One Last Imus Post

I swore to myself I was going to let this drop, but after hearing the statement “national dialogue about race” multiple times on Hardball and then again in the first few minutes of Countdown, I can’t restrain myself.

I know some of you are under the grand delusion that this is the greatest thing for civil rights and the African-American community since OJ was acquitted, but it really is no victory for anyone involved. For those of you who are too dim to figure this out, here is what happened:

A grumpy, surly, and flawed man, but not the total monster that some are now trying to make him out to be (he really didn’t shoot MLK, DU readers), who had a history of making borderline and overtly racist or sexist statements for dozens of years made another offensive statement that in past years would never have raised even an eyebrow. His only flaw this time was his target- a bunch of young women who really did not deserve to be smeared, and whom he has apologized repeatedly to and I believe honestly feels bad for insulting. Otherwise it was business as usual at Imus in the Morning.

The girls have been turned into victims, blowing the insult completely and totally out of proportion, and have been taught a hideous lesson- that being a victim is a good thing. My sisters, had they been called a ho by anyone, would have flipped them the bird and then gone back to work. Instead, we are regaled with tales that the girls have been scarred for life or their careers have been hampered. Lunacy, in other words.

Enter the professional race pimps. While unwilling and unable to apologize for their role in villainizing three young men for the past year as rapists and racists, Jackson and Sharpton ratcheted up the outrage machine, and applied enough economic pressure to get the man fired for his insults. And let’s pause for just a moment- which is worse? Which would you rather happen to your child- some jackass in poorly advvsed and disgusting banter casually calls your daughter a “nappy-headed ho,” or the entire mainstream media spends a year naming your son, villainizing him, calling him a rapist, and demanding that he be put in jail or worse. If you answer the former, Child Protective Services should come take your child away.

That doesn’t excuse Imus’s remarks, but what chafes me the most is the bullshit insincerity in this whole escapade. Everyone knew what they were getting with Imus- he delivered precisely what people paid for, and advertisers, pundits, authors, politicians were all fine with it. Hell, AL FUCKING SHARPTON was fine with it, because Imus is the one who, in large part, rehabilitated Al after he was found guilty for his far worse race-baiting and smearing in the Tawana Brawley episode. You all probably forget that- I don’t. Imus mainstreamed him, having him as a guest frequently.

Imus was not fired because he made racist remarks. Imus was fired because it was a convenient platform for people to act holier than thou, to advance their own agendas. Witness these remarks:

Imus is history — fired yesterday by MSNBC, fired today by CBS. I hope you are paying attention Rush Limbaugh, cause we will be watching your dirty mouth next.

In my view, Don Imus has behaved very well since this incident happened. He is a very flawed man, but he is far from the worst of the shock jocks. And he had many corporate and elite male enablers. There is no excuse for his behavior, but I believe he is genuinely sorry.

Because he’s not the worst shock jock and because he has done so much good work in his lifetime, I can’t help wishing Rush was going down instead of Imus. Still, whenever a shock jock goes down, it is a victory for the coming progressive era.

Even more offensive are the posers like Ana Marie Cox and her ilk, who rode Imus for all he was worth, and then when the chance to get some more face-time arose, she grabbed the tube of lube leftover from Jessica Cutler, and greased up the Iman for one last joyous romp. And many, many others are in the same boat. Imus is no victim in this affair, but those now preening and posing in the light of the moral highground are making me sick.

And on to this gibberish:

IMUS IS GONE. RIGHT THING DONE. Last night, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone promised that CBS News honcho Les Moonves would “do the right thing” with regard to the future of Don Imus’s program on the CBS radio network, but would not say exactly what that right thing is. Today we learned Imus has been fired from his radio show.

I do hope that this does not end the discussion that on race and gender that was sparked by Imus’s egregious taunt. And I have no intention of letting up on the cable news shows for their lack of women commentators — especially African-American women — even when the discussion focuses on the treatment of women.

The right thing to CBS was the bottom line, who fired Imus because it was shrinking. If Imus’s remarks were so obviously a firing offense, the right thing to do would have been to fire him on the spot. But they didn’t, and leave it to the deep thinkers at Tapped to think there is some moral lesson here to be learned.

No one has learned anything from this. No one will learn anything from this. There will be no national dialog on race, other than people babbling that there should be a national dialog on race. Civil rights was not advanced one bit. No chance was given for Imus to make things right, no time was spent evaluating what the best response to this situation might be. It was sheer opportunism all the way around, led by a chorus of self-aggrandizing hacks all too eager to milk the situation for all it was worth. All that has been learned in this whole, sordid affair is that when a flawed man does or says something stupid and offensive, the appropriate thing to do is to try and find a way to get the most profit for yourself, your cause, or your company, and to run with it.

Imus deserved to be fired for this, probably, but he also probably deserved to be fired for any number of statements or sketches over the past dozen years. What makes this last week so obscene is the way this happened, and it says a helluva lot more about us than it does about Imus. Long live mob justice, and I hope none of you ever say anything stupid or offensive, because if you do, may God have mercy on your soul. No one else will.

*** Update ***

For those of you who dispute my assertion that we have turned these girls into victims, I provide you Anderson Cooper 360:

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, we can tell you that sources tell us that it was a very emotional meeting. The big question for many of the female basketball players was why us? They couldn’t understand why Don Imus would make such hateful comments about them, especially at a time in their lives that was supposed to be happy, having won this conference championship.
Now, the meeting lasted about 2-1/2 hours. It began at about 8:00, wrapped up at 10:30.

***

COOPER: Deborah Feyerick, I should tell you that I’ve just received some more information. We’ve been getting information from someone inside the mansion who was present at this meeting. Been getting some information from them over the past several hours.

I am just being told the latest information we have is that the team is still inside. They are now discussing whether or not they want to formally accept Don Imus’s apology.

That bus that you see out there is the team bus. Theoretically, it will take the players away from the mansion. But at this point no one has boarded the bus. The team is still trying to decide whether or not to accept Don Imus’s apology.

Just shoot me now. Seriously. Serenity now.

Thank GOD for Jason Whitlock:

COOPER:Jason, in your op-ed you criticize the Rutgers Coach Vivian Stringer for holding this press conference. How do you think she should have handled things?

JASON WHITLOCK, COLUMNIST, “KANSAS CITY STAR” I think that she should have met with her team in private and explained to them that Don Imus does not define who they are. Don Imus has nothing to do — Don Imus has nothing to do with their happiness. The joyful ride they went on to the national championship and that they know who they are, that they are proud, black and white women, educated women, competitive women, and there’s no outsider who can steal our joy and our accomplishment from us.

Then she should have issued a statement calling Don Imus an idiot, expressing that he needs to apologize, and that his employers need to deal with him and then that should have been the end of it.

There’s no way this called for an hour-long press conference with everyone climbing onto a cross and saying, look at me, I’m a victim here. There’s no way there should have been a meeting at the governor’s mansion about this Mickey Mouse B.S. No way this should have happened.

This is an embarrassment. I have listened to this entire thing and I’m embarrassed that our leadership in our community — and I’m speaking mostly about — has failed. We have failed.

We haven’t defined for young people who they are. And that no one can define for you who you are. You define for yourself, not Don Imus, not someone who has no input into your life. There’s no magical white, evil man who can utter a few words on a radio show and steal your joy and take away your accomplishment. That’s a joke.

This charade is going to get dumber and dumber, and if you thought this was really about the evil of Don Imus, you are wrong. This was about pushing agendas.






124 replies
  1. 1
    Redleg says:

    I agree that this hasn’t really advanced civil rights but I feel that Imus finally got what he had coming. The real disgrace is that MSNBC and CBS knew what they were getting with Imus and as long as no one complained and no ad sponsors got pissed, Imus and his cohorts could just go on spouting their sexist, racist nonsense on a regular basis and the networks would just rake in the cash. They let Imus get away with it and then they fired his ass when they thought they would lose money. Typical capitalistic morality.

  2. 2
    Captain Avatar says:

    I demand the Roman Empire pay reparations for the enslavement of my ancestors.

    And England must formally apologize for the unlawful, imperialist invasion of Wales during the 13th Century.

    And the women of this country have too long abused me by not giving me any play. I mean seriously… what’s up with that ladies? I mean, at least have the decency to not bullshit me. Don’t say “I’ll call you back later” when you know goddamned well you have no intention of doing any such thing. That’s fucked up. I think I was, like 28 years old when I finally figured that out, too. Which was very upsetting.

    I’m scarred for life.

  3. 3
    Stooleo says:

    Make no mistake, this was about sponseship and the bottom line ultimately. Imus was certainly not the worst of the shock jocks out there, Beck Rush and Savage have said worse. This is what happens with a free market, deal with it.

    Stooleo

  4. 4
    HyperIon says:

    Cole writes:

    “One Last Imus Post”

    promise?

  5. 5
    Nikki says:

    On some points you are correct, such as that MSNBC and CBS fired him only because so many sponsors pulled out. However, on others you are wrong. If Imus truly felt bad about he what he said, he wouldn’t have waited 2 days to offer an apology. In fact, he probably could’ve headed all of this off if he had actually been contrite. You claim that the basketball team played the victim. It was really Imus who played the victim. Yes, he apologized, he apologized all over the place, but he couldn’t keep himself from declaring what a good person he is. A good, though flawed human being worthy of sympathy wouldn’t have created a show with an environment where attempts at humor produced the vile things he and his cohorts have said throughout the show’s history.

    I can conjure up not one bit of sympathy for Imus. He got what he deserved. Just as the Greaseman and Andy and Opie got what they deserved.

  6. 6
    The Other Andrew says:

    Any legal thing that makes racists afraid to indoctrinate others is good, in my view.

    And they didn’t “make themselves” victims. They became victims when a maniac with a national platform went after them because of the color of their skin.

    Is Al Sharpton worthless? Yeah, absolutely. But I thought conservatives were against blaming the victim?

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    And they didn’t “make themselves” victims. They became victims when a maniac with a national platform went after them because of the color of their skin.

    They were not victims. They were proud, accomplished, beautiful, talented black woman who some jackass insulted in a flippant manner.

    they were not victims until we turned them into victims.

  8. 8
    HyperIon says:

    Any legal thing that makes racists afraid to indoctrinate others is good, in my view.

    And they didn’t “make themselves” victims. They became victims when a maniac with a national platform went after them because of the color of their skin.

    i agree.

    Is Al Sharpton worthless?

    actually he is pure human filth…as Mr. Cole declared in his last (as in previous) rant on this topic.

  9. 9
    Dreggas says:

    HyperIon Says:

    actually he is pure human filth…as Mr. Cole declared in his last (as in previous) rant on this topic.

    I agree right up there with ambulance chasers.

  10. 10
    jg says:

    I think you’re having a relapse. This smacks of an anti liberal-PC-everybody’s-a-victim rant from the old John Cole. A good old fashioned ‘this is what’s wrong with this country’ rant like we haven’t seen around here lately. Are the Jane Hamsher’s of the left involved? :)

  11. 11
    Jackmormon says:

    If somebody calls me a ho on the sidewalk, I give them a foul look and tell them to fuck off. I can reclaim that dignity in person.

    But if somebody who doesn’t know me, who’s never seen me in person, who comes out of nowhere and lands in the headlines, calling me a ho, I really don’t know what I’d do to reclaim my dignity. Try to place an op-ed? Convene a press conference to call him an asshole? More likely I’d slink off and feel shitty.

    The two situations really aren’t the same, John. I don’t agree with everything that happened or the way this sort of thing gets talked about, but the usual sexist harrassment women learn to deal with somewhat gracefully is much more banal, much more explicable.

  12. 12
    sidereal says:

    “Imus was not fired because he made racist remarks”

    That’s just ignorant. You can dance around the definition of ‘because’ if you want, but it’s silly. Imus was fired because he made racist remarks. If Imus had said ‘I enjoy the flavor of clover honey’, he would not have been fired, because that is not a racist remark (to my knowledge).

    Yes, there are millions of self-righteous prigs jubilant about it, but basing your opinion of an event on which group of self-righteous prigs you most resent is deeply unserious. Imus said some stupid shit that he deserved to be shamed for, his advertisers wisely decided that they didn’t want to be associated with his stupid shit, and his employers decided that with dwindling advertisers and bad PR, he wasn’t worth keeping around (for now. he’ll be back). All of this is, to me, a fine and normal progression of events. The fact that Sharpton was on the case or Ana Marie is using the event to become a media mogul are totally ancillary to the storyline, but for some reason they overwhelm your take on the whole deal.

  13. 13
    cleek says:

    Imus was certainly not the worst of the shock jocks out there, Beck Rush and Savage have said worse.

    and Howard Stern is encouraging his listeners to vote for Sanjaya.

  14. 14
    Baby Jane says:

    Snoozers.
    Free Market.
    Don’t sell spinach with ca-ca in it.
    I hope Vonnegut was too out of it in his last days to see where all the outrage went.
    Is it safe to eat the spinach?
    Sure. The ca-ca is now sold separately.
    Zzzzzzz…

    Spic, nigger, faggot, bum. Your daughter is one. – Sleaze Sisters

  15. 15
    tBone says:

    Wow. That was some old-school John Cole ranting. Didn’t know you still had it in you.

    What makes this last week so obscene is the way this happened, and it says a helluva lot more about us than it does about Imus. Long live mob justice, and I hope none of you ever say anything stupid or offensive, because if you do, may God have mercy on your soul. No one else will.

    I’ll agree that a lot of the people tut-tutting over Imus are fucking dicks. But “obscene”? “Mob justice”? Please. Imus isn’t being exiled to Siberia, for Christ’s sake. He’s going to go live in his mansion and boff his young wife on piles of crisp $1,000 bills. I think he’ll be OK.

  16. 16
    ThymeZone says:

    I would say you got it just about right, John.

    Except for the “obscene” remark, which is pretty subjective, but a minor defect as the post goes.

    The whole thing is a melodrama. Bottom line, nobody is going to miss Imus much.

  17. 17
    solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short says:

    Oh, man, did I need to hear that. Seeing the good guys sell out freedom of speech like this has been damn depressing.

    This isn’t about Imus. Screw Imus. I’m a Stern guy and never the twain shall meet. This is about the “it’s not tehnically censorship” bullcrap. Christ, the test cases aren’t even cold yet–Dixie Chicks? Maher? Anybody pass any resolutions banning them? “Congress shall make no law” is supposed to be a statement of principle, not a loophole. I mean, c’mon, back then Congress was, like, half of ’em.

    Yeah, this is swell. Now the limits of discourse, not to mention whether any given joke is funny or not, will be decided by whoever organizes the best boycotts.

  18. 18
    Tractarian says:

    Bottom line, nobody is going to miss Imus much.

    I will. Have you ever tried to watch morning TV?

  19. 19
    ThymeZone says:

    Have you ever tried to watch morning TV?

    Sure. Teletubbies. Greatest thing in the world.
    (You need to have a toddler with you to really appreciate it).

  20. 20
    Steve says:

    Long live mob justice, and I hope none of you ever say anything stupid or offensive, because if you do, may God have mercy on your soul. No one else will.

    You blew a pretty solid rant with a really stupid closing.

    The whole point, as you repeatedly acknowledge, is that Imus has a long history of the same stuff. That’s why there’s no chance for anyone to take his apology seriously, because he’s apologized so many times before, because he’s promised he’d never do racial humor again, and none of it mattered a hill of beans.

    So you really, really need to spare me the “I hope you never make a mistake” crap as if this was just one moment of stupidity in a lifetime of normalcy. You obviously know that’s the farthest thing from the truth. There’s a huge difference between a guy who says one offensive thing and a guy who makes a career out of saying offensive things, and you insult everyone’s intelligence by playing this card. We’re not all at risk of becoming Don Imus.

  21. 21
    ThymeZone says:

    Imus wasnt fired for a lifetime of bad Don Rickles material.

    He was fired for one remark.

    Cut the crap, Steve.

  22. 22

    […] John Cole provides the best overview of the Don Imus situation I have read so far. Although the language might be a little rough, I encourage you to read the whole thing (it’s one of the examinations of the situation that raises some important points). Money quote: No one has learned anything from this. No one will learn anything from this. There will be no national dialog on race, other than people babbling that there should be a national dialog on race. Civil rights was not advanced one bit. No chance was given for Imus to make things right, no time was spent evaluating what the best response to this situation might be. It was sheer opportunism all the way around, led by a chorus of self-aggrandizing hacks all too eager to milk the situation for all it was worth. All that has been learned in this whole, sordid affair is that when a flawed man does or says something stupid and offensive, the appropriate thing to do is to try and find away to get the most profit for yourself, your cause, or your company, and to run with it. […]

  23. 23
    Tractarian says:

    If Imus had said ‘I enjoy the flavor of clover honey’, he would not have been fired, because that is not a racist remark (to my knowledge).

    True, but he’s said plenty of racist remarks in the past and never got into anywhere near this kind of trouble. Why do you think this time’s different?

    And they didn’t “make themselves” victims. They became victims when a maniac with a national platform went after them because of the color of their skin.

    See, I don’t get this line of reasoning. If they “became victims” due to Imus insulting them, then – honestly – who isn’t a victim?

    These girls have suffered absolutely no injury except to their egos. In fact, Imus may have done them a huge favor by bringing attention to their athletic achievements.

  24. 24
    tBone says:

    Sure. Teletubbies. Greatest thing in the world.
    (You need to have a toddler and enough acid to blot out the sun with you to really appreciate it).

    I have toddlers. I could adopt all of Brad and Angelina’s kids and fill up my freezers with snowflake babies, and the Teletubbies would still make me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon.

  25. 25
    ThymeZone says:

    the Teletubbies would still make me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon.

    Wow. Are you eating your Tubby Custard?

  26. 26
    tBone says:

    In fact, Imus may have done them a huge favor by bringing attention to their athletic achievements.

    Imus should apply to be Pacman Jones’ PR rep, then.

    Take a bow, Tractarian – your remark is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen yet regarding the whole Imus clusterfuck.

  27. 27
    tBone says:

    Wow. Are you eating your Tubby Custard?

    If you start singing any of those songs, no one’s getting out of this thread alive.

  28. 28
    Tractarian says:

    Go ahead, tBone, tell me Imus didn’t give their careers a huge boost. I don’t know about you, but if I was an athlete or a celebrity, I’d love to get skewered by a shock jock on national TV.

    Or is it that you think the “n***y-h****d h*s” tag will stick with them forever?

  29. 29
  30. 30
    Jackmormon says:

    “their careers a huge boost”

    So now they can go on to become huge stars in the super-awesome, well-paying, long-term stable WNBA? Neighbor, please.

  31. 31
    Krista says:

    the Teletubbies would still make me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon.

    You’re just not smoking enough weed.

  32. 32
    jake says:

    I know some of you are under the grand delusion that this is the greatest thing for civil rights and the African-American community since OJ was acquitted

    I know you’re short of sleep and possibly approaching LD50 on the Hola Fruta, but the above makes no sense what so ever. What the fuck does Mr. “If I did it [wink, wink]” have to do with anything?

    Oh well, let’s put it to a vote:

    Who here thinks OJ’s acquittal was a great thing for Civil Rights and the “African-American Community?”

  33. 33
    Baby Jane says:

    In a couple of years we’ll see a bastardized remake of The Bad News Bears called The Nappy Headed Hos. The theme song to this movie it currently in the works.

  34. 34
    tBone says:

    Go ahead, tBone, tell me Imus didn’t give their careers a huge boost. I don’t know about you, but if I was an athlete or a celebrity, I’d love to get skewered by a shock jock on national TV.

    Or is it that you think the “n***y-h****d h*s” tag will stick with them forever?

    No, you’re right. I’m sure they’ll all end up with glorious careers in the glamorous WNBA, and that will be enough to erase the humiliation of 1) being called “nappy-headed hos” on national radio, and 2) having it repeated constantly in every media outlet in the country for a week. Sure.

    If you think Imus got a raw deal, fine. But don’t peddle this bullshit about what a huge favor he did with his magnaminous use of racial slurs.

  35. 35
    tBone says:

    Who here thinks OJ’s acquittal was a great thing for Civil Rights and the “African-American Community?”

    And you – the large gentleman with the ill-fitting gloves – your vote doesn’t count.

  36. 36
    tBone says:

    You’re just not smoking enough weed.

    Brad and Angelina’s kids keep bogarting it all.

  37. 37
    Krista says:

    Brad and Angelina’s kids keep bogarting it all.

    Just wait ’till they collect a few more kids. They’ll have enough manpower for one seriously productive grow-op.

  38. 38
    Steve says:

    He was fired for one remark.

    Cut the crap, Steve.

    Right. The history is totally irrelevant. He’s just a guy who made a mistake, same as everyone else.

  39. 39
    tBone says:

    Just wait ‘till they collect a few more kids. They’ll have enough manpower for one seriously productive grow-op.

    That’s why they spend so much time overseas – they have to keep tabs on the vast network of underage sweatshops that package the output from their factory pot farms. Bastards.

  40. 40
    Tractarian says:

    Shorter tBone:

    “The WNBA sucks, therefore there’s no possible way Imus could have actually helped the players’ careers by insulting them! Besides, their press conference really humiliated them.”

  41. 41
    Jon says:

    This whole thing is BS. And how about the girls from Rutger’s? For Chirssake, I occasionally get called a nasty name, but I don’t have a need to milk it on national television for all it’s worth. They could have taken the high road, but instead, well, we know how it went. They should have issued a statement that said something along the lines of: “People say dumb things all the time. Sure, it’s inexcusable that Imus spews this stuff all of the time, and we hope CBS and MSNBC will take appropriate action against him. But now we’ve got to get back to basketball and school. We won’t lose any sleep over this.” But no, it’s cry all the way to the emotional bank.

  42. 42
    jg says:

    Seeing the good guys sell out freedom of speech like this has been damn depressing.

    Freedom of speech? How is his freedom of speech infringed? He can say it again if he wants. I just said it to my cat. Getting fired for saying something that embarrasses the private company you work for is not a first amendment issue. Freedom of speech doesn’t absolve you of consequences.

  43. 43
    jg says:

    He was fired for one remark

    Yes. The last one.

  44. 44
    Redleg says:

    Hey people, read the transcript from the Imus show. It wasn’t just one comment, it was a number of sorry-assed comments that morning from Imus and McGuirk. This wasn’t the one time that Imus fucked up- this is the umpteenth time that Imus fucked up and the first time that the big money advertisers got cold feet and pulled out. It’s not about Al Sharpton, it’s not about rap lyrics, it’s not about the Rutgers team playing the victim, and it sure as fuck isn’t about stifling legitimate free speech. It’s about time that Imus got called to account for his behavior.

    Has it been a media circus? Yes. Are many of us tired of the circus? You bet. Has the smug Al Sharpton been particularly annoying? Yes he has- but not nearly as annoying as all the priveleged white males who are running around defending Imus and changing the story to one of p.c. run amok.

  45. 45
    Punchy says:

    His only flaw this time was his target– a bunch of young women who really did not deserve to be smeared, and whom he has apologized repeatedly to and I believe honestly feels bad for insulting.

    Right comment, wrong conclusion. His mistake was that he insulted a SPORTS TEAM. If he insults a politician, this gets one day on CNN and its gone. Instead, it got play on espn, espn.com, national espn radio, all 3 sports talk radio shows where I live, cnnsi.com, fox sports, and nearly every sports blog on the Internet.

    THATS what blew this thing up.

  46. 46
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Well, we all sometimes say “stupid and offensive things”, but very few of us do it deliberately and regularly as a way of making money. (See “Slate’s” compendium of “The Wit & Wisdom of Don Imus”.) It will be a long, long time before I feel any trace of sympathy for the man; those who live by the [expletive deleted] shall die by the [expletive deleted].

  47. 47
    ThymeZone says:

    The history is totally irrelevant.

    Yes, and quite obviously so. The guy has insulted more people than Darrell and Don Rickles put together.

    Had he not made the nappy ho remark, he would still be there and this thread wouldn’t be here.

    How frigging obvious does it have to be?

    Only in the land of phony bathos and media hype does the thing take on meaning that it never really had.

    Everybody and their brother, including you, wants to climb up on this glittering soapbox and make a fucking speech.

    You sir, are full of shit.

  48. 48
    Captain Avatar says:

    Yes he has- but not nearly as annoying as all the priveleged white males who are running around defending Imus and changing the story to one of p.c. run amok.

    I want to treat this story as the joke that it is. But it’s difficult to do when people conflate it with so many serious issues.

    This story is about Freedom of Speech. The 1st Amendment is sacrosanct. And while it does not explicitly state that CBS is required to air his program, that’s besides the point. CBS isn’t required to run programing which is appealing to Catholics, Protestants and whoever else wants their beliefs respected. But they do. I realize that in the end it’s all about money, but I believe CBS has a responsibility to air programming for all shades of listeners… even cranky old jackasses like Imus. So there is definitely a freedom of speech issue here.

    The first time someone called me a mercenary (I’m an Iraq Vet), I didn’t like it. In fact it stung. I think people who say those things are ignorant jackasses. But there are always going to be people like that and trying to censor them does little good.

    Imus should have been made to apologize and then suspended for a while. The FCC could have hit CBS with some hefty fines. Then Imus could go back to his tired schtick and life will carry on.

    Does anyone truly believe that we’ve heard the last of the I-man?

  49. 49
    Rome Again says:

    ::doesn’t have a soapbox handy:: umm… where do you get the glittering ones anyway?

    I agree if he hadn’t said this one thing he would still have a show, on the other hand, I’m glad he’s gone and so I’m not going to get all involved in arguing the point of why. Im only here for the Teletubbies. Carry on, please. This discussion is fascinating.

  50. 50
    ThymeZone says:

    There is no freedom of speech on the radio, never has been and never will be.

    You are free to speak, and the station owners and the FCC are free to regulate your speech as they see fit. You are free to speak but you are not free to speak via any particular medium or outlet.

    If you doubt it, get a job in radio and try exercising your “freedom of speech” and see how long you last.

  51. 51
    jake says:

    This story is about Freedom of Speech.

    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong…and wrong. Here’s what the 1st Am says:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Emphasis mine. This means only the government (with some very narrow exceptions) can violate a citizen’s Constitutional rights. Period. Full stop. End of story.

    Freedom of speech means I can shout “Shut the fuck up!” at the top of my lungs and the police can’t arrest me.

    If I shout “Shut the fuck up!” at my boss and he fires me, my 1st Am. rights haven’t been violated. They haven’t even been nudged in the ribs. If I shout “Shut the fuck up!” in a stranger’s face, and the stranger breaks my nose, my 1st Am. rights still haven’t been touched.

    I apologize for the inordinate amount of bolding but it really pisses me off when people claim to hold the BoR dear to their hearts but they don’t bother to read the damn thing.

    The FCC could have hit CBS with some hefty fines.

    And you don’t think this constitutes govermnent censorship of speech?

    Jesus Christ on a Segway.

  52. 52
    MNPundit says:

    I’d say the media circus had more to do with destroying any careers than the words themselves. A guy who was a jerk got the ax. Personally I don’t find “nappy” an insult and I’ve always been puzzled that it is, I’d find “whore” much more insulting. But then, my hair is best compared to a Brillo pad.

    Mob justice? Sure. But this once, just this once, it worked out for the best.

  53. 53
    tBone says:

    “The WNBA sucks, therefore there’s no possible way Imus could have actually helped the players’ careers by insulting them! Besides, their press conference really humiliated them.”

    I’m sure they’re thrilled to pieces at the recognition they’re getting. Thrilled, I say. It makes me wish I was a black woman so I could jumpstart my career by being on the receiving end of a shitty remark from a national radio personality. It’s the American Dream.

    Oh, and thank you for your comments.

  54. 54
    p.lukasiak says:

    FIrst off John, if you can’t differentiate between Sharpton and Jackson, you are just a racist shitbag. Period. Don’t even answer, because there IS NO EQUIVALENCE..

    that being said….

    Is Al Sharpton worthless?

    actually he is pure human filth…as Mr. Cole declared in his last (as in previous) rant on this topic.

    no problem with that. My question is who is responsible for making Sharpton a “legitimate” spokesperson, rather than the national embarrassment to the civil rights movement that he really is?

    The answer is “the right wing media”.

    Google “Sharpton” and any right wing television host. You’ll see he’s everywhere.

    For example — Bill O’Reilly. Sharpton is on O’Reilly all the time. But in 2000, O’Reilly wrote in The O’Reilly Factor “These two [Al Sharpton and David Duke] are the most ridiculous racial demagogues in the entire U.S.A.”

    Now, I think Sharpton is the personification of a race pimp, so I know why he agrees to appear with O’Reilly despite what was written about him.

    But why would O’Reilly book the “most ridiculous racial demagogue” on his show — especially to discuss civil rights and other issues of concern to African Americans? Do you think that O’Reilly’s motive is pure racism — that by booking a toxic clown like Sharpton, he is trying to discredit the civil rights movement, and the denigrate the legitimate concerns of black people?

    If you don’t, you’re an idiot.

    *******************

    oh, one more thing about sharpton —

    this is the website of Sharpton’s “National Action Network” — and the composite photo at the top of the page of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and AL SHARPTON is, to me, one of the most offensively presumptuous images I’ve ever seen.

  55. 55
    ThymeZone says:

    Do you think that O’Reilly’s motive is pure racism—that by booking a toxic clown like Sharpton, he is trying to discredit the civil rights movement, and the denigrate the legitimate concerns of black people?

    Pheh. Are you serious? They book Sharpton for one reason only: To draw audience. Create churn.

    That’s it, and if you don’t get that, you are the idiot.

  56. 56
    louisms says:

    Imus got away with it for so long because he was giving people what they want. Let’s face it, a very sizable percentage of the American public is viciously mean-spirited, and so enjoys hearing radio personalities voice outrageously intolerant, racist, misogynistic comments. In their personal lives, these folks may barely and begrudingly adhere in their public speech
    to the dictates of what they sneeringly call political correctness, but they gotta give their hatred and intolerance voice somehow, if only vicariously. Imus served his fans’ wishes, and, while I’m personally glad to see him canned, I’m not without some sympathy for the guy, who was only supplying a product for which there was a demonstrated public desire. Now, if only Sharpton et all would begin to really rail against those vile rap lyrics, to fiercely protest the disrespect African-Americans show other African-Americans, I’d feel that this incident had some beneficial results.

  57. 57
    mrmobi says:

    Bottom line, nobody is going to miss Imus much.

    Agreed, TZ.

    John, I think you are completely off base on a lot of this. But I also think we are going to have to agree to disagree. I, too, hope this is the very last thread on this event.

    As I have said before on different threads, I have (unfortunately) watched the Imus show (it happens right after my morning run, and I sometimes I find I cannot watch Soledad O’Brien.)

    IMHO, Imus had a shitty, stupid show, assisted (and I use that word advisedly) by some really untalented, marginally educated folk. There was a steady stream of “pundit class” guests, however, and that made it occasionally watchable.
    You say this event was, “a convenient platform for people to act holier than thou, to advance their own agendas.” What you don’t see (because of Sharpton/Jackson Syndrome) is that this was a vile and inexcusable act committed against the very kind of people all of us hope our children will become, and it struck a chord with people. People decided they had had enough. Good for them. All of the admittedly stupid bullshit trappings of this media circus does not change that.

    Enter the professional race pimps.

    Well, I find this pretty fucking offensive, John. Is it your contention that no one can call bullshit on racist rhetoric without first somehow obtaining your “seal of approval” concerning their integrity? We know Al Sharpton made mistakes, does that mean everything he says is a lie? God forbid we would be “holier than thou” by challenging racist, sexist and hate rhetoric. This must be related to “Kos criticized mercenaries who got killed, therefore Kos is the devil” Syndrome.

    You conflate the Duke case with this one. What the hell is the connection? I don’t see it. Then, you slam the admittedly flawed Sharpton and Jackson who are trying to point out a flagrant and demeaning use of racist and sexist rhetoric done for for no other reason than profit.

    Profit. To me, that is the bottom line in all of this. Young, beautiful, accomplished black women are to be demeaned because media types have to make money.

    You have apparently never asked yourself how you would feel if Don Imus singled out your mother or your wife and said, “well, they are just some fat white bitches.” I’m sure you would let it pass, right? It’s just a minor misbehavior from someone who does it all the time, right? It’s not important. Why do we even bother?

    Sometimes when people act “holier than thou” it is because other people are behaving like scum. If they don’t happen to have your seal of approval for commenting, tough shit.

  58. 58
    mrmobi says:

    Now, if only Sharpton et all would begin to really rail against those vile rap lyrics, to fiercely protest the disrespect African-Americans show other African-Americans, I’d feel that this incident had some beneficial results.

    He has, google it.

  59. 59
    mrmobi says:

    Is Al Sharpton worthless?

    actually he is pure human filth…as Mr. Cole declared in his last (as in previous) rant on this topic.

    no problem with that. My question is who is responsible for making Sharpton a “legitimate” spokesperson, rather than the national embarrassment to the civil rights movement that he really is?

    My hyperbole meter just burned out. Can someone explain to me how many people Al Sharpton has killed recently? Did he molest any children? Is he an abortionist?

    Is that the sound of crickets it hear?

    It must be comforting to be so superior to ordinary human beings, and be perfect. Good luck with that.

  60. 60

    Honestly John, you are not very bright.

    Imus was not fired because he made racist remarks. Imus was fired because it was a convenient platform for people to act holier than thou, to advance their own agendas.

    Imus was fired because it had long been time for him to go. His show wasn’t funny, he was out of touch with modern mainstream America, and the only thing CBS was looking for was an excuse.

    The guy probably should have retired about 5-10 years back, when he was at the peak of his game. Johnny Carson was smart, he knew when it was time for him to move on and let someone new take over. Imus should have done the same.

    NBC similarly, was looking for an excuse. Their network ratings are up. They have a fantastic primetime lineup, and our looking into building out their morning show. The only reason they had Imus on in the morning, is cause they were desperate at the time. Now they’re not. Time to replace him with something that will attract viewers.

    Anyway, stop making excuses for the schmuck, and stop trying to turn this into a platform to bash other people.

    This is all about Imus. Or rather, it was. Because he’s been a has-been for a number of years.

  61. 61
    jg says:

    Imus got away with it for so long because he was giving people what they want. Let’s face it, a very sizable percentage of the American public is viciously mean-spirited, and so enjoys hearing radio personalities voice outrageously intolerant, racist, misogynistic comments.

    He says what I’m thinking.

  62. 62

    The other sad, pathetic thing about John’s whining.

    Sharpton and Jackson had nothing to do with Imus having a problem.

    What caused Imus the most pain was a blog post by Al Roker. Or another one by Gwen Ifill. And people of similar stature and notice.

    Turn off your right-wing blogometer for a moment, John, and go look at the responses to Imus. Jackson and Sharpton had *NOTHING* to do with this. Yep, you’d like to think they did, and I’m sure they’d like you to think they did. But nope, it ain’t true.

  63. 63

    Poor widdle Imus. He’s just such a Victim here.

    I’m sure the severance package will more than make up for any pain he has suffered.

  64. 64
    April says:

    http://baldilocks.typepad.com/....._imus.html

    I had no idea he was a Republican….

  65. 65
    p.lukasiak says:

    My hyperbole meter just burned out. Can someone explain to me how many people Al Sharpton has killed recently? Did he molest any children? Is he an abortionist?

    you don’t have to kill someone, or molest children, or perform abortions to be a national embarrassment. There are lots of other ways. And being a race pimp like Sharpton is one of them.

    Sharpton demonstrated outrageously malevolent judgement between 1987 and 1995 in three separate incidents.

    1) He slandered a prosecutor in the Tawana Brawley case, accusing him of rape without any evidence,

    2) He poured anti-semitic fuel on an already violent situation in the case of the black child who was accidentally run over by a Hasidic Jew (violence broke out not because the kid was run over, but because a private Jewish owned ambulance service picked up the driver and his family on the instructions of the police shortly before a city ambulance arrived to transport the child)

    3) He fueled racial animosity in the Freddy’s Fashion Mart case — when a white jewish business owner tried to pass on a proportionate amount of a rent increase imposed by the black church that owned the property only a black-owed music store that was his subtenant.

    In the latter two cases, people were killed after Sharpton got involved. And while there is no direct connection between those deaths and Sharpton himself, the simple fact is that Sharpton acted irresponsibly in cases where there was no reasonable explanation for his actions that enhanced racial tensions. A responsible leader would have tried to calm the waters — and Sharpton did te opposite.

    And while Sharpton has not acted as egregiously irresponsibly since that time, there is no evidence that his essential character has changed. I’m sorry, but someone who thinks its appropriate to put himself on the level of civil rights GIANTS like Dr. King and Rosa Parks is an egomaniac — and that is putting it mildly.

    Jackson, on the other hand, obviously had anti-semitic sentiments at the same time he was emerging as a genuine civil rights leader — and that controversy came to a head TWENTY THREE YEARS AGO with the “hymietown” remark. All the evidence indicates that Jackson did do a lot of soul searching, and has changed in that regard — and regardless of whether you choose to think that Jackson remains an anti-semite, the simple fact is that he has never in his entire career acted as irresponsibly as Sharpton did on three separate occasions.

  66. 66
    p.lukasiak says:

    What caused Imus the most pain was a blog post by Al Roker. Or another one by Gwen Ifill. And people of similar stature and notice.

    Roker was the real tipping point. When someone like Al Roker, who is NBC’s most prominent black news personality and is the personification of the non-controversial black male, went public and says that Imus has to be taken off of MSNBC, it was all over. Once Roker went public, it was just a matter of time before everyone else at NBC who had been acting like good little corporate drones (including Olbermann) started speaking out….

    but its false to say that Sharpton had nothing to do with it … although Sharpton was a self-inflicted wound for Imus. I strongly suspect that Imus chose to go on Sharpton’s radio show to distract from/mitigate his own inappropriate behavior — that was a strategic mistake, because making Al Sharpton a part of the story meant that the controversy wasn’t going to die down until Sharpton got what he wanted.

  67. 67
    p.lukasiak says:

    What caused Imus the most pain was a blog post by Al Roker. Or another one by Gwen Ifill. And people of similar stature and notice.

    Roker was the real tipping point. When someone like Al Roker, who is NBC’s most prominent black news personality and is the personification of the non-controversial black male, went public and says that Imus has to be taken off of MSNBC, it was all over. Once Roker went public, it was just a matter of time before everyone else at NBC who had been acting like good little corporate drones (including Olbermann) started speaking out….

    but its false to say that Sharpton had nothing to do with it … although Sharpton was a self-inflicted wound for Imus. I strongly suspect that Imus chose to go on Sharpton’s radio show to distract from/mitigate his own inappropriate behavior — that was a strategic mistake, because making Al Sharpton a part of the story meant that the controversy wasn’t going to die down until Sharpton got what he wanted.

  68. 68
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    Maybe Imus did not say anything for two days because he thought he had not done anything wrong? After all, those words are uttered daily all across America, right? People pay $$$$ to hear their favorite artists say them and sing about them.

    Ho is not a racist term, it was coined by black Americans to describe a whore or ANY race. Nappy is a bit chancier, but I know it is used in social banter among blacks, no doubt abotu that. But if a white guy says it, I guess it is racist. Bernard talking about the “Jigaboos versus the Wannabees” really stretched it, but it was a spinoff from the Spike Lee movie ‘School Daze’ that inspired it. Remember, those Imus and company have long been (in)famous for taking the words of others and having fun with them. As often as possible too.

    Nothing will change, and John is spot on with what he has basically lamented about. This whole mess accomplished nothing but to destroy the career of some people (at least momentarily). MSNBC and CBS knew damn well who/what Imus was, and they used the excuse of their employees wanting Don gone to cut their losses. Make no mistake, this was not a case of MSNBC or CBS doing the right thing. Unless your definition of ‘right thing’ is to save your advertising revenue immediately!

    This will fade away into obscurity, with the only blip being if Imus gets back on the air somewhere. Other than that, stick a fork in it, it is done.

    Viacom/MTV/CBS sure make a lot of money off of comedy and musical routines that use these words in a far worse context. Those people generally mean what they are saying. After all, rap is the voice of the black street experience, right? Same with some black comics, their best material is from their personal experiences. One of my favorite comedians is Dave Chappelle, and he insults whites very chance he gets, right? If he were to say on the news that I was white trash, I would laugh and get on with my life. Big deal.

    If these young women come out and say that they are scarred for life, I will lose all respect for them. They were insulted, end of story. People know that what was said was not true. Anyone who believed what Imus said has to be on drugs. So they are not victims, not in my estimation.

    Watching the lynch mob in process is sickening. Rev. Al and Rev. Jesse are the epitome of racist race baiters, IMO. There was money and publicity to be made here. Ask Jesse about the last guy he squeezed over racist remarks. From what I remember, it cost the guy a pretty penny to make Jesse go away.

    Now the future of the Imus Ranch may be in question. Gee, what did those poor dying kids do to deserve this? What Don did was stupid, and the only people who behave responsibly in this mess were the young women who were slighted. Their maturity and restraint was remarkable. The lesson they taught was lost on the American public though, mob rule you know…

    The PC crowd scored a home run with this one. They are why I quit the Democratic party and became an independent. Any lesson to be learned from this will be lost in no time as nothing has been learned. Viacom will still profit from artists who spew this profanity (and many who actually mean what they say), and that is the end of the story.

    The lesson I learned? If you are not black, do not use “black words”, they are verboten. Utter them, and if you have anything to lose, the PC Nazis will make sure that you lose all of it. But if you are a black musician or comedian, keep uttering them so the mega-$$$$$$ will keep flowing in to the corporate coffers.

    Double standards, how quaint…

  69. 69
    badtux says:

    I don’t listen to Imus, I didn’t post anything about this stupidity, and frankly was bored silly about the whole thing. Yeah, Imus had no business using the public airwaves to spread stupidity. But he was not, by any means, the stupidest, ugliest, or most disgusting of those using the public airwaves to spread stupidity and ugliness, and my basic reaction was “yeah, he deserves to be fired, but what’s everybody jumpin’ up and down about?”

    I have no sympathy for Imus, who has had plenty of time over plenty of years to make real amends for his behavior and has never done so other than the crocodile tears of the past few days. On the other hand, the “victory” crowd… meh. So you took down an aging shock jock. Big freakin’ deal. You got folks like Melanie Morgan at KSFO (San Francisco) who complains that black people are disgusting, advocates the killing of U.N. peacekeepers, advocates desecrating graves and hanging of newspaper editors, and otherwise displaying *true* evil abuse of the airwaves, then you got… Imus. Err, yeah. Right. Imus isn’t evil. He’s just stupid. He doesn’t belong on the airwaves, but squashing Imus is hardly some big victory. It’s just getting rid of a little stupidity, at the same time that festering evil continues on unabated.

  70. 70
    Blue Shark says:

    ….Ahhh!

    …Spoken like a true “White Guy”.

  71. 71
    VidaLoca says:

    John,

    Having said this

    Imus deserved to be fired for this, probably, but he also probably deserved to be fired for any number of statements or sketches over the past dozen years.

    you seem to be stipulating that Imus was so far out of line (in the course of a long history of being out of line) that his firing was appropriate. So then we’re down to a discussion of the means by which that took place.

    Nobody other than Imus (well, and the sockpuppet that was working with him at the time) was the cause of Imus’ problems; Imus brought this all on himself. So Imus would of course like to mumble some sort of apology and claim that what he said was all “comedy” as if that excused it, and hope the problem would go away. CBS and NBC would like the problem to go away too; if we assume that he’s bringing audience to the advertisers there’s no reason to upset that cozy relationship. So if Imus is going to be held accountable and face actual consequences for what he’s done it will only be as the result of outside pressure.

    Here’s what I don’t get about your position. You seem to think that that pressure should somehow be brought to bear by people who are pure of heart and virtuous in their motives; who suffer from no “bullshit insincerity”. That’s just naive. This is by definition a political fight and in political fights you can forget about finding players who do not suffer from a greater or lesser degree of bullshit insincerity.

    Leaving aside Ana Marie Cox (who is the personification of bullshit insincerity but in the final analysis only a parasite, not a player in this situation) that brings us to Sharpton. Now, Sharpton may be every bit as much of an opportunist as you say he is; still at the end of the day you have to give him credit for getting out in front, making a stink, raising the issue, creating a context in which people like Al Roker and Gwen Ifill can make a difference.

    In other words, say Sharpton (or Jesse Jackson since you don’t have much good to say about him either) had sat on his hands: who does this? Because if nobody does it, Imus still has a job and nothing changes. To the extent that that’s a good thing (and I think we’re agreed that it is), you should focus more on the end result and less on a critique of the people who got up off their asses to bring it about.

  72. 72
    badtux says:

    And oh, a word of manners advice to people with no manners and no breeding:

    I am a white redneck. That means I’m allowed to make jokes about white rednecks, because I know what offends and does not offend white rednecks because my family tree don’t branch and my richest relatives’ house has wheels. (No kiddin’, BTW, he has a *gigantic* double-wide and a collection of hound dogs to live under the front porch that he built onto the front of it, and I once visited my maternal grandparents’ family reunion and encountered a significant portion of my paternal grandparents’ family reunion).

    But if I make jokes about any other ethnic or cultural group, let’s say I make a Jew joke. I’m not a Jew. I might think I know what is offensive or not offensive to Jews, but I’m not a Jew, so any joke I tell about Jews risks offending Jews. Thus the only mannered and cultured thing to do is avoid telling jokes about Jews. Not because it’s the law or anything. But because it’s rude to do things that potentially offend other people. It’s bad manners. It’s bad breeding. It’s the sort of behavior that got Sister Mary Margaret smacking our little cracker knuckles with her big-ass yardstick to try to beat some manners into our savage little redneck selves at St. Joseph’s Catholic School.

    Now, bad manners aren’t a crime. But folks tend to avoid you if you have bad manners, so good manners are always preferable. And good manners say to avoid doing things that may offend other people unless there is darn good reason to do so. And there’s no darn good reason to tell jokes about their ethnicity, when their ethnicity isn’t the same as your own. Me telling a n***** joke would be as offensive as some damnyankee black preacher from New Yawk City telling a redneck joke. He ain’t one, and he ain’t got no dadburned business tellin’ one. Got it?

    Now, I realize that in today’s crass rude world simple politeness seems rather quaint. So be it. I still believe it preferable to the alternative, which is boorish behavior that does nothing but lower the level of public discourse.

  73. 73
    tBone says:

    But if a white guy says it, I guess it is racist.

    The lesson I learned? If you are not black, do not use “black words”, they are verboten.

    Congratulations, you’ve passed Basic Civility 101.

    Ah, screw it. See BadTux’s post directly above. He says it better (and a lot more politely – good manners, see) than I would.

  74. 74
    Kimmitt says:

    Explain to me again why MSNBC’s sponsors are Constitutionally required to pay for Imus to filthily denigrate our kids when they work hard and do well?

    Thanks.

  75. 75
    Jess says:

    badtux,

    Thank you for such a beautiful articulation of the issue. I think I might have it printed out and framed. And, as someone else noted, THIS IS NOT A FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUE! Imus and other entertainers can say whatever racist stuff they want without fear of arrest or prosecution. But like the rest of us, they can be fired for not behaving appropriately on the job. Because Imus said what he said on the public airwaves, the public does have some say as to whether it was professionally appropriate. The public has spoken, Imus’s bosses responded, and Imus has now learned that what may have once been within the boundaries of appropriate behavior, at least in the eyes of those whose voices were heard, is now no longer appropriate. If it takes a media spectacle to get people to rethink those boundaries, so be it. When was social progress ever a tidy or pure process?

  76. 76

    I know some of you are under the grand delusion that this is the greatest thing for civil rights and the African-American community since OJ was acquitted, but it really is no victory for anyone involved.

    Ah, one of those white folks who think OJ Simpson matters to black people. The “trial of the century”, a phrase cooked up by the corporate media to sell papers, commercials, and books made barely a ripple round here.

    The Main Stream Media you hate and distrust so much shows a couple of black faces whopping it up at Simpson’s aquittal and it must mean we’s all love and adore the man because images never lie, right?

    I know were just a bunch of ignorant children who don’t know how the world works but we think OJ hired the same lawyers who kept Klaus Von Bulow out of jail, using the same kinds of technicalities, buying the same “justice” rich white folks have enjoyed since the plantation days. And it eats you up because, well you know…

    Basically if you can’t convict a man who virtualy has the blood dripping from his hands at the scene of the crime then you are some dumb motherfuckrs, and your rage generates a big so what around here.

    As for the race pimp remarks: Republicans still don’t get why black people despise them, their party, and their rhetoric because surely we all know its just hyperbole.

    Well, to borrow a recent hyperbolic phrase from Snoop Dog: suck my dick.

  77. 77
    SmilingPolitely says:

    I’m totally in agreement with you, John. My fellow liberals at Daily Kos have completely made me ill on this issue. Overnight, it was like they were taken over by the same pod people that try to get South Park and Bill Maher removed the airwaves every year.

    No more Comedy Central. Somebody was offended! You can’t say that filth at your place of work without getting fired, so you surely can’t say it on the television and radio.

    Are we next going to have fatties askin’ for Conan O’ Brien’s head, because he made a mean-spirited fat joke in one of his monologues?

  78. 78
    Nikki says:

    The lesson I learned? If you are not black, do not use “black words”, they are verboten. Utter them, and if you have anything to lose, the PC Nazis will make sure that you lose all of it. But if you are a black musician or comedian, keep uttering them so the mega-$$$$$$ will keep flowing in to the corporate coffers.

    Wow. Makes one wonder how Eminem ended up as the rapper with the most accolades.

  79. 79
    Jimmm says:

    John, I’ve never seen you get something so totally wrong–and I’ve been a reader since your “Mission Accomplished–FUCK YEAH!” days.

    WE did not make these girls into victims, IMUS did. According to the laws of physics, a tree falling in the woods DOES make a sound, even if there’s nobody to hear it.

    For a lot of people, this was just the last straw. There has been plenty of outrage in the past over some of the stupid stuff Imus has said on the air. Only this time did it gain traction. The bandwagoning was distasteful–I agree about Sharpton and Cox. But that doesn’t get Imus off the hook for three decades of race-baiting any more than does the existence of profane rappers mitigate what Imus said last week.

    And, no, Imus prolly isn’t a Klansman. But the level of acceptance among “proper” society that Imus attained gave a special platform to his sophomoric act. The show gave Imus legitimacy, for better and worse. Like a stupid fuck, he squandered it.

    And that’s the fault of an angry mob?! Wow, John. Just wow.

  80. 80
    FunkyDuck says:

    The only quibble I have is with your comments about the Rutgers women. I agree the press conference and subsequent B.S. have been kind of silly, but I don’t think you can blame them for being offended and embarrassed by the whole episode. Remember, it’s not like Imus made the comments once on his show and then they disappeared. Once the media picked up on this (and I have no idea how it became a big story in the first place), commentators were repeating the comments on every cable news network, every talk show, every newspaper, and just about everywhere else for 3 days friggin’ straight. They were showing video, debating the meaning, analyzing Imus’s intent, etc. If someone called me a lousy name, and then the media started obsessing over it with their usual lack of tact, I’d probably get pretty annoyed and embarrassed, too. And if it were a response to what I consider a career achievement, yeah, I’d probably be offended by the whole media circus. And I’d probably feel a need to call a press conference to say how I felt, because I’m sure the media is calling 24/7 to get a response.

    Yes, it would be nice if the Rutgers players could have just shrugged it off, but our media wasn’t shrugging it off, and the players were having to deal with the whole B.S. brouhaha everywhere they looked.

  81. 81
    caleb says:

    The way I see it, Imus’s mistake was picking on the metephorical “sister”.

    NO! Not “sistah” in that manner, but, as in, when someone has a friend that, as part of his personality, is an obnoxious dickwad. But, he’s a friend of yours for a long time and he’s never turned is dickwadness towards you personally, so you overlook it (even defende him at times perhaps), just laugh it off and say, “Oh, that’s just Richard for ya.”.

    Well, even friends have a line that when crossed there’s no going back. Usually this line will entail family members, and if so applies, one’s sister.

    A sistuation may apply that goes like this, “Hay Richard, that was funny the other day when we were driving down the street and we saw that girl on the corner and you called her a ‘nappy headed ho’, but, did you just call my sister that?!?!?!?”

    The Rutger’s Bball team is the proverbial sister, the one that in your mind is different than all those others that Richard made fun of over the years, someone who didn’t deserve it. So, this time when Richard is just being himself, you get upset and all high and mighty. And Richard is just all “WTF man? You get upset now?!?”

    It’s times like these that end friendships…..as we have seen with the Imus brew ha ha……only on a much grander scale.

  82. 82
    jake says:

    The lesson I learned? If you are not black, do not use “black words”,

    Sorry sweetie, but there are no “Black Words” any more than there are “Women’s Words” or “Gay Words” and the lesson you should learn is this:

    Unless you know someone really fucking well and are 99.999% sure you won’t offend them, don’t use derogatory terms or offensive words around them.

    Isn’t that easy? You don’t need to consider their race or gender or religion or anything else. Just be polite.

    As for the pants wetting about Rap lyrics in other posts, I’m sure there is a valid point among buried in there but it gives me Tipper Gore flashbacks. “Oh dear, Motley Crue will destroy America’s youth!” Gag.

  83. 83
    Catsy says:

    What Badtux said FTW.

    My wife is Jewish. I’m not. She makes Jew jokes that I can’t; that’s life. After being with her for so long there are some I’m comfortable making (“I hate Jewish food. I’m always hungry again 16 hours later.”), but there are lines that good manners dictate you don’t cross. I might not offend her or the immediate family that knows me well, but I would most certainly risk offending a stranger or casual acquaintance.

  84. 84
    cleek says:

    But if I make jokes about any other ethnic or cultural group, let’s say I make a Jew joke. I’m not a Jew. I might think I know what is offensive or not offensive to Jews, but I’m not a Jew, so any joke I tell about Jews risks offending Jews.

    i think it’s a little more than just knowing what offends a certain group.

    being a member of a group gives you the right to criticize other members of that group in ways that people who aren’t members can’t. this applies to all groups, not just ethnic groups. and really it’s just basic tribalism. you and your friends can insult each other in ways that total strangers can’t; we can tolerate behavior from family members that we would never tolerate from total strangers; we overlook transgressions from politicians in our own party that we’d happily criticize if committed by members of another party; fans of other sports teams are assholes, fans of our team are just having fun; etc.. Imus made the mistake of forgetting that basic rule: insiders have different rights than outsiders.

  85. 85
    Prince Roy says:

    this self-indulgent post by JC only proves that you can take the boy out of the GOP, but you can’t take the GOP out of the boy.

  86. 86
    Nash says:

    Long time silent, but must speak up to say that I agree with you here, John, including your overall point about the hypocrisy of those who have happily ridden the Imus Train for years who are now jumping in faux outrage.

    And that would and did include and to an extent still does include Ana Marie Cox, as you indicate here:

    Even more offensive are the posers like Ana Marie Cox and her ilk, who rode Imus for all he was worth, and then when the chance to get some more face-time arose, she grabbed the tube of lube leftover from Jessica Cutler, and greased up the Iman for one last joyous romp.

    except that this very morning, she has just floated a balloon that is a stark admission of her own hypocrisy (and that of others as well) as a form of public repentance.

    I’m embarrassed to admit that it took Imus’ saying something so devastatingly crass to make me realize that there just was no reason beyond ego to play along. I did the show almost solely to earn my media-elite merit badge. The sad truth is that unless you have a book to promote, there’s often no other reason any writer or columnist has to do the show.

    She goes on to admit that she appeared on his show because she wanted to “belong”, and specifically to the “boys’ club”.

    I find this an incredible admission of something we’ve long been accusing the MSM of doing in general (appearing on, talking to, consorting with characters whose character is questionable and/or advancing the manufactured outrage of the week in order to be part of the club) and which the Broders of the world have always denied.

    I cannot remember how to work the ext. link tag tool you supply, so I will have to dump the text of the link here, for which I apologize.

    http://www.time.com/time/natio.....47,00.html

    In any event, thank you for expressing your position so cogently and for the opportunity to respond.

    Nash

  87. 87
    Nash says:

    My bad–she posted that on Thursday, not this morning as I claimed.

    And it appears the link links itself?

    Nash

  88. 88
    CDB says:

    Tractarian Says:

    Go ahead, tBone, tell me Imus didn’t give their careers a huge boost. I don’t know about you, but if I was an athlete or a celebrity, I’d love to get skewered by a shock jock on national TV.

    Or is it that you think the “n***y-h****d h*s” tag will stick with them forever?
    _________

    Pontius Pilot did wonders for Christianity too.

  89. 89
    Buck says:

    Well, to borrow a recent hyperbolic phrase from Snoop Dog: suck my dick.

    I am enjoying the new, more civil discourse almost as much as I enjoyed Imus In The Morning.

    Thanks for the post John. You are spot on.

  90. 90
    Cromagnon says:

    Amen… and lets let this be the last we have to hear about this nonsense

  91. 91
    The Other Steve says:

    You guys is like all on crack or something.

    Imus is part of the old world. Today we have a new world, and he is not part of it.

  92. 92
    The Other Steve says:

    Booyakasha!

  93. 93
    Davebo says:

    Imus was not fired because he made racist remarks. Imus was fired because it was a convenient platform for people to act holier than thou, to advance their own agendas.

    Err, no John.

    Imus was fired because his sponsors bailed on him. All of them.

    Perhaps one could consider the reasons they did so, but you obviously haven’t.

  94. 94
    Jimmmm says:

    Speaking of agendas, John: You’re just working this story into your own.

    Imus made the girls victims. They fought their way to within minutes of winning an NCAA title–fought back from a 2-6 start. But to Imus, they were nappy-headed hos. So their moment, from that instant, became about Imus, not about Rutgers Women’s hoops.

    How others wish to project their own axes to grind–including YOU–is kind of irrelevant.

    Imus should have been fired long ago.

    As for the others, Rush, Boortz, Savage et al. Maybe people really ARE tired of being told to “come back when they’ve taken the bone out of their nose,” “go back to Mexico,” or “I hope you get AIDS and die.” Maybe people are exploiting the Imus situation to get public traction for a point that NEEDS to be made.

    Why is their agenda-mongering inferior to yours?

  95. 95
    The Other Steve says:

    This charade is going to get dumber and dumber, and if you thought this was really about the evil of Don Imus, you are wrong. This was about pushing agendas.

    John, quit trying to prove how fucking out of touch you are.

    The career of Imus was over. He was a walking corpse. This was just a convenient excuse to get rid of him.

    All of the other agenda pushing was ancilliary.

  96. 96
    The Other Steve says:

    Let me clarify one point.

    you can’t be a Victim, when you are getting a severance package. Especially an 8 figure severance.

  97. 97
    Richard 23 says:

    Seems like John got this mostly right. And if Sharpton is going to become the next Tipper Gore, deciding what is and is not acceptable in [rap] music, God help us all.

    I fully expect rap artists will extend their middle finger and write offensive songs about the modern day wannabe censor.

  98. 98
    les says:

    Imus got fired because sponsors didn’t like the uproar. By themselves, the pundits and assorted assholes who jumped in aren’t enough for that; but the situation clearly touched enough consumers–many/most of whom probably didn’t know who Imus was, and weren’t aware that this episode is just Imus as usual–to say, hey, that’s seriously bullshit. It’s a good thing. A target of opportunity got taken down; maybe the hordes of other targets will take notice, but probably won’t until they bring themselves to the attention of that gang of consumers too. The notion that this is some kind of national tragedy is bullshit; the fact that some other sleazoids made some hay of it is incidental. One reprehensible jerk down, many more to go. By whatever legal means pop up. In this case, he stupided himself to death by trotting into the wrong spotlight.

  99. 99
    F says:

    John,

    For a while there I really thought you had changed, but I see its not that you’ve changed, its was just me looking for some inkling of sanity among the GOP. I guess when your desperate for something, anything, any little thing can be maximized beyond its worth.

    I know everyone is saying their not defending Imus, that its all about the “dollar, or Imus’s “freedom of speech”, or the fact that Sharpton, Jackson are “race pimps”, or Ana Marie Cox is a “media whore” or that the Rutugers players are creating a culture of “victimization” or that your showing the “courage” to stand by a friend. But even if all that is true, what does it say about you that you would still defend a BIGOT.

    For me it doesn’t say much about you as a person. Imus is a BIGOT, that’s where it starts and ends for me.

    F

  100. 100
    MathBlock says:

    I absolutely disagree with you and I think your tone in this posting is disgusting. Don Imus has been spewing mysoginistic, racist hate for a long, long time and should have been fired years ago. Just because others are stsill getting away with it doesn’t mean that they should.

    I hate what the national discourse in this country has become and I hate that you don’t understand that venom and nastiness and spitefulness are not good things.

    Of course, I’m just a dirty fucking hippie so what do you care what I think?

  101. 101

    […] Update 2: Balloon Juice’s John Cole seems to get it.  Caution: some foul language. […]

  102. 102
    Redleg says:

    To top it all off, some of these Rutgers players are now receiving hate mail and death threats. I guess that does make them victims, doesn’t it? It was just a matter of time before the fucking racist loonies took matters into their own hands. Hell, these racist, sexist pigs are the ones who feel like victims, they feel that not being able to say “nigger” in public anymore has deprived them of their right to free speech.

  103. 103
    The Other Steve says:

    I guess it says a lot when Blogs4Brownback defends tolerance against intolerance.

    The amazing thing is, by trying to turn this argument from Imus towards Sharpton, etc. it is in fact *YOU* who are making the argument about Sharpton, etc. Nobody else was doing that. Not the media that I saw, nobody.

    Except for the winger… oh poor liddle me… victimhood sites.

  104. 104
    Redleg says:

    ConservativelyLiberal left the Democratic party over political correctness? How quaint. I think the Democratic party has always been unfairly accused by the right of being the p.c. police. P.C. doesn’t seem to be an important part of the Democratic platform these days. Unless you conservative douchebags think that voting rights, equal opportunity, and ending racism/sexism are p.c.

    I especially like ConservativelyLiberal’s reasoning about the Imus case. To paraphrase: What I learned is that it’s all right if black people call each other the n-word but whites can’t get away with it. Boy, what a double standard.

    Does ConservativelyLiberal actually believe that within the black community, people think it’s acceptable to call other black people “nigger?” That seems to be what he/she is suggesting. I believe that only a small number of blacks think it’s okay to call each other “nigger.” ConservativelyLiberal must be watching too many rap videos. None of the black people I know use the word among themselves or condone the use of the word. This double-standard thing is bullshit- a red herring to distract us from Imus’s serial bad behavior.

  105. 105
    The Kid says:

    John
    Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit and bullshit.
    A racist loudmouth is off the air. No matter how you slice it, that’s always gonna be a good thing.

    By the way, Captain Avatar, in reading your comments, I can quite understand why the ladies never called you back. There’s no future in dating an idiot.

  106. 106
    Richard 23 says:

    Funny how Redleg blows his top over ConservativelyLiberal’s reasonable move from the Democrat party to Independent. How dare CL be turned off by the anti-American wave of political correctness that swept through the left during the nineties and is still with us to this day.

    Quickly quickly attack the independant minded. No room in your leftist echo chamber for independants, let alone conservatives.

  107. 107
    jg says:

    ‘This charade is going to get dumber and dumber, and if you thought this was really about the evil of Don Imus, you are wrong. This was about pushing agendas.

    The ‘this is what’s wrong with this country’ rant continues. Are you maneuvering for a segment on Hannity? Put the wine bottle down, please.

    As punishment for this ultimately useless post you are not allowed to bitch about the media covering fluff pieces instead of real news, for two weeks.

    Imus wasn’t fired for what he said, he was fired because what he said caused advertisers to pull funding. CBS, like all media, will put up with almost anything if it brings in ad dollars. When something prevents ad dollars, its gone. Ba-bye.

    Do we need more rants from people who love their country but hate their countrymen or can we consider this issue dead as Imus’ career and move on? Please?

  108. 108
    jg says:

    I think the Democratic party has always been unfairly accused by the right of being the p.c. police.

    The dems have been unfairly accused of being in favor of everything that the right has concluded the heartland hates. They identify with your anger and then tell you its the dems who are resonsible. Rinse, repeat.

  109. 109
    bud says:

    I’ve avoided Imus for years. The only response that I have to fact that he got canned is, “Why the hell did he have a job in the first place?”

    I have to agree with John about the whole “victim” bit, though. The proper response from the team would have been to call him an idiot and let it go at that. Doing the “poor little me” bit has done nothing for them, and everything for the race pimps.

  110. 110
    jg says:

    The proper response from the team would have been to call him an idiot and let it go at that.

    Why? Why can’t they call him an idiot and also do more? Who, other than bud, sets the rules on proper responses?

  111. 111
    Redleg says:

    Richard23,
    I also commented how I think the Democratic party has been unfairly tarred with the P.C. label. I don’t buy into your assertion or ConservativelyLiberal’s assertion that the Dems were really the mean old P.C. police they have been accused of. I sure as hell don’t see that as part of the Dem party now. I did nothing to attack political independents or their ideas. I attacked ConservativelyLiberal personally for so easily jumping ship because the conservatives told him that P.C. is not right.

    Tell me what is so “independent minded” about making racial and sexist slurs toward these young women. If that is what you neocons consider free thinking or free speech then you can have it. By the way, I can think of many on the right who have wanted to abridge the free speech of liberals who oppose Bush’s war in Iraq. Hell, I’ve heard some of your GOP congressmen call Democrats “traitors” and “terrorist sympathizers” in order to discourage open criticism of Der Fuhrer Bush. You f@ckers aren’t open minded so don’t pretend that being mild towards Imus makes you so.

  112. 112
    Rome Again says:

    You f@ckers aren’t open minded so don’t pretend that being mild towards Imus makes you so.

    I have to agree with that.

  113. 113
    Depressed Liberal says:

    “For a while there I really thought you had changed, but I see its not that you’ve changed, its was just me looking for some inkling of sanity among the GOP. I guess when your desperate for something, anything, any little thing can be maximized beyond its worth.”

    Hahaha… This is comedy gold. Who cares what you think… Nobody! I’m sorry his views don’t match yours 100%.

    I have news flashes for my fellow Americans and liberals:

    * You, as an American, do not have _any_ entitlement to NOT BEING OFFENDED. You will be offended, you will offend others either in joke or by simply stating your honest viewpoints on any issue. It is inevitable in any form of dialog.

    * No one in this world has the exact viewpoints on every topic that you have unless you have decided not to think for yourself. Using such garbage narrative as I quoted above accomplishes nothing and should be dismissed as someone with no real life experience outside of his or her bubble.

    * For my liberal friends: There is no difference between being offended about religious factions trying to shut down language or a topic of conversation and Rev Al and friends doing the same to Imus. Think hard about that.

    Congratulations everyone! We’ve fixed absolutely nothing, fixed no root causes of racism or race related issues, given lots of press to proven RACIST HATE MONGERS over a cranky old man an offensive joke who would have retired in a couple years anyway. Imus was effectively done for anyway. Who cares about him.

    If I’m going to make a prediction it’s this: The next few steps are bad for everyone. Rev Al and crew are intoxicated and have the race bating machine all rev’d up and running now. They will attack others. Meanwhile conservative and mainstream media will rip into the offensive elements of young black culture (aka “hiphop”, etc) and militant racist Black radio stations in urban market. You will see RACIST rhetoric from EVERY RACE if this continues on. As a liberal this horrifies me because the dialog ends up turning into fuel and it machine just cranks up more and more. If anything it causes more targeting of the young Black Man. I’m already seeing the signs.

    (Oh and as an example of the crap coming down the pipeline: The leading conservative shows are already poking into Hillary’s contributer list and noting some leading hip-hip publishers on those lists. It is only starting!)

  114. 114
    jg says:

    Depressed Liberal Says:

    “For a while there I really thought you had changed, but I see its not that you’ve changed, its was just me looking for some inkling of sanity among the GOP. I guess when your desperate for something, anything, any little thing can be maximized beyond its worth.”

    Hahaha… This is comedy gold. Who cares what you think… Nobody! I’m sorry his views don’t match yours 100%.

    I have news flashes for my fellow Americans and liberals:

    You, as an American, do not have any entitlement to NOT BEING OFFENDED. You will be offended, you will offend others either in joke or by simply stating your honest viewpoints on any issue. It is inevitable in any form of dialog.
    No one in this world has the exact viewpoints on every topic that you have unless you have decided not to think for yourself. Using such garbage narrative as I quoted above accomplishes nothing and should be dismissed as someone with no real life experience outside of his or her bubble.
    For my liberal friends: There is no difference between being offended about religious factions trying to shut down language or a topic of conversation and Rev Al and friends doing the same to Imus. Think hard about that.
    Congratulations everyone! We’ve fixed absolutely nothing, fixed no root causes of racism or race related issues, given lots of press to proven RACIST HATE MONGERS over a cranky old man an offensive joke who would have retired in a couple years anyway. Imus was effectively done for anyway. Who cares about him.

    If I’m going to make a prediction it’s this: The next few steps are bad for everyone. Rev Al and crew are intoxicated and have the race bating machine all rev’d up and running now. They will attack others. Meanwhile conservative and mainstream media will rip into the offensive elements of young black culture (aka “hiphop”, etc) and militant racist Black radio stations in urban market. You will see RACIST rhetoric from EVERY RACE if this continues on. As a liberal this horrifies me because the dialog ends up turning into fuel and it machine just cranks up more and more. If anything it causes more targeting of the young Black Man. I’m already seeing the signs.

    (Oh and as an example of the crap coming down the pipeline: The leading conservative shows are already poking into Hillary’s contributer list and noting some leading hip-hip publishers on those lists. It is only starting!)

    CBS fired him because he was no longer bringing in buckets of ad dollars. Until teh ad companies left it didn’t matter at all what Sharpton or anyonme else said. It may have appeared tomatter but it didn’t. That was all part of the show that is Imus. Now he’s gone because CBS could no longer sell air during his show.

    Would you like to rethink your rant? Or are you going to continue to pretend it means something else so you can act just like the fucking idiots you and John are ranting about?

  115. 115
    jh says:

    Newsflash: All people who think Al Sharpton is the devil incarnate are holding on to a double standard so absurd it could curl a white man’s hair.

    A little story:

    Me and the wife went to the Cherry Blossom Festival a couple of weeks ago. It was very nice: lots of people, gorgeous trees, the Tidal Basin didn’t even appear so muddy that day.

    Anway,

    Over the past couple of days, all the hatred directed at “race pimps” Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in the wake of their role in getting Imus yanked from the airwaves have made me recall some time I spent in the rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial.

    It occurs to me that Al Sharpton has never been elected to public office. Neither has Jesse Jackson. Yes, they’ve both made some pretty shitty remarks in the past and you could also make a pretty convincing argument that Al Sharpton has blood on his hands, albeit indirectly.

    I then recall that I spent 10 minutes last week staring at a 20′ tall monument to a President, along with 8 of his contemporaries, that supported and perpetuated the monstrous institution of chattel slavery, an act in direct contradiction to the noble words etched into the walls around his alabaster visage.

    A contradiction that would continue was white Americans elected racist after racist to public office over the years. From Andrew Jackson to Woodrow Wilson to Jesse Helms to Trent Lott.

    It then sunk in that for all the heat African-Americans are forced to take for the very existence of an Al Sharpton, the man couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Harlem. Neither could Jesse Jackson.

    After that, I stopped feeling so threatened when people like John rail against Al Sharpton because he was instrumental in tearing down one of their own.

    I saw these current rants, missives and diatribes for what they were.

    The desperate gambit of men who hoped people are too ignorant of history or too scared to say to them:

    “Shut the fuck up. My laundry may be soiled, but yours is bloody.”

  116. 116
    wonkie says:

    John ends with “the real agenda” which isn’t about race at all. He lists the next targets: Limbaugh,Beck, Savage etc.

    What qualities do the people listed have in common? It isn’t racismm.

    It’s abusiveness. They are abusers, bullies. They poison public discouurse. They promote hate and violennce toward their fellow citizens.

    Of course they are free to do that–freedom of speech. However I very much hope that Imus is the first down ( actually second because Coulter has been exiled to Fox and Fox itsself is getting marginalized).

    The issue isn’t that speech is hateful or racist or degradinng or whatever. The issue is that abusive speech should not be given legitimacy by being aired by media outlets which claim to be mainstream. Abusives peech shouldn’t be presented as normal or acceptable.

    Discourse on the MSM is by deffinition mainstream. If the MSM airs hate talk then hate talk is given legitimacy–and it shouldn’t. A culture needs to have standards for various kinnds of discourse. People talk one way at parties, anothher in class, another at work, annother in church. Hateful talk about politics should be below the acceptable standard for a mainstream media outlet.

    So yes, I hope there is another agennda, to force the MSM to raise their standards to a responsible level and push the haters off on to smaller, marginal venues where all the mean little people can be their mean little selves by themselves. The MSM should not be allowed to continue their implied endorsement of hate talk.

  117. 117
    Depressed Liberal says:

    “Newsflash: All people who think Al Sharpton is the devil incarnate are holding on to a double standard so absurd it could curl a white man’s hair.”

    Are you actually going to outline why you think that or are you going to make a broad generalization about all of us who dislike Al Sharpton (as a man) because of his past documented actions?

    With all the bleating about “poisoned discourse” how about starting with that quoted statement?

  118. 118
    My Truth Hurts says:

    John Cole I agree 100%.

    My views might be considered liberal but if I am disgusted at anything it is at the reaction to Imus and not Imus himself. Who cares what he said? And shouldn’t preachers like Sharpton and Jackson be preaching forgiveness instead of calling an end to a mans job?

    A man was fired because some people didn’t like what he had to say. How is this a victory for liberals? So short sighted. The price of free speech is putting up with it. Everyone is free to ignore and marginalize people like Imus.

  119. 119
    ding7777 says:

    My sisters, had they been called a ho by anyone, would have flipped them the bird and then gone back to work.

    ok… now what would they do if someone on a nationally broadcast radio show called them a ho?

  120. 120
    Bluekat says:

    Has public discourse, especially over the airwaves, grown so uncivil that no one has the capacity to recognize defamation or libel anymore?

    Freedom of speech is not now, nor has it ever been, limitless. Imus’ freedom of speech ended at the noses of the Rutgers team.

    He called them whores in the venacular. Whores. Not on the sidewalk, in person, or in a private comment. He called them whores in a permanent media. He libeled them. Period. End of story.

    He’s lucky if firing is all it gets him. It should get him a lawsuit.

  121. 121
    Redleg says:

    The funny thing is that some of you here assume that the great “liberal” monolith took out Don Imus. There was no such thing- hell, half of Imus’s defenders are self-proclaimed liberals. Once again you right-wing dunderheads have conflated Al Sharpton with liberals in general and have seen a left-wing conspiracy where there is none.

    I guess all of this fits into the (false) right-wing notion that liberals control the media and that conservative commentators are a beleaguered but heroic band of truth warriors. Now you have douchebags like Tom Delay vowing to start a war against lefties on TV and radio. Delay is as reprehensible as Al Sharpton- more so, because he abused his power as a U.S. Congressman.

  122. 122
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    If you think liberals had nothing to do with this, go read Daily Kos and see if that changes your mind. Heavy handed liberals are pissed because Imus supported McCain, Santorum and a few other republicans lately. Plue he supported the marked man, Liebermann. I read the posts over at Kos, and there were things tossed out like how Imus said he would never allow Hillary on the show, He calls Bill Clinton all kinds of names and he can’t be forgiven for a cigar joke he made at Clinton’s expense. Imus was a moderate progressive/conservative (like myself), but to the extreme left Imus had lost his way.

    It is very clear, this was a liberal revolt and they have pegged Imus as a flighty righty. They do not want to have anything to do with any past association with Imus. That they keep saying Imus is a righty is really funny. I don’t know of too many righties who have called Bush/Cheney ‘war criminals’ almost daily for the last couple of years now. Must be a new wing of the right if that is the case.

    While the market did decide Imus’ fate, it was not his viewership who did it. It was numerous others who determined that his voice must be silenced so nobody else can listen to him. People who did not listen to his show called his advertisers and said that they would not buy products that they never saw the advertising for because they never watched Imus in the Morning. Nuts, but that is the Orwellian world we find ourselves in today.

    Kos has taught me to appreciate a place lime this one here. Same with RedState. At RS, if you cross their line, you are called a moby and you are terminated. At Kos, if you say something that is not approved of by someone with TU (Trusted User) status, they can make what you or someone else says just up and disappear.

    I do not know what bothers me more, RS just cutting you off cold, or the Kos Kutoff, where they just make your (or someone elses words) just disappear because the thought police disapproved of what was said. I think the Kos system is creepier than RS as at least RS is out front about it. Kos just makes peoples musing disappear. For a free speech advocate like me, it is just plain twisted for people who are supposed to love the ACLU to turn on any speech.

    I think it comes down to the extremes. The right and the left have more than their share of crazies out there, and they are the ones who live in this black and white world that makes them feel secure at night. They do not do nuance, they see nothing but their cause, and for them it truly is ‘my way or the highway’.

    This recent mob action against Imus has really opened my eyes to the destructive side of the progressives. Nobody wanted to wait and see what the women of Rutgers had to say after talking to Imus. It was like the extremists decided what was right, and they were going to make sure that everyone knew it. They want to silence everyone they disagree with, and if you disagree with them then they marginalize you with tags like troll, or concern troll. You are not allowed to hold a position against them without their discounting both you and your position. It is a no win battle trying to talk to them.

    I am not a homophobe, I am not a racist and I am not any kind of hater of whatever. I just want to work, pay the bills, raise the kids and live in a society where I do not have to monitor my thoughts and words 24/7. I have a slightly irreverent sense of humor, and I guess that is not PC in the progressive extremists world view.

    I was hoping that Imus would meet with the Rutgers team, and that they would hash things out between them like the adults that they are. But that was not allowed to happen due to the interference of others out there who were too impatient and they had all of the answers NOW.

    If someone insults me or mine, I will deal with it myself. I do not need a mob to go out and render justice for me. I am quite capable of doing so for myself, even against a shock jock or whatever he is supposed to be. Words are only words, they only have the power to hurt if you give them that power.

    In this case, some people gave them that power. They became more than words, bigger than life itself. Regarding the Rutgers team, last time I checked college basketball figures (men and women, NOT boys and girls) are public figures who are commented on by just about anyone who wants to do so. Their sport puts them out there to be commented on, and people are allowed to do so. Imus did not look these women up just to ruin their lives. They made the news, and he commented on it (poorly, may I add).

    Finally, you can take the words of any person and make others think they are saying something else. It is done by taking them out of context, by stripping them of the situation they were uttered in, and sterilizing them until the words themselves remain, devoid of any context.

    If you do not have the context of a situation that words are uttered in, you know less than half of what is going on. Yet there are plenty out there who had no problem rushing to judgment half cocked. After all, those were some nasty words so who cares what the context was? Just uttering them was enough to do the job.

    You may be cheering now, but if you lose a voice you like to listen to because some others determined that you should not have the chance to decide for yourself, don’t come screaming to me. If you supported the lynching of Imus, you brought it on yourself.

    John and Tim, thanks for the place where others can express themselves without fear of censorship or banning.

    You know what free speech is, and I am glad I found this place. I am going to have to scrape a few bucks up to donate to you soon, I want to support a place like this.

    I am thinking of closing my Kos account (or whatever they do to get rid of them). I just can’t see posting in a place where your words have to be approved by the thought police, and that your words are rated by others. In the end, you are either a non participant, an ass kisser to get your share of the points, or you are marginalized and your words disappear.

    That just does not seem right to this old hippy…

  123. 123
    Hyperion says:

    i’m thinking ConLib is Al Malviva (sp) after some failed attempts at re-programming.

  124. 124
    ConservativelyLiberal says:

    And I think you like to stick things in pidgeon holes. Makes it easier for you to dismiss what someone says when you have nothing of worth to counter it with.

    Hey! Look! Is that a tree?!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Update 2: Balloon Juice’s John Cole seems to get it.  Caution: some foul language. […]

  2. […] John Cole provides the best overview of the Don Imus situation I have read so far. Although the language might be a little rough, I encourage you to read the whole thing (it’s one of the examinations of the situation that raises some important points). Money quote: No one has learned anything from this. No one will learn anything from this. There will be no national dialog on race, other than people babbling that there should be a national dialog on race. Civil rights was not advanced one bit. No chance was given for Imus to make things right, no time was spent evaluating what the best response to this situation might be. It was sheer opportunism all the way around, led by a chorus of self-aggrandizing hacks all too eager to milk the situation for all it was worth. All that has been learned in this whole, sordid affair is that when a flawed man does or says something stupid and offensive, the appropriate thing to do is to try and find away to get the most profit for yourself, your cause, or your company, and to run with it. […]

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