Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Imus Shymus

I am curious what my colleagues think of the Don Imus scandal.

I have never listened to Imus. But as I listen to story on story pile up on this topic. I have mixed feelings and I am leaning toward one of them.

1. What he said about the basketball team was cruel. He shouldn’t have said it.
2. Isn’t this a tempest in a teapot? I mean had he not used the phrase “nappy haired” would people have cared? In fact isn’t the whole thing just plain stupid?

I am leaning toward number 2.

I think what I am trying to figure out is what was it that offended exactly? Was it the racial slur, the gender slur, the sexual slur, or all of the above? Part of me says the team needs to suck it up and move on. You know what they say about sticks and stones.

Imus offends everyone every time he opens his mouth. That is his thing, his appeal. He purposely avoids political correctness. I take it back; I don't he purposely avoids it, I think he is incapable of adhering to it, proved by his less than stellar apology on Al Sharpton's show. He's a schock jock and that is what shock jocks do. That is why they bear the name. From Imus’ perspective, I am sure he is as confused and I am. He goes beyond the bounds of decency every day. So how can he tell when he has gone too far out of bounds until someone screams? By then, I am sure it seems arbitary to him.

Shouldn’t the team, many of whom I am sure have never heard Imus either, just suck it up? By making a big deal of it, they have just given the guy more of a victim status than they themselves could ever claim.

Furthermore advertisers who pull adds are doing it out of fear of consumer revolt more than out of any real offense to their principles. I know CNBC would like us to think otherwise. It is hypocritical considering the amount of money Imus has made for them already!


Raised By Republicans said...

He's clearly a racist and a mysogenist. But he's not the only one and not the most powerful either. It's not like he's President or Vice President or something. In short, I don't think what he says really matters in any sense of influencing society or anything like that.

But I won't shed a tear for him if he gets shredded by the kind of reactive media feeding frenzy that he and his ilk have lived off of for so long.

USWest said...

Yes, RBR, but my point isn't that we should feel sorry for him. I don't give a damn about him. He's like the guy who speeds every day along with everyone else, and his bad luck was he got caught today.

Shredding him won't change a damn thing. He'll pay his fine and go abotu his business.

I am sick of all the whining about how offensive these people are. If you want them off the air, if you want to re-claim the air waves, then shut up and shut it off. This current "scandal" is a flash in the pan. If everyone is so "offended" then why do they keep listening?

The fact that people listen means that 1) people agree with the guy and like what he says 2) people think the man is a jerk, but get off on the fact that he can be a jerk and succeed. Maybe he appeals to something in our character, that part that would love to rebel and shock, but dare not do so.

Another interesting thing that comes to mind is that I don't hear anyone making "freedom of speech" arguments here. We had quite a lively debate about that very topic about a year ago when Arabs were offended over cartoons. We talked about red lines and what constitutes them. And the majority here said that trying to draw red lines was a slippery slope.

You wouldn't need red lines if people would quit listening. The whole thing with shock jocks was always driven by ratings and money. NO ratings, no money, no shock jock.

Raised By Republicans said...

Good points. I didn't mean to suggest you sympathized with the guy. I was suggesting it was a kind of karmic justice.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I don't really understand the big deal over Imus' remarks. Yes, it was offensive, but it sounded like the same kind of crap he always says. I think the main problem is that he was not funny. This whole episode smacks of political correctness gone amok.

USWest said...

Ah yes, RBR you are right. Karma. Imus is getting what he deserves. And I bet he is a lot less thin skinned about it than those he has offended.

I am laughing at myself because I find it somewhat contradictory that I am sort of "standing up" for Imus because I think he is skum and because I made the opposite arguement about the Mohammad cartoons last year. I also didn't realize how irritated I am over the whole thing considering that I didn'tthink I cared very much.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Sadly, I think the taboo that Imus broke was dissing women's sports.

USWest said...

Well my predictions about Imus' future may have been wrong. CBS canceled his show and escorted him out of the building.

So far, I think Juan Williams of NPR made the best argument this morning. He said 1: that had Imus been black and said what he did, no one would have noticed. He faulted Black civil rights leaders for allowing black artists and celebrities to use such language in rap songs and such. He pointed out that if it isn't OK for whites, it isn't OK for anyone.
2) he pointed out that there are more black CEOS, such as the current head of Am EX who wanted to pull there ads. The times, they are a changing.
3. Also, the leadership at CBS has changed. And now there are more women in management positions at CBS and they protested his comments. So the days of the shock jocks may be numbered.

These are the type of changes that we don't see until something happens to expose them.

The Law Talking Guy said...

If there had been any other scandal to take attention away from Imus, this would have blown over. But, sadly, Gonzalez doesn't testify till next week. Which is Senator Mikulski's fault. So, in a way, Senator Mikulski got Imus fired...

USWest said...

Or, better yet, Imus prevented Gonzalas from escaping media attention.

Of course, 5 days is a lot of time. Gonzalas still has a chance.

Ren said...

First, just for clarification, the basketball team didn't raise the ruckus over this, they've publicly accepted his apology, etc... a black lawyers group started the call to action.

People like Imus get kicked off the air when they are no longer economically viable - when sponsors pull ads. Other people, who don't listen, but do buy Bounty paper towels, or whoever is advertising on his show, hear a snippet, don't want their money to go to him inadvertently, and then start complaining. Then sponsors get scared, pull, and Imus gets fired.

The part I don't understand is how he felt the only way to combat political correctness is through racism and misogyny. Can't we get some creativity some times?

USwest said...

Ren, I don't think he was "battling" PC. I think he is just a racist pig. But up until recently, he was a money-making racist pig.

I would like to believe that his fate is a sign of a market correction. But I am jaded.