Rush Limbaugh wrote ‘Magic Negro’ Parody


Michelle Malkin, the Kewpie Doll from Hell™ has her panties in a bunch that anybody OTHER than Michelle Malkin has their panties in a bunch:

Gag-worthy: Bipartisan indignance over “Barack the Magic Negro” parody
By Michelle Malkin • December 29, 2008 01:16 PM

Oh, give me a super-sized break.

Leftie ’60s leftover/songwriter Peter Yarrow at the Huffington Post fumes over the “Barack the Magic Negro” parody that has RNC candidate Chip Saltsman in hot water.

All of sudden — after eight years of “F**k Bush” bumper stickers and “Kill Bush” assassination chic and Bush-or-Chimp parodies — the left is concerned about insulting the office of the Presidency?

Now, they are concerned with protecting the dignity of the office and with forging “commong [sic] ground and mutual respect?”: [punctuation also sic]

Ignoring for the moment the Orwellian flip “How dare anyone ‘left’ complain about anything anyone ‘right’ says when some on the ‘left’ said bad things about some on the ‘right’?”

(The incisive and irrefutable logick behind this argument never worked with any mother who ever lived, of course, but we have bigger fish to fry here.)


The song that is the subject of all this hoo-haw (and rightly so, as discussed yesterday, “Rushing to Limbo — Revisited“) began on the Rush Limbaugh show on March 19, 2007.

On his March 19, 2007 program, Limbaugh ad-libbed the song, which bit-man Paul Shanklin turned into the song that’s roiling the mediasphere. Wikipedia:

In December 2008, Chip Saltsman of Tennessee — a former chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and currently a candidate for chairman the Republican National Committee — became embroiled in controversy when he distributed the song on a “Christmas CD” to RNC members.[5]

But Rush Limbaugh actually wrote the song. Shaklin was just a flunkie.

From the transcript (courtesy of Media Matters) Limbaugh said this [emphasis added]:

Reverend Sharpton’s upset, you know, “Obama, where were you when we marched for justice in Selma?” and so forth. So clearly, it is a — I mean, it’s just remarkable to continue to witness the actual racism that exists on the left, using the term “Magic Negro” to apply to you white people who are supporting Obama. Singing a song in my head here during the break: “Barack, the Magic Negro, doo doo do doo.”

Rush realizes that he’s stepped over the line and begins weaving rationalizations, but continues supplying “lyrics” to his song:

Uh-oh, Dawn’s shaking her head on that. What are you saying, if I do that, I then will own the term, because I will be taking it above and beyond how it’s been used? Well, that’s what we always do here. We do parodies and satires on the idiocy and the phoniness of the left. We could throw in — yeah, we could put an L.A. Times lyric in there to make, you know, make it obvious who it was who actually used the term. I mean, don’t start telling me to shy away from this stuff. That’s why I’m where I am, that’s why I’m who I am, and for which I make no apologies. I’m very proud and happy.

And, lo and behold, the song is recorded on a CD by Paul Shanklin:

The song builds upon David Ehrenstein’s assertion in the Los Angeles Times that Barack Obama would serve as a “magical negro” to assuage white guilt. [1] The song’s lyrics explicitly refer to this:

“Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper
Said he makes guilty whites feel good
They’ll vote for him, and not for me
‘Cause he’s not from the hood.[2]

In the song, the singer impersonates civil rights/social justice activist Al Sharpton by using a megaphone while singing the song.

Now, if this were a big hit (and, leaving aside the theft of the music for a profit-making venture as noted yesterday), Rush Limbaugh’s lawyers would have an open and shut case for co-writer credit, were Shanklin merely an opportunist like, say, Dennis Miller, milking conservative bucks out of a political cash cow.


But Shanklin actually works for Limbaugh on an occasional basis (since 1993):

Paul Shanklin (born 1962) is an American conservative political satirist, impressionist, comedian, and conservative speaker.[1] A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Shanklin writes most of, and voices the characters for, the songs and satirical comedy segments used by conservative radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mike Fleming.

Shanklin first came to media attention after doing his vocal impersonation of then-President of the United States Bill Clinton for Memphis radio show host “The Big Kahuna”, Bill Young. Shanklin was brought to the attention of Limbaugh by announcer Johnny Donovan, and was first featured on Limbaugh’s show in 1993.

Title, tune, explicit instruction to put a “lyric” in about the LA Times? Al Sharpton?

Rush Limbaugh wrote the song, and Shanklin finished it up. Limbaugh was then criticized for playing the fruits of the Limbaugh/Shanklin collaboration:

Use of the term on the Rush Limbaugh show

Political commentator Rush Limbaugh was criticized in 2007 for playing the song during his talk radio show The Rush Limbaugh Show.[3] In response to reports about the controversy, Limbaugh defended his actions by noting that “If I were to think about Barack Obama being in any trouble — needing Secret Service — I would look to Clinton Inc. before I looked at me. Try that, drive-by media. Get that out there.”[4]

A typically specious “refutation.”

Come on: the use of the term “Magic Negro” 27 times in that broadcast by Limbaugh was not justified by Ehrenstein’s trope. It was Limbaugh finally getting to use the “N-word” with impunity after so many years of talking in “code.” All the bloviating and obfuscating in the world doesn’t change that. The added satanic fillip to this is that it lets racist Limbaugh accuse all “leftists” of being racist (and, therefore, by specious negation, Limbaugh ISN’T).

No: Limbaugh’s delight in using the term “magic negro” and his inferred order that his sound-flunky come up with the song parody speaks for itself far more eloquently than any long dissertation or explication. It is what it is, Limbaugh’s “Trent Lott” moment, when the mask slips just a little more than Limbaugh intended.

And Chip Saltsman’s mailing of the CD, and his defense meld it all into a perfect ball of snakes.

Huck PAC (Saltsman was an insider on the Mike Huckabee campaign) understands the explosive nature of the issue well enough to have issued a non-repudiation repudiation today [emphasis added]:

December 29, 2008 – 04:44 PM

Statement From Mike Huckabee
by Team Huck PAC

Hello Team Huck PAC-

Chip should have been more careful in his selection of Christmas gifts, but no one who knows him would ever suggest that he in any way would purposely disparage other people. Chip knows how sensitive such issues are. It shouldn’t be the main factor in the RNC race….

(Er … sounds more like a defense of Saltsman than a repudiation of the ‘Magic Negro’ parody, doesn’t it?)

Here is the audio where Rush “composes” the “hilarious” parody.

I’m sure that Rush would welcome the same scrutiny by the media for his role in the “l’Affaire Magic Negro” that Don Imus received for his “nappy headed hos” gaffe … which occurred at precisely the same time that Rush was stuffing his overlarge foot into his over-larger mouth.

Credit where credit is due.

And, as noted yesterday, Chip Saltsman, the Schmuck Who Would Be Chair, JUSTIFIED the clip using Limbaugh’s rationalization, nearly verbatim:

As the Washington Post reports: “Liberal Democrats and their allies in the media didn’t utter a word about David Ehrenstein’s irresponsible column in the Los Angeles Times last March. But now, of course, they’re shocked and appalled by its parody on ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show,’ ” Saltsman said in a statement …

Media Matters reports Limbaugh laying the same phony rhetorical “trap” (March 19, 2007):

“I’m going to keep referring to him as that because I want to make a bet that by the end of this week I will own that term,” adding, “If I refer to Obama the rest of the day as the ‘Magic Negro,’ there will be a number of people in the drive-by media and on left-wing blogs who will credit me for coming up with it and ignore the L.A. Times did it, simply because they can’t be critical of the L.A. Times, but they can, obviously, be critical of talk radio.”

If blame must needs devolve on the blameworthy, then let’s put it where it belongs: On the overample paunch of Mr. Limbaugh.

And Michelle Malkin has become so laughable of late that it’s difficult to realize that she’s NOT a Stephen Colbert-style parody of rightie lunacy.

No. She actually IS that crazy.


— ——————-

cross-posted from his vorpal sword

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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7 Responses to Rush Limbaugh wrote ‘Magic Negro’ Parody

  1. Paul B says:

    1. MAGIC is not derogatory. And with the free ride the PE got from the press this past year, it does seem the supernatural was involved.

    2. NEGRO is not derogatory. It is an anthropological name attached to a racial subtype. It is also Spanish for black. Black is not derogatory either.

    3. Bush was indeed compared to a chimp. Try the same with the PE and see what happens.

    4. Free Speech must be exercised, or we risk losing it. Parody IS free speech. Deal with it.

  2. classicalgregg says:

    The Republican Party consists of bottom feeders whose snarky, boy’s club remarks are legend. What they don’t get is that those “We are better then you are” remarks are not what this country needs or wants. It is not shocking or amazing that fellow Republicans are coming out with statements like,”I don’t see anything wrong…” because sadly they don’t. They have no discernable moral compass. It is of the greatest good fortune that the Republican Party is in a self-inflicted “downsize” mode.

  3. John Stone says:

    Rush Limbaugh has been doing that kind of stuff for years. He lies and makes fun of all Democrats. He is a bottom feeder and a scumbag! Only right wing loonies listen to him.

  4. Hart Williams says:

    1. The “Magic” song is not derogatory only if you’re delusional.

    Points 2, 3 and 4 only seem to confirm this diagnosis.

    2. Yes, it is. You’re white, right?

    3. Mothers and Judges agree: Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    4. Freedom of speech is not the same as freedom from consequences. The rest is a non-sequitur.

    Merely saying something is so does not make it so, much as Rush seems to believe that to be so.

  5. Darrell Prows says:

    The Playbook now calls for all true righties to say that politics were friendly and fun until GWB and that the left then polluted the entire political landscape with totally unwarranted vicious and unprecedented attacks.

    This completely ignores, of course, the parallel rant that everything wrong with this country up to 2006 was the fault of Bill Clinton, and everything after that the fault of the razor thin Democratic majority in Congress.

    It completely ignores the fact of the Republican effort, and eventual failure to impeach a popular President on grounds that had no public support, while true “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” have been glosssed over for eight years, and at least in part on the basis promoting national unity.

    It completely ignores the fact that nothing happening on the right now is one whit different from the crimes perpetrated by the Nixon administration, with the full support of the “Silent Majority” types, and actually resembles nothing of any historical reality prior to that. The Bush/Reagan spawn of hell progeny of Nixon may now be coming to an end but there is a lot to indicate that they have only entered into a period of strategic retreat to put some distance between their future aspirations and the worst excesses of a Presidency so bad that it is nearly impossible to say anything about it that is truly disrespectful.

  6. John Stone says:

    To Darrell Prows:

    Boy are you right! You hit the nail right on the head!

  7. Puff the magic dragon didn’t laugh and it back fired . Happy New Year !