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Rush Limbaugh

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RUSH: I meant to touch on this yesterday, and there was a lot going on. The state dinner last week honoring the Chinese dictator Hu Jintao featured musical performances following dinner. One of the musical performances was by the Chinese pianist Lang Lang. Lang Lang played an anti-American propaganda melody from the Korean War, the theme song to the movie Battle on Shangganling Mountain. Now, apparently the tune is universally known in China, and there have been some people who have said that Lang Lang and perhaps others intended a political message.

‘Lang expressed this idea more frankly in a later blog post, writing: ‘Playing this song praising China to heads of state from around the world seems to tell them that our China is formidable, that our Chinese people are united; I feel deeply honored and proud.” The New York Times has said: ‘One of the highlights of the state dinner was a performance by Lang Lang, a Chinese pianist who has been a sensation in music circles. Mr. Lang played a duet with the American jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, then a haunting traditional Chinese melody called ‘My Motherland.’

In China, it turns out, ‘My Motherland’ is better known as the theme from the film ‘Battle on Shangganling Mountain,’ a 1956 Chinese classic about a Korean War battle in which a vastly outnumbered band of Chinese soldiers held off American and United Nations forces for 42 days. If, in retrospect, ‘My Motherland’ might seem to be a regrettable choice for a state dinner, it clearly was unintentional. Mr. Lang, an American-trained pianist who divides his time between the United States and China, is an artist who melds American and Chinese cultures.’

Jay Nordlinger, at National Review’s Corner blog, wrote this: ‘Last week, I had a note in this space about Lang Lang, who has become a kind of court pianist for President Obama and the Chinese leadership — the Chinese dictatorship, to put it more bluntly. He played at the Beijing Olympics. He played at Obama’s Nobel ceremony. He played at the White House event for Paul McCartney — the one at which McCartney made a ridiculous anti-Bush crack, which caused Lang Lang and the Obama crowd to laugh like hyenas. And he played at Obama’s state dinner last week for Hu Jintao. What did he play? Most notably and significantly, he played a famous anti-American propaganda song. Famous in China, that is. Wei Jingsheng, the great Chinese democracy leader, exiled in the United States since 1997, wrote a letter to Congress and Secretary of State Clinton.

‘He said, ‘I listened to that music with a big shock.’ Wei explained that the song, ‘My Country,’ or ‘My Motherland,’ comes from ‘the best-known Communist propaganda movie about the Korean War,’ depicting the Chinese army’s fight with the Americans. The movie is called The Battle of Triangle Hill. Wei said that the movie is as well-known in China as Gone with the Wind is here. The song refers to the Americans as ‘wolves’ or ‘jackals,’ and says that the Chinese will use weapons to deal with them. Wei commented, ‘Is that not an insult to the USA to play such … music at a state dinner hosted by the US President? No wonder it made Hu Jintao really happy.’ Yes, no wonder. As Wei pointed out, Hu is not ordinarily given to public emotion, but he emotionally embraced Lang Lang.

‘The Epoch Times quotes a Chinese psychiatrist living in Philadelphia, Yang Jingduan: ‘In the eyes of all Chinese, this will not be seen as anything other than a big insult to the U.S. It’s like insulting you in your face and you don’t know it, it’s humiliating.’ In his letter, Wei said that so-called patriotic Chinese — supporters of the Communist party and the dictatorship — were ecstatic over ‘My Motherland’ at the White House. One such ‘patriotic Chinese’ exclaimed, ‘The right place, right time, right song!” So a controversy has erupted over the repertoire of the Chinese pianist Lang Lang. It was a secret, behind their back laugh insult to the United States in the home of the president, with the president and the first lady yukking it up, smiling, and applauding between bites of watercress vinaigrette. Many people believe this. The Los Angeles Times has a story on this: ‘Chinese Pianist Lang Lang Puzzled His White House Song About Defeating U.S. Military ‘Jackals’ Offends.’

The White House, for their part, said, (paraphrasing) ‘Just because the lyrics call US soldiers jackals doesn’t mean it’s an insult.’ ‘Lang Lang. Gee, those Americans are really touchy.’ This is what the LA Times says. ‘Who would have thought that a Chinese pianist entertaining at the Obama White House state dinner last week to promote Chinese-American friendship with Chinese President Hu Jintao…’ That’s not what was being promoted. One thing we know is that Trump is right. The ChiComs are playing us like a Stradivarius, laughing about it all the while. They know that they’ve got a little pretend dictator in the White House, one of their own, guy who looks up to ’em. Lang Lang’s become the court pianist for the regime.

The idea that any of this ‘could possibly offend anyone by tickling the old ivories with a favorite song about the Chinese People’s Liberation Army enduring great hardships but finally killing sufficient enemy troops to win a 1952 Korean War battle against American soldiers? What’s to be offended by such a musical choice unless, perhaps, you’re not a Chinese Korean War vet? The 28-year-old Chinese pianist Lang Lang says he wanted to ‘bridge cultures’ using music. He attempted to explain his musical choice by saying: ‘It has been a favorite of mine since I was a child,’ adding, ‘It was selected for no other reason than for the beauty of its melody.’ … A spokesman for the Obama White House says any suggestion that it’s an insult to play a patriotic Chinese song that refers to American troops as ‘jackals’ in the US president’s house is ‘just flat wrong.”

So a song that calls US troops jackals is played at a state dinner, everybody’s laughing about it, and the White House says that’s not an insult, you’re just flat wrong about it. So Lang Lang says he wants to build bridges. Isn’t that what the 9/11 mosque developer says, too? That he wants to build bridges. From the ABC News website, Political Punch: ‘White House Says Chinese Folk Song Played During State Dinner Was Not An Insult; Experts Divided.’ Chinese Web users are claiming that pianist Lang Lang’s choice of the tune: ‘It’s deeply meaningful to play this in the United States, but I don’t know if the Americans can understand? Ha ha.’ We get it when it’s explained to us. But anyway, it’s now bubbled up. It may be one of the reasons Bush didn’t give a state dinner. It’s stuff like this. But, anyway, they got their state dinner, and they knew that Lang Lang was the court pianist, if you will, for the regime. We have a little bit of the tune here. We actually have two minutes of it. And just so you know what this is all about, it’s famous in China, anti-American propaganda melody. Some would say it’s actually a song about fighting the United Nations, but American troops were referred to as jackals. And during his performance, this is a portion of what Lang Lang did. (playing of song)

RUSH: I don’t think anybody sings along here, so I just want to give you a flavor for it.

(continued playing of song)

RUSH: Do you remember when Pope Benedict came to the White House I think in the last year and a half of the Bush regime, his birthday out there? They brought in the Army band, the Army Chorus, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and that moved me. I played that version on the program for a couple days in a row. But at the state dinner for Hu Jintao we had this tune in which American soldiers are referred to as jackals. There you have it. That’s enough. Since there are no lyrics, really doesn’t serve much purpose to play it any further, other than it is well played. You have to say.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Imagine… Imagine if Herbie Hancock had played an anti-ChiCom song at the state dinner. I don’t even know of any anti-ChiCom songs. Do you know of any anti-ChiCom songs? I don’t, either, but I’m sure there are some out there. Can you imagine if Herbie Hancock had… Folks, do you realize had I tried… (chuckles) If I had tried to sing along in Chinese to Lang Lang’s piano solo, do you realize the international incident that would occur? We don’t dare talk about Tiananmen Square. You bring that up, and the ChiComs are insulted. You bring up the Falun Gong, they are insulted. You bring up the Dalai Lama, they say, ‘Make him walk out the back door next to the trash.’ You bring up the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner that they are holding in jail…? How about that? The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner hosts a dinner for the guy keeping the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner in jail. Then they show up and play an anti-American tune by the pianist Lang Lang, and if I had dared to sing along in Chinese with that can you imagine the international incident? Interpol would be at the front door already! Maybe we could say, ‘Hello, Dalai,’ as in D-a-l-a-i. Hello, Dalai. (singing) ‘So nice to have you back where you belong,’ and a trash truck driving up.

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