Sat, Jan 22, 2011 - Page 7 News List

Rush Limbaugh comes under fire for mocking Hu Jintao

AFP, WASHINGTON

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio host heard by millions of Americans, came under fire on Thursday from Asian Americans after he mocked the way visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) speaks.

The commentator lampooned Hu — who he called the “ChiCom dictator” — over his joint news conference on Wednesday with US President Barack Obama that was marred by a delay in translation.

“He was speaking and they weren’t translating. They normally translate every couple of words, but Hu Jintao was just going, ‘-ching chong, ching chong, chong,’” Limbaugh said, continuing his imitation at length.

Representative David Wu, the first Chinese American to serve in Congress and a member of Obama’s Democratic Party, criticized Limbaugh for his “pathetic childishness.”

“In doing so, he ridicules one of the world’s oldest languages, insults the Chinese American and Asian American communities and disrespects the 1.3 billion people of China,” Wu said.

Representative Mike Honda, a Japanese American Democrat who heads the Asian American caucus in Congress, accused Limbaugh of trying to “outpace others on all things inflammatory, ignorant and inane.”

Honda said that House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, met “diplomatically” with Hu on Thursday despite US differences with China.

“If we are to outpace each other on anything, let it be -statesman-like diplomacy, not grade-school incivility,” Honda said.

Limbaugh, a critic of Obama and his Democratic Party, is the most heard radio talk-show host in the US. Trade journal Talkers estimates he has a weekly audience of more than 15 million people.

Limbaugh, whose humor frequently causes controversy, was critical of Obama’s black-tie dinner for Hu. He said that China was detaining Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波), the writer and rights advocate who won the Nobel Peace Prize last month.

“Imagine if we had Al Gore locked up in jail. I know, we can dream. But imagine,” he said jokingly, referring to the former US vice president who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for drawing awareness to climate change.

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