Friday, April 13, 2007

All I'm going to say on the Imus mess

"To not satirize someone just because of their race, I think that would be patronizing and racist in itself." --Bernard McGuirk, producer for Don Imus

Yes, that's right. Refraining from racist jokes is racist.

The mind reels.


punkinsmom said...

Isn't it impressive the contortions that bigots will go through to justify their behavior. My favorite is the "intolerance of my beliefs is just as bad as intolerance of an entire group of human beings based on their religion, skin tone, and/or sexual orientation" riff.

fermicat said...

There is an incredible double standard at work here. If it's not OK for a old, white DJ to say certain words, then it shouldn't be OK for young black rappers to say them. This whole incident is overblown, and all the 'outrage' seems conveniently one-sided. He apologized and got fired and yet this 'controversy' still rages. I think everyone should get a grip and move on.

Jim Donahue said...

OK, I guess this will be my last word on the topic, then.

To use a cliche I'm sick of (but it fits and I'm pressed for time, so what the hell), it was a perfect storm of number of circumstances that sank the Imus boat. If you think he got canned for one comment, you're not looking at the bigger picture.

Despite the public hand-wringing over morality on the part of NBC News (which runs MSNBC, host of the TV simulcast), I rather doubt he lost the gig there because of one comment. He lost it because all of the major advertisers pulled out when he became toxic. And without advertisers, he was just a garden-variety crank, the kind you find raving on street corners, who just lost most of his D.C. connections.

What on earth was that show doing on a news channel? Really, whose bright idea was that? If he didn't have grand designs of being a serious, politically influential figure AND a purveyor of sophomoric and--let's be honest here--all-around hateful humor AND on a news channel instead of something like Comedy Central or E! or really almost anything else AND with mainstream advertisers with images to protect, like Procter & Gamble, he'd still be on the air.

And let's not forget this was not an isolated incident. This is absolutely not the first time there have been calls for his head--just the first time there's been such a groundswell. Have you read some of his collected wit and wisdom? Yowsah. (I cringe as I type this, but his producer said on the air recently that Anderson Cooper likes to take it "up the poop chute." Again, if you were Procter and Gamble, would you pay for your ad to run after that comment became known?) This was a step too far after many, many other steps too far.

And if he were just on the radio and not on MSNBC? He'd still have a job, I'd wager. The whole thing collapsed after TV dropped him and took the radio gig with it in its wake.

This is capitalism at work, whether you love it or hate it. And when someone else wants to bankroll him in a year or so after the fuss dies down and if he's still capable of talking into a microphone, he'll be back on the air.

Is there a double standard as far as rappers are concerned? Yup. Would the world be a better place if there weren't? Yup. Does that let Imus off the hook? Nope. And if 50 Cent wanted to host a talk show on MSNBC and invite senators on as guests, A) I don't think they'd come and B) Procter & Gamble wouldn't sponser that, either. (MTV has been bleeping all the "hos" [definitely] and "bitches" [I'm pretty sure] for quite a while now, by the way.)

Whew. Talk about long winded.

God Is My Codependent said...

Does this rise to the level of a kerfuffle?