N-word war: Rush Limbaugh rips Rachel Jeantel, CNN, Piers Morgan
The summer of bigotry debate rolls on, with Rush Limbaugh now attacking Rachel Jeantel and CNN for her analysis of the N-word Monday night.
The conservative radio host ripped Jeantel and CNN for her sit-down with network host Piers Morgan. Jeantel was a friend of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager shot by watch volunteer George Zimmerman, and a controversial witness at Zimmerman’s trial. She criticized the not-guilty verdict and also argued that the N-word - uttered with an “a” rather than an “r” at the end - could be used broadly to describe any male, not just a black one.
“I think I can now” say the word, Limbaugh sarcastically told his listeners. “Isn’t that the point? ‘Cause it’s not racist ... I could be talking about a male, a Chinese male, a guy at the laundromat. I could be talking about a man.”
Limbaugh didn’t stop there. He also facetiously noted that CNN is “in a quest to become the most-respected news organization in the country” and derided Morgan as an “ever-penetrating inquisitor.”
Reaction to the Jeantel interview came quickly from other quarters as well. Radio host Tammy Bruce detected a double standard with the summer’s other big racial controversy involving the N-word. “So Paula Deen’s crime 27 years ago was using “er” at the end of a forbidden word instead of “a” ??,” she tweeted about the disgraced celebrity chef.
But it looks as if CNN may have had the last laugh. The network piled up big ratings Monday night, according to Nielsen. Morgan’s show, which has sometimes struggled in recent months, delivered an average of 1.4 million total viewers, a strong No. 2 to Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News (1.9 million). And Morgan decisively beat Hannity in the key demographic of adults aged 25 to 54.
What do you think of the latest N-word controversy?
Inside the business of entertainment
The Wide Shot brings you news, analysis and insights on everything from streaming wars to production — and what it all means for the future.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.