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Limbaugh apologizes for imitating Communist Chinese dictator

by Frank N. Stein

PALM BEACH, Florida, Jan. 31, 2011 — Caving to pressure from Asian groups, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh today apologized for imitating a speaker of the Chinese language.

"I am profoundly sorry for making Asian-Americans feel like second-class citizens for mimicking a language I don't understand," he said. "I should have known better because I feel like a second-class citizen every time the political bigots who mimick me on Saturday Night Live have a laugh at my expense."

Limbaugh had mimicked Chinese President Hu Jintao for 20 seconds on the Jan. 19 edition of "The Rush Limbaugh Show."

The burly radio personality was talking about Jintao's speech during a visit to the White House.

"He was speaking and they weren't translating," Limbaugh said. "They normally translate every couple of words. Hu Jintao was just going ching chong, ching chong cha."

Several lawmakers and a number of civil rights groups had called for a boycott of Excellence in Broadcasting advertisers unless Limbaugh apologized for what they called blatant racism.

Comedian Dana Carvey said Limbaugh's problem stemmed from his lack of comedic timing and not from what the talk show host actually said.

"Society is fine with mimicking speakers of foreign language," he said, "but only if the humor is top level and the accents are spot on."

Carvey has joined a team of experts that Limbaugh has hired to help him scrub his program of lame humor. The team is composed of former talk show hosts and comics who have dished out their share of bigoted jokes and comments.

"I trust these guys to help me learn how to do a better job of creating jokes and skits that do not cause fellow citizens to lose self-esteem," Limbaugh said.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger chairs the panel, which includes Oprah Winfrey, Rosie O'Donnell, Ellen Degeneres, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Eddie Murphy and Tina Fey, all of whom received honorary degrees from universities where they entertained graduating students in commencement exercises.

"I learned a long time ago that you must learn to speak in a politically correct manner," Schlessinger said, "regardless of your personal feelings. I no longer express publicly my belief that homosexuals are mistakes of nature. I also never use the N word anymore, even when describing what black rap artists say. I realize that I do not have adequate amounts of melanin in my skin cells to have the right to quote others who use the N word.

"I should have known better because I know what it's like to be criticized over my race, religion, appearance and mistakes. I received death threats from people who did not agree with my views, just as Rush has received, so I think he and I can communicate."

Winfrey said she has been the brunt of negative comments regarding her race, body weight, familial status and financial status.

"People don't know how tough it is to be called a rich, fat, black woman," she said. "It's almost as bad as being called some of the names I had to endure as a child, like skinny, book-smart and colored.

"Rush needs to know that it's OK to poke fun at certain groups but not others. He can make jokes about men, especially if they're rich, white, Christian Republicans because they hardly ever complain, but you can't make fun of women, racial minorities, liberals or people who don't speak English."

O'Donnell said she has been the brunt of countless jokes about her homosexuality, her waist size and her belief in the non-existence of God.

"I'm hoping that I can help Rush learn to be more sensitive to the feelings of others," she said. "As a radical conservative and Christian, Limbaugh is just as threatening and dangerous as a radical Muslim or Elisabeth Hasselbeck."

Billy Crystal said that Limbaugh's language mimickry would have been socially acceptable 20 or 30 years ago when he made a fortune by imitating people with unusual accents.

"Back in my day it was OK to mimic Asians and even blacks," he said. "I made millions and got lots of laughs with my fake Chinese. I even got away with mimicking Muhammad Ali. Nowadays the NACCP would boycott you for that for sure."

Currently the NCAAP is boycotting Chinese-made goods to protest a Beijing dancer, Mai Kojax Sun, who imitated an African-American dancer in public.

"The moves that Sun made - the mimicking of an African-American dancer - harkens back to when I was a little boy growing up in Harlem," said Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), "and those were hard days, rather insensitive days. You think you've arrived and all of a sudden get shot back to the reality that you're a second-class citizen."

Eddie Murphy, who once was the mostly highly paid movie star before video tapes of him dressed as a white businessman surfaced, said Limbaugh should avoid mimickry of any minority.

"Rush should quit imitating President Obama, Hu Jintao, Kim Il-sung and even the first black president Bill Clinton," Murphy said, "or he'll soon find himself like me, unable to get any work other than imitating an ass."

President Obama also offered Limbaugh advice.

"My popularity took a nosedive when I mimicked an Italian-American," Obama said. "And all I did was mimick an actor who himself was imitating an Italian-American."

After Obama's faux pas, Italian-Americans boycotted goods made in Hawaii, where Obama claims to have been born, Indonesia, where he spent his childhood, and Kenya, the home of his father. Sales of ukuleles, stuffed Komodo dragons and African tribal masks plummeted until Obama apologized.

Limbaugh said today that he hopes his apology forestalls any revenue losses for Sleep Number beds, Oreck vacuum cleaners and Dominos Pizza.

"If you really want to show Rush how disgusted you are by his unconscionable imitations," Rangel said, "buy a Serta, clean it with a Dirt Devil and order a Little Ceasars."

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"Every man is a borrower and a mimic, life is theatrical and literature a quotation" — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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