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Reactions to Limbaugh's 'ching chong' mockery

Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr (Creative Commons)

In the 24 hours or so since radio host Rush Limbaugh mocked Chinese president Hu Jintao's speech yesterday, making a series of "ching chong, ching chow" sounds as his, er, approximation of Chinese language, the reaction has come swiftly, angrily, and on the late-night circuit, comically.

For the record, a bit of what was uttered, as posted on ColorLines:

They normally — you have some translator every couple of words. But Hu Jintao was just going CHING CHONG, CHING CHOW CHONG CHA, CHONG CHANG, CHING CHONG CHIBABABA, OH CHONGHING CHI CHIGARAI, CHENG CHI CHI. CHING ZHA BABA CHENGA CHENG CHI CHI CHI. CHANGI. OOOOOO. CHING CHOLABA BABA. GE CHOW CHOW BA.

The Atlantic Wire has compiled a list of reactions from media pundits and bloggers, among them Mediaite's Jon Bershad, who asks if Limbaugh will be subject to the same amount of backlash as comic Rosie O'Donnell was when she uttered similarly offensive sounds in 2006.

Last night, comic Stephen Colbert "translated" the meaning of Limbaugh's gibberish on The Colbert Report. From Talking Points Memo:

"My favorite doughnut is every doughnut," Colbert's translation read. "When I stand up, my chair smells like a cat shelter."

Several Asian American political leaders, among them Democratic California Assembly member Paul Fong of Cupertino, have demanded an apology. From AsianWeek:
“His remarks are, frankly, ignorant,” said Assemblymember Fong. “It makes him sound racist when he degrades people of other cultures.”

Lastly, Radio-Info.com reports that the video of Limbaugh mocking Hintao's speech has "gone viral" in China, featured on the English-language website Shanghaiist.
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