Do you think the 2-week suspension is appropriate? Do you think Al Sharpton is correct in calling for his job? Or what?
this is something that has really been bothering me - in no way do I support what Imus said. However, and PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong, but didnt Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton call out the duke Lacrosse players for being racist? Have either of them ever apologized now that it appears the only crime that was committed was the stripper lying to the police? Have either of them come out and said that she was out of line for lying? Even if Jesse and Al didnt say anything, they further divided a community - have they aplogized for that?
On a more personal note, has Jesse Jackson ever aplogoized for referring to Jews as Hymies, or NY as Hymietown or any other of his history of masked anti-semitic remarks?
It's a double standard for sure. There was a post a few weeks ago on the whole PC movement (by McGrupp maybe?) talking about how the purpose of the PC movement is not to find truth, but to create a victim and assign blame. Here, the people making the most noise around this aren't the victims, they are there to exploit this controversy to get their agenda across.
And these individuals will do everything they can to keep the focus on how much of a racist Imus is to garner as much sympathy as possible for the victim. Yes it was a stupid thing to say and yes it was entirely uncalled for and undeserved for the Rutgers team to be insulted like that. I hope Imus has learned his lesson. A suspension may be warranted, and will probably help appease the mob mentality out to get Imus. But I think it should end there. No more firings, no more boycotts, no more demonstrations.
"There can BE only one."
Flipping around the radio dial listening to the "Shock Jocks" or "Morning Zoos" I hear a lot worse. What Imus said was wrong and he should be called out for it, but it is not on the level of termination. Imus, being on MSNBC is supposed to be more conservative than these other shows, but listening to these shows you know that they are going to test the limits of the 1st Amendment.
We expect a lot of frat boy - locker room mentality from Imus. It's what's gotten him his job and probably why he's kept it. Folks tune in, I'll hazard a guess that his listenership is overwhelmingly male, but still people listen.
What, IMHO, makes this instance different is who he went after. It's one thing to make remarks about Serena Williams, she's well paid and at this point probably used to public scrutiny. This attack was one the attractiveness of the Rutgers' women's basketball team. They aren't professionals, they are probably on scholarship, but they are not even a college program that garners much attention. How much have they even been on TV? Do their games sell out? I don't know. Perhaps they do but I'm going to guess not. I'm sure their season competes with New York sports teams for coverage in the local paper. Overall, what I'm really trying to say is, they aren't fair game. Black, white, doesn't matter, these women are not fair game. I'd put going after them in the same category as going after JJ's sisters. It's completely unacceptable, even in the context of shock radio, this is out of bounds. It's bullying of the worst sort.
Imus screwed up. And in a big way. He should probably be fired.
OTOH, I often play pickup with several black guys and occasionally several black women. And there has not been a single time have I not heard the black guys and women call each other alot worse racial epithets. They have even called me names too. It's seems to be part of the black culture to call each other derogatory names.
I am not a great supporter of Sharpton or Jackson, but I appreciate the effort these black leaders, like Sharpton and Bill Cosby, are doing to try to get black people, especially black entertainers, to stop using these racial epithets and set a good example.
But should Imus be suspended? He's a racist idiot - it shouldn't be a surprise when he says stupid things. If that's what his listeners what, why can him? Granted, it would be a sad commentary about how little progress the US has had, but getting rid of him won't fix that.
Here's a good op-ed from another target of Imus's idiocy:
So what would you have Imus do?
I guess "stop making racist comments" is too much to hope for.
I agree with your basic point, but I will say, that if David Duke starts calling for African Americans to apologize to white people then yes, he should first apologize. Wouldnt it be silly for him not to, if he were serious. As the saying goes - let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
I think the answer to your first question is: because Sharpton's and Jackson's mugs are planted on the TV screen every time something like this happens. Are they tireless crusaders for minorities or unabashed opportunists? I think most reasonable people tend to think the latter. (But I understand your annoyance; I agree that what Imus said should be judged independently from the past transgressions of Sharpton and Jackson --- I guess most would just question those two's moral standing to lead the charge, so to speak...)
The caricature that you paint of Imus ("racist idiot") does not IMO describe his radio/TV show. A week removed, I hate to stick my neck out and defend the show --- but, frankly, I find it of much greater value than almost anything on TV in the morning. He interviews authors, musicians, politicians, journalists... and he's a great interviewer. He's irreverent and his guests often make news b/c Imus prods them more than most. Yes, the humor on the show pushes the boundaries --- for example, the stuff they've done on Ray Nagin (mayor of NO) is probably worse than what was said last week. The producer of the show does a bit as a catholic cardinal (with a Fed-ex envelop on his head) that is very raw. But for every stretch of air time devoted to "humor", there's 5 times as much substance.
In short, I find it a good mix, and much more enjoyable than watching Matt Laurer interview Paris Hilton or talk about another teacher who's had sex with their student, or whatever. I don't think I enjoy his show because I enjoy hearing racist comments (speaking to your implication that that must be what listeners want to hear), but the show does skewer people broadly.
I think we all agree that Don was wrong. Personally I don't think he meant what he said. He was trying to make a joke, all but a very bad one. He does a lot of giving back to different charities. We all at times have made mistakes/bad jokes it's just we don't do it in front of a national audience like he did. Should be fired, NO! Reprimanded or suspended possibly. But I do find it kind of hypocritical the two loudest folks speaking out against him are Al Sharpton and Rev. Jess Jackson. Here's two men that have made many a mistake and never owned up to any of them!!
To answer the first question, his punishment fits the crime. However, I would hope that he (or his PR people) see an opportunity to help his image by doing community service, speaking appearances, donating money, etc. to help charities geared towards the advancement of black women. What goes comes out of it if Imus gets fired? Another week of attention?
That brings me to my second point, which has to do with the so called "leaders" like Jackson and Sharpton and others. My problem with them is this ... while they cite all the time that white people conspire to block the education of black people for the benefit of the white race, who benefits more from ingnorance among the black community than these "leaders"? It makes me sick how people disguise themselves as advocates of the black community, and then take advantage of them with every chance they get.
I think Jackson and Sharpton are sincere and I think both have paid dues. I don't mind if they have the standing to get on the air and call out someone like Imus; they have become celebrities, and that's who people want to watch on TV. I admire a lot of what Jackson has done.
They also go over the line and are too knee-jerk.
But not in this case. I like Imus OK, and used to be a regular listener. But this time he went way too far. I don't want to be in a society where this is acceptable speech. Fired? Probably too extreme. Two weeks? Not enough IMO.
Imus should lose his TV show. Let him stay on WFAN. Shock jocks are common on radio. But he should not be on TV every morning.
That would be a proper punishment.
As for whether CBS radio would continue to sydicate his radio show, I don't really care. I think many stations would chose to drop it anyway.
-Jason "Imus has been an old-school sexist, biggot for a long time -- he just got in deeper than usual this time" Evans
If MSNBC is cool with second tier guests, maybe it will survive, but I think the cooling off period to when top tier guests are gonna want to do Imus again may be too long for MSNBC to wait.
First things first, Imus is not a racist. He made a racist comment while attempting to be funny. He went way over the line but, that does not make him a racist. It's not like he went "Michael Richards" on the Rutger's ladies.
I've listened to Imus every morning for the last nine years and while he can be, at times, stupid, sophomoric, redundant and borderline tasteless he is NOT a racist. His ranch for kids with cancer does not discriminate. He aggressively promoted Harold Ford for Senate. His work for the Tomorrow Children’s fund, the Intrepid Fallen Hero’s fund and much more tend to indicate he has a good heart if not the biggest brain. So he may be many things but, racist is not one of them.
I also disagree with the lumping Imus in with other “shock” jock morning shows. As was stated earlier, Imus tends to interview serious power players in the news and politics and can often get them to provide more information than other “interviewers” can extract. His audience included many of the people in power positions in our government and media. Are there bits on the show that can be a bit racy- Yes. Are some of “Cardinal Eagan’s” comments outrageous- absolutely. But for the most part the show aims much higher than the “morning zoo” type shows.
What I can’t understand from this whole brew-haha is how does someone like “Reverend” Al Sharpton, who was a major player in the Twana Brawley hoax, and whose run for president was nothing more than a sham to allow him to use campaign contributions in order to live the “lush life” still command a public audience? I mean for crying-out-loud! Sharpton’s role in the Brawley scandal was to blame a completely innocent man of some very heinous crimes and, once the whole thing is proven to be a huge fabrication, Sharpton makes no apologies what-so-ever! (Sounds kinda’ like the LAX case, eh?)
Imus tried, six days ago, to make a lame, outrageous joke and a racist statement came out, he’s apologized at least 50 times and people want him to lose his job. Sharpton promotes and demagogues a bogus scandal and comes out without a scratch.
IMHO, with leader like Sharpton and Jackson, the black community is being ill-served and has more to fear from their leaders than “whitey”.
Even if Imus were to be fired (which will not happen) how long do you think he would actually be off-the-air? Two minutes is how long, some other cable outfit for XM or somebody would hire him in a New York minute. How much punishment would Imus firing provide?
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."- Mark Twain
Giuliani said today he would continue to appear on Imus' show. Still, I think you are right that many guests will not appear on his show. Anyone to whom the black vote is important (ie: Democrats) will not want to be seen as sympathizing with him... at least not in the short term.
-Jason "MSNBC has a problem because Imus' show was very cheap to produce and filled a huge block of time for them" Evans
Jason, you're way off base here; a lot of people are weighing in who seem to have no first hand knowledge of Imus' show.
Last edited by tux; 04-11-2007 at 11:06 AM.
Apart from the cheap shot at Jason, how does the fact that Imus's show has a serious component make his remarks less objectionable? Arguably it makes them worse.