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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ifill on Imus 


Gwen Ifill expresses well, I think, the best reason for punishing Don Imus. It is not that he crossed some new line or said anything that many people would not have tolerated from some rapper. It's that he was cruel to a bunch of college kids who had done a wonderful thing and then suffered the greatest disappointment of their young lives. Don Imus has done a lot of good in the world -- the Imus Ranch, and his many other charitable works, which go far beyond the contributions of most celebrities of his fame and stature -- and I do not believe him to be a cruel person. But he was cruel to the Rutgers womens basketball team.


22 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Apr 10, 10:14:00 AM:

Radio personalities are not allowed to say mean things to Div I Sports teams? You're kidding right? I don't agree with what Imus said, nor do I like his show. In fact I believe I have listened to him maybe once in my life, but he needs to stop appologizing to the likes of "Tawana Brawley" Sharpton and "Hymie Town" Jackson. These are not serious men and should not be treated as such. Representatives of the Black community? Give me a break.

On that note, where is all this feigned racial outrage coming from? You can hear the same things and worse coming from any random kid's car cruising the block.

If this type of speech is so offensive, I would like to see some Jay Z or Ice T get fired as well, until then...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Apr 10, 11:04:00 AM:

Imus is not a racist. He gave Harold Ford Jr. a national media platform (where's Ford now that Imus needs his support?), was the first to criticize Corker's racist playboy bunny ad, said loudly that the Katrina disaster was a result of malignant neglect of the poor black residents of N.O., is close to a number of black evangelical preachers, etc. His show routinely got away with politically incorrect, but spot on, humor such as the great sendup of Ray Nagin, a horny Bill Clinton, etc. Now he's basically being lynched by the morally bankrupt old guard leaders of the black community who are expert at blackmailing corporations by threatening to tarnish them with the black community. It's comedy, he crossed the line perhaps, he said he was sorry...that should be enough.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Apr 10, 01:32:00 PM:

Anon (two posts one after the other?)

Lets not beat about the bushes here. The guy was a P...k to say what he did about the team. It's comedy! well maybe its better suited to the comedy show and not the morning show which is on TV as well.

And the fact that you hear worse in the street every day does not make it right.

The media should call out the likes of Jacskon and Sharpton for hypocrisy and be critical of Imus. Now that would be a learning experience.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Apr 10, 01:46:00 PM:

the first Anon post was myself. I dont know who the second was but I pretty much agree.


The antics of America's serial offended are becoming quite dreary.

The media will never call out Sharpton or Jackson. They wont ask them the tough questions regarding their own past actions. No, they are liberal democrats of the basest sort and will be treated as Icons of the black community due to their political leanings.

Want Scandal? Look at the railroading of the Duke Lacross Students. Much like Sharpton, & Jackson, Nifong gets a pass for his blatant misconduct becuase he is a race baiting, tried and true Democrat.  

By Blogger Daniel DiRito, at Tue Apr 10, 02:55:00 PM:

See a tongue-in-cheek visual of Imus and his newfound buddy, Michael Richards, hanging out and counting sheep...here:

www.thoughttheater.com  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Tue Apr 10, 05:41:00 PM:

The best punishment for morons like Imus, is that they have to live the rest of their lives as...morons.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Apr 10, 06:55:00 PM:

Stevie Wonder: I Wish c. 1977

Looking back on when i
Was a little nappy headed boy
Then my only worry
Was for christmas what would be my toy
Even though we sometimes
Would not get a thing
We were happy with the
Joy the day would bring  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Apr 10, 07:04:00 PM:

I always have to give the Bronx cheer to folks who post a comment on race as "anonymous." Chickensh*t usually, and always likely wrong.

Imus isn't a racist? Racism hasnever been about hatred or white sheets, though that's an element. The unifying threads are power and history. These days racism has taken a more insidious track. It can be insensivity and out and out cluelessness, flavored with disdain.

That said, bestselling autor Walter Mosley and I were interviewed for Publishers Weekly about the "ghettofication" of African American literature. We repeated how white authors can write on the most arcane crap (a love story set during the Thirty Years War between Sweden and the AustrianHapsburgs) and that will be published; blacks are now all grouped and pigeonholed. In the course of the discussion Walter stated that BLACKS BEAR SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR IMUS. Yes.

And then he (with my input I must boast) went on the sit up this allegory. For the first 25 years of TV, and many decades of radio, signals have traveled into space. Now say a space-faring civilization intercepts these signals and decides to visit Earth: dressed as Fred Mertz or Amos & Andy, or looking for Adolph Hitler or Tokyo Rose? That's been the subject of many a sci fi short story because the notion is so powerful. Now, black people must own and control the callous stereotypes, behavior, language, dress, etc. that we ourselves put out there and white people (generally) intercept and interpret without the necessary tools to filter out the bullcrap. Mimicking or mocking perceived black "flavah" (from speech to dance to sex) is as old as America. Ever wonder who invented the word "okay?" hahaha.

You see, when you have a culture that, with the help of conglomerate media/retail monsters, glorifies the more lurid aspects of Hip Hop culture, "ghettofab" lifestyles, "dirty South-Atlanta crunk," blah blah, it's easy meat for scumbags like Imus...or "innocent" observers. Or folks like Anonymous, who think it's from the playbook/talking points to attack Jesse, Sr. or Rev. Al rather than attack the core matter. Indeed nothing is monolithic: at a recent Princeton black alumni event there was spirited debate with Cornell West over his giving the bards of the more nasty forms of contemporary hip hop and street culture too much credit as bards or community leaders. But we always kiss and make up because those of us with sense see the eyes on the real prize.

Indeed, rather than the Tank Johnsons and Pacmans and Ron Artests out there, when you speak to these young women on the Rutgers team, your are dealing with as close to a paradigm of true student athletes and all around cool young ladies as you can find.

So white people--cut the crap and just admit this wrinkled old turd needs to tone it down and leave it at that. And anonymous--show yourself...hahahaha  

By Blogger RandomThoughts, at Tue Apr 10, 09:56:00 PM:

I find it funny that there is a big uproar over Imus calling the Rutgers BB team a bunch of nappy headed hoes. If you listened to his program, you actually have heard much worse in the past. Why the uproar now? Was it the target? Possibly.

Hate to say this, but I think its kind of funny to hear all the elite “intellectuals” get their panties in a wad over this incident. I have heard so many pundits agonizing over the incident, and the real sad thing is that it’s all just entertainment. Both the incident and the reaction have nothing to do with reality. I also find it amusing that there seems to be a big discussion at Princeton over this. Who are you trying to kid?

As for the long list of “experts” that have talked on this subject, sorry, but it is hard for me to take someone serious who says “I actually know black people” in any context.

I wonder what Bill Cosby thinks of all this?  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Apr 10, 11:15:00 PM:

"Ever wonder who invented the word "okay?" hahaha."

As a matter of fact, yes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okay#Etymology:_.22Oll_Korrect.22_and_.22Old_Kinderhook.22

"So white people--cut the crap and just admit..."

So black people - cut the crap and just admit that the lot of you are just as racist as the rest of us. If I had a talking point on CNN every time some black guy said "cracker, "white boy," "whitey," et cetera, I'd be on the air 24-7. I grew up hearing it.

But I won't be, because no one cares. And no one should care about this. There are way more important things people could be doing rather than tripping over themselves trying to sound enlightened by thinking up ever more creative and thoughtful ways to dissect three freakin' words. This guy, whom I'd never heard of till now, can say whatever the hell he wants within the confines of the law and his contract. Where was all of this interest and rage when the President of Iran threatened to destroy the Anglo nations?

What a sad, pathetic waste of effort.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Apr 10, 11:24:00 PM:

If this is truly the greatest disappointment in the lives of these young women thus far, then I suggest they put on a uniform and stand a post. Their press conference was unbearably long and ridiculously self-indulgent. They weren't shot at, they weren't ambushed, and this pales in comparison to the sacrifices made by young men and women of ours everyday in Iraq. Perhaps a little perspective is in order here.  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Apr 10, 11:38:00 PM:

DawnFire--if I were to label you a cracker, a redneck scumbag, someone who should have been pinched off genetically back when Sherman was matching around in 1864 would that be in the bounds of the law? Not really. First Amendment only applies to government action. But even so, I wouldn't do that because unike you, I have class and insight. But I'm not like that. Racism again is about power, history. You clearly know nothing about history. I wish I had a time machine and have us skim around in it and let's see where you stand then. Maybe with a little perspective you'll see things in a different light. Somehow I doubt it but I can always pray.
Oh and I do confess I get a secret kick out of that little clown who runs Iran, and Hugo Chavez, too. Indeed, so do most people of color ariund the world when folks like you chafe and rail and squirm. Awful feeling, isn't it?

Random--the discussions at Princeton weren't about Imus, they about race relations, about dealing with clowns like you in a civil way when you lack even the most remote notion of what we are about. Hell, it's pretty clear you didn't even read my comment's middle paragraphs about blacks taking responsibility for given Imus such material. I clearly take responsibility for educating...oops as you may think we say "edge-ju-ma-catin'"...you.

What's your address? I'd like toring your doorbell and debate this. I'm pretty easy to find. See, and I didn't even call you an m-f, I'm so enlightened. LOL  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Tue Apr 10, 11:45:00 PM:

Other Anonymous--I think Jack Nicholson did that "stand a post" line in A Few Good Men. His delivery was a lot more entertaining than yours. hahaha Again, why don't you take your righteous self to these girls and school them? I think they'd listen to you at least a good four seconds before shaking their heads and leaving you in mid-brain fart.

I think Th has yet another Pelosi post. Perhaps ya'll should stick to glomming your rants on those topics, because you're way way out on these, fellas. G'Night, and thank God we are a diverse nation.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Tue Apr 10, 11:45:00 PM:

Ifill's take on the incident seems reasonable. What Imus said was mean spirited, which I infer is consistent with the overall tone of his show (I don't know, I am not a listener).

While he did nothing illegal, and his comments don't cross the line of what could reasonably be termed "hate speech" (which would be, for example, "let's kill all Princetonians who didn't vote for John Kerry in 2004"), and the FCC probably can't impose fines on his network, he said something that he should have known was going to cause him a world of pain. This is not about Sharpton or Jackson doing their usual thing, it is specifically about Imus and what he said.

Set aside for the moment that all of this type of entertainment coarsens the culture (and I know, if I don't like it, I can and do turn the channel). Imus has been around long enough to know the rules of the game. He basically did the next worst thing to using the N-word. People with high profile media jobs simply can't do that and expect to keep their jobs. Big name guests and perhaps even sponsors will see him as radioactive, and with no good bookings and fewer advertisers, it will be hard to make a living.

When Gary Hart took that cruise on Monkey Business with Donna Rice, he broke the rules of his game (presidential politics) and knew it and did it anyway. Game over. (Clinton got away with it, yes, but he was already elected and he can thank the DJIA for keeping his job). Imus broke the rules of his game, and I think it's likely to be game over for him. My point here is that a true professional knows better that to engage in behavior that could threaten his livelihood.

How does a morning DJ spinning Top 40 records three and a half decades ago get into this position in the first place?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Apr 11, 12:11:00 AM:

So what ever became of freedom of speech cant anyone say anything without having these wussietards making a ruckus? SCREW AL SHARPTON and his goons  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Apr 11, 08:23:00 AM:

Oh so we got us this Chambers internet tough guy here.

Talking about showing up on someones door. Give me a break.

Typical thug, although with soft looking hands...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Apr 11, 08:35:00 AM:

Tough guy indeed. I don't think Jack Nicholoson invented the idea of standing a post. Chambers may get all his reality from TV and movies, but others of us have actually served. I'll bet anyone lunch that Chambers has never stood a post. Never has and never will.

As for these young women, I didn't find them to be all that "impressive." Mr. Chambers may -- since he apparently thinks all of reality is a movie -- but they seemed to me like student-athletes of middling intellects, not unlike most student-athletes (white and black) in most colleges around this country. If they are the future leaders of our country, then we have some real problems.  

By Blogger Catchy Pseudonym, at Wed Apr 11, 11:35:00 AM:

Chambers,

"I wouldn't do that because unike you, I have class and insight"

"You clearly know nothing about history"

"clowns like you" --

You're arguements would be taken much better if didn't come off as such a c#@k. You definitly don't have class and your insight is questionable.

Your arguement style, even though you're coming from a different view point, is eerily similar to a lot of the righties style of debate. Basically, if soemone disagrees with you it's because they're stupid, biased and uneducated to the "facts."

I've heard much more racially offensive stuff than what Imus said on Family Guy. What Imus did was mean and lame, but I disagree with the attention it's getting. What's the difference between Family Guy and the Imus show? Why can they do it, but not Imus? Is it becuase he's an old white guy on the radio as opposed to a cartoon written by white guys?

I think Sharpton and Jackson are riding the money train. I like Sharpton, but I think that often his battles have to do more with money and power than the cause. But then again I'm just an uneducated, ill-informed racially insensitive white guy with no perspective of history.

"Oh and I do confess I get a secret kick out of that little clown who runs Iran, and Hugo Chavez, too" -- If you think they're not gunning for you too, then you a sadly misinformed. Sounds like you need to take stock of what you have in this country before you secretly root for those who want to destroy it.

Good lord I'm sounding like a Republican. I need to go do a bong hit.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Wed Apr 11, 03:22:00 PM:

Catchy -

I don't partake, but I understand some of the genetically engineered weed with high THC concentrations goes for upwards of $500/oz. You may have to become a wealthy Republican to support the costs of your indulgence.

Good single malt scotch is tastier, mellow, less expensive, legal, easier on the lungs, has more of a cachet, is easily available when you travel (and provides a good reason to go to the U.K.) and you don't have to worry about getting it through security, and done in moderation it doesn't set a bad example for your kids. Just throwing it out there for thought.  

By Blogger RandomThoughts, at Wed Apr 11, 04:00:00 PM:

Chris Chambers, nice try. You know my URL. Too bad your "discussion" of race relations has nothing to do with the real world. I would make a comment that you don't know what the real world is, but that would presume that I know you and your situation. I don't. Funny, you don't seem to have a problem having that knowledge of others.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Wed Apr 11, 07:41:00 PM:

"DawnFire--if I were to label you a cracker, a redneck scumbag, someone who should have been pinched off genetically back when Sherman was matching around in 1864 would that be in the bounds of the law? Not really. First Amendment only applies to government action."

You have no idea what you're talking about. Seems to be a running theme, actually. Like insinuating that black Americans are responsible for the origin of the word, "okay." (what, did you think I wouldn't notice that you ignored my link to a refutation?)

You're little devil-may-care, superior attitude is cute and all, but doesn't hide that you're 1) an asshole, and 2) ignorant of most of the things you deign to discuss.

"But even so, I wouldn't do that because unike you, I have class and insight."

If you are an example of either, then I'm extremely pleased that I'm just a redneck cracker.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Apr 11, 09:28:00 PM:

Now... This has gone too far.

Think we should change Idaho's name?  

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