An end of an Era
I've hesitated to weigh in on the Imus controversy for a lot of reasons. Primarily, I thought there were enough people talking about it, and the best thing for everyone involved aside from an apology from Imus to those injured was to stop talking about it, but that was not to be.
Imus and I go way back. I used to ride to school every day with my dad on his way to work, and I listened to Don Imus spouting off about whatever political saga was going on. Revealing my age somewhat, Imus had already moved away from most of the schock jock tendencies that got the likes of the Grease Man kicked off the air (never listened to him but that controversy happened around that time).
Imus was a tad liberal for my tastes, but he had some of the greatest minds in politics and covering politics in America on his show from John McCain to Tom Brokaw. The show was irreverant, funny, and informative. My favorite part was the show's really good Richard Nixon and hilarious Walter Cronkite impersonations. Hard news was mixed in with humor and, sometimes a little too much, pop culture; but on the whole, the show was 10x more enlightening than most of the other tripe on morning radio.
With this announcement, the ballgame is pretty much over.
I won't start to defend the I-man's comments. They were over the line (period).
However, we have a double standard in this country. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are using this controversy to build power, plain and simple. When they have made equally reprehensible statements and done inappropriate things in the past, they have gotten a free pass. The Duke lacrosse team had an entire season destroyed by Jesse and Al, and no one is calling for their livelihoods to be destroyed. Several players may have been falsely sent to jail if they didn't have rich parents.
Al Sharpton talks about how this is a blow for decency. We haven't made our culture any more decent, but we have taken an entertaining source of real news from the airwaves. In addition, the IMUS ranch for kids with cancer will suffer as well. I hope someone picks up the Imus show, but in this culture, $$$ dictate corporate policy, first and foremost.
UPDATE: Kudos to the Rutgers women's basketball team for taking the high road here. This should have been the response all along.
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