Rush Limbaugh defends controversial Japanese refugee comments

Posted Mar 18, 2011 by Kim I. Hartman
Rush Limbaugh found himself in the cross-hairs of the American media when the comments he made about a ABC news special - filmed at a Japanese refugee camp featuring Diane Sawyer - were interpreted as "mocking the victims of the disaster."
Radio talk show host Limbaugh is back in the national news after a segment was aired on his daily show in which he poked fun at environmentalists and the Japanese people for recycling while living at a refugee camp in the midst of the tragedy that has stricken the country.
"Rush Limbaugh responded (see video) to criticism that he was insensitive to Japanese victims by clarifying that he actually 'bucked the conventional wisdom' by not making fun of the Japanese people and instead only mocked ABC’s Diane Sawyer. Distinguishing himself from the likes of Gilbert Gottfried, Rush said all he’s guilty of is “cramming it down the throats of the liberals,” according to Mediaite.
This isn't the first time the controversial Limbaugh has found himself under fire over comments he made about the Japanese people. Limbaugh imitated (video) Chinese President Hu Jintao's speech from a press conference with United States President Barack Obama earlier this year and the video went viral. His behaviour was condemned by California State Senator Leland Yee who said, "His action were 'hurtful' to the Japanese community."
The recent fuss begin when a caller asked: "I need some of your wisdom. I'm confused. At the top of the first hour, you played a clip. Diane Sawyer, I believe, about the recycling that is still going on in Japan. If these are the people that invented the Prius, have mastered public transportation, recycling, why did mother earth, Gaia if you will, hit them with this disaster."
Limbaugh responded by playing the clip again in which Diane Sawyer said: "This is a shelter. Some of these people here for days, and look, it's recycling. Organized for recycling. Plastic, combustible, burnable, canes."
Limbaugh said:
Did I really hear this? Did I really hear -- Diane Sawyer is in a refugee camp in Japan. My god, she sounds like she saw her husband for the first time in six months there. Oh, it's recycling, look, organized for -- these people are in the midst of earthquake devastation and the credit they're getting is for recycling and our caller Chris with a great question.
The Japanese have done so much to save the planet. He's right. They've given us the Prius. Even now, refugees are still recycling their garbage, and yet Gaia levels them [laughs], just wipes them out. Wipes out their nuclear plants, all kinds of radiation. What kind of payback is this? That is an excellent question.
They invented the Prius. In fact, where Gaia blew up is right where they make all these electric cars. That's where the tsunami hit. All those brand new electric cars sitting there on the lot. I like the way this guy was thinking. It's like -- it's like Gaia hit the Prius in [inaudible]. It's like they were in the cross-hairs, if we can use that word, it does. What is Gaia trying to tell us here? What is the mother of environmentalism trying to say with this hit? Great observation out there, Chris
While Limbaugh has denied he was making fun of the victims of the disaster he did admit that he found it funny to think about recycling in the midst of the nuclear rubble. He said it was like "spitting on the fire and wasn't really relevant." Limbaugh said he was using 'irreverant humor' to make his point.
As to claims he was 'mocking the earthquake victim' as the news media has claimed, Limbaugh said, “I don’t worry about things that I have no control over."