This is topic Another national-news racist gaffe (Don Imus) in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.


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Posted by Omega M. (Member # 7924) on :
 
We don't have a thread about this yet?

quote:
Imus says he'll check his acid tongue

NEW YORK - Calling himself a good person who said a bad thing, radio host Don Imus said Monday he would check his acid tongue after being lambasted for making racially charged comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

...

Imus made the now infamous remark during his show Wednesday.

The Rutgers team, which includes eight black women, had lost the day before in the NCAA women's championship game. Imus was speaking with producer Bernard McGuirk about the game when the exchange began on "Imus in the Morning," which is broadcast to millions of people on more than 70 stations and MSNBC.

"That's some rough girls from Rutgers," Imus said. "Man, they got tattoos..."

"Some hardcore hos," McGuirk said.

"That's some nappy-headed hos there, I'm going to tell you that," Imus said.

Imus also apologized on the air Friday, but his mea culpa has not quieted the uproar.

Doesn't seem on the level of the Michael Richards incident to me; it seems that he was simply trying to pay the girls a funny compliment by "talking black." Obviously he should have known that his remarks would not fly and should be fined or suspended to make sure he gets the message not to do it again; but if he hasn't had incidents like this before I'm not sure he needs to be fired.

(Edited to add link.)
 
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :
 
Well, Michael Richards wasn't very gainfully employed as an entertainer at the time of his own troubles. Imus, OTOH, is a very successful radio and TV talkshow host.

And, according to the NY Times, this isn't the first time...

With Imus, they keep coming back

quote:
On Thursday, before his employers knew they had a growing public-relations problem on their hands, Mr. Imus suggested that everyone needed to relax and should not be offended by “some idiot comment meant to be amusing.” (Which part was supposed to be funny? The nappy-head or the ho’s?)

***

This isn’t the first time that Mr. Imus has trolled these waters: he once called Gwen Ifill, then working at The New York Times, “a cleaning lady” and described one of the paper’s sports columnists, William C. Rhoden, as a “quota hire.” Both of those journalists are black, but Mr. Imus’s defenders like to point out that he is an equal-opportunity misanthrope whose show displays 360-degree offensiveness toward all sorts of ethnicities, sexual orientations and religious affiliations.

Although the Web has been alive with calls for sanctions against Mr. Imus — the clip is available for all to see on YouTube — mainstream media have remained relatively silent. He is, after all, popular, good at his job and, perhaps more important, he generously provides oxygen — and an audience — to the kind of journalistic and political elites who would be expected to demand his head on a pike.

He is, to borrow one of the show’s metaphors, a lawn jockey to the establishment. Few politicians, big or small, pass up a chance to bump knees with Mr. Imus, in part because his show is one of the few places where they can talk seriously and at length about public issues. Senator John Kerry has stopped by. Senator John McCain is on frequently. And Senators Joseph I. Lieberman and Joseph R. Biden are part of a legion eager to sit in the guest chair.

NBC News uses “Imus in the Morning” to promote the brands of Tim Russert, Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory. Tom Brokaw was a frequent guest, and his replacement, Brian Williams, has been sanctified by the I-man, as they call him. Chris Matthews from MSNBC has appeared, as have anchors and journalists from CNN and CBS and, on the print side, by reporters and editors from Newsweek and popular opinion columnists from The New York Times.

Imus didn't apologize (and his producer said stuff on-air that hasn't been part of the discussion outside of the article I've linked) until *after* it was clear the problem wasn't going away - but was building. NBC is too invested in the guy to can him. What I want to see is which political figures still choose to appear on his show now.
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
It's a big deal here in NJ. People are calling for his head.

I think his producer needs to take as much heat as he is, though.
 
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :
 
quote:
I think his producer needs to take as much heat as he is, though.
I agree. I decided not to post the quote from the producer here. Even if it didn't violate forum rules, I think it was offensive enough to leave off the thread - anyone who wants to find it can go to the link.

I'll be curious to see how Keith Olbermann handles this on his show, considering his condemnation of behavior of figures outside of his own network. I'm hoping for, but not really expecting, consistency.
 
Posted by Jutsa Notha Name (Member # 4485) on :
 
His justifications later on why he does not consider himself racist are funny, and sound like this.
 
Posted by porcelain girl (Member # 1080) on :
 
So making derogatory slurs about their hair is wrong, but referring them to as hoes is OKAY?

don't call a black girl's hair nappy unless you're her sister, but by all means demean all citizens that have a vagina.
 
Posted by porcelain girl (Member # 1080) on :
 
p.s. only the second half of that sentence was meant to be sarcastic. really don't tell someone she has nappy hair.

tattered mess? okay.
 
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
 
Racist in the Morning! Great show, MSNBC... keep up the amazing work :rolls eyes:

Can you imagine if Limbaugh or one of his clones said some stupid-arse nonsense like this? Gah.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
CBS Radio and MSNBC both said they were suspending Don Imus' morning talk show for two weeks following his reference last week to members of the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos."
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
Actually, porce, he's being called on the carpet for both the mysogonism and racism. I would just like his two cohorts to take the same heat - which they have not.

Imus has made public apology (which I don't buy for a second), but the other two knuckleheads haven't made any sort of withdrawal or apology.
 
Posted by Jutsa Notha Name (Member # 4485) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by David Bowles:
Racist in the Morning! Great show, MSNBC... keep up the amazing work :rolls eyes:

Can you imagine if Limbaugh or one of his clones said some stupid-arse nonsense like this? Gah.

You mean like this?
Or like this?

Imus should resign just like Limbaugh did from ESPN. Limbaugh owns his own show now, so he can hide behind his 1st Amendment rights for the latter.

Oh, I missed this shining beauty. It isn't racism when it's about politicians though, right? It just gets better.
 
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
 
Didn't one of Imus' buddies use an even worse epithet on that same show? Not the "n" word, but something nearly as insulting?
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
Many are predictably making a mountain out of a molehill here. He didn't hurt anyone, he didn't break any laws, and there is no indication that Imus was doing anything other than attempting to be funny. It doesn't justify firing him or the outrage of the past few days. Now that Imus has apologized, repeatedly, it is time to for people like Al Sharpton to move on.
 
Posted by Jutsa Notha Name (Member # 4485) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by David Bowles:
Didn't one of Imus' buddies use an even worse epithet on that same show? Not the "n" word, but something nearly as insulting?

I would not doubt it. Don Imus is a jerk and a bitter human being.
 
Posted by Omega M. (Member # 7924) on :
 
Yeah, somebody said the j-word (look it up at Don Imus's Wikipedia entry), which I thought was always way over the line for a white person to say, even if it was in reference to something from Spike Lee's "School Daze" (Imus and company's defense).

That plus Imus's past comments about black individuals (which I didn't know of when I made my original post) may warrant his firing. I, along with the rest of us, don't know all the factors in this situation, so I can't be more certain in my opinion than that.
 
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :
 
Here are a couple interesting pieces I came across today:

NY Times op-ed by Gwen Ifil, currently senior correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and moderator of "Washington Week." (requires free registration and login)

Trash Talk Radio

quote:
The serial apologies of Mr. Imus, who was suspended yesterday by both NBC News and CBS Radio for his remarks, have failed another test. The sincerity seems forced and suspect because he’s done some version of this several times before.

I know, because he apparently did it to me.

I was covering the White House for this newspaper in 1993, when Mr. Imus’s producer began calling to invite me on his radio program. I didn’t return his calls. I had my hands plenty full covering Bill Clinton.

Soon enough, the phone calls stopped. Then quizzical colleagues began asking me why Don Imus seemed to have a problem with me. I had no idea what they were talking about because I never listened to the program.

It was not until five years later, when Mr. Imus and I were both working under the NBC News umbrella — his show was being simulcast on MSNBC; I was a Capitol Hill correspondent for the network — that I discovered why people were asking those questions. It took Lars-Erik Nelson, a columnist for The New York Daily News, to finally explain what no one else had wanted to repeat.

“Isn’t The Times wonderful,” Mr. Nelson quoted Mr. Imus as saying on the radio. “It lets the cleaning lady cover the White House.”

I was taken aback but not outraged. I’d certainly been called worse and indeed jumped at the chance to use the old insult to explain to my NBC bosses why I did not want to appear on the Imus show.

I haven’t talked about this much. I’m a big girl. I have a platform. I have a voice. I’ve been working in journalism long enough that there is little danger that a radio D.J.’s juvenile slap will define or scar me. Yesterday, he began telling people he never actually called me a cleaning lady. Whatever. This is not about me.


Al Roker says it's time for Imus to go

quote:
Don Imus needs to be fired for what he said. And while we’re at it, his producer, Bernard McGuirk, needs to be canned as well. McGuirk is just as guilty, often egging Imus on.

The “I’m a good person who said a bad thing” apology doesn’t cut it. At least he didn’t try to weasel out of this by hiding behind alcohol or drug abuse. Still, he said it and a two-week suspension doesn’t cut it. It is, at best, a slap on the wrist. A vacation. Nothing.

The general manager of Cartoon Network resigned after a publicity stunt went wrong and caused a panic in Boston. He did the right thing. Don Imus should do the right thing and resign. Not talk about taking a two-week suspension with dignity. I don’t think Don Imus gets it.

After watching and listening to him this morning during an interview with Matt Lauer, Don Imus doesn’t get it. Maybe it’s being stuck in a studio for 35 years or being stuck in the 1980s. Either way, it’s obvious that he needs to move on. Citing “context within a comedy show” is not an excuse.

He has to take his punishment and start over. Guess what? He’ll get re-hired and we’ll go on like nothing happened. CBS Radio and NBC News needs to remove Don Imus from the airwaves. That is what needs to happen. Otherwise, it just looks like profits and ratings rule over decency and justice.


 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
quote:
He didn't hurt anyone, he didn't break any laws, and there is no indication that Imus was doing anything other than attempting to be funny.
He (and his producer, mind) insulted and ridiculed 9 young women on national television and radio for doing nothing other than playing themselves into their sport's pinnacle game.

And, as has been made clear in this thread, it's not the first time he's been in the spotlight for racist remarks.

Two weeks is a joke suspension. Two months would be more like it. CBS simply gave him a short vacation. I wouldn't be surprised if they filled the gap with two weeks of "best of Imus" material, anyway.

My only thought is that the two weeks has a stipulation that reads something like "if x, y, or z happens again, you're fired".
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
He (and his producer, mind) insulted and ridiculed 9 young women on national television and radio for doing nothing other than playing themselves into their sport's pinnacle game.
Which is acting like a jerk, clearly. But I don't think firing someone is an appropriate punishment for acting like a jerk in this case, especially in the radio industry where it seems like most personalities act like jerks on the air all the time. And I definitely don't think it justifies the giant media storm that has been whipped up.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
I think it is a question of the dual idea/purpose of the media. If the media is about getting ratings and making money (which it is) then his bosses should be pleased with him. Unless this costs them listeners in which case they should fire him.

If the media is about informing, doing a public service, being credible etc. (and it is) they shouldn't have hired him in the first place.

Some of it is, of course, about what we want from media. Are more of us going to stop listening than start listening because of this? Are we going to get all outraged and keep listening?

If we are going to get outraged but keep listening then the station's response was precisely appropriate.
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
Pretty much anything justifies a media storm. They're like pirahna - all they need is a little blood in the water.

And, yes, he acted like a racist, sexist &#$%!- "jerk" is a semantically kind way of putting it.

But does he deserve to be fired?

On a first offense, I would say no. In a corporate environment, if you said the same of a coworker as he said of the Rutgers basketball team, you'd have likely had a meeting with management, a note put in your record, and possibly be required to attend sensitivity training.

For repeated offenses, the consequences would be more severe, to the point where the company would let you go if you continued that behavior.

Grey's Anatomy had a similar situation, where one actor has been reprimanded for a comment made toward a costar, and his job was threatened.

Why is a radio personality so much different?

Granted, Imus didn't specifically insult a coworker directly, but are there no black women that work for his show? Are there no women that work for his show at all? Surely his comments, made in the public arena, have wider impact than 9 young women - and it wouldn't suprise me one bit if a black woman on his staff sued over a hostile work environment.

If this were a first offense, I'd understand a light punishment and reprimand. It's not a first offense, though - it's the continuation of a pattern.

So, his studio is well within its rights to tell him to cut it out or be fired. The suspension is a joke, obviously, as an umpteenth offense should call for more than two weeks, but if the threat of termination is there for any repeat behavior, that seems well within reason.

The most telling thing will be if sponsors start pulling money from the show - that will likely signal the end of his career at CBS Radio.
 
Posted by James Tiberius Kirk (Member # 2832) on :
 
quote:
From the comments in the Roker link:
It was clear Al was not himself during the broadcast this mornging...now I know why. While I do not support what Imus said, I wish there was some discussion among the panel (Sharpton, et al.) as to why African-Americans can apparently use such language in their music, movies, and "contexts of comedy", but for Don Imus it is wrong.

Heh, this is funny; the posters must not be paying attention. Despite my personal disagreements with Sharpton, I think it should be pointed out that he has condemned such speech before.

--j_k
 
Posted by AvidReader (Member # 6007) on :
 
I have to go with Flying Cow on this one. I briefly listened to Bubba the Love Sponge so I could give him a fair chance and not just buy into the hype. But he really was a vile shock jock, and I stopped listening to the radio station that hired him because his influence began to effect everything from the commercials to the other DJs.

I don't know when radio, rock in particular, will figure out that I want to hear music. Some guy running his mouth I can get anywhere. And on radio, I usually expect him to be offensive for fun and profit.

So why are we so shocked that some radio guy said something stupid and offensive? That's all they do these days. Put in a CD already and be done with it.
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
Here's what one the players on the Rutgers team said the other day:

quote:
"I think it kind of scars us. We grew up in a world where, of course, racism exists and there's nothing we can do to change that. I think we've come a long way from where we were, you know, dealing with slavery. . . . But I think this has scarred me for life."
Scarred for life? While it is troubling that there is some radio host out there who thinks it is okay to talk about young black women like this, I am much more concerned about America's apparent inability to get over it. Kids used to say "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me." If we have abandoned that idea, and instead adopted the notion that we should allow ourselves to get so extremely upset over the words said by a relatively minor public personality, then I think we as a society have a major problem. We are harming ourselves by letting outselves get more worked up than we need to be over something that should not matter. Imus is not really that important of a person, that his words should be able to scar someone he doesn't even know "for life".

Of course, it is the media that has magnified those words. Chances are, had the media not turned this into such a big story, the Rutgers women would have forgotten Imus by now.
 
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
 
quote:
Chances are, had the media not turned this into such a big story, the Rutgers women would have forgotten Imus by now.
I think, actually, if the media had not hyped it, none of them would ever have known about it to begin with.

quote:
We are harming ourselves by letting outselves get more worked up than we need to be over something that should not matter. Imus is not really that important of a person, that his words should be able to scar someone he doesn't even know "for life".

Could not agree more.
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
I see Imus as a hangnail. Every so often, he catches on something, making a pull in a sweater, scratching the skin, or creating some other nuisance. Cut him off and be done with it.

As for Matee Ajavon's quote, it was definitely a bit over the top. Then again, I'm not sure if we can blame a 20 year old for being a bit hyperbolic after she's been insulted in front of millions of people.

(As an aside on Matee, her mother came over alone from Liberia when Matee was 3 to work as a nanny for a rich family in NJ. Matee was left with her grandmother while her mother saved enough money to bring her and her two sisters to America in 1992. In 1999, her mother had saved enough to bring Matee's grandmother over as well. Matee is majoring in African-American studies and wants to be a teacher, and has said "I want to change something about the world and Liberia". I'm sure a little overt racism and sexism directed at her from a major media figure will be a memory that stays with her - even though "scarred for life" is a strong way of saying that.)

As far as Imus being "not really that important of a person", he has a radio show in 50 markets that reaches 3.25 million listeners per week, plus a simulcast cable television show that reaches another 335k. Exactly how many viewers/listeners does he need to be "that important"?
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
I sort of agree though. These are (presumably) women who are used to adversity and working hard. I think Imus is a jackass, but I'd be a whole lot happier about this story if they responded with something like "Man, we had to work our butts off to get to the National Championships. Yeah, we're kinda angry about him saying we're hos, we think the racist comments were stupid, but whatever. We're far to strong to let what some jackass says bother us. It may be important for people to realize that this is the kind of crap that black women who acheive things have to put up with though. It's time for us to get back into class and into the gym so we go all the way next season. Go Rutgers! Woo!"

They had a chance to step to be better role models in this situation. I don't blame them for not doing it - they're young and everyone around them is trying to push them as victims angle - but I'm just disappointed that they didn't.

---

edit: I thought about it a little bit and I've got to say, if the women did what I said, I don't think they'd get much in the way of attention. If they're not makign a fuss in one of our interest areas (like racism, or sex, or scandal, or whatever) society is not going to be paying attention. Is it wrong for them to want to get a little of the spotlight that people like Imus get all the time for being jackasses?

Sometimes, I despair of our society.
 
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
 
quote:

Sometimes, I despair of our society.

I totally hear you, but the fact that so many of us are appalled by the situation (rather than rabidly attacking those who are not part of our little tribal circle) shows just how far we've come in a few thousand years.

I'll quote from a talk Steven Pinker recently gave—

quote:
Conventional history has long shown that, in many ways, we have been getting kinder and gentler. Cruelty as entertainment, human sacrifice to indulge superstition, slavery as a labor-saving device, conquest as the mission statement of government, genocide as a means of acquiring real estate, torture and mutilation as routine punishment, the death penalty for misdemeanors and differences of opinion, assassination as the mechanism of political succession, rape as the spoils of war, pogroms as outlets for frustration, homicide as the major form of conflict resolution—all were unexceptionable features of life for most of human history. But, today, they are rare to nonexistent in the West, far less common elsewhere than they used to be, concealed when they do occur, and widely condemned when they are brought to light.

At one time, these facts were widely appreciated. They were the source of notions like progress, civilization, and man's rise from savagery and barbarism. Recently, however, those ideas have come to sound corny, even dangerous. They seem to demonize people in other times and places, license colonial conquest and other foreign adventures, and conceal the crimes of our own societies. The doctrine of the noble savage—the idea that humans are peaceable by nature and corrupted by modern institutions—pops up frequently in the writing of public intellectuals like José Ortega y Gasset ("War is not an instinct but an invention"), Stephen Jay Gould ("Homo sapiens is not an evil or destructive species"), and Ashley Montagu ("Biological studies lend support to the ethic of universal brotherhood"). But, now that social scientists have started to count bodies in different historical periods, they have discovered that the romantic theory gets it backward: Far from causing us to become more violent, something in modernity and its cultural institutions has made us nobler.


 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer, a long-time advocate of both women's and minority rights, said the following:

quote:
"I am deeply saddened and angered by Mr. Imus' statements regarding the members of the Rutgers women's basketball team. These talented, articulate young women put forth a great deal of hard work and effort this past season to reach the nation's grandest stage - the NCAA title game.

Throughout the year, these gifted young ladies set an example for the nation that through hard work and perseverance, you can accomplish anything if you believe. Without a doubt, this past season was my most rewarding in 36 years of coaching. This young team fought through immeasurable odds to reach the highest pinnacle and play for the school's first national championship in a major sport.

To serve as a joke of Mr. Imus in such an insensitive manner creates a wedge and makes light of the efforts of these classy individuals, both as women and as women of color. It is unfortunate Mr. Imus sought to tarnish Rutgers' spirit and success. Should we not, as adults, send a message of encouragement to young people to aspire to the highest levels as my team did this season?

It is of the utmost importance to be an inspiration to young people and I truly believe my team represented Rutgers University, the state of New Jersey and NCAA student-athletes across the country in the highest manner. I am proud of these young women and strongly encourage Mr. Imus to instead read the headlines and the stories that told of our triumphs the past six months.

Thousands of alumni and fans have reached out to me the past few days to share their warm wishes and congratulations on a special year, fans of not only Rutgers University but of women's basketball. I appreciate their kindness and am proud to be associated and surrounded by ten exceptional student-athletes."

Also, Tennessee coaching legend Pat Summit said the following:

quote:
"The inappropriate comments directed toward the student-athletes of Rutgers University were very disappointing," said Summitt. "Their head coach, C. Vivian Stringer, and I have been friends for a number of years, and I have tremendous respect for her and the great young women in her program. These student-athletes deserve a lot of credit for what they have accomplished, and it saddens me that they were treated with such disrespect.

"Never should there be a time when student-athletes are in a position to receive this kind of verbal abuse. I applaud Rutgers University, Coach Stringer and the Scarlet Knight student-athletes and the exemplary way they conducted themselves in their national press conference today. The University of Tennessee women's basketball program commends Rutgers' handling of this situation. It is emblematic of the outstanding caliber of student-athletes and coaches in women's collegiate basketball."

It is interesting to note, also, that Imus has lost two sponsors. Staples and Proctor & Gamble have both pulled their advertising from the show.

Here's another quote from Stringer, taken from that article:

quote:
"I've heard so many other talk show hosts speak on this, they say that's the way our society is," Stringer said Wednesday. "You know what? The society is the way it is because adults don't take leadership roles."
I think that's a very valid point.
 
Posted by Lisa (Member # 8384) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jutsa Notha Name:
His justifications later on why he does not consider himself racist are funny, and sound like this.

That is absolutely wonderful.
 
Posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong (Member # 2229) on :
 
This isn't a situation where some politico made a gaffe that's misconstrued, like the tar-baby comment or the niggardly comment or even Barbara Bush's supremely distasteful comment about the Katrina evacuees, this guy, as Flying Cow aptly put it, "He (and his producer, mind) insulted and ridiculed 9 young women on national television and radio for doing nothing other than playing themselves into their sport's pinnacle game."

Now for all you people out there who say that the stress on black Americans has nothing to do with race and everything to do with economics, Imus didn't call them poor, he called them nappy-headed hoes, which has everything to do with them being black.

I don't think he should be fired. Firing is a blunt instrument for the unimaginative. I'd rather the powers that be force him to interview a series of race scholars, once a week, for as long as he is to keep his job.

[ April 11, 2007, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]
 
Posted by David Bowles (Member # 1021) on :
 
I think that's an awesome idea, Irami.
 
Posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong (Member # 2229) on :
 
Diversity matters. It's the contribution from the black intelligentsia, ya'll. I don't have any juice, and nobody is going to listen to me, but if you don't get stuck in some Man's dichotomy of firing or not firing and resigning or not resigning, a lot of these seemingly sticky situations can get resolved for the betterment on the whole. (And yes, if Bush created some kind of HNIC position and put me on the cabinet, we wouldn't be in this Iraq mess, and we'd be off of oil. I'm just saying.)

Imus has the experience of running a political radio show, and he could show his journalistic integrity by following this timely issue, once a week, for the rest of his career. The whole world would benefit.
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
Why are we assuming that calling someone nappy-headed is equivilant to calling them a nigger?

Are black people the only human beings on the planet who are allowed to have nappy hair?

Any why couldn't he just have been making fun of the fact they have nappy hair, like people of every other race have, instead of having people infer that by making fun of their hair he was making fun of their race
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
You're kidding, surely?
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
No, explain why no one wants to give this guy the benifit of the doubt
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
I don't think he should be fired. Firing is a blunt instrument for the unimaginative. I'd rather the powers that be force him to interview a series of race scholars, once a week, for as long as he is to keep his job.
That seems like an effective way to drag this out as long as possible...
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
quote:
No, explain why no one wants to give this guy the benifit of the doubt
A guy with an alleged history of racism (Robin Quivers, for years, has been saying that Imus used to use the N-word in the halls of NBC on a regular basis) says "nappy-headed hos," on the air, in reference to a group of black girls. And you need an explanation as to why it's racist? I hear you saying you're serious, but I sort of can't believe it.

If you heard him on Al Sharpton, he never said it wasn't a racist remark. He only said that he himself wasn't a racist. But he made a stupid, wrong remark, and he's sorry for it.

If Imus himself isn't trying to say the remark (itself) wasn't racist... Why would you?

quote:
No, explain why no one wants to give this guy the benifit of the doubt
Because there is no doubt. There's no denial here. He made a racist remark.
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
It's Imus's job to be a douchebag on air, that's what his listeners tune in for.

As opposed to Al Sharpton whose life is devoted to making mountains of issues like this, since his only job is being black for a living.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
"It's his job to be a douchebag" does not equal "He is not racist."
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
So all douchebags are racist then?
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
no....

(are you serious?)

I think this is the point where I realize you're not having this conversation in good faith, and I disengage.

Thanks.
 
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :
 
quote:
I don't think he should be fired. Firing is a blunt instrument for the unimaginative. I'd rather the powers that be force him to interview a series of race scholars, once a week, for as long as he is to keep his job.

That's not a bad idea, but since that pool is largely unknown to the media, I wouldn't be surprised if many of them "bombed" their first time out. That has nothing to do with race, but everything to do with academics - most of them don't know how to make concise points and come ready with stories that will engage the general public.

That's the reason only a few presidential historians make the rounds of the news shows. Kearns and Beschloss probably aren't the "best" history scholars around, but they're the best when it comes to accommodating the limited framework of a news show - including time limits.

Since the media hasn't made a point of going to race scholars, they'll kind of be starting from scratch, and some very good scholars might not come across that well on TV.

To avoid a separate post, I'd also like to say that whatever issues I do or don't have with Jackson and Sharpton, I think it's time these two black men started giving up some of their air time to black women who might have something to say on the subject.

Coach Stringer would be a good person to start with. [Smile]
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
First off, a comment on what Roker said. I think it's riduculous that the Cartoon Network head had to resign over the advertising issue. I think it was a snafu that should have been fixed by the ad agency calling the city and asking them about that kind of thing ahead of time, and that would have solved the problem, but they paid for it, literally, and I think frankly it was kind of a cool idea, it was just poorly executed. He shouldn't have needed to resign.

As far as firing Imus for what he said...I have conflicting thoughts. Frankly I think people need to get over it. This same kind of thing happens all the time. On air personality slips up and says something insulting, whether he means to or not, and then the media gloms all over it like sharks with fresh chum in the war, and you'd think someone was killed or a baby was abducted from all the press it gets. They blow it up into a HUGE spectacle, as if they've NEVER heard such a comment before in their entire lives, and said on air personality becomes both a scapegoat and posterchild for racists everywhere.

When the hell did we get so sensitive? I mean sure, it's NOT a polite thing to say, but this kind of uproar? How many steps away are we from pitchforks and torches? I don't think he should be fired, but I think as a decent human being he should make restitution for his insulting comments. If people want to stop listening to him, he'll become unpopular and they'll have to fire him because of his ratings, but I don't think that gaffe should undo his career. And I know that he serves at the pleasure of his bosses, who can fire him for any or no reason, but it still strikes me as a first amendment violation, not in law, but in spirit. The law doesn't protect his job, I know, but the spirit of the law seems trampled on when you talk about firing someone for what they say.

The one thing I'll give Imus a break for is when he called Carolyn Kilpatrick (mother of useless Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick) and Sharpton "you people." They IMMEDIATELY jumped all over it. Frankly what I think he meant when he said "you people" was people who are frenziedly blowing this thing out of proportion, people who won't let it go, and refuse to let anything short of a lynching be satisfactory in punishment. He said he was referring to just Sharpton and Kilpatrick, and I'm guessing they think he was referring to black people in general, but I think his frustration justified the comment, despite how wrong his initial comments were that started the whole thing.

PC isn't the law, it's just polite.

Edit to add: Sharpton had Carolyn Kilpatrick, the new head of the Congressional Black Caucus, on the phone when he interviewed Imus, so there's your black female air time. Not much, but a start.
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
But Al Sharpton called for Imus to be fired!

And Jesse Jackson picketed outside CBS!

They're the president and prime minister of all black people, THEY MUST BE OBEYED.
 
Posted by TL (Member # 8124) on :
 
Edit: Nevermind.
 
Posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong (Member # 2229) on :
 
quote:
That seems like an effective way to drag this out as long as possible...
The question of whether to acknowledge ones place as one of the competing groups in the American pluralistic pattern isn't likely to go away soon. It's always there, especially in the political sphere, each election cycle when voters decide whether to vote for the candidate who best protects the interests of women, men, blacks, latinos, the disabled community, moneyed whites, poor whites, rural whites, unionists, groups you are a part of, groups you aren't a part of but who could use your support, etc. Group identity is enshrined in the very thought process of party politics, and it's not going to go away because you stop wanting to hear about some of its facets. Imus is a political commentator, and it shouldn't be that big of a stretch for him to take on this issue for an hour a week for the rest of his career.
_________

I don't know who appointed Jackson and Sharpton spokesmen for blacks.(I wouldn't be surprised if whites did it, as these two are impossible to take seriously.) I'd much rather hear Julian Bond weigh in on the issue. I'll be the first to admit that thoughtful, high-profile blacks who aren't too much under the sway of connected liberal whites are in short supply. It's like we lack an independent judiciary, or more pointedly, a professorial class.

[ April 11, 2007, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
Not to mention one of them has a perm
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gecko:
So all douchebags are racist then?

douchebags != racist

lizards != douchebags

Note that this does not imply Gecko != douchebag
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
Gecko, you say it's Imus' job to be a douchebag on-air. Perhaps, shock jocks are nothing new. Is it your job to be a jerk in this thread? You wonder why no one is willing to give Imus the benefit of the doubt?
quote:
Originally posted by Gecko:
Why are we assuming that calling someone nappy-headed is equivilant to calling them a nigger?

Are black people the only human beings on the planet who are allowed to have nappy hair?

Any why couldn't he just have been making fun of the fact they have nappy hair, like people of every other race have, instead of having people infer that by making fun of their hair he was making fun of their race

Leaving aside the "nappy-headed" insult for now, did you forget he called the players whores as well?

Your comments degenerated from there.
 
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :
 
quote:
Edit to add: Sharpton had Carolyn Kilpatrick, the new head of the Congressional Black Caucus, on the phone when he interviewed Imus, so there's your black female air time. Not much, but a start.
I wasn't clear. I wasn't suggesting that Sharpton give up the air time on his own show, but rather start boosting some black women for other news shows - mainstream ones.

BTW, this is not unfamiliar territory for me. When I get approached by the media on certain issues, I refer other people as often as I accept invitations - because they're geographically closer to whatever the issue is or they're a better spokesperson in the current context.

It separates advocates from self-promoters. And it ain't easy. It's really easy to rationalize reasons for not giving up the mike. [Smile]
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
He's not in trouble for calling them hos, he's in trouble because of the nappy-headed comment

Since when is nappy-headed a racial comment? No one other than black people can have nappy-hair? Come on now
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
quote:
He's not in trouble for calling them hos
Yeah, he is.

---

One of the other comments was about them being jigaboos, which kind of cleared up any ambiguity in the racist context.
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
If that's the case then he'd have women's groups against him, not attention-whores like Al Sharpton

And the jigaboo comment was in reference to a quote from a spike lee movie, what else do you have?
 
Posted by MrSquicky (Member # 1802) on :
 
He does have women's groups against him.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
He's not in trouble for calling them hos
Yes he is. There are plenty of people condemning him for that.

quote:
Since when is nappy-headed a racial comment? No one other than black people can have nappy-hair? Come on now
Since a bunch of racist people used it as a common slur against black people.

Did you know there are still cheer leading squads in the South that won't allow girls with curly hair on them? The restrictions date back to the end of segregation. Coincidence?
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
Maybe, but you have you be blind to assume that the real issue here is misogyny and not some pseudo-racist gaffe
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
It's not a "gaffe."
Imus is a racist and a misogynist. There is no real doubt about that.
quote:
In the wake of the latest racial slur broadcast on Don Imus' show, the question is not whether Imus is a racist—the man, after all, admitted to hiring one of his co-hosts to do "nigger jokes" (60 Minutes, 7/19/98)—but why CBS, NBC and top media pundits seem to feel no embarrassment over associating with his racism.
[...]
Imus himself has referred to African-American journalist Gwen Ifill as "a cleaning lady," to New York Times sports reporter Bill Rhoden as "quota hire" and to tennis player Amelie Mauresmo as "a big old lesbo." Imus called Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz a "boner-nosed... beanie-wearing Jewboy," referred to a disabled colleague as "the cripple," and to an Indian men's tennis duo as "Gunga Din and Sambo." In Imus' words, the New York Knicks are "chest-thumping pimps."

Imus' on again/off again sidekick Sid Rosenberg was temporarily fired in 2001 for calling tennis player Venus Williams an "animal" and remarking that the Williams sisters—Venus and her tennis player sister Serena—would more likely be featured in National Geographic than in Playboy. Rosenberg insisted to New York's Daily News (6/7/01) that his comments weren't racist, "just zoological." In 2004, MSNBC had to apologize when the rehired Rosenberg referred to Palestinians as "stinking animals."

In May 2005, MSNBC let Contessa Brewer out of her short stint as a news reader on Imus' morning show after Imus had made a daily game of crude personal attacks against her, calling her a pig, a skank, dumber than dirt and other similar felicities, all on air.

http://www.commondreams.org/news2007/0410-03.htm
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
If that's the case then he'd have women's groups against him, not attention-whores like Al Sharpton
You mean like the National Organization for Women?
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
For example, if he called them "dumb hos" or "loose hos" would this be the national senseation that it is?

This aura of racism is what's giving this story legs.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
Maybe, but you have you be blind to assume that the real issue here is misogyny and not some pseudo-racist gaffe
You have to be blind to not think that 1) the comment was racist, 2) the the comment was misogynistic, and 3) Imus deserves to be called on the carpet for it.

quote:
For example, if he called then "dumb hos" or "loose hos" would this be the national senseation that it is?

This aura of rasism is what's giving this story legs.

Absolutely. The sexualization of women's sports gets quite a lot of coverage. When it's an inherently negative sexualization, it's going to have legs.
 
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gecko:

Since when is nappy-headed a racial comment? No one other than black people can have nappy-hair? Come on now

Gecko, nappy hair is, by definition, African textured hair that is not chemical treated. (Allowed to go natural.) It is a racial comment, and it's somewhat ludicrous to say it isn't.
 
Posted by El JT de Spang (Member # 7742) on :
 
Though it is possible to make a racial comment without it being a racist comment. Not that I believe that's what happened here.
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
I'm not saying it wasn't a misogynistic comment, I'm saying people are going ga-ga over it because they think it's racist, and I think it's racist depending on how its said.

If Chris rock said it in the same exact tone, he'd get laughs and a people's choice award.

It's like if you hear black people say to their friends, "Hey, what's up, my nigga" and then you choose to say that to a black person in jest in an effort to be ironic, that doesn't make you a racist.
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Omega M.:
Doesn't seem on the level of the Michael Richards incident to me; it seems that he was simply trying to pay the girls a funny compliment by "talking black."

I agree it's not as bad as Kramer's on-stage freak-out. But since when is it a compliment to call a group of women you have never met hoes?
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gecko:
I'm not saying it wasn't a misogynistic comment, I'm saying people are going ga-ga over it because they think it's racist, and I think it's racist depending on how its said.

If Chris rock said it in the same exact tone, he'd get laughs and a people's choice award.

It's like if you hear black people say to their friends, "Hey, what's up, my nigga" and then you choose to say that to a black person in jest in an effort to be ironic, that doesn't make you a racist.

So would you ironically call a college basketball team niggers to their face? Somehow I doubt it.

edit: I remember 3 years ago, one afternoon I was caught by a sudden downpour in a black lady's apartment. Another black guy was there also. I wanted to run to my apartment, so my friend took a white trashbag and split it to make an impromptu rain hat. I took it from her, poked 2 eyeholes and put it on. "White power!" I said imitating Dave Chappelle with my hand extended in the Nazi/Crazy Cracker salute. Now, I was being ironic, but it was risky. They laughed, but I got away with it only because they knew me and knew I wasn't racist, and because Dave Chappelle's show had just started. So I was a white guy quoting a black man playing a blind black white supremacist. Sufficiently ironic and funny, I judged. Plus, I was right by the door and ran like hell. [Evil Laugh] endedit

As far as Chris Rock saying it, I quote a comment from Digby's Hullaballo blog:
quote:
Had a black commentator called a bunch of young, white, female, college athletes "a bunch of skinny-assed cracker trailer-trash sluts"... you can imagine how long he would have had his job.
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2007/04/its-hard-out-here-fo-pimp-by-digby-ive.html

[ April 11, 2007, 06:58 PM: Message edited by: Morbo ]
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
I didn't say I'd say it, I said I wouldn't be a racist if I did
 
Posted by Kasie H (Member # 2120) on :
 
This ABC News report is available at: http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3031317&page=1

Any media usage must credit ABC News.
Obama: Fire Imus
Obama First White House Contender to Call for Imus Firing Over Racial Slur
By JAKE TAPPER
April 11, 2007— In an interview with ABC News Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., called for talk radio host Don Imus to be fired, and said he would never again appear on his show, which is broadcast on CBS Radio and MSNBC television.

"I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus," Obama told ABC News, "but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude."

Obama said he appeared once on Imus's show two years ago, and "I have no intention of returning."
Racial Slur Stirs Trouble for Shock Jock
Last week, Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team, most of whom are African-American, as "nappy-headed ho's." has since apologized for his remarks and CBS and MSNBC suspended his show for two weeks.

"He didn't just cross the line," Obama said, "he fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America. The notions that as young African American women -- who I hope will be athletes -- that that somehow makes them makes them less beautiful or less important, it was a degrading comment, it's one that I'm not interested in supporting."

Though every major presidential candidate has decried the racist remarks, Obama is the first presidential candidate to say Imus should lose his job for them.

His proclamation was the latest in an ever-expanding list of bad news for Imus.
Sponsors including from American Express Co., General Motors Corp, Procter & Gamble Co., and Staples Inc. -- have announced they are pulling advertisements from the show for the indefinite future.

On Tuesday, the basketball team held a press conference.
"I think that this has scarred me for life," said Matee Ajavon. "We grew up in a world where racism exists, and there's nothing we can do to change that."

"What we've been seeing around this country is this constant ratcheting up of a coarsening of the culture that all of have to think about," Obama said.

"Insults, humor that degrades women, humor that is based in racism and racial stereotypes isn't fun," the Senator told ABC News.

"And the notion that somehow it's cute or amusing, or a useful diversion, I think, is something that all of us have to recognize is just not the case. We all have first amendment rights. And I am a constitutional lawyer and strongly believe in free speech, but as a culture, we really have to do some soul searching to think about what kind of toxic information are we feeding our kids," he concluded.

Clayton Sandell contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
Wow, Obama made a stand. Good for him. Earlier he seemed like he was just going to express general disapproval of Imus' remarks and leave it at that.
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
As the sponsors go, so too will Imus.

It's not listenership that keeps radio personalities on the air - it's the willingness of sponsors to pay the station money to reach that listenership. When the money dries up, I don't think they'll hesitate long before finding someone who can restart the flow.

Even if he gets fired, though, he'll likely end up on satellite.
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Morbo:
It's not a "gaffe."
Imus is a racist and a misogynist. There is no real doubt about that.

I still consider it a gaffe. Whether or not he actually believes the things he says, given the reaction to his words, I would think he considers it a mistake to have said what he said, and thus a gaffe.
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
OK, that makes sense Lyrhawn.
 
Posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong (Member # 2229) on :
 
Obama made a stand, I don't think it's the right one, and it still strikes me as the easiest one. I think that firing him is wasting an opportunity for something good to come out of the situation. Firing him is a power play, a muscle move that won't change the quality of discourse in the nation, if anything, it'll push issues under the surface. The man has a huge fan base, for better of for ill, and they are not all unrepentant racists, if you are serious about reaching out to that base and figuring out what is going on, then use him, don't fire him.

[ April 11, 2007, 07:03 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]
 
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :
 
quote:
I still consider it a gaffe. Whether or not he actually believes the things he says, given the reaction to his words, I would think he considers it a mistake to have said what he said, and thus a gaffe.

I guess I can't go with that definition of "gaffe." Imus's first reaction the day after was to criticize people for being oversensitive. It was only after things really blew up that he considered it a big mistake.

He's got a long history of doing stuff like this on his show - or having his producer be the mouthpiece for the worst of it.

So "gaffe" means "I'm not getting away with it this time"????
 
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :
 
quote:
Obama made a stand, I don't think it's the right one, and it still strikes me as the easiest one.
I think, based on my own cynicism, that if this was the easiest stand this would have been the stock response of all the presidential candidates.

I will say, though, there's another issue that really needs to be addressed, though. Thoroughly.

And that's the role that politicians and respected news people have played in giving legitimacy to Imus appearing on his show, ignoring his repeated obnoxious (and worse) diatribes. It's been touched upon in some of the coverage I've watched. He's carved himself a unique niche with one foot in the "shock jock" camp and the other in the "political commentator" camp. He didn't do that alone.
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
As to why those politicians and news people keep coming back to Imus' show, Digby makes a good point in his blog:it's so they can pimp their books there.
quote:
[from a Vanity Fair piece, quoted extensively by Digby]I wonder if there's some secret media-elite handshake I need to learn, just so I can hear the jubilant sound of the cash register ringing when it comes time to sell my next book, because nobody (with the clear exception of Oprah) sells a book better than Imus.

He [Imus] likes that power, enjoys going on Amazon to see just how much he can boost a book. During the week I'm there, he has Larry the Cable Guy on as a guest-Larry has just written a book called Git-r-Done. Before the show, according to Imus, the book was about 1,800 on the Amazon list. But when he checks on the Internet just after the show, it's No. 122.
[end Vanity quote]

Don Imus has been behaving badly and apologizing for it for many, many years. I expect he will continue to do so once he's finished with his two week vacation. And all of these writers will once again make pilgrimages to his show and pledge fealty to him in order to sell books. Because, unlike those great basketball players he maligned so casually --- they really are whores.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2007/04/its-hard-out-here-fo-pimp-by-digby-ive.html
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by sndrake:
quote:
I still consider it a gaffe. Whether or not he actually believes the things he says, given the reaction to his words, I would think he considers it a mistake to have said what he said, and thus a gaffe.

I guess I can't go with that definition of "gaffe." Imus's first reaction the day after was to criticize people for being oversensitive. It was only after things really blew up that he considered it a big mistake.

He's got a long history of doing stuff like this on his show - or having his producer be the mouthpiece for the worst of it.

So "gaffe" means "I'm not getting away with it this time"????

If you want to get hyperliteral, the dictionary definition of gaffe is a "social blunder or faux pas."

This strikes me as a textbook example of a gaffe. It doesn't even necesasrily matter how HE views what he said. It was still socially incorrect, and a blunder. I don't care if he says it and sticks by it or not, it is what it is.
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
MSNBC drops simulcast of "Imas in the Morning."
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
Is anyone here a Costello fan? Remember when he called James Brown a "Jive-ass Nigger" and then apologized and was forgiven? Why didn't anyone burn his records and demand he be black balled from the music industry?

This whole thing about being selective about who to forgive and who to shun is very weird
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
Yeah well, wasn't that the 70's?
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
So is all that "Cleaning lady" and "Quote hire" sutff. That was years ago, too.

If Costello tomorrow made a racist comment toward Usher or some other black artist, would he really be facing as much backlash as Imus?
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
Gecko, you really seem adamant in defending Imus to the death. Not sure why, but you do.

Comparing Elvis Costello to Imus is nonsensical.

Costello made racist comments in a single private argument(reportedly while drunk) that were later brought to light in the media. It was a single isolated incident.

Imus has made racist, homophobic and mysoginistic comments for decades, often on public radio before millions of listeners. He has repeatedly apologized, but then goes back to engage in the same behavior without reprecussion.

So, sponsors are dropping him like a hot potato, and MSNBC has dropped his simulcast. If he becomes nonprofitable due to lack of sponsorship, he'll be dropped from CBS Radio, too. Then those viewers that want to pay to listen to him will likely be able to catch him on satellite.
 
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
Gecko, you really seem adamant in defending Imus to the death. Not sure why, but you do.


Wait--did one of the articles on this story feature a picture of Imus wearing a pair of really effeminate, purple, sequined sunglasses?
 
Posted by rollainm (Member # 8318) on :
 
[ROFL]
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
Costello made racist comments in a single private argument(reportedly while drunk) that were later brought to light in the media. It was a single isolated incident.

Ah, the ol' Mel Gibson defense.
 
Posted by AvidReader (Member # 6007) on :
 
quote:
If Costello tomorrow made a racist comment toward Usher or some other black artist, would he really be facing as much backlash as Imus?
I'd be pretty mad at anybody that said something mean about Usher. I love his music, and he's a great performer. Of course, I don't have anything by Costello so I couldn't protest much.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
Gecko, Imus makes his living making those remarks. He is profiting by them. And the way he profits by them is by accepting money from companies that want people to like them.

His ability to get people to like those companies is what he is actually selling. If he can't deliver that, then he should lose his job. And it is perfectly reasonable for the public to decide that a company associated with a man who has historically made racist and misogynistic remarks - who called a bunch of hardworking women names for no reason other than how they look - is not one they want to do business with. Certainly, it's rational to have a lower opinion of such a company.

Imus can't sell what he's been hired to sell now, because of his big fat mouth.
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
The irony is, all those sponsers that pulled out are going to be replaced with other sponsers who will wind up paying more for advertising space, because after this incident, Imus's rating will go up quite a bit.
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
It's not a "gaffe."
Imus is a racist and a misogynist. There is no real doubt about that.

I would say it is unclear whether Imus is a racist and a misogynist, or whether he just likes to make insensitive jokes about race, gender, and other sensitive topics. After all, at least on the radio, there seems to be profit in insensitive jokes.
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
Actually, Gecko, reports are that Imus' ratings are dropping. They're down over 25% in the NY/NJ metro area - which is one of the biggest markets in the country.

And it's not just this incident. This incident dredged up dozens of incidents in the past - so it's the net total of all his transgressions, thrust into the public limelight at the same time, that is causing sponsors to bail.

As for the "Mel Gibson defense" - Costello came first, so I'd imagine you'd have to say Mel used the Costello defense. Even so, as has been said repeatedly, it's not one incident with Imus - it's the compounded weight of dozens and dozens of incidents over a span of decades.

And Tres, while there is some truth to there being profit in insensitive jokes on radio (until one gets called on it, of course), there are several reports of comments Imus has made to coworkers in the hallways of the studio that lead one to believe that it's not just an "on air persona".

This seems to be a case of the straw that broke the camel's back. No one straw accomplished the task, it is the combined weight of so many.

Here are a couple of good articles, for those interested:

Rick Malwitz of the Home News Tribune

St. Petersburg Times editorial

USA Today
 
Posted by DarkKnight (Member # 7536) on :
 
A shock jock says something shocking and we are all shocked? Does this mean the end of South Park, Will and Grace, Family Guy, American Dad, Mind of Mencia, Opie and Anthony, The Daily Show, Colbert Report, Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, and any show that has ever had insulting comments towards any group?
The media just latched onto this during a slow news week and Imus was hung out to dry. Imus is irrelevant anyway. He was one of the original shock jocks that opened the door for Howard Stern but Imus' spotlight dimmed decades ago.
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
I think part of the problem is that Imus has long tried to maintain a balancing act between "shock jock" and "respectable journalist".

It seems he's fallen off that particular fence, and those who relied on the "respectable journalist" side of his show are bailing out. His journalistic credibility is being torn apart, and for that he's losing his more credible sponsors and many of his guests.

Somehow I don't think he can survive as purely a "shock jock" without frequent serious guests. And if new sponsors can't be found to replace those that have been lost, I don't see him surviving on free radio at all. He'll also be satellite bound.

And, picking apart your list of radio personalities a bit, Howard Stern has been fined repeatedly for on air comments and has now moved to satellite. Rush Limbaugh was fired from ESPN for inappropriate comments made, and has had his share of bad press certainly. Opie and Anthony were fired and on satellite for years after crossing the line one too many times - and have returned in very tame form for the radio half of their morning show.
 
Posted by DarkKnight (Member # 7536) on :
 
Howard went to satellite because he sees that as the future of the business. He didn't leave because of his fines. Rush Limbaugh wasn't fired, he resigned from ESPN after the press went ballistic about his comments which the inappropriateness is very debatable. O&A were fired because they had contestests have sex in public places which is illegal, not for any of the comments that they made. I listen to O&A in the mornings and I would disagree with your comments about being very tame. Their comments about Heather Mills alone are far from being very tame.
edited for all my typos and misspellings
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Howard went to satellite because he sees that as the future of the business. He didn't leave because of his fines.
Clearly you were not listening to his show in the years and months before he went to satellite, DarkKnight.

Sure, he got a big pile of money and saw satellite radio as the way radio was going to be in the future. But much, much more than that, he complained constantly that FCC and station restrictions were chafing and limiting his show, restrictions he would not face if he went to satellite.
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
quote:
Howard went to satellite because he sees that as the future of the business.
What Rakeesh said.

quote:
Rush Limbaugh wasn't fired, he resigned from ESPN after the press went ballistic about his comments which the inappropriateness is very debatable.
Yes. Ken Lay resigned, too. So, obviously, his actions at Enron had nothing to do with that - you know, it wasn't forced or anything. His own decision, surely. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
O&A were fired because they had contestests have sex in public places which is illegal, not for any of the comments that they made. I listen to O&A in the mornings and I would disagree with your comments about being very tame.
O&A were fired from WAAF-FM for broadcasting knowingly false information that caused public harm. They were then fined at WNEW-FM for several offensive shows, including $357k for indecency for "Sex for Sam" and were ultimately cancelled.

I listened to them when they came back to NYC, and they were constantly talking about what they could and could not say or do on air. They save questionable bits for the satellite segment of their broadcast, and self-censor quite a bit these days.

I haven't listened in a while (because, quite frankly, they've gotten stale to me), so I'm not sure what Heather Mills comments you're speaking of.

It's pretty clear, though, that "shock jocks" are finding their home on satellite, where people can pay to hear them if they want to. It's similar to cable television - you wouldn't see the average 11 PM Cinemax show on ABC, for instance.

I won't shed a tear if Imus loses his job and ends up on satellite - though I may play a tiny violin for all those who feel that he's been somehow wronged.
 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
you wouldn't see the average 11 PM Cinemax show on ABC, for instance.

Skin-amax is more like it

M I RYTE!?
 
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :
 
Breaking news:

CBS fires Don Imus from radio show

quote:
CBS fires Don Imus from radio show
Associated Press

NEW YORK — CBS fired Don Imus from his radio show today, the finale to a stunning fall for one of the nation's most prominent broadcasters.

Imus initially was given a two-week suspension, to start Monday, for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos" on the air last week, but outrage continued to grow and advertisers bolted from his programs.

"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," CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said in announcing the decision. "That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision."

Rutgers women's basketball team spokeswoman Stacey Brann said the team did not have an immediate comment on Imus' firing but would be issuing a statement later this evening.

Time Magazine once named the cantankerous broadcaster as one of the 25 Most Influential People in America, and he was a member of the National Broadcaster Hall of Fame.

But Imus found himself at the center of a storm after his comments. Protests ensued, and one by one, sponsors pulled their ads from Imus' show. On Wednesday, MSNBC dropped the simulcast of Imus' show.

The Rev. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson met with Moonves to advocate Imus' removal, promising a rally outside CBS headquarters Saturday and an effort to persuade more advertisers to abandon Imus.

Sumner Redstone, chairman of the CBS Corp. board and its chief stockholder, told Newsweek that he had expected Moonves to "do the right thing," although it wasn't clear what he thought that was.

The news came down in the middle of Imus' Radiothon, which has raised more than $40 million since 1990 for good causes. The Radiothon had raised more than $1.3 million Thursday before Imus learned that he lost his job.

"This may be our last Radiothon, so we need to raise about $100 million," Imus cracked at the start of the event.



 
Posted by Gecko (Member # 8160) on :
 
Congradulations, team, we've defeated racism!
 
Posted by El JT de Spang (Member # 7742) on :
 
Might wanna get that resume polished up, Gecko.

There's a job opening you could be perfect for.
 
Posted by DarkKnight (Member # 7536) on :
 
quote:
Clearly you were not listening to his show in the years and months before he went to satellite, DarkKnight
Clearly I was. Perhaps you have not really been listening for decades to Howard Stern? Howard Stern has been using his 'Poor me against the Big Cruel FCC' shtick for decades. He has always cried about the FCC and he skillfully uses it to keep his listeners and his critics tuned into his show. Had he not had his 'battles' with the FCC he would never have become as popular as he was. He knew exactly what he was doing. Remember he has done this dance with the FCC for decades . He has profitted greatly from his 'battle' against the FCC. He jumped to satellite for monetary reasons. His paycheck is far larger on satellite than it was on radio.
quote:
Yes. Ken Lay resigned, too. So, obviously, his actions at Enron had nothing to do with that - you know, it wasn't forced or anything. His own decision, surely.
Those two events are not even close to being similar. Rush Limbaugh said "Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team." The press took his statement twisted it, as you will most likely do, and turned into a "Rush Limbaugh is racist" when that is absolutely not what his quote was about. I'm an Eagles fan and I like McNabb but he was definitely given more credit than he deserved. This last season more than proved that.
Ken Lay was indicted on 11 counts of securities fraud and related charges. I fail to see the similarities? Rush Limbaugh became the center of a media feeding frenzy because of the standard template of 'Conservatives are racist, especially old, white conservatives' instead of actually discussing the issue he raised. Ken Lay committed a crime.

O&A Fired!
"Earlier today, WNEW, the New York radio station under the gun from the F.C.C. and inundated by public outrage over a recent stunt by their highly rated afternoon show, “Opie and Anthony”, fired the team and cancelled their nationally syndicated show. The show had aired on 17 stations.
The two radio personalities, off the air since Monday, came under fire after a member of their show broadcast, via a cell phone, a description of a Virginia man and woman having sex during a religious service in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral."
"The Associated Press reported this is the second firing for Greg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia in four years. Previously, the pair was terminated when they reported on April Fool's Day that the Mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino was killed in a car crash."
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
Gecko will be first in line to buy satellite radio tomorrow morning, it seems.

quote:
Those two events are not even close to being similar.
So, Rush just up and said "you know, this espn gig just isn't for me"? He wasn't pressured to resign at all? Just decided he'd rather spend his Monday nights knitting?

I'm not saying Rush is a racist (nor am I saying that he's not) - but he made a comment that got under the skin of the viewership/sponsorship, and the people with the purse strings decided it was time he wasn't there anymore.

Same happened with Imus.

Same happened with O&A - who I doubt would have been fired if not for the public outrage and pressure from the Catholic League that threatened the station's ability to do business.

All it takes for a shock jock to go south is stepping just far enough over the line to attract the wrong kind of attention - the attention that doesn't draw viewers (including many radio rubberneckers, gawking at the human equivalent of a car wreck), but threatens to drive away sponsors.

The Ken Lay comparison was hyperbolic for comedic effect - the intended point was that resignation doesn't always mean you weren't canned.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Oh, OK DarkKnight. I didn't realize we were using mind-reading techniques re: Howard Stern. It's easy to win an argument that way.
 
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
 
Or Flying Cow- consider this very simple alternative to your very rational breakdown:

A "shockjock" says something along lines, or even tamer than comments that have passed unnoticed literally thousands of times in his career. Someone, (God only knows who) picks it up, maybe as a soundbyte, or maybe it passes by word of mouth, gaining portent as the story is retold. The clip is played again and again, in isolation, by newscasters who have heard it being played on other shows. Now it's a story!

See, the thing about the news (and especially news about newspeople) is that it is all about feedback loops. The new about how famous a story is. One little monkey gets thrown in the wrench, and you can come out of a single day of news with a story, a LEADING story, about something like this happening in which an old man said something impertinent, and no-one got hurt. The news has turned it into an issue, and now people, including these basketball players are "hurt," and why??? Because they and their friends are avid Imus listeners? Really?? Reallly????


What was the first post in this thread? "I can't believe there isn't a thread about this in Hatrack yet! It's such a big story!" It's meaningless. Stop it. The whole world. Stop this. Please. You're killing us. Seriously.

Bedtime.
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
Ultimately, the real problem here is the media, and people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who manipulate it to whip up firestorms of contraversy. While Imus' comments were bad, few would have been hurt by them if Sharpton and the media in general hadn't made it clear to America that we *should* be hurt by those comments.

It is appropriate that the Duke lacrosse players were acquited the same week as the Imus contraversy, because that was yet another issue stirred up by the same cast of characters - yet it will be the prosecuter who gets the blame for destroying the reputation of the Duke lacrosse team (and getting a coach fired), rather than the media who mistakenly hyped the story as a case of upper class white kids victimizing a young black woman.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
yet it will be the prosecuter who gets the blame for destroying the reputation of the Duke lacrosse team (and getting a coach fired)
Actually, I've mostly heard the prosecutor being blamed for violating serious ethical duties. Any harm done to them by the media pales in comparison to what the prosecutor did to them.
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
That is doubtful, I'd say. Without the media circulating the story, few would have known about the supposed scandal - and Duke's team would have suffered little long-term fall out, aside from the three players.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Without the prosecutor's serious violations, Tresopax, the media would not have had as much to latch on to.

Every parasite needs a host.
 
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
 
quote:
That is doubtful, I'd say. Without the media circulating the story, few would have known about the supposed scandal - and Duke's team would have suffered little long-term fall out, aside from the three players.
I misread your quote - yes, the media did more harm to the team. I believe the cancellation of the season happened before any wrongdoing by the prosecutor.

I was speaking of the 3 defendants - the prosecutor did far more harm to them than the media. And that's not to minimize the media-caused harm.

Beyond that, the whole affair has hurt future rape victims, although in a less specific sense. It doesn't make it less real, though.
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
quote:
A "shockjock" says something along lines, or even tamer than comments that have passed unnoticed literally thousands of times in his career. Someone, (God only knows who) picks it up, maybe as a soundbyte, or maybe it passes by word of mouth, gaining portent as the story is retold. The clip is played again and again, in isolation, by newscasters who have heard it being played on other shows. Now it's a story!
The thing is, as a "shock jock" this is the risk you take. If you say things designed to "shock" people, you can't really blame them if they are shocked into action against you.

A shock jock may say something inappropriate a thousand times, and one of those times might be heard by someone who is willing to make a big issue of it. Does that mean the other 999 times weren't also offensive? Not really, no.

Imus has been playing in traffic for years, and he just happened to get hit by a bus.

Why did this particular bus hit him? Lots of reasons.

It was in fact a slow holiday news week, for one.

Beyond that, though, NJ/NY papers have learned this year that if you put the name "Rutgers" or a big red scarlet "R" on your front page, you'll sell papers. For weeks there had been articles about the women's basketball team's success, culminating in a first-ever shot at a title, and the subsequent celebration. There were stories on everything down to the minutae of their lives, and people were buying it up. An insult by a national broadcaster in a public forum? That's news - and it's news because it sells newspapers.

Add to this the recent issues with Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, etc, and a political/social climate that has been growing harsher public racism (and other -isms).

Imus has set off sparks for years and putting out small fires as he set them. It's his nature spark - this situation just had far more tinder than he could deal with, and the flame finally engulfed him.

My opinion? No big loss.

For those of you in the NYC area, I wouldn't be surprised if JV and Elvis were bounced off the air (again) one of these days, either. And again, no big loss.

When shock jocks gets fired because someone was truly shocked into acting against them, they are reaping what they have sown.
 
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :
 
Personally, I don't think it's entirely unthinkable that Imus might be welcomed back to CBS and MSNBC, given a little time. It depends on what kinds of things he says and does - like stop whining.

The Rutgers team has provided the first step in his path to "rehabilitation"

quote:
Rutgers University's women's basketball players have accepted an apology from fired radio talk show host Don Imus, who called them "nappy-headed hos" last week, the team's coach announced today.

At a meeting with the team last night, hours after his nationally syndicated show was dropped by CBS Radio, Imus was "expressive" and "remorseful," coach C. Vivian Stringer told reporters at a brief news conference.

"He expressed his apology. We accepted his apology," Stringer said of the meeting, which was also attended by players' parents, university administrators and a minister.

Stringer said she still considers Imus's racially and sexually insensitive comment--made after underdog Rutgers lost to Tennessee in the NCAA women's basketball title game-- unacceptable but symptomatic of what others in American society feel.

"This is not just Mr. Imus," she said.

Imus's on-the-air slur "spoke to women . . . spoke to sexism . . . spoke to racism in our society," Stringer said. " . . . Don't we realize that it is time as Americans to all hold ourselves to a higher standard? I sense that the music industry, the film industry . . . educators, everyone is sharing in this responsibility."

CBS announced late yesterday afternoon that the "Imus in the Morning" show--heard on 61 radio stations across the United States--was being dropped "immediately" and "on a permanent basis." On Wednesday, the MSNBC cable television network--owned by NBC-- dropped the program, which was simulcast on radio and TV.

"At no time did Rutgers University women's basketball team ask for his job," Stringer said. "And it was sad news for anyone to lose their job. And I do mean anyone to lose their job."

Stringer said Imus should be given "credit" for meeting with the team on the day he was fired by CBS, and she urged the news media to cut him some slack.

"Let this man have some level of integrity," Stringer said. "Let him grow. Let us all learn from this."


Also, I highly recommend this op-ed by Eugene Robinson, of the Washington Post:

Why Imus had to go

quote:
Now that the networks have pulled the plug on Don Imus, let's have no hyperventilation to the effect that the aging shock jock's fall from undeserved grace raises some important question about just who in our society is permitted to say just what. Wherever "the line" delineating acceptable discourse might be, calling those young women from Rutgers University "nappy-headed hos" is miles on the other side.

Especially for a 67-year-old white man with a long history of racist, sexist and homophobic remarks.

For young black hip-hop artists to use such language to demean black women is similarly deplorable -- and, I would argue, even more damaging. But come on, people, don't deceive yourselves that it's precisely the same thing. Don't pretend that 388 years of history -- since the first shackled African slaves arrived at Jamestown -- never happened. The First Amendment notwithstanding, it has always been the case that some speech has been off-limits to some people. I remember a time when black people couldn't say "I'd like to vote, please." Now, white people can't say "nappy-headed hos." You'll survive.

While we're at the business of blunt truth, do the big-time media luminaries who so often graced Imus's show have some explaining to do? You bet, and so do the parent news organizations, including my own, that allowed their journalists to go on a broadcast that routinely crossed the aforementioned line. All these trained observers couldn't have failed to notice Imus's well-practiced modus operandi. "He never said anything bad while I was on" doesn't cut it as a defense.


quote:
Imus's advertisers couldn't afford to be associated with racist, misogynistic views, and neither could NBC. This doesn't portend any sort of chilling effect on free speech, as some have suggested. It doesn't mean that white males are being relegated to the dustbin of history. Last time I checked, guys, you still ran most of the world. You just have to be a bit nicer these days, and you have to share.

What he says is certainly true of MSNBC air time. Even Keith Olbermann was made uncomfortable when confronted with the fact that every news show on MSNBC is hosted by a white male. He mentioned - timidly - that his substitute on the show when he is away is an African-American woman.
 
Posted by FlyingCow (Member # 2150) on :
 
That's why I love C-Viv. She's a class act.
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
I saw on CNN today that apparently Imus is pulling HipHop culture into the debate. I didn't see all of it, but I assume the gist of the argument was that "well we see this all the time in Hip Hop culture, why is it okay for them and not me?"

The response from I think it was Snoop Dogg was something like "like all music in the past, we're just commenting on culture as it stands, and sometimes that is uncomfortable, but we're not going to stop."

Frankly I think Imus has a point. I don't think it excuses him at all, but SD is wrong, they aren't just commenting on culture, they are CREATING it. Imus is wrong if he thinks that pointing the finger at someone else will excuse him, but I think it's a point worthy of raising.
 
Posted by Qaz (Member # 10298) on :
 
It is not a joke: Imus's remark was so bad that Ann Coulter says he should apologize!

Link
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
Wow, just. . . wow.

Coulter can say "We need somebody to put rat poison in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," and later claim she was "just joking."

Along with assorted other murders and assassinations she has urged others to do.

But she thinks Imus should apologize, and not her, never her? She really is completely nuts.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
And that is why she performs a valuable service!

It helps so much when you know that someone still likes her!
 
Posted by Qaz (Member # 10298) on :
 
Although I don't agree with her we should point out that her reasoning is consistent. She spends most of the article saying that it is not important to be nice, that it would "be the end of all humor," and that she will not do it.
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
I took some time to reconsider this issue, now that it's largely settled, and I came up with this latest blog entry.

I wasn't going to think any further on it at all, but then a guy at worked asked me what I thought about it, and then I read an article about it in TIME. So a more comprehensive opinion formed of its own will. I won't bother reposting it here, you can just click the link, but basically I think firing him his a cop out, and it was a mistake.
 
Posted by AvidReader (Member # 6007) on :
 
quote:
The response from I think it was Snoop Dogg was something like "like all music in the past, we're just commenting on culture as it stands, and sometimes that is uncomfortable, but we're not going to stop."
That's better than how the local hip hop station reported it. According to them, Snoop's excuse was that when rappers use the word, they're not talking about college athletes. They're talking about goldiggers in the hood just trying to get a man's money.

Personally, in the songs I've heard, they seem to apply it to any woman they happen across with little to no provocation. Snoop's defense seems to make about as much sense as Imus's, IMHO.
 
Posted by James Tiberius Kirk (Member # 2832) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I took some time to reconsider this issue, now that it's largely settled, and I came up with this latest blog entry.

I wasn't going to think any further on it at all, but then a guy at worked asked me what I thought about it, and then I read an article about it in TIME. So a more comprehensive opinion formed of its own will. I won't bother reposting it here, you can just click the link, but basically I think firing him his a cop out, and it was a mistake.

FWIW, I read the entry and I agreed with [many of] your conclusions related to the Imus controversy, particularly this:

quote:
The media, playing judge, jury, and executioner decided Imus was ripe for sacrifice on the national media altar.
--j_k
 
Posted by SoaPiNuReYe (Member # 9144) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I saw on CNN today that apparently Imus is pulling HipHop culture into the debate. I didn't see all of it, but I assume the gist of the argument was that "well we see this all the time in Hip Hop culture, why is it okay for them and not me?"

The response from I think it was Snoop Dogg was something like "like all music in the past, we're just commenting on culture as it stands, and sometimes that is uncomfortable, but we're not going to stop."

Frankly I think Imus has a point. I don't think it excuses him at all, but SD is wrong, they aren't just commenting on culture, they are CREATING it. Imus is wrong if he thinks that pointing the finger at someone else will excuse him, but I think it's a point worthy of raising.

Do you listen to Hip Hop or are you just commenting on what you see? Hip Hop had nothing to do with what Imus said. What he said is something inside of him that manifested in a moment when he let his gaurd down. Frankly, it is total bull to just label an entire culture for a comment like this. That's like blaming school shootings on video games, or drugs on peer pressure. Unless you actually listen to rap, you cannot say something like that without repercussions.
There are loads of artists and albums out there that are testaments to how hip hop is much more than that. You make a huge mistake when you brand the entire hip hop culture as the source of the entire problem, because in fact it is the entire white culture that cultivated the idea that racism is okay as long as nobody black is around. Don't deny it because it is true. [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
You make a huge mistake when you brand the entire hip hop culture as the source of the entire problem, because in fact it is the entire white culture that cultivated the idea that racism is okay as long as nobody black is around. Don't deny it because it is true.
Oh, what a load of garbage. It's not "white culture" (insofar as there is such a thing) that cultivated this sort of thinking. In cultures all over the world it is generally more tolerable (although not always tolerable overall) to be a racist when no one from the subjected race is present.

Also, you certainly didn't seem to read Lyrhawn's post carefully. He did not lay the blame on hip-hop culture as you suggest he did.
 
Posted by SoaPiNuReYe (Member # 9144) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
You make a huge mistake when you brand the entire hip hop culture as the source of the entire problem, because in fact it is the entire white culture that cultivated the idea that racism is okay as long as nobody black is around. Don't deny it because it is true.
Oh, what a load of garbage. It's not "white culture" (insofar as there is such a thing) that cultivated this sort of thinking. In cultures all over the world it is generally more tolerable (although not always tolerable overall) to be a racist when no one from the subjected race is present.

Who cares if other cultures think it is ok? Everybody knows it isn't, but still act hypocritical and do it anyways. White ignorance is the entire reason why this statement is so controversial. Imus said those comments because he forgot that he was on radio and that people would get offended. However, it speaks to his character because now everybody knows how he really is. People sympathize with Imus because they say stuff when they think nobody is listening, and if they were in his position, something like that could have just have easily came out of their mouth. It doesn't matter if it is tolerated by white culture to make fun of other cultures, because in this case, other cultures were watching.
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
You know it's funny you should mention that specific idea, because it reminds me of a particularly horrifying conversation I had with a guy at work about a year ago. I can't remember his name, but he was black, and it was a slow day, and I find that generally at work whenever it's slow, conversations turn to politics (a Persian guy just started working at the restaurant and I had a VERY enlightening converastion with him).

Anyway, someone we got around to talking about race, and I think he said the N word, and I said it's a word that I absolutely refuse to say, except for maybe a very specific academic purpose. I think it's a vile offensive word that has no other connotation in today's language set than to be offensive (unless used by a black person apparently, but even then not always). He said it shouldn't bother me, because I probably hear it at home all the time. I didn't quite know what to say to that, it was just so incredibly presumptuous and offensive to me. I told him that no, that's not how we refer to black people in my house, and it's not how we refer to any individual or ethnic group at all.

He said that growing up, his mother would never let her kids talk about white people like that, but plenty of other houses he went to would regularly refer to white people using deragatory terms (some of which he listed I had never even heard before). He always assumed all white people were like that too.

Now I think he's an extreme case, at least I hope he is, I would imagine that not every black person thinks that way, just like I know not every white person thinks that way.

Oops, dinner is ready, I'll add to this post later.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Who cares if other cultures think it is ok?
I wasn't addressing this question. I was addressing a silly statement you made.
 
Posted by SoaPiNuReYe (Member # 9144) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Who cares if other cultures think it is ok?
I wasn't addressing this question. I was addressing a silly statement you made.
...by stating the fact that racism is present in all cultures. I fail to see the point of your previous post other than to say that Imus' statements were not caused by white culture, in which case you are still wrong.
 
Posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion (Member # 6473) on :
 
quote:
Some hardcore hos.
[ROFL]
 
Posted by Juxtapose (Member # 8837) on :
 
quote:
Hip Hop had nothing to do with what Imus said.
I'm not sure we know that.

If there is a substantial portion of the hip hop culture spouting racism and sexism, I don't think it's out of line to call them on it in this context. That there are many hip hop artists who combat this (and make great music, in my opinion) doesn't excuse those who indulge in it.
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
Thanks SoaP, with this:
quote:
White ignorance is the entire reason why this statement is so controversial. Imus said those comments because he forgot that he was on radio and that people would get offended. However, it speaks to his character because now everybody knows how he really is. People sympathize with Imus because they say stuff when they think nobody is listening, and if they were in his position, something like that could have just have easily came out of their mouth. It doesn't matter if it is tolerated by white culture to make fun of other cultures, because in this case, other cultures were watching.
You just made it unnecessary for me to respond point for point to your earlier posts. Why? Because I think that clinched the fact that you're full of crap.

First of all, I would LOVE for you to define "white culture" for me.

Second, wow, I think it takes a lot of gall to label an entire group of people as racist and to assume their motives like that. Everyone who supports Imus is now a racist? Saying something like that makes me want to support Imus just to SPITE you.

Third, I don't even understand what your last point is about. You think white people invented and have a monopoly on racially charged statements? Or on just making them in the home when no one else is around?

I think you need to explain yourself further if I'm to take you seriously.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
SoaPiNuReYe,

Dude, quit thinking that I'm taking a stance on Imus at all. As a matter of fact, I haven't even made a single remark about Don Imus here. So please, even if you think I am excusing Imus of anything, just pretend for the sake of argument that I'm not.

Now that that's out of the way...

quote:
There are loads of artists and albums out there that are testaments to how hip hop is much more than that. You make a huge mistake when you brand the entire hip hop culture as the source of the entire problem, because in fact it is the entire white culture that cultivated the idea that racism is okay as long as nobody black is around. Don't deny it because it is true.
This is the statement I was commenting on, the idea that it's a white idea that it's acceptable to be racist so long as no one of the subjected race is around. That belief is wrong, it's not a white idea, and it's frankly a stupid thing to believe. It implies--no, it outright states--that whites have a lock on racism and hypocrisy. It's wrong. That is what I was commenting on, and nothing about Imus.

quote:
I fail to see the point of your previous post other than to say that Imus' statements were not caused by white culture, in which case you are still wrong.
Imus's statements were caused by Don Imus, not "white culture". So no, I'm not wrong about that. If his statements were caused by "white culture", then I as a white man must obviously either be frequently calling black women perjorative terms, or else I must frequently feel that urge and surpress it in mixed company, only to let loose when I'm with Whitey.

But I suppose I probably do let loose, huh? Being a member of "white culture" and all.
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
I don't remember seeing you at the meetings Rakeesh.


[Wink]
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Regional meetings man, regional.
 
Posted by SoaPiNuReYe (Member # 9144) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Thanks SoaP, with this:
quote:
White ignorance is the entire reason why this statement is so controversial. Imus said those comments because he forgot that he was on radio and that people would get offended. However, it speaks to his character because now everybody knows how he really is. People sympathize with Imus because they say stuff when they think nobody is listening, and if they were in his position, something like that could have just have easily came out of their mouth. It doesn't matter if it is tolerated by white culture to make fun of other cultures, because in this case, other cultures were watching.
You just made it unnecessary for me to respond point for point to your earlier posts. Why? Because I think that clinched the fact that you're full of crap.

First of all, I would LOVE for you to define "white culture" for me.

Second, wow, I think it takes a lot of gall to label an entire group of people as racist and to assume their motives like that. Everyone who supports Imus is now a racist? Saying something like that makes me want to support Imus just to SPITE you.

Third, I don't even understand what your last point is about. You think white people invented and have a monopoly on racially charged statements? Or on just making them in the home when no one else is around?

I think you need to explain yourself further if I'm to take you seriously.

Define any racial culture for me and I will define white culture for you. You either read my second statement wrong, or you just have it out for me, but whatever, its your opinion, not mine. Everybody is racist, in the sense that they subconsiously stereotype people of other races, so that is besides the point. What I said is this, read carefully, put your glasses on and take a deep breath. I said that people sympathize with Don Imus because many of them, given the same situation, in other words when Imus' produce brought up the Rutger's team and said something equally racially charged about them, they might have easily said something just as racially charged. I never said everybody who supports Imus is racist, but personally I think
that he is.
I go to a school that is 87% white. The rest of us are constantly and unfairly stereotyped. I get to see sides of some people that nobody else ever gets to see. I've seen white friends of mine, who have black friends, call black people niggers without any hesitation. I am blessed with more racial slurs in a day than many of you will recieve in a lifetime. Do not think that I am going at just white people, and do not make the mistake that I am soft.
 
Posted by SoaPiNuReYe (Member # 9144) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I fail to see the point of your previous post other than to say that Imus' statements were not caused by white culture, in which case you are still wrong.
Imus's statements were caused by Don Imus, not "white culture". So no, I'm not wrong about that. If his statements were caused by "white culture", then I as a white man must obviously either be frequently calling black women perjorative terms, or else I must frequently feel that urge and surpress it in mixed company, only to let loose when I'm with Whitey.

But I suppose I probably do let loose, huh? Being a member of "white culture" and all.

I do not say that you must frequently call black women derogative terms, but I do say that in order to totally exempt yourself from any marginal responsibility, you must have never stereotyped people of any race at any point in your lifetime. If you haven't then good for you. My point is that when somebody like Don Imus, was a popular icon in news and media, says something like that unintentionally, then it shows not just how he feels, that it is a reflection of the culture he represents as a whole. People call other people hoes all the time, both black people and white people, and they get away with it because others are hesitant to punish otherwise good people.
When anything on the degree of what Don Imus did is done, then it can be a reflection of both the victim and the aggressor cultures. But whenever something more extreme is done, then it may not be.
 
Posted by James Tiberius Kirk (Member # 2832) on :
 
quote:
Don Imus, was a popular icon in news and media, says something like that unintentionally, then it shows not just how he feels, that it is a reflection of the culture he represents as a whole.
This is where I'd [begin to] disagree with you.

Don Imus, with his cowboy hat and boots tried hard to make himself an image of the "common man." Shock jocks -- and several websites, for that matter -- become extremely popular when they say "what everyone is thinking." And yet, it is usually quite hard to find people who match these images. I don't think this is because people heavily censor themselves; it's because no one is really like that.

Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh, Micheal Moore and the like are charactertures of the groups they claim to represent and shouldn't be taken as otherwise. Unfortunately, they tend to be very loud.

--j_k
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
My point, soap, is that there is no one "white culture." I think you made that point for me. There is no black culture, or female culture, or make culture, there are a thousand different subsets of culture that all mix and blur together. What I was trying to do was to get you to NOT use vastly overarching blanket statements like that.

And actually the first time you said it, you didn't say "many of them," you said it was a blanket statement to cover all of them. You said that people who sympathize with him could make the same sorts of statements he makes, the statements he make are racist, ergo, the people who sympathize with him are racist as well. Don't call me stupid, try explaining yourself better.

And I hope you don't think your anecdote proves anything on a larger scale. Mine certainly didn't.
 
Posted by SoaPiNuReYe (Member # 9144) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
My point, soap, is that there is no one "white culture." I think you made that point for me. There is no black culture, or female culture, or make culture, there are a thousand different subsets of culture that all mix and blur together. What I was trying to do was to get you to NOT use vastly overarching blanket statements like that.

And actually the first time you said it, you didn't say "many of them," you said it was a blanket statement to cover all of them. You said that people who sympathize with him could make the same sorts of statements he makes, the statements he make are racist, ergo, the people who sympathize with him are racist as well. Don't call me stupid, try explaining yourself better.

And I hope you don't think your anecdote proves anything on a larger scale. Mine certainly didn't.

Personally, I think that if you feel you have to prove something to people here, then that is your problem, but I sure don't.
If you can cite anywhere, in the last 10,000 years, that I have called you stupid, then you win. I don't care honestly.
quote:
You said that people who sympathize with him could make the same sorts of statements he makes, the statements he make are racist, ergo, the people who sympathize with him are racist as well.
By your logic what I said is this: Everybody who supports Don Imus is racist.
By my logic I said: People who support Don Imus, support him because they sympathize with him and the situation he is in, and if they had been in the same situation, they may have said something similiar.
Personally I do not think just because you say something racist it makes you a straight up racist, because actions speak louder than words. Therefore the person who calls a woman a ho, and the person who lynches another person of a different race, are on different planes.
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
I think the person who calls a woman and ho and the person who lynches ANYONE are on different planes.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Well, OK. You are not (exactly) saying that anyone who 'supports' Don Imus is a racist. You're just saying that they sympathize with a racist point of view.

Splitting hairs, man. You're saying that white people (in general) sympathize with Don Imus because, if they're not in mixed company, heck, they might slip and make a racist remark too!

But not that they're racist, just that they make racist remarks...or else sympathize with those that do. This is some muddy water here.
 
Posted by Morbo (Member # 5309) on :
 
SoaPiNuReYe, people can support Imus for a variety of reasons. All them don't support him (in his current situation) because of sympathy or because "in the same situation, they may have said something similiar."
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
quote:
I go to a school that is 87% white. The rest of us are constantly and unfairly stereotyped.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that only the "rest of you" are constantly and unfairly stereotyped. In fact, I'd be willing to bet 100% of the people at your school are constantly and unfairly stereotyped. This is true everywhere, but especially in school.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
And to clarify (because on Hatrack, sometimes your position gets picked for you unless you're very specific), I don't support Don Imus. I was never a fan of his in the first place, and I think firing him was well within the range of reasonable options for his employers to take--both morally and in the 'ridiculously obvious' category of pragmatically, Imus's job is to sell advertising. His words and actions severely hampered his ability to sell advertising. Of course he's going to get in trouble.

If you can't get behind that for reasons of racism or sexism, surely you can get behind it for economic reasons.

That said, I don't think firing him will be a very meaningful or effective solution to the problem underlying this situation. Or at least, not until I see what goes in his old time slot.
 
Posted by AvidReader (Member # 6007) on :
 
quote:
Everybody is racist, in the sense that they subconsiously stereotype people of other races, so that is besides the point.
That's only racism if the stereotypes imply racial superiority. Stereotypes are what you assume a group of people will act like based on observable factors, usually clothing according to an AARP article I read. We can't know everyone on the planet. So we make assumptions, and often the assumptions are common because they're true for a number of people in a group. If I told you Frenchtown is where to go in Tally to find some drugs and hookers, that would be sterotyping a part of town, but I could also back it up with the police reports.

Does that mean everyone in Frenchtown is a dealer? Of course not. Does that mean you can't find dealers in Kilearn? Of course not. But as a first assumption, Frenchtown is the rougher neighborhood. All of that is stereotyping, but none of it is racist.
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
That's only racism if the stereotypes imply racial superiority.
Are you sure about that? If someone says that black people like fried chicken more than white people, it doesn't imply any superiority (unless you think eating certain foods makes one superior or inferior to those who eat different foods) - but wouldn't you consider it a bit racist?
 
Posted by DarkKnight (Member # 7536) on :
 
quote:
If someone says that black people like fried chicken more than white people
What if that someone is Al Sharpton? Is it still racist if he says it?
 
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
 
Is it true? Could we pull out statistical evidence where people who consider themselves white and those who consider themselves black are surveyed and the blacks do indeed indicate more often that they like fried chicken? If so, then I can confidently say "Black people like fried chicken more than white people" and it's not racist because I'm stating a fact.

Is it racist for me to say that black children usually score lower on standardized tests than white children? Even if I'm a future educator who would like to see that changed? I mean, if we cannot acknowledge what's out there, then how can we fix it?

I think this is one of those areas where intent matters. If I, as an educator point out black children score lower and I have the intention of trying to change that, or I'm stating it as a fact because I think we need to look at the testing process for possible inherent bias, I don't think I'm a racist. If however, I point out that black children score lower on standardized tests because I'm recruiting for a white supremacy group and use that information to convince people whites are intellectually the superior of blacks, then I'd be a racist.

Some statements are inherently offensive. I cannnot conceive a situation where calling anyone a "nappy-headed ho" is anything but offensive and degrading. But if you ask me if a comment like "Black people like fried chicken more than white people" is racist, then I'd want to know the context before I decided if, in my opinion, it was racist or not.
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
Could we pull out statistical evidence where people who consider themselves white and those who consider themselves black are surveyed and the blacks do indeed indicate more often that they like fried chicken? If so, then I can confidently say "Black people like fried chicken more than white people" and it's not racist because I'm stating a fact.

I think it would still be racist. The racism doesn't come from the falsity of it, but rather from treating a racial group as a homogenous whole when it is not.
 
Posted by Belle (Member # 2314) on :
 
*nods* That, I grant. I questioned that part of my post when I read it.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
I disagree, if you could find a clear-cut statistical example from several reliable sources. However, I don't really think you can, because there are too many variable. Most notably, regional variables. Different foods are more popular in different regions of the country.
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
quote:
If I told you Frenchtown is where to go in Tally to find some drugs and hookers, that would be sterotyping a part of town, but I could also back it up with the police reports.

Does that mean everyone in Frenchtown is a dealer? Of course not. Does that mean you can't find dealers in Kilearn? Of course not. But as a first assumption, Frenchtown is the rougher neighborhood. All of that is stereotyping, but none of it is racist.

Where the heck do you live?

quote:
What if that someone is Al Sharpton? Is it still racist if he says it?
Yes it is. He'll just never get punished for it.
 
Posted by BlueWizard (Member # 9389) on :
 
I don't think what Imus did was so bad, BAD - yes, but not to the extent the media is making it out.

We do need people in the world that will speak bluntly and without reservation or hesitation when making social and political commentary; people like John Steward, Bill Maher, and yes even Rush Limbaugh. I applaud people who do this, who are more interested in the absolute truth or an aspect of the absolute truth, than they are in political correctness or social sensibilities.

Hear is a link to 'Media Matters' which is a response to the Imus controversy, in which several TV and Radio personalities make some very extreme statements about others in the political or social arena.

"It's not just Imus"
http://mediamatters.org/items/200704120010

Notice that some very offensive things have been said, but I feel those things were said to make a point, to make a social commentary about subject others are afraid to speak of, but are likely thinking.

Here is the difference, Imus has been insulting people left, right, and center for decades, what was different about this insult? The answer is it wasn't a 'pointed' insult, it made no social or political comment; in other words, it was a pointless and useless insult, directed to no real purpose.

One could even say that the ho's, guns, drugs, etc... in Rap music are pointed. They do point out a very real aspect of our society. Whether those 'point' repel your or motivate you to emulate them is not as relevant as the fact that, for good or for bad, they move you.

However, in what way was 'nappy-headed ho' in any way a social commentary. This was a comment about exceptional athletes on a reputable top-tier college team. These were essentially the very thing that we hope people, regardless of race, aspire to.

I think what happened is that Imus was caught up in his own hype. He was working so hard to maintain his 'controversial' reputation, that he was just insulting for the sake of insulting. It was insulting without a purpose because in that moment Imus had lost sight of his purpose.

Further, I doubt that these shows are heavily scripted. I suspect a great deal of it is just spontaneous talk. I think in that moment Imus made a spontaneous comment that came back to bite him on the ass, because it was a comment that really had not point or purpose.

Now, I do believe that people should be able to make blunt and even offensive speech if that speech does contain a hint of reality. If it makes available a view that is truly held by some people regardless of how repugnant that view is. If we don't face reality, then how can we ever deal with it.

In this one incident, there was no purpose, and more importantly, there was no underlying reality to his comments, and THAT is what made it purely and clearly offensive.

Certainly, he should pay a price that that pointless indiscretion, what the price should be I'm not sure. The Network that hires him, has ever right to fire him, but it should be for his actions, not because of political or social pressure from outside forces.

Further, Imus has been in the business for 40 years, I think he gets paid pretty well, and I doubt that he will starve to death. Perhaps he will simply find a job with another network, or perhaps even Sirius or XM radio.

I think people were right to call him on his comment. I also think people are right to not call people on equally offensive comments, when those comment do have an underlying point. I think if Imus had really understood his comments in hindsight, he could have defended himself better.

As it is, what's done is done, I won't shed any tears or lose any sleep over Imus's fate. He's rich and I'm not, so my sympathy is limited.

For what it's worth.

Steve/BlueWizard
 
Posted by pH (Member # 1350) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
If I told you Frenchtown is where to go in Tally to find some drugs and hookers, that would be sterotyping a part of town, but I could also back it up with the police reports.

Does that mean everyone in Frenchtown is a dealer? Of course not. Does that mean you can't find dealers in Kilearn? Of course not. But as a first assumption, Frenchtown is the rougher neighborhood. All of that is stereotyping, but none of it is racist.

Where the heck do you live?

quote:
What if that someone is Al Sharpton? Is it still racist if he says it?
Yes it is. He'll just never get punished for it.

Tally = Tallahassee, methinks.

-pH
 


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