TIPPING POINT

 

I hope you will all forgive me if I express no sorrow over the fate of Don Imus, who called the championship-playing women’s basketball team at Rutgers “nappy headed hos.”  I confess I have never listened to his radio program, however, what I’ve read about him in the last few days is enough to convince me that his termination from CBS is no great loss.  Not that he’ll be gone long.  I’m sure he’ll turn up on satellite with fellow loudmouthed asshole Howard Stern.

 

What amazes me most about this whole circus is the stammering outrage all over the internet from Imus’ fans.  Among their more inane arguments:

 

  • Firing Don Imus was a violation of his freedom of speech.

 People, Freedom of Speech protects Mr. Imus from being prosecuted for making remarks critical of the US government.  Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that loudmouthed assholes have the right to host their own radio shows if their employers are no longer desirous of their services.

 

  • Those bastards at CBS fired Imus after a bunch of advertisers bailed out.  It was all about money!

 Hello, did you just arrive on this planet?  If you were seriously under the delusion that infotainment is NOT all about money, you should be listening to Mr. Rogers, not Mr. Imus.

 

  • Jesse Jackson once called New York City “Hymietown.”

 And this is relevant to Don Imus spewing racist, misogynist garbage on the radio in what way? 

 

  • Al Sharpton supported that woman who falsely accused the poor innocent lads at Duke who hired strippers to perform at their frat party but didn’t, apparently, rape them.

 And this is relevant to Don Imus spewing racist, misogynist garbage on the radio in what way? 

 

  • Black rappers talk that way too!

 Fortunately, they don’t have morning shows on CBS.  If they did, I’d favor firing them too.  I would also favor radio stations refusing to play that crap, and record labels refusing to produce that crap.  Unfortunately, that crap sells.  So far. 

 

  • It was a joke.  Have you no sense of humor?

 In the last two decades it seems that the “discourse” and “humor” we hear from public personas has become increasingly uncivil.  Imus, Stern, Limbaugh, Coulter, Savage, the list goes on.  Perhaps we, as a culture, have finally gotten sick of it.  Isn’t there enough conflict in our own individual lives?  Do we really need to pay people to be obnoxious all over the mediawaves?  The Market has enormous powers of correction.  When a group of young black women who have achieved the status of elite student athletes at a prestigious university are told by a rich, white, loudmouthed asshole on the radio that no matter how far they’ve come, they are still ugly black bitches only good for one thing, the Market responds to the collective turning of our stomachs.

 

You might note that I’ve used the uncivil term “loudmouthed asshole” repeatedly.  You  might also note that I am not a public persona, I don’t get paid to be here, and therefore I can’t be fired.  Besides, in this case, it’s true.

 

 

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28 thoughts on “

  1. You forgot Janeanne Garofalo and Ted Rall.  I’m sure it was just an oversight.  Speaking of Ted Rall, here’s his Don Imus comic
    I’ve never heard Don Imus’s show, either, and I don’t have any feelings about him being fired.  I’m sure he’ll resurface shortly.  His kind always do.  That’s why I don’t think the Market has such enormous powers of correction.  I mean, it would, if people didn’t go for this stuff, but as you pointed out, they do.  What I find so fascinating is that hip-hop culture is saturated with misogynistic, self-loathing garbage which rich white teenagers absorb and ingest and regurgitate in a misguided effort to be hip, and the rest of society just sits back and yawns.  But middle-aged Don Imus with a radio show most Americans west of Appalachia never hear parrots this one particular expression, and suddenly Western Civilization feels threatened?  We’re a pretty messed-up people.

  2. It frequently amazes me how many people misunderstand freedom of speech that way.
    And I suppose you’re right.  He probably will show up on satellite radio.  But I’ll bet he doesn’t get the sweet deal that Howard Stern got.

  3. I’m so far out of the mainstream, I’d never heard of this guy either. And clearly, I hadn’t, and won’t, miss much!   But this country sure is convoluted about what it gets worked up about and what it chooses to ignore.

  4. I think what Don Imus said is painfully stupid.  However, he is a shock jock.  Now he says something shocking and everyone is…well…shocked!  Hmm.  Maybe now folks will get the idea that being shocking isn’t such a good thing. 
    I’ve never listened to him either because I just don’t need that kind of nonsense in my life. 
    Good post. 

  5. Jinkies, we’ve spent an inordinate amount of media time on this non-issue. It’s almost as bad as the fight for Anna Nicole’s baby. From time to time I feel guilty for not paying more attention to the news and/or current events, and then something like this happens and I remember not to feel guilty.

  6. You’ve got some damn good points there.  Crap, unfortunately in this day and age, does sell immensely. 
    I’ve subscribed to your site, if you don’t mind.  And I’m actually doing quite well.  Just feeling inspired, musically and spiritually. 

  7. I’ll take a transvestite_rabbit t-shirt in a medium, thank you very much.BTW, I have a chapter in my novel, The Threshold (Now in its 7th draft and about to be renamed by Hubs “Oh My God When Will You Ever Finish That Damn Book”)called “Transvestite Cat.” I named it ‘way before I started reading your blog, though. I write fiction the way Congress writes law and the way a constipated person…okay, I’m gonna stop here before I drop a nasty metaphor.BTW2: Yo’ brain is a goon ‘un. Thanks for the refreshing logic in the midst of raging lunacy.

  8. The scary part to me is that he has a huge audience. From listening/reading OF him (but not TO him), I don’t think this was an isolated incident, though perhaps a bit more nasty.

  9. I guess I sorta’ think that public “humor” at the expense of others isn’t terribly humorous. And like you, I can’t figure out when everyone started thinking that it was/is.

  10. I still have yet to figure out why someone so inflammatory as Don Imus is now in the public lime light for comments he has been making for several years. Firing him is justified, but he has been approached for apologies before and the stations his job was never on the line then. I hope that you are right; I hope that people today are becoming more and more socially conscious–in a way that it necessarily follows that they become outraged in the face of racism and sexism (I hope the same for homophobia as well).Terrific post. This subject has been brought up in the majority of my classrooms. I don’t find it unremarkable that the white students are more lenient towards Imus’ deeds, whereas the students of color express nothing but anger and contempt. It is for this reason, that I am not entirely convinced that we are, as a collective bunch, headed in the right direction.

  11. I know that if I made a comment like the one Mr. Imus did in *my* job, I could/would expect to be fired immediately.  Unfortunately, I have to listen to stuff like that all day — from my students.  We try to teach them tolerance, but there is still a lot of racial stuff going on at the junior high level.  The only thing that surprises me anymore is the groups it comes from.
    I’ve been wondering what would have prompted Imus to make such a stupid remark in the first place.  Did he just think it was funny, or does he have something against the Rutgers team, in particular.  (Like, maybe they beat the team he was cheering for?) 
    RYC:  Focus on the picture, then very slowly lean in toward the computer, without letting your eyes adjust the focus.  The picutre — what looks like a snake on a spring — may jump out at you.

  12. Imus had fans? Yea, he was a loudmouthed asshole to the Nth degree. He should have been canned for spewing his racist trash long ago (and he’s slipped before). A comment like that isn’t just a minor indiscretion; it has to come from somewhere and it reveals it’s utterer’s true feelings. Now, you can be a racist, you can be a nazi, you can be a pedophile … whatever … but once you let the facade of a normal human being drop the real you is exposed. This is just a case of another closet racist exposed. I hope he dies unknown, ineffectual and irrelevant. Now, we need to go after Ann Coulter for calling Al Gore a faggot. Just as the women on the team were neither nappy-headed nor ho’s, I’m pretty sure Al Gore is straight.RYC: I can ask, but nobody ever listens to me.

  13. Don Imus needs to retore and shut up.  He has been getting away with this stuff for way to long.
    Martha Burke is a political psych.

  14. I do agree that Imus got what he deserved.  I would, however, like to see hate speech removed from all media–I have to listen to it being played outside my window every Friday and Saturday night.

  15. I just can’t raise any energy to rant about this….it wasn’t even as much Imus making the statement, but that he was just repeating what the other guy said (And who was the other guy? The sidekick?), without paying attention. 
    Also, it’s not that there’s no relevance between Jesse Jackson, etc., and their comments–I think there is.  Jackson is ranting about respecting women, where was his respect for his wife when his ‘ho’ decided to grant interviews to the tabloids about her affair with Jackson?  And the fact that they had a child?! I’m sorry, calling someone a ‘nappy headed ho’ is bad, but if you’re going to rant about it, make sure you don’t have any skeletons in your closet. (Bill Cosby, I’m looking at your cheating ass too!)

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