Imus in the past


Listening to Don Imus on the radio has been for many people for many years an experience with different results. Many listened to his show and found it appalling in that his shock-jock approach to issues was, to say the least, abrasive and offensive. Some stayed with him and became consistent listeners because they liked what they heard. When MSNBC decided to simulcast his radio show, it became even more attractive for those who visited his studio in person or called in by phone. All in all, the “Imus in the Morning” show was successful in that its style appealed to enough viewers/listeners to make money for their sponsors.

But as it appears, Don Imus had finally gone over the line and his show was cancelled by both, CBS and MSNBC. While he had insulted many people and made truly derogatory, raunchy remarks over the many years towards just about everybody in this country and the rest of the world, this last time, he had gone truly over the line! His outrageous name-calling was one of the constant staples of his show and for doing so, he was admired by his friends.  Especially when it involved individuals whom they, his friends, were politically opposed to. It was no wonder therefore that the Imus show was a meeting place for liberals since Imus never had anything good to say about the current President and Republicans in general (with the exception of John McCain). One has to question people’s value system when listeners turned into the ‘Imus in the Morning’ show to hear the host and his on-air sidekicks bash President George W. Bush and members of his administration in such a demeaning and disrespectful way on an almost daily basis. But it was not unlawful or illegal under the First Amendment’ free speech clause and his show was therefore a popular platform for people who agreed with him. They had no problem with his foul-mouth name-calling and mean description of the President and others. To the contrary, for them to be on the Imus show meant that “you belonged to the In-crowd” and had established yourselves.

But during a show in the first week of April, Don Imus and his producer, Bernard McGuirk discussed the Rutgers University women’s basketball team (after they had just lost in the NCAA final game to the women’s team of the University of Tennessee) and commented on how the Rutgers girl’s had looked. Because the Rutgers team was composed primarily of black athletes, Imus and his on-air sidekick Bernard McGuirk referred to them, and we quote: “Nappy Headed Ho’s”. While it was just another insult at that moment, within two days the outrage became a scandal of major proportion. The two high priests of ethics in America, Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton demanded that Imus should be fired for this statement. They went public, demonstrated, refused Don Imus’ attempts to apologize several times and simply would not settle for anything but the end to the “Imus in the Morning” radio show! And they got it! The noise became so loud that the major advertisers/sponsors of the show dropped and cancelled their commercial support and that was enough for CBS and MSNBC to cancel the show, the ‘Imus’ show became history.

While this is no loss to a very great many people, one has to wonder where Imus’s friends were during those days, why they did not come out and strongly defend his right to free speech and that he had no intention to insult black athletes or women in general. They distanced themselves from him so fast, they set records in disappearance acts and could not be found for comment. The very interesting after-effect were statements by many liberal commentators and bloggers and their ilk that it was a good thing this had happened, after all, Imus was a conservative radio jock. Nothing could be further from the truth; Imus was about as conservative as how much Adolf Hitler really liked Jews. We want to cite just one example: If Don Imus had been a conservative, then why did John Kerry during the 2004 Presidential campaign appear on his radio show almost daily instead of George Bush? Does this make sense? We do not think so and find it amusing that two things happened here: When Imus insulted the players on the Rutgers basketball team, it was considered an unforgivable racist remark and his “friends” in the media distanced themselves from him very fast, but that in itself was not good enough for the liberals, they had to put the blame on conservatives by spreading the falsehood that Imus was a conservative shock-jock. This is truly amazing in itself but should not come as a surprise, there is no more objectivity in the media, almost all members are truly agenda driven and cannot accept reality when it is unflattering.

Compared to the “rap artists” in America, Don Imus was a novice. The words in those rhythmic noise productions by the rap industry are so vile and offensive that one has to wonder why nobody has ever gone seriously after them in an organized fashion. Who determines the boundaries of “Free speech”? When it is NOT ok for a white radio-show host to make derogatory remarks about black women, why is it ok for black rap artists to do so? This would not be a double standard, would it? Has our silently accepted ‘political correctness’ gone so far that we have to apply double standards in our every day lives here in America when it comes to race and minorities?

Whatever one thinks of this short-termed episode of public outrage and its consequences in the Imus affair, we here at ‘Back to Common Sense’ believe, that we have a long way to go when it comes to true integration between all segments of our society; there are still many double standards to overcome. Common sense tells us that these double standards will be here for a very long time if some serious efforts are not made to overcome certain hurdles toward reality and true equality.

This article and others on Back to Common Sense are designed to provoke further thought and investigation.   It is not the intent for the articles to be politically biased. Sources are referenced in each article to encourage readers to delve into the supporting material.  We welcome all readers to participate with their point of view either in support or contrary with additional information sources.


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