I'm bummed out that MSNBC was gutless and fair weather and ditched him. And I'm not saying this because I'm a fan.
Like I said in the last post, I think Imus is a doddering old fool who has said a lot of mean stuff for a lot of years. But that's the point of my disgust. No one's had a problem with him before now, before this became the popular issue of the day - or should I say the popular issue of the first and second weeks of April, 2007.
Suddenly, he's an awful man because of a mean, racist comment about some young women and their appearance? Where were the NBC execs last year, and the year before, and so on and so forth? They were counting up the $20-plus million a year he was earning them in advertising revenue.
You can't give someone a pass on their bad habit for decades and then tell them suddenly you can't deal with them anymore, because of that behavior. Folks in the South and some religious types refer to a "come to Jesus moment." It's the moral equivalent of a golf mulligan.
If you have not been seriously warned before about your behavior, then that first time you do get a serious, significant warning, you should get a "come to Jesus moment" so you can try to make things right. Even Jesus himself would have granted as much when he walked the earth.
Even more important though is the fact that this won't stop with Imus. Jon Stewart, Carlos Mencia, Nick Cannon, and any other squirrels who cash in over the airwaves on a mix of comedy, brutal commentary and real news events had better hoard their nuts, 'cause it's gonna be a cold winter.
Be careful what and who you joke about, even if you think you spread your humor (or venom, depending on who's judging it) evenly. I for one am considering no longer teasing my buddies with any slang or nicknames that suggest they're weak when they express fear of their girlfriends or wives, 'cause I don't want to be accused of being anti-softy.
And if Imus' words were the the be all and end all of atrociousness, why is it that the TV commentators repeated those words over and over and over and over as they critiqued him? Notice when they're discussing something like the N-word, for example, they refer to it just like that - as "the N-word." They don't dare repeat that word, 'cause they really believe it is bad. This stuff Imus said? They repeat it verbatim 'cause this whole thing was a game for most of them.
Once again, Don Imus was wrong. His statement, like many he's aimed in the past at all sorts of ethnic and cultural groups, was bad on multiple levels. But the hypocrites at NBC and at CBS radio who let him be that way for years and then dumped him (so far only NBC, not CBS radio, has dumped him) once the advertisers ran away were also bad. And so were the hypocritical advertisers who didn't mind his stupid comments until the witch hunt started. And so are the pseudo-clergy who make money off of declaring themselves the moral compass for an entire race and yet refuse to take to task the record executives who produce albums about that race for clueless artists with much worse content on them than anything Imus ever said.
Shame, shame on the whole lot of 'em.
Labels: last word on Imus