CA Senator Leland Yee launches Rush Limbaugh ad boycott

By on Jan, 26 2011 with Comments 0

Well, we were a little surprised he still hasn’t apologized for mocking China’s President Hu Jintao on his 1/19 show. Two Chinese-American members of Congress had demanded that Rush apologize the comments that went something like, “Hu Jintao was just going ching chong, ching chong cha,” and then another 15 seconds more of an imitation of the Chinese leader ensued.

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., the first Chinese-American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, said she was “shocked and appalled” by Limbaugh’s comments. Oregon Rep. David Wu called Limbaugh’s statement an example of his “fundamental lack of character.” But it is Chinese-American California State Senator Leland Yee who’s organizing an effort to get advertisers to pull from the show, and others to boycott.

Yee, a Democrat who represents northern San Mateo County and western San Francisco, began reaching out 1/25 to dozens of civil rights organizations to ask them to condemn Limbaugh, reported The Contra Costa Times. His staff has compiled a list of the show’s sponsors and, with the help of the community groups, will begin putting pressure on them to pull their ads. Yee also wants people to stop patronizing the show’s advertisers and has launched an online petition for residents to join the boycott.

Yee — who is Chinese-American and running for mayor of San Francisco, where nearly one-third of residents are Asian — immediately asked for an apology. Limbaugh responded on his show the next day by saying he thought he did a “remarkable job” at replicating Hu’s words for his audience and mentioned comics have long been impersonating foreign languages.

“I have blown up Chinese culture, 3,000 years of it, in 18 seconds,” he said on the air after reading an article about Yee’s complaints. Limbaugh and a caller then poked fun at Yee.

In an interview Tuesday, Yee called Limbaugh’s words “extremely hurtful” and said the host’s follow-up comments compounded the insult.

“I think this is very damaging for children (to hear that) Rush Limbaugh thinks it’s OK to make fun of another language or make fun of those individuals who may speak another language,” Yee said.

Yee said he’s simply looking for an apology, which he hopes will start Limbaugh down a road toward “internal reflection” about his actions.

This isn’t the first time Yee has asked advertisers to boycott. In 2008, he and his supporters persuaded sponsors of the LPGA Tour to threaten to pull their ads from the women’s pro golfing circuit until it abolished its English-speaking-players-only policy, reported the paper.

RBR-TVBR observation: We still doubt this will lose any advertisers for his show–at least not any national ones. But any Bay Area stations carrying the show like KSFO have to be a little worried about their local advertisers if this spark goes to flame. Rush should make some kind of attempt at an apology instead of being proud of the move. Who knows how many folks Yee might get organized on this. This could also take on partisan steam if Rush is not careful. We would warn against a public pissing match as well–it might gain ratings, but at what cost?

Filed Under Radio News

About The Author: Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.

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