Limbaugh defended Survivor comments, claimed, "I'm simply turning around everything the libs tell us about these groups ... and I turn out to be public enemy Number One"

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On the August 28 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh defended and repeated his "handicapping" of the competition in the new season of CBS' reality TV program Survivor, in which contestants are reportedly divided into competing "tribes" by ethnicity. Referring to criticism he has received for his August 23 remarks about the show, which Media Matters for America documented, Limbaugh stated: "I'm simply turning around everything the libs tell us about these groups back on them in terms of handicapping race Survivor, and I turn out to be public enemy Number One." Limbaugh then played clips of media figures criticizing his comments, including MSNBC's Countdown host Keith Olbermann, who awarded Limbaugh with a "Worst Person" honor on the August 24 edition of Countdown. Limbaugh then said, "I guess I should learn. It ain't gonna stop me, folks." In support of his August 23 assertion that "blacks can't swim," Limbaugh again cited the March 2 HealthDay article, which reported that "young blacks -- especially males -- are much more likely to drown in pools than whites," without revealing that the study the article was based on did not address the swimming abilities of African-Americans in general.

Referring to the HealthDay article, Limbaugh stated: "[W]e had a study out there, which cites this. I didn't say it; I report it. It's out there. But when I report it, they have to take it out of context and make it like I know I'm being a racist." But the study on which the article was based did not address the swimming abilities of African-Americans in general. HealthDay reported that "[r]esearchers don't know why black kids are at higher risk of drowning," that "[m]ost of the black [drowning] victims ... drowned in public pools," and that "[t]he study didn't examine whether the victims had taken swimming lessons or whether the pools were supervised by lifeguards." Additionally, the article noted that, according to the study, "people from poorer families were more likely to drown" -- "regardless of race," and that one author of the study suggested "[f]uture research" will be done to "examine whether swimming instruction reduces the risk of drowning."

Later in the program, after citing a study that claimed to prove that taller people are smarter than shorter people, Limbaugh said: "I wonder if CBS factored this in assembling the teams, because we all know that Asians have ... a height problem. Yet, they're the brainiacs of the bunch, so how can we possibly assume that this study is correct?"

As Media Matters noted, on August 23, Limbaugh said the Survivor competition, which has reportedly divided contestants along racial lines, with teams made up of African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, and white members, "is not going to be fair if there's a lot of water events." Limbaugh stated that "our early money" is on "the Hispanic tribe" -- which he said could include "a Cuban," "a Nicaraguan," or "a Mexican or two" -- provided they don't "start fighting for supremacy amongst themselves." He added that Hispanics have "probably shown the most survival tactics," that they "have shown a remarkable ability to cross borders," and that they can "do it without water for a long time. They don't get apprehended, and they will do things other people won't do."

From the August 28 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: You see what happened here? I went on to cite a study, 'cause there was a guy that called and I knew the guy was -- I knew somebody was going to call -- so, we had a study out there, which cites this. I didn't say it; I report it. It's out there. But when I report it, they have to take it out of context and make it like I know I'm being a racist, but I'm going to do it anyway, because I think it's funny. And they all get to act in their mock outrage and shock -- "What" -- "How can this be happening?"

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Do you notice how they all focus on the "blacks can't swim?" Do you realize that -- do you people remember what all I said in handicapping this? I ripped into the whites, too. I said they'll probably lose, because they have the guilt over running things. They've got guilt of being in charge and of oppressing all these people. I said the whites will bring vials of disease. Everything the liberals have taught us. Whites -- you know, Columbus, Eastern Europeans, Western Europeans -- came and they brought syphilis. They brought environmental destruction. They brought homophobia. So, all I said was, "The whites, to the Cook Islands, are going to take vials of disease to poison their opponents." And all these -- everything liberals are teaching kids, I was making fun of it. They leave all that out. They go to the blacks can't swim business because it's all about that.

There were so many -- the Hispanic comments. They do cross borders! They don't get apprehended. They do it without water. People can go anywhere. And I also said they will do things other people won't do. Well, I'm sorry. Liberals tell us that. They do jobs that other Americans won't do, which is why we have to accept them here as a permanent low-paid underclass. So, I'm simply turning around everything the libs tell us about these groups back on them in terms of handicapping race Survivor, and I turn out to be public enemy Number One. I'm worse than the show. I'm a bigger problem than the show. I should be fired. The show can go on, but I should be fired.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: At any rate, I guess -- I guess I should learn. It ain't gonna stop me, folks. I mean, I'm -- understand, I'm just surprised at this reaction -- at the humorlessness of these people.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: This is a story from Reuters: "Taller people are smarter: study." [Singer/songwriter] Randy Newman was right. "While researchers have long shown that tall people earn more than [shrimps], it's not only social discrimination that accounts for the inequality -- tall people are [just] smarter than their height-challenged peers," according to a new study. I wonder if CBS factored this in assembling the teams, because we all know that Asians have -- they have a height problem. Yet, they're the brainiacs of the bunch, so how can we possibly assume that this study is correct? Well, I know we've got [NBA player] Yao Ming but, I mean, that's a little bit of an exception.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity
Network/Outlet
Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Rush Limbaugh
Show/Publication
The Rush Limbaugh Show
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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