis. Well, duh!

These people seem to be hard-wired to lie.
 

Desertrat

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Boortz cites from a Reuters article, and that makes him a liar? I've seen headlines linked to the same accusations allegedly from environmentalists--didn't bother to follow up--so I know that the allegations are out there. Seems to me that Reuters, not Boortz, deserves the scorn...

What El Rushbo seems to be talking about is two-fold: First, the credibility of the gross numbers. And, as he said, he's curious, not denying. What's wrong with that? I don't personally see the exactitude as being important, but it's still a legitimate question--albeit one which probably never could be answered.

Secondly, think back to 9/11's aftermath and the donations to the Red Cross. The money was sent specifically for the benefit of the families of 9/11 victims. Over a billion bucks reportedly came in. The Red Cross decided to divert somewhere near half that amount to other Red Cross programs. The public furor put a stop to that notion. The same sort of problem exists at present with the outpouring of pledges and actual money, now. "Will the money get used for the intended purpose?"

Does anybody know the URL for the blog that's done by some USAID folks in Sri Lanka? It's pretty scornful of the UN's doings. "The UN's expertise is in holding meetings..." or words to that effect, plus accusations of the UN claiming credit for relief efforts done by non-UN folks already on the ground.

'Rat
 

pseudobrit

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Desertrat said:
Boortz cites from a Reuters article, and that makes him a liar? I've seen headlines linked to the same accusations allegedly from environmentalists--didn't bother to follow up--so I know that the allegations are out there. Seems to me that Reuters, not Boortz, deserves the scorn...

What El Rushbo seems to be talking about is two-fold: First, the credibility of the gross numbers. And, as he said, he's curious, not denying. What's wrong with that? I don't personally see the exactitude as being important, but it's still a legitimate question--albeit one which probably never could be answered.
You're playing apologist for hatemongers.

Boortz is not just citing from a Reuters article, he's making leaps of logic that aren't being suggested by anyone but him and other fanatics.

Why is he making such leaps? So he can use this horrible tragedy to further bash "liberals.*" Then he sums it up by jumping on the "they're Muslims and will use the money to kill us" dogpile. He's a racist pig and deserves no forum to make such statements in an enlightened society.

Rush is using his old tricks of insinuation with no proof as his proof. He's not being "curious," because I know his MO. He's framing his accusations as a question to deflect responsibility for making such a hideous charge.

It's not a valid argument to say that, after doing no research of your own, that since you're not sure of something that no one else can be either. He sounds eeriliy like a holocaust doubter. "I've never seen concrete proof... isn't someone out to make a buck?"

*liberals in the stereotyped form of environmentalists, the media, and people who care about other human beings
 

G4scott

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Man, if Rush Limbaugh said the world was round, I'm sure you guys would find some way to tear him apart, and prove him wrong...

Do you truly believe that 100% of the donations to the Red Cross, UN, and other relief organizations helping this cause is going to help people in tsunami stricken areas (not considering funds already being used for other relief efforts)? If you do, I've got some oceanfront property in Kansas I'm willing to sell you... Somebody's going to point out this gross hypocrisy, that these "charity" organizations have their problems, and that money seems to 'disappear' when large amounts are involved. These people just happen to be the wonderful, Conservative Conspiracy Machine™ There will be people out there who will take advantage of these donations for personal gain, much like that "food for oil" scandal in the UN.

I'm not saying that these relief organizations all have bad intentions, but there has been history of fraud during disaster relief like this. I will donate my money to helping countries rebuild, or save lives, but I will not give my money to pad the wallet of Kofi Annan.

Maybe if some people are critical of these organizations, and keep a close watch on their actions and motives, it would help keep them in line, to do what they're supposed to do: Help people in a time of need. I'm sure if you asked Rush if he'd help people in those areas in need, he would say yes, but if you asked him to donate to corrupt organizations with intentions other than helping those in need, he would quickly say no.
 

skunk

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G4scott said:
There will be people out there who will take advantage of these donations for personal gain, much like that "food for oil" scandal in the UN.
Which, as you should know, was under the direct control and supervision of the Security Council, not Kofi Annan.

I will donate my money to helping countries rebuild, or save lives, but I will not give my money to pad the wallet of Kofi Annan.
How do you propose to do that? Have you any evidence whatsoever for your scurrilous insinuation about Annan? What has this got to do with him?

I'm sure if you asked Rush if he'd help people in those areas in need, he would say yes, but if you asked him to donate to corrupt organizations with intentions other than helping those in need, he would quickly say no.
Of course he'd say yes. But of course both you and he would be excused putting your hands in your pockets because these are all apparently "corrupt organizations". How convenient, and how cheap. :mad:
 

blackfox

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G4Scott, your post got me to thinking...

So if these "charity" organizations are so corrupt(ible), how should we go about changing that?

Many Conservatives (like Stu), would prefer to scale-back Government-run Social Services, so that he would have more dollars to spend (voluntarily) on private organizations that he feels would do the job more efficiently. These are often charitible organizations. Are they as corruptible? More than Government? Less?

Is the point that all people are corruptible where large amounts of money and power are involved? If not, who makes the distinction?

If one is concerned about fraud, then that is your perogative. It is reasonable to assume that there are unscrupulous men around, both here and abroad who will have sticky fingers and/or sometimes that is just the cost of doing business in parts of the world not like our own. I am not sure that means throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

What I do know is some have managed to take an unexpected tradgedy and a difficult, chaotic effort at aid, and make it Partisan. I mean, Oil for Food and the UN are "bad", but Halliburton is "OK"? Or whatever...

What have things come to when the Red Cross is now suspect? You know, with all this politikin', does anyone even think that some of us who disagree with some policy (like US aid in the wake of the tsunami), might not be trying to take shots at Bush, but just feel we should've given more regardless of our Politics?

meh.