Friday, April 24, 2009

Freed Pirate Hostage Accuses Limbaugh Of 'Hate Speech'

SEEKONK, Mass. -- Shane Murphy, the second-in-command aboard the American merchant ship seized by pirates, lashed out at Rush Limbaugh for the talk show host's racial characterization in discussing the rescue of the ship's captain by the Navy.

Murphy, who returned to his Seekonk, Mass., home Friday, called Limbaugh a purveyor of "hate speech."

In commenting on the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips by the Navy Seals who shot and killed the three Somali pirates who were holding him captive, Limbaugh generated controversy when he called the pirates "black teenagers."

"There you have it, three teenagers shot on the high seas at the order of President Obama," said Limbaugh according to a transcript of an April 14 broadcast on his Web site.

"Just imagine the hue and cry had a Republican president ordered the shooting of black teenagers on the high seas," Limbaugh said.

Murphy said Limbaugh's remarks were unacceptable.

"It feels great to be home," Murphy said. "With the exception of Rush Limbaugh who is trying to make this into a race issue. It's disgusting."

"The president did the right thing. It's a war. It's about good versus evil. And what you (Limbaugh) said is evil, that is hate speech. I won't tolerate it," Murphy said.

Murphy said he and his family have had a difficult time since his release and return to the United States. The intense public attention on the rescue of the crew of the Maersk Alabama has made adjustment to a normal family life difficult, he said.

"We have not been left alone. We have not been allowed to go out and even do routine things," Murphy said.

Murphy, who took command of the ship after Phillips was taken hostage, said he and his family are trying to get through it all.

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