There is "no real outrage" over Trayvon Martin's death, Rush Limbaugh declared on his radio show Thursday, just like there was no real outrage over the time he called Sandra Fluke a "slut" and demanded to see sex tapes of the Georgetown law student. Some conservatives, unsettled by the Martin case, have tried to deny racism is a problem by defining it out of existence -- racism can't be a problem if so few white people murder black people, they reason. Limbaugh is going a step further, arguing that public outrage over racism is fake too.
From the transcript at Limbaugh's site:
[T]he next time the media and the Democrat Party get all exercised about something happening in our country or in our culture or in our media, and when they're all in unity on it, the reaction ought to be they're lying. They're making it up. There's a political agenda here. There is no real outrage, for example.
All these people supposedly calling advertisers of this program. There was no angry consumer outrage. It was all trumped up. The same thing was attempted with the Trayvon Martin case. To create a false reality, to make it look like the country is as agitated as the left is, but it never is. The country is never as roiled and as agitated as the left is. They can succeed in upsetting people. But the object lesson here is to, from this point forward, just don't believe them.
It is surprising Limbaugh compares his sexist comments about Fluke to George Zimmerman's shooting of Martin, but it's not surprising that he thinks outrage over that event is fake. Several surveys contradict Limbaugh, such as a Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday showing 25 percent of Americans are following the Martin story more closely than any other story -- making it the top news Americans were interested in last week. It was also the top story Americans followed at all. A CNN poll this week showed 73 percent of Americans think Zimmerman should be arrested.
Limbaugh continued discussing the Martin outrage on his show, pointing to a British Daily Mail story about a black kid shooting a white British couple. He wonders why the American media didn't cover that case -- in which the killer was tried and convicted -- instead of Martin's, in which the killer has, so far, face zero legal consequences. Rush wonders: President Obama said that if he had a son, he'd look like Trayvon. So why didn't Obama mention that if he had a son, he'd also look like the kid who shot the British people? Per Rush:
I'll give you a little illustration here, a couple of examples. There's a story here in the UK Daily Mail. This is the British media. "Sarasota Murder: Shawn Tyson, 17, Found GUILTY of Killing 2 British Tourists in Florida -- A sneering teenager, nicknamed 'Savage', was today found guilty in the shooting deaths of two British tourists after days of damning evidence.
"Shawn Tyson, 17, was charged with two counts of first degree murder for killing James Cooper and James Kouzaris in April 2011 and was sentenced to life in prison. The Sarasota, Florida, jury of eight women and four men only deliberated for two hours before coming to the guilty sentence for Tyson." The story is that these two Brits came over here to Disney World for vacation, and this guy tried to rob them. They didn't have any money, so he just killed them. They're white; he's black. You're not hearing about this in the US media 'cause this will not fit with what they're trying to make you believe in the Trayvon Martin case.
Now, the important thing about the Trayvon Martin case, we don't know yet who is it that's jumped the gun, who is it that's trying to make that story fit into their template. It's them. Who is it that's waiting to see what really happened and let just take its course? It's us. Now, this shooter is also 17 years old. The victim in the Trayvon Martin case, 17 years old. In one instance our president calls the media together and says: You know what, Trayvon Martin, if I had a son, that's who he'd look like. You will not hear him say of 17-year-old Shawn Tyson: You know what, if I had a son, that's who he looks like. Won't hear him say that.
Media Matters has the audio:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.