You may have heard that Rush Limbaugh said some stupid, hateful shit about Haiti and how Obama blah blah blah. I never, ever listen to Limbaugh, so I, like most of you, I assume, only ever hear about the worst of the worse things that come out of his mouth. His most recent comments take the cake.
Many people on the left, like Olbermann, have said their piece (I have yet to hear anybody whatsoever on the right condemn Limbaugh).
None comes close in their rejoinders to Roger Ebert. It occurs to me, the two have at least one thing in common. They both have wide audiences. Limbaugh has millions of listeners a day, and Ebert has perhaps that many readers and fans. The differences start after that. One encourages, inspires, and nurtures a journey towards clearer, more mature discernment of nearly all things. The other takes direct advantage of the base ignorance of his following. One can be enjoyed by the illiterate. The other, well:
To: Rush Limbaugh
From: Roger Ebert
You should be horse-whipped for the insult you have paid to the highest office of our nation.
Having followed President Obama's suggestion and donated money to the Red Cross for relief in Haiti, I was offended to hear you suggest the President might be a thief capable of stealing money intended for the earthquake victims.
Here is a transcript from your program on Thursday:
Justin of Raleigh, North Carolina: "Why does Obama say if you want to donate some money, you could go to whitehouse.gov to direct you how to do so? If I wanted to donate to the Red Cross, why do I have to go to the White House page to donate?"
Limbaugh: "Exactly. Would you trust the money's gonna go to Haiti?"
Rush: "But would you trust that your name's gonna end up on a mailing list for the Obama people to start asking you for campaign donations for him and other causes?"
That's what was said.
Unlike you and Justin of Raleigh, I went to Obama's web site, and discovered the link there leads directly to the Red Cross. I can think of a reason why anyone might want to go via the White House. That way they can be absolutely sure they're clicking on the Red Cross and not a fake site set up to exploit the tragedy.
But let me be sure I have this right. You and Justin agree that Obama might steal money intended for the Red Cross to help the wretched of Haiti.
This conversation came 48 hours after many of us had seen pitiful sights from Port au Prince. Tens of thousands are believed still alive beneath the rubble. You twisted their suffering into an opportunity to demean the character of the President of the United States.
This cannot have been an accident. A day earlier, a sound bite from your show went viral, in which you said Obama would exploit the situation to please his "black followers -- both the light-skinned and the dark-skinned ones."
Sen. Harry Reid made his careless comment thoughtlessly. Yours must have came after some thought. A one-liner in code to please your listeners who enjoy hearing African-Americans discussed in racist language. Yes, racist -- as anyone living in this country must realize.
You have a sizable listening audience. You apparently know how to please them. Anybody given a $400 million contract must know what he is doing.
That's what offends me. You know exactly what you're doing.