Media Overlook Limbaugh’s Ethnically-Charged Insult Against LA Mayor

Yesterday, as ThinkProgress reported, Rush Limbaugh went on Fox News and insulted Los Angeles’s Hispanic mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Limbaugh said that when he first met Villaraigosa, he thought he “was either the shoe shine guy or a Secret Service agent.” Yesterday on his radio show, Limbaugh again repeated the story:

I shook his hand, he left, comes back, the mayor of Los Angeles, I thought it was a Secret Service agent, maybe a shoeshine guy. Turns out he gives me his card, I said, “Oh, my gosh, it’s the mayor of Los Angeles.” I stood up, I said, “Hello, Mr. Villaraigosa.

Limbaugh’s remarks were in response to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) joke that he has a crush on her. While major media outlets reported on Limbaugh’s Fox apearance, all overlooked his insult to Villaraigosa:

ABC’s Jake Tapper: Tapper noted the “shoe shine” quote, but did not note its discriminatory nature. [Link]


Time’s Mark Halperin: Halperin did not note the “shoe shine” quote at all, focusing instead on Limbaugh’s allegations that President Bill Clinton hit on his date. [Link]

Politico’s Jonathan Martin: Martin also did not note the “shoe shine” quote and also focused instead on Limbaugh’s allegations that Clinton hit on his date. [Link]

Portfolio reports that Villaraigosa plans to release a statement today in response to Limbaugh’s comments. Perhaps then the media might notice.


ThinkProgress has learned that Villagairosa’s office is not planning to put out a statement.


,Radio show host Mario Solis Marich writes:

There will be no national debate about whether he should step down as there was when Imus referred to a women’s basketball team in a derogatory fashion. There will be no national outrage like there was following the racist vocal vomiting of “comedian” Michael Richards. There will be no slam down and painful lame excuses like those offered by Mel Gibson after his anti-Semitic comments. The rules for Latinos are different.

Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition also responds here.