Rush Limbaugh stepped over a line of bad taste today during his radio broadcast.
While I don’t often agree with Andy Revkin, I know what it is like to be on the receiving end of an ugly suggestion like what Rush uttered today, transcript below:
I think these militant environmentalists, these wackos, have so much in common with the jihad guys. Let me explain this. What do the jihad guys do? The jihad guys go to families under their control and they convince these families to strap explosives on who? Not them. On their kids. Grab your 3-year-old, grab your 4-year-old, grab your 6-year-old, and we’re gonna strap explosives on there, and then we’re going to send you on a bus, or we’re going to send you to a shopping center, and we’re gonna tell you when to pull the trigger, and you’re gonna blow up, and you’re gonna blow up everybody around you, and you’re gonna head up to wherever you’re going, 73 virgins are gonna be there. The little 3- or 4-year-old doesn’t have the presence of mind, so what about you? If it’s so great up there, why don’t you go? Why don’t you strap explosives on you — and their parents don’t have the guts to tell the jihad guys, “You do it! Why do you want my kid to go blow himself up?” The jihad guys will just shoot ‘em, ’cause the jihad guys have to maintain control.
The environmentalist wackos are the same way. This guy from The New York Times, if he really thinks that humanity is destroying the planet, humanity is destroying the climate, that human beings in their natural existence are going to cause the extinction of life on Earth — Andrew Revkin. Mr. Revkin, why don’t you just go kill yourself and help the planet by dying?
UPDATE: You can read it in entirety here: http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_102009/content/01125112.guest.html
At least Revkin takes it in stride in his column:
I’d like to think that Rush Limbaugh was floating a thought experiment, and not seriously proposing something, when he told millions of listeners the following: “Mr. Revkin, why don’t you just go kill yourself, and help the planet by dying.”
Rush should apologize, IMHO. We don’t need this sort of thing in any discussion. Disagree, argue, cite studies, yell if need be, but do not say this sort of ugly thing.
UPDATE: I posted this in comments, and I’m moving it here so that people can read it before jumping top the comment form.
With 188 over 270 comments, I think most everybody has had their say. Some say I was wrong to criticize, others supportive. It is about what I expected.
Having been on the receiving end of “why don’t you just kill yourself” suggestions myself, I don’t like to see it repeated by anyone, no matter the stature or situation. I was once told by a local eco-person that I should “study CO2 by locking myself in my garage with my SUV with the motor running”. While she couldn’t even get the chemical compound right, it was then that I chose not to reply in kind by wishing death on my opponents.
I simply think Rush could have chosen better words to voice the outrage, such as “if you really think this way, then you first, Mr. Revkin.” which would be humorous satire.
In Rush’s defense, doing live radio (or television) is tough when you ad lib everything. Eventually everyone who broadcasts this way will let loose a zinger for which they’ll take flak.
The only thing I can do is to stick to my principles. I try to keep the discourse civil here on WUWT. My dislike of the Limbaugh comment is a reflection of that. While I strongly disagree with Mr. Revkin on many, many, climate related issues, he has always been civil and respectful to me, and Rush probably does not have the first hand experience with him that I do in that regard.
Make of it what you will, but taking the high road in keeping discussions civil has been my choice and one that I do not regret.
Hopefully some good will come of the discussion. Let’s move on. There are more important issues. -Anthony