As three families in China continued to mourn the shattering, unexpected loss of their teenage daughters in last week's Asiana Airlines crash, right wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh spent a second straight day laughing about a cruel tv prank that reduced the tragic accident to a joke:
"I am still laughing, and I'm still jealous over the people that punked the TV station in San Francisco with the names of the flight crew on that Asiana Airlines accident. Captain Sum Ting Wong, Copilot Wi Tu Lo, Flight Engineer Ho Lee Fuk, and Chief Flight Attendant Ow that Hurt. Or whatever."
Limbaugh was referring to a joke played on a San Francisco news anchor, who mistakenly read faux-Chinese names of the flight crew aimed at mocking the circumstances of the fatal crash:
"We have new information also on the plane crash. KTVU has just learned the names of the four pilots who were on board the flight. They are captain Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow. The NTSB has confirmed these are the names of the pilots on board flight 214 when it crashed. We are working to determine exactly what roles each of them played during the landing on Saturday."
(You can see video of the news bit here if you're interested)
On Monday, Limbaugh spent even more time slapping his knee over the crash prank. After deftly slipping in a comment about "little people in their pajamas," he said
"It's a Fox affiliate, and that probably ticked 'em off even more. You had this clueless infobabe. I mean, folks, I hope you've had a chance to actually see this, because the look on the anchor's face, the infobabe's face, after she reads the copy is priceless. I mean, they've got a graphic up there. Ostensibly the airline released the names of the flight crew, and they've got these names -- and, by the way, the NTSB approved this!
She was just gonna see what's on the prompter for the first time, and she's reading these names, and the look on her face after she reads the copy illustrates she was probably reading it for the first time. Imagine a TV screen filled with a big blue graphic with the chyron names bigger than usual. You have a big screen, and they're up there -- I mean, they're huge. The chief pilot was "Sum Ting Wong," three names. The copilot, "Wi Tu Lo."
The next one I can't say. It's got an F-bomb. But they put it up there. It was on the screen "Ho Lee..." (laughing) F-u-k. On the screen! And the woman's reading it. The anchor's reading it. The final name was "Bang Ding Ow." I'm telling you, the reading of this with all solemnity and so forth in addition to seeing it, makes this what it is. So somebody pulled a great, great prank here. Ah, it reminded me of some of my greats, some of the things that I have done in my earlier broadcast career."
The prank Rush Limbaugh was laughing about stemmed from a plane crash that resulted in the death of three teenaged Chinese girls who were headed to the San Fernando Valley for a three week church camp.
Wang Linjia was reportedly a quiet, hardworking student who excelled in science and calligraphy. Her last blog post read "Give yourself some affirmation, you're stronger than you think. It's only called youth because it's painful. I always feel like there's not enough time, yet I have no idea where my time goes." Wang did not receive medical attention until 14 minutes after the crash and died on the scene.
Ye Mengyuan was Wang's best friend. She was a skilled piano player and athlete who recently won a national aerobics competition. Her name means "wish come true" in Chinese. Ye was injured in the airplane crash, then became covered with fire-retardant foam. While she was laying under the foam she was struck and killed by a fire truck.
Liu Yipeng was a year younger than her two schoolmates, at 15. She enjoyed playing video games and performed well in math, physics, and writing. Liu sustained severe head and abdominal injuries in the accident and died in the hospital 6 days later.
These girls were put on a plane to the United States by proud parents who never imagined they were seeing their children for the last time. Both the children and their families deserve to be respected, not used as the butt of a cruel joke.
The three girls are pictured below:
Rush Limbaugh's biggest regret this week--since Zimmerman was acquitted--isn't the loss of three young promising lives. It's that he wasn't the one who thought of a clever way to trivialize that loss and sprinkle it with some sixth grade racism.
Limbaugh does have a pretty healthy resume when it comes to sixth grade racism of the Chinese variety. If you haven't heard it, listen to this audio of the right wing blowhard mimicking Chinese President Hu Jintao in 2011, then commenting that Chinese "looks like chicken scrawls" and "sounds like all the same word."
I'm going to state the obvious here--Rush Limbaugh doesn't have a decent bone in his body. He may be at home right now honing his mock Chinese, just waiting for another tragedy to open the door. And you better believe he won't miss his chance this time.
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