Okay, I'll start things off by stating the obvious.
Don Imus is an asshole.
There, I said it. Okay, now we can proceed.
Actually, I didn't even really have the desire to make mention of this whole sordid affair. It's not that what Imus said about collegiate womens' basketball players wasn't appalling (it was). It's just that I really don't care. Let's face it, after four decades on the air, any casual listener (and non-listener) knows that Imus is a grouchy curmudgeon. He hates everyone. Liberals and conservatives. Democrats and Republicans. He hates 'em all. And for some strange reason, there lies his appeal to his listeners.
I've never met the guy. Nor do I have a desire to. I did know someone who has. From the description she gave, he basically sounds like a cruel, hostile, evil man. And the phony cowboy gimmick doesn't make him any more warm and fuzzy.
For anyone reading this that has been living under a rock for the past week or so, Imus got himself into some pretty hot water during an on-air exchange last week with his fill-in sports guy, Sid Rosenberg and executive producer Bernard McGuirk. In the conversation, they were talking womens' college basketball. Imus referred to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed ho's," and that they looked like the players from the Toronto Raptors. Nice. The fun didn't stop there, since this was followed by his sports guy working in a reference to last week's Rutgers-Tennessee women's NCAA final, by way of a reference to a Spike Lee flick that was probably far from what Lee intended. Of course, this kind of light banter is nothing new to Imus in the Morning. He once referred to PBS correspondent Gwen Ifill as a "cleaning lady." A few years back, Rosenberg called Venus Williams an "animal," and said that one would stand a better chance of seeing a layout of her and her sister Serena in National Geographic rather than Playboy. Okay, so these guys have some issues that need addressing.
And then came the shitstorm. Unlike previous times, when Imus was so confident in his job security that he could get away with saying just about anything, they all turned on him. His reliable guests, often consisting of a who's who of the D.C. beltway and national media, bailed. Advertisers did as well. Could it be that he just went to far? Or that we just all needed a new controversy to wrap our lazy minds around? Now that we know who Anna Nicole's baby's daddy is, we can move on to scrounge up a new scandal du jour. Well, timing sucks. Imus is in trouble.
Of course, following every boneheaded public racist gaffe, from Jimmy the Greek to Mel Gibson to Michael Richards, comes the inevitable apology circuit. First stop was the radio show of Al Sharpton, one who hardly ever misses a scandal involving race. Now, for someone with the gargantuan ego that Imus possesses to stoop so low as to grovel on someone else's radio show, especially Al Sharpton's, well, that says a lot. For someone as self-absorbed as Imus to resort to addressing Sharpton as "yes, sir," well, you know he must be sweating (here's the audio). And after hearing Sharpton's banter, I thought perhaps Air America hired the wrong guy to replace Sam Seder.
Following Sharpton's show, Imus made the rounds of the news channels, the Today Show, and anyone else with a few cameras and a dedicated cable outlet. Unfortunately, this was too much controversy for his handlers. CBS, which distributes the radio show through their Westwood One syndication arm and MSNBC, which airs the video feed, gave him a two week involuntary vacation starting next Monday. MSNBC colleague Keith Olbermann said on his ESPN Radio show that he doubts his network will welcome Imus back. (UPDATE: This afternoon, MSNBC gave Imus the boot).
Essentially, this could be seen as proof that karma does indeed exist. Just like the sleazy Joe Francis (the "Girls Gone Wild" guy), who will hopefully have done to him behind bars what he has done to various young women over the past few years, Imus has basically gotten his comeuppance.
So, should Imus be fired once and for all? Who knows? Often, these scandals disappear after a short time, once another scandal comes around that our alleged mainstream media decides to pound into the susceptible minds of America. But "nappy headed hos" is not the first instance of fiery racist rhetoric or hostile audio nasties blasted out over the airwaves of our great country. Lots more where that came from. For example:
"(Cynthia McKinney) looks like ghetto trash. Get a braider over there ... quick!"
Oh wait, that was Neal Boortz who said that.
Or, "You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray . We miss you, James. Godspeed."
Oops, sorry. That was Rush Limbaugh.
"...Slavery built the South. I'm not saying we should bring it back; I'm just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark."
My bad. Limbaugh again.
"Take that bone out of your nose and call me back."
"Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?"
"The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies."
Yep. Limbaugh again.
"You open the door to them (immigrants), and the next thing you know, they are defecating on your country and breeding out of control."
Threw you all a curveball. That was Michael Savage who said that.
"(If) you wanted to reduce crime ... if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down... (aborting all African-American babies) would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do.. but the crime rate would go down"
That was Salem morning guy Bill Bennett.
Oh, and don't get me started on Glen Beck and Ann Coulter. I'm trying to keep this article short.
So, for wingnuts who want Imus' head chopped off, and say that 'well, if a conservative talk radio guy said what Imus did, they'd be fired.' Sorry, doesn't fly here. All those guys mentioned above are still working and flourishing. Am I saying Imus gets a pass because of all those other loud mouthed idiots? Of course not. Am I saying that I have heard so much of this trash over the years that I've perhaps become totally immune to it all and don't really give a shit about these people anymore? I'd say yes.
There are a lot of problems in the world today. Iran and their dimwitted dictator are on the verge of starting a war with somebody, anybody. Just this morning I paid roughly $0.70 a gallon more for gas than I did several months ago. And I have to repeatedly check an online list to find out what kind of food I can buy for my cats and dog, since some cheap-assed corporations would rather kill our pets than spend money on quality ingredients. So, do I really care about some narcissistic old media goons, totally removed from the entire outside world, who take limousines to work and spout hateful rhetoric over the airwaves? Sorry, I really don't anymore.
Oh, but what's to become of Dannielynn Smith?
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Okay, I'll start things off by stating the obvious.