Nothing brings out the idiots like a natural disaster. And apparently the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is no exception.
By now we have all heard about Gilbert Gottfried’s insensitive comments costing him his job as voice of the Aflac duck. And though Gottfried has apologized, still others have continued to make insensitive comments; that list includes rapper 50 Cent. But the comments have also been spoken by those in the quasi-political world like, you guessed it, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.
Before I continue I should point out that humor is a matter of taste, and any fan of The Chappelle’s Show or South Park or Curb Your Enthusiasm, has often had their limits tested. And everyone’s limits are different. This makes for dangerous territory in a world where funny is often defined by how you push those limits.
Now, on to Rush and Glenn. Let’s start with Rush because he is still bigger than Glenn. Literally and figuratively.
On a recent show, the big guy decided to devote some part of his program to responding to a report that ABC’s Diane Sawyer did on earthquake victims in Japan who are continuing to recycle. Here is what Limbaugh said:
“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 crosshairs, 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?”
Fascinating stuff. My grade school teachers used to say there is a time and place for everything. And the more I think about insensitive commentary following a disaster, the more it makes sense that the time and place for it would be the mid-morning on whatever station Rush is on.
Listen, I don’t want to get into anyone’s beliefs. But, I am interested to see how people feel about connecting human actions, whatever they are, to major earthquakes. As far as I can tell, and I am not an expert, giant plates shifting is the cause of earthquakes, not bad behavior. I won't even touch what “bad behavior” Beck thinks is angering God to such a degree that would cause such destruction and devastation. But I'm sure some readers have a few thoughts (feel free to post yours in the comments section below).
Other television personalities are weighing in. Enter the fine ladies of "The View," who decided to wade into the debate. Whoppi Goldberg got right into it. "If this is because we’re misbehaving and God is [angry], I would check the mirror Glenn,” she said. The video of that enlightening is also posted below.