#202 In which our hero rants a bit about the ridiculous state of our fine country.
Couple times now I’ve sat down and started to write down my thoughts about this Don Imus thing. But I just can’t organize my thoughts in a sufficient manner to properly express my outrange about the vast over-reactionism and hypocrisy that has assailed the airwaves these past 10 days. I think I can best sum it up thusly:
America has gone mad.
First, let me get this out: I’m a white guy (and, judging from these photos, I’m just about as white as you can be) and I get it that I’ll never get it. The color of my skin prevents me from ever fully understanding what it’s like to be denigrated because of the color of my skin.
That said, I’m furious about the hoopla surrounding the firing of Don Imus. Understand, I don’t really give a crap about this man; I didn’t listen to his show, and the few snippets I heard of it here and there never gave me any incentive to tune in. He sounded like a doddering old kook with a mouth full of marbles.
But here’s what has me so angry: the constant stream of talking heads on the news who proclaim with extreme confidence that Imus was fired because of his “hate speech;” because he finally went way too far with his insults directed at people of all colors and creeds; that a new morality is sweeping the nation and it’s no longer acceptable to say such things on the public airways.
Which is all bullshit.
You want to know why Don Imus was fired? Here are three reasons:
- Procter & Gamble
- Bigelow Tea
- General Motors
- American Express
- Miralus Healthcare
- PetMed Express
And that’s okay… or at least it’s the reality of the situation. I mean, radio is a business, and radio stations want to stay in business. So when a segment of their broadcasting day starts to lose money, they react. This sort of things happens every day; it just so happens that in Imus’ case it happened with great fanfare and in an amazingly accelerated timeframe.
Now, if the radio people would just be honest about this, I wouldn’t care. But they aren’t.
"There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society. That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision."
CBS President Leslie Moonves
This isn’t about “young women of color,” this is about money. This is about cutting off the diseased limb that Imus became as quickly and efficiently as possible before it poisoned the rest of the body and sponsors starting pulling their money from other CBS radio programs.
And don’t think sponsors are without blame. They happily shilled their products on Imus’ program up until the second that there was a public backlash.
“Because of the recent comments that were made on the program it did prompt us to take a look at our decision to advertise on the program and we have decided to stop advertising. … Once we became aware of the comment, we sort of stepped back and took a look at it."
Staples spokesman Paul Capelli
There was nothing about Imus’ “recent comments” that was significantly different from what he says on a daily basis. Staples (and any other of the bailing advertisers) didn’t give a crap what the man said until the threat loomed large that Imus’ commentary might reflect badly on them. Then they ran like scarred rabbits.
“[This is] a victory for public decency. No one should use the public airwaves to transmit racial or sexual degradation.''
Rev. Jesse Jackson
This is not a “victory for public decency” this is a witch hunt that was quickly and efficiently concluded when one man lost his job. The sum effect on public decently is ZERO because there are a hundred small-time radio personalities that are set to jump in and pick up where Imus left off. If anyone seriously thinks this firing will make a difference in the moral climate of this country, then they really haven’t been paying attention.
And using the airways to “transmit racial or sexual degradation” ? To forestall my head from exploding I’ll just leave you with some lyrics from rap legend The Notorious B.I.G.:
Moonlight strolls with the hoes, oh no, that's not my steelo
I wanna bitch that like to play celo, and craps
Packin’ gats, in a Coach bag steamin’ dime bags
A real bitch is all I want, all I ever had (yeah, c'mon)
With a glock just as strong as me
Totin’ guns just as long as me, the bitch belongs with me
Thank God Don Imus has been stopped. Moral American can sleep easy tonight.