A flood of harsh criticism has been unleashed on President Obama following last weekend’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner, where one entertainer suggested death for talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh by stating, “I hope his kidneys fail.”
Limbaugh on today’s radio program ignored the antics of Wanda Sykes, who appeared at the annual dinner in Washington. But others came quickly to his defense, including Eric Golub at Big Hollywood.
“Calling somebody a murderer and wishing for their kidneys to fail, even in the context of a joke, is evil. Yet I don’t want Wanda Sykes to die. I don’t want her kidneys to fail. I want her to become a better human being. For now, the world will be a better place if Wanda Sykes has one thing fail…her vocal cords,” he wrote.
The incident at the formal press dinner is posted on YouTube and embedded here:
Sykes said to the audience, which included the president and first lady:
“Rush Limbaugh said he hope this administration fails. So you’re saying, ‘I hope America fails.’ He just wants the country to fail. To me, that’s treason. He’s not saying anything different than what Osama Bin Laden is saying. You know, you might want to look into this, sir, because I think maybe Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was just so strung out on OxyContin he missed his flight.
“Rush Limbaugh? ‘I hope the country fails,'” continued Sykes. “I hope his kidneys fail, how about that? He needs a little waterboarding. That’s what he needs.”
WND founder and editor Joseph Farah said, “Accusing people of treason, terrorism and wishing they would be tortured and die – that’s what passed for high comedy at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner Saturday.
“I’m glad I saved $200 per ticket and the cleaning bill that would have followed – not for the tux, mind you, but for the disinfectant I would have needed after rubbing shoulders with those yucking it up over ‘jokes’ in such bad taste,” he said.
Tony Harnden, U.S. editor for the London Telegraph, said, “What was Wanda Sykes thinking? Perhaps more to the point, what was President Barack Obama thinking when he laughed and smiled as the comedienne wished Rush Limbaugh dead?”
He called Sykes’ presentation a “hateful and disgusting diatribe.”
“I was at the dinner and I began by laughing at Sykes’s gentle teases about the press loving Obama so much they never capture him on film smoking but often seem to get him on the beach. It was amusing when she quipped that Obama trying so hard to be all things to all men that the next thing is he’ll be seen mowing the White House lawn,” he said.
“But the speech took a very ugly turn when she laid into Limbaugh.
“She called Limbaugh a terrorist and a traitor, suggested that he be tortured and wished him dead. … What was his crime? Hoping that Obama’s policies – which he views as socialist – will fail. That’s way, way beyond reasoned debate or comedy and Obama’s reaction to it was astonishing,” he said. “Imagine if a comedian ‘joked’ that Obama was a terrorist who was guilty of treason and should be tortured and allowed to die. There would justifiably be an outcry.
“But when the ‘joke’ comes from a liberal, Obama-supporting comedienne and the target is a right-winger then the likes of Hilary Rosen and Donna Brazile are on CNN saying it’s just comedy and Limbaugh is ‘fair game,” he said.
“Wanda Sykes is a black, female, lesbian, liberal. Rush Limbaugh is a white, male, heterosexual, conservative. Therefore, his criticism of Barack Obama’s policies are considered hate speech, while her calling Rush a murderer who she wished death upon is considered comedy,” he said.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said today the subject was not appropriate for a comedy routine.
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