Monday, April 09, 2007


Don Imus, the syndicated radio host, finds himself on the thinnest of ice these days. Last week Imus and his producer, Bernard McGuirk, were riffing on the NCAA women's basketball tournament; the conversation deteriorated into name-calling, with Imus tagging the mostly black Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" and McGuirk using the slur "jigaboos" to describe the women.

(Never mind that "ho," like "pimp," have been bastardized into meaninglessness. That's a topic for another post.)

Imus apologized last week, and again on Monday, and then he went on a radio show hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights leader and occasional presidential candidate. The Sharpton show did not go well for Imus. Newsday reports that Sharpton kept Imus off-balance for much of the interview, and an exchange from the show illustrates the contentiousness:
Sharpton: "It can't just be glossed over, if you walk away from this unscathed, the next guy can."

Imus: "Unscathed! Don't you think I'm humiliated? Don't you think I'm embarrassed? Don't you think I understand?"
Sharpton thinks no such thing, and continues to call for Imus to be fired. So does the Rev. Jesse Jackson; he led a Monday picket outside the Chicago offices of NBC (Imus' morning show is simulcast on MSNBC).

Also joining in the call to oust Imus are the usual suspects. Over at Democratic Underground, this thread typifies the outrage among many liberals. One DUer fumed:
We don't need voices like HIS on the airwaves.
He's offensive, he's horrible, so let's kick him to the curb. It has become the bipartisan, catch-all solution to myriad problems, both real and imagined. Don't like Michael Richards' rant during a comedy routine? Throw him down the well. Don't like the Dixie Chicks criticizing the president? Demand their heads on a wall. It's a short-term balm that does little, if anything, to halt intolerance.

If Imus offends you, don't listen. Same goes for every other radio talker. File a complaint with the FCC, if you feel the need. But demanding Imus' head on a pike? Please. His whole radio schtick is built on outrageous remarks. Anyone who claims to be surprised at Imus' remarks is lying, or has never listened to his show.

Late Monday, NBC announced that it was suspending the simulcast of Imus' show for two weeks, after which time he will undoubtedly mutter something about being chastised and we'll all go on to the next uproar. Political correctness wins again. We all lose.


Anonymous said...

I certainly don't agree with Sharpton's grandstanding, but I confess to having a soft spot in my heart for him because in the runup to the 2004 presidential election, when he was able to force his way onto the dias with candidates for the Democratic nomination, he was the most fun to listen to and often made the most sense.

The guy who gets my goat in this Imus deal is Jesse Jackson. Does he think we've forgotten his "Hymietown" reference to New York? What a sanctimonious hypocrite!

Anonymous said...

You forgot to add Rush Limbaugh to the Imus/Michael Richards list of infamy.

I don't think its political correctness to prefer life with Imus not having access to a microphone. Its more like do unto others as you would have them do unto you or, if you prefer, good manners.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who claims to be surprised at Imus' remarks is lying, or has never listened to his show."

Ron, I think you may have inadvertently hit upon the nub of the whole controversy. His remarks are not the least bit surprising; my only hope is that they prove to be his jump the shark moment.

Unlike his fellow shock jock brethren (Howard Stern, Opie & Anthony, etc.), but like Limbaugh, Imus is considered a go to stop for politicians and media types, people who don't tend to show up on your average shock jock show. They lend legitimacy to whatever comes out of his mouth, no matter how hateful. And now they, by extension, get to share in the embarassment Imus has caused for himself and his employers.

Anonymous said...

Don Imus is still alive?

Anonymous said...

Both Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have said some of the most racist, anti-semetic diatribes in their so-called careers (what exactly do they DO???), how can they sit in judgment of anyone? Well, I guess if it plays in "Hymietown", right JJ?

Anonymous said...

Imus's stupidity aside, are we to believe members of the Rutgers team never used the word 'Ho" when interacting with each other in the locker room, or on the practice court? Are we to believe team members boyfriends have not used the term when refering to the girls? Imus was wrong, but don't give me the holier than thou hypocracy.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wanna say f*** my bitch
But I don't want nobody to f*** my bitch

From “Call Some Hoes” – Kanye West

My office hours 9 to 5, whyon'tcha call me there
It's so many hoes in here
I ain't tryin to be rude dude, whyon'tcha dissapear?

From “2 Many Hoes” – Jay-Z

Who let these hoes in my room? (These hoes)
Who let these hoes in my room?
Who let these hoes in my room? (Did you let 'em in?)
Who let these hoes in my room? (These hoes)
Who let these hoes in my room?

From “Hoes in My Room” – Ludacris

I got a bitch that s*** my d*** til I nut
Spit it on my gut and slurp that s*** back up
Ain't that a slut (HELL YEA) she even take it in the butt
F*** for bout a hour, now she want a golden shower
You didn't know that we be pissin on hoes, bitch (BEOTCH)
Luke and Biggie straight sh***** on hoes, bitch (BEOTCH)

From “Big Booty Hoes” - Notorious B.I.G.

Where is the outrage?

Anonymous said...

Nice point, wuddog. I'm guessing those songs play on the radio somewhere, too.

Now I have to find "Big Booty Hoes" on iTunes. Thanks!