Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Friday, April 13, 2007

Weighing in

No, not that kind, I'm still a fatass. But more like weighing in on our weekly hot-button issue.

I don't agree with firing Don Imus. I don't like Imus. I've listened to his show a couple times years ago and was never a fan. And I don't approve of calling the Rutgers basketball team, or any other group of African-American women "nappy-haired hos." Unless of course they're hanging around the Geisha Bar at 3 AM, in which case they probably are unkempt women of African descent in the sex trade.

But while I think Imus is an obnoxious git who stuck his foot in his mouth, I also think that there are a precious few examples of free speech left in our country, and an unhealthy amount of self-righteous indignation. I think what he said was over the line, no question about it. I also think that as a representative of CBS, MSNBC and a bunch of other initials, it's within the rights of those companies to discipline their employee.

But firing him does no good. If you want Imus to learn that what he said was wrong, dock him 3 months' salary. Hit him where it hurts. Don't just cut him loose to make him a martyr to his fans and guarantee that he'll get picked up again by someone who doesn't care about the current public opinion (or at least someone who'll wait until all this indignation blows over to hire him). This accomplishes nothing. It opens no valid dialogue on race and gender relations between Imus and the Rutgers women. It doesn't pose interesting dinner-table questions for parents and children. It doesn't even do anything to change Imus' character.

I understand that in a public broadcast position, you have to watch what you say. Hell, in a private medium such as a blog you self-censor a little (unless you're Waffles). But even in the bright lights of the media, a man should be able to say something stupid, apologize, pay penance, and move on.

4 comments:

KajaPoker said...

I don't care that he got fired, because I don't care about him at all. Free speech is sacred though and he is entitled to say whatever he wants. We also have a freedom associated with Imus. We have the freedom not to tune to his station and not listen to what he says. I never liked Imus or Rush or Crossfire or any of these idiots. So I never listened or watched. Freedom of choice > Freedom of speech. If people don't like what he says and stop listening, then his show eventually gets canceled anyway.

I love the Imus celebrity math from BestWeekEver though.

SirFWALGMan said...

Censoring is for pussies!

Doog said...

He didn't get fired because of what he said, he got fired because all of the corporate advertisers pulled their ad revenue from his show. CBSRadio/MSNBC would no longer be able to profit from his presence, so he got canned. Semantics? Maybe. But his firing was all about the almighty dollar.

And, for the record, it was 'nappy-HEADED hos.' As a Caucasian who has been married to an African-American woman for seven years, I can assure you there is a big difference. ;)

Absinthe said...

If this were the one racist thing Imus had said over his broadcasting career, he'd have been able to skate with an apology. There'd have been an uproar, he'd have issued a mea culpa, some advertisers would have jumped ship but a boycott would have fizzled, the storm would have passed. But it's part of a pattern.