Limbaugh: Reporter Should Kill Himself
Rush Limbaugh has gotten everyone from Media Matters to The Guardian to Andrew Sullivan to Paul Krugman to Raw Story to FireDogLake up in arms because he allegedly suggested that a NYT reporter kill himself. Except that, to anyone familiar with either Limbaugh or the conventions of American English, it’s rather obvious he was illustrating absurdity by being absurd.
Here’s the actual quote, as supplied by Media Matters:
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?
Rather clearly, Limbaugh isn’t so angry about a silly blog post that he actually thinks Revkin deserves to die. Rather, he thinks Revkin is an idiot with really screwed up priorities. Limbaugh is employing standard reductio ad absurdum logic here:
- Revkin argues that we should reduce the number of babies being born as a means of reducing CO2 emissions and thereby saving the planet.
- By that logic, “the planet” is more important than people
- Revkin should demonstrate his commitment by ending his own life.
Update (Alex Knapp): Actually, Rush Limbaugh’s big crime here isn’t “telling someone to off himself” — it’s plagarism. This is almost exactly the same joke that the late, great comedian Bill Hicks did in his act around 1991:
People pay lip service to saving the planet, but they don’t — they fail to make the big leap that if you want to save the planet, kill your fucking self. The planet will be saved without you. And what a delightful place it’ll be.
I’ll give Limbaugh credit: he’s stealing from possibly the best comedian of the 20th Century.