The Dogs that Didn't Bark at Don Imus

Monday, April 16, 2007 at 09:37 AM

Smarmy insult slinger Don Imus is out at MSNBC and CBS Radio. The straw that broke the camel's back -- tossing a combined racial and sexual insult at a group of young women, many of them still teenagers, who had just completed a Cinderella season -- has been well covered, as has Imus' long history of saying things equally nasty.

The last week saw advertisers like GM and American Express fleeing from Imus, but the head of NBC claims that's not what caused him to stop the simulcasts of Imus' show. It was the pressure from inside NBC. The pressure from staffers and reporters who were tired of being associated with these boneheaded remarks. Even weatherman Al Roker stepped up to the plate and demanded that Imus go. And it's certainly worth mentioning that Keith Olbermann called for Imus to be fired. With the growth of Keith's audience and this increasing importance of his show at MSNBC, that certainly had to weigh heavily with the suits.

All of those who were willing to put themselves forward on this issue deserve a cheer, and we could only wish that the employees at other news networks would be equally adamant about ridding their organizations of foul-mouthed hatemongers.

But as gratifying as it is to see the rank and file pushing for decency, it's also interesting to see who didn't step up. The GOP, who have long lived by lapping up the filth spewing from the microphones of Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, and Rush Limbaugh, have pledged their loyalty to Imus. John McCain, Imus' favorite politician, has been right there for his buddy, ready to forgive. Rudolph Giuliani is also on the pro-Imus side of the line, as is Mike Huckabee. Let the record show: GOP presidential candidates believe it's fine and dandy to use racial and sexual remarks, spoiling a moment of triumph for a group of student athletes who worked hard to excel on and off the court. Mitt Romney? He lacks the courage to even comment. Of course, knowing Romney, whatever he decides today will be reversed next week.

Equally interesting is the silence from "serious" journalists like Tim Russert, who frequently cozied up on Imus show to exchange chuckles and unctuous jokes. Russert isn't the only one. All those chummy beltway boys, so hip, so above the common fray, looked on Don Imus as one of their own.

And why not? Punditry has reached the stage where it consists of nothing but slinging insults and generating outrage. Facts have nothing to do with it. Decency has nothing to do with it. You can dish up hurtful lies and pointless little digs all weekend, and still pretend that you're America's moral daddy. Right, Bill? Right, Tim? Right, Rush?

What's shocking to them is not what Imus said, but that someone from their club would actually be held responsible for what they said.

Mark Sumner is an associate editor at Political Cortex and Daily Kos.

Comments

As has been mentioned, it seems the Left *wants* Imus to be a racist, instead of a patronizing jerk who tries to use street talk when discussing black issues.

I stopped listening to Imus when he went on TV, because it seemed that he suddenly abandoned any hint of conservatism, in doing so. All at once, he was against Bush, calling him names that Leftists did *not* object to, and almost daily criticizing the Iraq conflict. All the while, inviting Democratics onto the show to express their opinions; also McCain while he was attacking Bush and Iraq.

I've heard Imus use the "nappy headed" comment, before, when affectionately discussing some sports individual. It was obvious, at the time, that he wasn't intending to make the comment racially derogatory; although anyone could have purposefully taken it that way. Most of the blacks on his show while he patronized them using street talk just patronized him back, jokingly and with racial epithets of their own; e.g., whitey, or honky.

Of course, in this incident, he combined that with sexual comments, also; particularly the term 'ho.' Seeing the video, you can tell that Imus was using the pejorative comments in the opposite, streetwise meaning they can have, and actually saying that the Rutgers team was tough, strong and ready for the battle. It didn't matter to the politically correct crowd; desperate to direct attention away from their arrogant and anti-patriotic Pelosi; so very willing to meet with terrorist supporting nations while refusing to debate fellow candidates on Fox Television! Instead, she begged Iran's genocidal leader for an interview/meeting...

I'm just as happy that CBS and NBC no longer have a critic of Iraq and Bush. I'm delighted to see the Left destroy another personality for political correctness. Can the re-education camps be far behind ...?

Get over it. The polls are saying 70% of Americans believe Imus SHOULD NOT have been fired. What polls? Every poll done on the subject from every major website on Earth. Yes, I know, they aren't scientific, but the sheer number of them alone give them merit.

Face the facts. You are in the MINORITY here, a vast minority at that. In fact, either John McCain or Rudolph Giuliani will now get my vote because of their stance on Imus, which is a stance on freedom of speech and liberty. It is too bad Obama and Clinton opened their traps and came out against free speech. Now I can see their true colors.

Free speech doesn't mean freedom from repercussions, it means freedom from government interference. If the networks that broadcast Imus don't want to be associated with him any more, that's as much their right as his right to speak his mind.

It's time for Hillary and Barack to give back all the ill-gotten money from all the Rappers.

It's time for Hillary and Barack to give back all the ill-gotten money from all the Rappers.

Mark,

I enjoyed your commentary, and I've actually admired the stuff you've done at Kos in the past. Thanks for taking the time to post it, and don't bother feeding the trolls around here, they tend to... well, you'll see their replies to me, I suppose.

Imus screwed up. He got fired. Life sucks, get a helmet. He has every right to say what he did, and he bears the responsibility that accompanies that right, which is to be held accountable.

Now Rush, he wouldn't have been fired for these comments. His patrons wouldn't fire him come hell or high water, because his listeners WANT him to say that kinda thing, and his network wants him to, as well.

Trolls? Your "thoughts"?

~A!

~A! asks, "Trolls? Your "thoughts"?"

I think you are the 'Imus' of this blog, casting aspersions at those you infer are not worth listening to, or rather reading.

'Trolls,' of course, are nasty, evil, and extremely ugly creatures -- not human -- and to be avoided at all costs!

Unless, you want to pretend to ask them something in a rhetorical question. That puts-them-in-their-place somewhere under a moldy old bridge, or cave ...

Let me quess ... you're a Democratic, right?