Conservative radio icon and honorary Hutt Rush Limbaugh really, really hates it when people call him “racist.” Just ask him. He hates it so much that, two weeks ago, he went off on a rant against the very idea of a black actor portraying fictional character James Bond, not because Rush Limbaugh is racist, but because the fictional character James Bond just is white, like Santa Claus and Jesus. Two weeks ago, Limbaugh responded to a hacked Sony email in which Sony Pictures Chair Amy Pascal bluntly says “Idris should be the next Bond,” referring to famous British actor Idris Elba, and told his audience that there’s no way Elba, “who is, I can’t say African-American, ’cause he’s British. African English. African Brit. He’s black,” could possibly portray the fictional superspy.
“James Bond was invented, created by Ian Fleming, a former spy, MI6, and James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming,” Limbaugh explained, adding “He was white and Scottish, period. That is who James Bond is. But now Sony is suggesting that the next James Bond should be Idris Elba, a black Briton rather than a white from Scotland. But that’s not who James Bond is, and I know it’s racist to probably even point this out.”
While Limbaugh has a hard time knowing what to call a black person in this crazy, mixed-up PC world, he obviously has bothered to Google James Bond. Of course, he knows that the character James Bond has been changed countless times, was first portrayed onscreen as an American by actor Barry Nelson, wasn’t assigned Scottish ancestry by author Ian Fleming until several years into Sean Connery’s portrayal, and has been played by Australian, Irish, and English actors since then.
Limbaugh then equated having a black actor portray James Bond with having a white actor (George Clooney) portray Barack Obama in a film, and made several other. similar comparisons. Limbaugh knows these are idiotic comparisons to make, because James Bond is a fictional character, and Barack Obama is a real person. He even points that out. “Now, admittedly, all these characters I’ve mentioned are real-life characters, and James Bond has never lived, per se, he’s a fictional character. But he was white and Scottish,” he said. That turned his entire point into complete fucking nonsense, rendering his entire objection to Idris Elba as James Bond a racial one. Limbaugh drew lines that many white Bond actors had crossed, and set up a completely illogical test case for his objection, leaving race as his only possible motivation. Why would a person do that?
In Limbaugh’s case, he did it so that people would call him racist, just for saying things that make perfect sense to his stupid, racist audience, who sit around wondering why there’s no White History Month, or when Hollywood will finally make a White-ula movie. Then Limbaugh, who hates being called racist so very much, can go back to that stupid, racist audience two weeks later, and play them tape of people calling him racist, and then explain that Amy Pascal is the real racist for trying to mollify Future Al Sharpton. Here are the highlights (Media Matters has the whole segment here):
But there’s no racism intended here. I have no bias whatever against Idris Elba. In fact, I think he’s a great actor. It isn’t even about him. This is about this gal Amy Pascal who thinks that Idris Elba would be a great James Bond, and we know why she says it. She’s trying to buy off Al Sharpton. She’s trying to buy off any of the other hustlers because she’s in trouble because of the Sony leak.
That’s right, folks, Amy Pascal sent an email last January in order to do damage control for the Sony leak that would happen eleven months later, and which included the email that Pascal was using to control the damage from it. We’re actually only calling Rush Limbaugh a racist now in order to distract Skynet from becoming self-aware.
There really is no reason why Idris Elba couldn’t play James Bond, whom Limbaugh describes as an “obviously white” character, but whose only real requirements are that he be British and smooth. Even though it’s never actually been a requirement, I bet Elba could even manage a Scottish accent if called upon. Limbaugh knows this, and deliberately makes bad arguments against it because his stupid. racist audience only requires him to do three things: be racist, tell them they’re not racist, and be offended when people call him racist. None of it has to make sense.
Be that as it may, Rush Limbaugh and his audience are people, too, so even if his comparison of James Bond to real-life figures is idiotic, we still owe it to them to give the premise a fair shot. Although James Bond isn’t a necessarily white fictional character, it wouldn’t hurt to throw Limbaugh a bone. If Idris Elba gets to play James Bond, we should give Rush Limbaugh and his audience a white Shaft. Although John Shaft actually is a necessarily black character (it’s right there in the song), I don’t think anyone, white or black, would object to giving Rush Limbaugh a white Shaft. I just doubt it would make as much money as an Idris Elba Bond film. Maybe that’s what Pascal had in mind, and not Future Al Sharpton.