By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
The collateral damage from Sarah Palin's broadside against Rahm Emanuel for his "retard" comments keeps spreading. Her spokeswoman today flamed Rush Limbaugh (even after Limbaugh said Palin would know better) and the former Alaska governor also blasted a top aide to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, for whom Palin will soon be campaigning.
Now comes an audio clip of Palin ally Glenn Beck having a laugh about paintings of "retarded children."
Limbaugh had joked that Emanuel, who would be meeting with disability advocates at the White House, would be hosting a "retard summit." He also attacked the political correctness of those denouncing Emanuel's remarks, a group whose highest profile member is Palin. Today he lashed out on his radio show today at "drive-byes" who were "trying to goad Sarah Palin into denouncing me just like she denounced Rahm Emanuel. But Sarah Palin knows I'm quoting Rahm Emanuel."
Rush is full of something other than the truth, and Palin seems to know it. Greg Sargent reported this afternoon that Palin's spokeswoman had tough words for Limbaugh (though less tough, of course, than she had for Emanuel). Asked for a comment about Limbaugh's rant, Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton emailed Sargent, "Governor Palin believes crude and demeaning name calling at the expense of others is disrespectful.”
Rush was at least the second Republican to come under Palin fire on the issue. Perry's top political adviser got an admonition from Stapleton for "crude and demeaning" and "disrespectful" and crude remarks. (He apparently repeatedly used the "r-word" during a conference call with an opposing campaign.)
Then there's Beck, who is himself the father of a special needs child. He was speaking on his radio show last month to actress (and, apparently, artist) Mary Lynn Rajskub (of 24 fame) and asked her about paintings she does. When she says she particularly enjoys painting "retarded children and paintings of the insane," laughter can be heard on Beck's end of the line. Then Beck, trying to suppress laughs, starts to ask how much the paintings of the "retarded" children go for. When she asks if there are "people laughing in the background," he replies that, "we're not laughing, we're just imagining that those would be nice. ... Honestly, I've been looking for one of those, but I haven't seen them."
Unable to keep from laughing, Beck adds that he has "no idea if you really do this or you're just screwing with people." She's being serious, she insists. You can hear the entire audio at Media Matters.
So is Beck, who like Limbaugh Palin thanked in her book, next on the ritual condemnation list?