Thursday, April 12, 2007

What were they saying about Imus before the latest outrage and everyone piled on?

When someone screws up as publicly as Don Imus did recently with his remarks about the Rutgers basketball players, the self-righteous outcry can seem like a national rush to judgment without really getting the facts. Is Imus being unfairly scapegoated for the racism and sexism of an entire nation?

This story about Imus' track record in Media Matters was written about a month ago, before the current controversy started, so it's a sort of baseline by which to gauge today's reactions. Are people being unfair to Imus? Hardly.
On Imus, McGuirk said that "bitch" Clinton will "have cornrows and gold teeth"

On the March 6 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, executive producer Bernard McGuirk said that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) was "trying to sound black in front of a black audience" when she gave a speech on March 4 in Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" civil rights march. McGuirk added that Clinton "will have cornrows and gold teeth before this fight with [Sen. Barack] Obama [D-IL] is over." Earlier in the program, in reference to Clinton's speech, McGuirk had said, "Bitch is gonna be wearing cornrows." McGuirk also said that Clinton will be "giving Crips signs during speeches." The Crips are a Los Angeles-based street gang.
The story goes on to detail a long track record of racist on-air comments. The Rutgers outburst was hardly the first -- more like the end of a story that has dragged on far too long. Imus repeatedly promised to stop making racist remarks about black athletes and failed to do so. How many second chances does someone need? Or get? No wonder national advertisers started bailing out in droves. It's time.


Anonymous said...

"Imused"- to be humerously derided using words and phrases common to gangsta rap lingo.

Dr Diablo said...

This is just the kind of tempest-in-a-teapot flap that TV loves. Yesterday, NBC featured special coverage of the Imus firing with a bevy of commentators all raving and gesticulating.

I didn't find their agitation infectious, though. I wouldn't have watched the special, but I was stuck in my stockbroker's waiting room with it. I don't care if Imus is on or off the air, since I never listen to the aging hipster. While his comment was most distasteful, it wasn't that different from the kind of stuff they pay Imus and Stern to say.

Imus will land on his feet, of course, since he got some badly needed PR. The has-been has already guested on other shows to apologize and so forth. Maybe he'll get reinstated, sparking another round of special coverage of the hokey controversy; maybe he'll end up on satellite radio, since they can sign him cheap right now.

MadGuy, you should do a gansta-style post and slip in a mildly racial comment--preferably something extracted from a rap song. You will set Planet Blogos on fire as bloggers around the world debate whether you and your blog should be banned from the internet. You will get more hits than a dormitory bong and easily vault past the prominent Madison blogger whose name eludes me.