Friday, April 13, 2007

A Few Words About Don Imus

As readers of this blog know, my day job has prevented me from posting more frequently in recent weeks. Thankfully, this project consuming so much of my time should be concluded in another ten days.

In the meantime, I wanted to put in my two cents about the Don Imus controversy. Ironic that as we approach the sixtieth anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s Major League Baseball debut, Don Imus's tastless joke about the Rutgers University women's basketball team cost him his radio job.

Sixty years ago that would've been unthinkable. In Jackie Robinson’s lifetime, hate speech was common in the public square. Father Coughlin for example stoked anti-Semitism on his radio program as the Holocaust raged in Europe. Imus is hardly the rabble-rouser or hate monger Father Coughlin was. Nor is he as bad as more contemporary radio personalities such as the infamous Bob Grant who polluted the airwaves with racist diatribes for three decades. Nonetheless, I’m gratified at the condemnation Imus received. I readily acknowledge the man’s charitable work but it doesn’t excuse the damage he’s caused throughout his career.

What especially irked me is how Imus ignored a basic rule we all learned on the playground: pick on somebody your own size. These are kids without a platform to fight back. For that alone Imus deserved to be fired. If people want to accuse me of “political correctness” so be it. Imus would have never apologized if people had remained silent.

I’m also irked by celebrity elites such as senators John McCain and Chris Dodd who frequently appeared on his program. Their appearances allowed Imus to enjoy a veneer of legitimacy and that in turn ceded legitimacy to his over the top sexism and bigotry. More than Don Imus is guilty for the power and influence he wielded in his career. He had plenty of enablers and we should never forget that.


Anonymous said...

I think somethink is being ignored here. this may just be another distraction created in the media to catch peoples attention away from other important issues happening and i'm sure there are a lot of them now.

Jeff said...

I have a solution to all of Don Imus's problems-
New Name
Rev. Don Imus
All will be forgiven.

Sue said...

You are not seeing the bigger picture here dude...!! I am a 45 white professional female and I myself have a long list of people on T.V. that offend me. Don Imus was not one of them. I call to action that they lose their jobs.. Where is my reverend? How do I get the attention of MSNBC and CBS to fire these heartless people that OFFEND ME.. Where are rights when I am offended!!!

Get it.. Everyone on tv has offended someone no more or no less than Don Imus. How did Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson become the Chosen ones..

Yes.. Don Imus is trivial but the actions of the corporations were dangerously not well thought out and did a lot of damage.. You bet the background of many people, stations, and corporate sponsors are being researched this weekend so as to expose the bigotry and hypocrisy of the damaging actions of last week. Don Imus will become a god at the expense of the wasted selfish elimination of the last "race card" left in the deck by Al sharpton. Sad.

upinVermont said...

Don't know anything about Imus. Never listened to him.

I have to say, though, that what Imus said didn't seem any worse than what various Christian Right "leaders", like Pat Robertson, have said about human beings are not like themsleves - Christian-God fearing and morally righteous in the right way. Imus didn't call for anyone's death.

I won't hold my breath though, waiting for "those concerned" to hold the various and sundry "Christians" to the same societal standards the rest of us (the better of us) try to adhere to.

dan said...

n o no, no, Imus is a sick puppy. in fact, america is being dragged down by people Like H stern and d imus and other shock jocks. what has america come to? you it right, robert!