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CBS Cans Imus

Posted on Apr 12, 2007

S.O.L.:  Don Imus

Amid the furor over radio host Don Imus’ comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team last week, and following MSNBC’s decision to stop simulcasting his program on that network, CBS has decided to give him the boot from his show.

“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.”

It is a stunning fall for one of the nation’s most prominent broadcasters. 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.

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archeon of thrace's avatar

By archeon of thrace, April 13, 2007 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

What most people do forget is this, the majority is white and middle class.  And if not white then middle class.  It is “middle class” that defines what a person see, hears, and thinks.

I still think that almost everyone is guilty of racism and bigotry. I still say better a open an honest bigot than one hiding under sheet in the dark.  I don’t mean that only “white” people are “secrect” racists.  I think that there is a kind of “bigotry and hatred forgivenss” that is granted the minorities.  I don’t think we should tolerate prejudice, bigotry, and racism anywhere at anytime.  It is unneccessary, uncalled for, and counter productive.

As for Imus, the Revs Sharpton and Jackson must be giddy with joy at having taken down an asshole cracker.  But why do Jackson and Sharpton get a free ride in the media about their racist and offensive remarks?

Again I point out that the organization to raise the biggest stink about this from the beginning was and is the “ASSOCIATION of BLACK JOURANLISTS”.  And I ask again could there be a “Association of White Journalists”?  Would we tolerate an organization that only admitted white people?  But I also ask, exactly how black does one have to be to be member of the Association of Black Journalists?  I find the very idea of race based organizations offensive.

And again doesn’t Obama attend a selfdescribed “BLACK” church?

Imus appologized, that should have been the end of it.  The supposed christians Jackson, Sharpton, and Obama should have practiced some forgiveness.  They should have been gracious, accepted the appologies, and engaged with Imus in a discussion on how such language and the underlying thinking behind it are destructive, divisive, and not good for the nation.  That would have been far more productive, and might have actually healed some wounds.

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By 127001, April 13, 2007 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

Just to clarify my comment “white, middle aged, and lacking the concept” I was referring to three different things.

White, black, Asian, Middle Eastern all have perceptions of racism for those who use only their <u>eyes</u> to see. Prejudice regarding religion comes from a blinded perception of Christianity, Muslim, or otherwise.

middle aged ... A generation (or two) that watched the racial issues on television to gain equality within the U.S. Unfortunately, those specific generations didn’t actually learn much if you look at the issues that continue in this society. Hopefully our children will do better.

lacking the concept ... lawyers, politicians, and many others utilize racism, religious issues, civil rights issues, with an agenda of what they can get from it, not truly with a goal to end abuses, or even correct injustices. I prefer to listen to a historian or even an activist with an open agenda than a lawyer or politician on these issues.

But if you look at the many comments and posts online regarding this, including the mistaken posts referencing first amendment rights, there is really very little objectivity and a very LOT of reflection of agendas ... some personal, some not so personal.

From what I’ve been reading on the law blogs (blawgs), more lawyers support Imus than feel he should be held accountable. Even (perhaps especially) the ones who SAY he should be held accountable still let small comments slip that they are only making noise, and don’t reflect a deep commitment to equality.

I did believe someone’s comment that Imus picked up and finished what someone else started. Doesn’t excuse him. I don’t know if I even have an opinion about all of this as far as what he said and the reactions.

I do think his being canned was due to a business decision (advertising dollars) rather than what he said or meant or anything else. That’s today’s society. Follow the money.

There are people I have strong dislikes for who also “happen” to be black. I don’t dislike them because they are black, but for another reason that would cause me to dislike them if they were white, asian, or any other racial background.

But I also generally have contempt for the thought process that the legal community has evolved into (or at least intensified), including the judiciary. These types of issues tend to end up in the civil courts a lot, and it is the legal community and judges who stand back and allow it, in the same way as the person who commented about the child dealing with such behavior at school while teachers and authorities didn’t step forward and deem it unacceptable.

We can’t be so selective in our judgments or our personal accountability when it comes to equality. It must apply to all equally.

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archeon of thrace's avatar

By archeon of thrace, April 13, 2007 at 2:15 pm Link to this comment

127001 I enjoyed your links.
I really like it when the memebers here share what they have been reading.  Thanks.

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By 127001, April 13, 2007 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

Well said, archeon of thrace.

As someone with a culturally diverse background, its a difficult issue no matter how one looks at it. I also wish we could move on to something more constructive.

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By archeon of thrace, April 13, 2007 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

White people can’t get the concept of civil rights?  I would venture to say the very concept of civil rights, and that the state and it’s apparatus should be subserient to individual rights is a white concept.  The greeks were white, or am I mistaken?  The British too, they invented constitutional monarchy with a representative parliament.  And the American declaration of independance and the foundation of the nation on democratic principles was driven by white men.  The idea that blacks, reds, and yellows are equal to whites is a direct developement from that idea.

I agree that Imus was offensive in his remarks, I would not have made them.  But to not accept his appology and move on is just as offensive.  I am particularly offended that supposed christians like Jackson, Sharpto, and Obama fail to forgive.  They have failed to do anything positive for race relations.

Everyone needs to grow thicker skin. Racism is not unique to the white race.  Racism is closely tied to religion, culture, and upbringing.  Until we address the racism within churches, ethnic communities, and ethnic organizations we will not move any closer to a culture and colour blind society.

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are bigots and racists - they are in my books many time worse than Imus.  He at least doesn’t hide his racism as god’s work.  Imus is a radio host, not a politician shilling for ethnic votes. Imus does not have a “race baiting” agenda.  For Sharpton and Jackson racial tension and bigotry justifies their political existance.  It is in their political interest keep the racial invective alive.

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By tomack, April 13, 2007 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

See today’s Rude Pundit take: says it all. Rude or not, the man’s usually right on the money.

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By 127001, April 13, 2007 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Oh yeah, and probably the worst reactions I’ve read about Imus and the racism stuff is from, of all places (typical attorney racism ... don’t not think it, just don’t get caught saying it), is from Norm Pattis at Crime & Federalism (so-called “civil rights” attorneys ... white middle aged and lacking the concept).

See: Imus Lynched

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By 127001, April 13, 2007 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

IMHO, Radley Balko at The Agitator has the most rational and realistic opinion posted on this matter.

See his article “Imus.

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By PatrickHenry, April 13, 2007 at 9:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s the law of unintended circumstances.

I hope he uses this job change to demonstrate the racism of Black America and its leaders.

He should put his money where his mouth is and atone for his hurt against those women, uninterntional as it was.  He would demonstrate how little Sharpton and Jackson as men really are. 

Sharpton made a comment about more Black executives in media.  I would like to see more White athletes in professional sports…I guess both preferences come down to ability.  Ability always comes through Black or White.

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By Howard Mandel, April 13, 2007 at 7:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Public discourse has been on a downward spiral for so long its obvious from many of the commenters here, that we have forgotten what it once looked like.

You should not have people on TV hurling invectives at “the other” of the moment. The injuries can be measured by the increase in violence against those its become fashionable to attack. I only wish that every maligned group had representation as effective and well organized as Sharpton and Jackson.

Also, people must drop the false equivalency between Imus and rappers, or other folks who use those words. Black folks, indeed folks from any group, have the cultural experience to use those words in less injurious ways. I hate it when white folks say how come they can say the “n” word, but I can’t. Because if you say it hurts and when they say it doesn’t. It’s about the hurting.

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By archeon of thrace, April 12, 2007 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

These so called “shock jocks” didn’t just do this for fun.  This type of radio/tv/movies/books/magazines etc sells.  If it did not Imus would never have had a job to lose.  As for cleaning up rap lyrics, what a stupid idea.  The only way is by censorship by executive board rather than obscurity by failing in the market.

Everyday this place (america) is sounding more like the Soviet Union of yore.  They too tryed to engineer a society by limited the content of music, publications, films, and television.  They failed, and their country failed.

I must say it is sooo very christian of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton to be so forgiving.  By failing to focus on forgiveness and healing and chosing to perpetuate hate and keep the wounds open.  Why?  Because this type of split and division mantains their bank accounts full and the sheep in the flock.  It is time these two act more Reverential and less like small time petty politicians shilling for votes.

Doesn’t Obama go to a self described “black” church?

And what about the “Asssociation of BLACK journalists”?  Isn’t by being, perpetuating racial divisions?

I don’t think Imus is a racist, and he is probably not a sexist.  We the public often are guilty of confusing a public artificial persona with an actual living human being.  Imus is/was a radio/tv personality, he wasn’t making state policy, he wasn’t judging criminals in a court, he wasn’t even writing tickets on the streets.  He was a paid circus clown for CBS and MSNBC.

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By Jan, April 12, 2007 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The famous Imus has been doing this radio show for so many years, he has a target audience. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. As a radio show host, his responsibility every day is to determine who his audience is. Imus would not have purposely spoke trash to upset so many. His words were hurtful and he was wrong to not consider his audience. The result, in my opinion is for this man to apologize and move on. He has done just that. The firing of this man is to extreme a move if he is apologetic and he has learned from his mistakes. The lesson learned will be in the next few days as he goes from under the spotlight to rise above. The Imus character should be returned to his freedoms by taking his next opportunity to talk about his lesson and give to our community and educational systems as well as our athletic women of color. This female race has been neglected for a very long time. What Can Imus do for You?

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By pete moughan, jr, April 12, 2007 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

CBS blew it. While imus comments were terrible and inexcusable, out right firing only after the news media uproar is too convenient of a way to address the style and in house politics of the imus show overall.

To truly address this problem , as percieved, a on air dialogue regarding the abuse of his privileged position would have been far more productive in changing society values and current trends of spoken conversations.

CBS was, in my book the last true network, now there are none.

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By raven, April 12, 2007 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

I agree archeon. Intelligent open forums would be nice.  Free speech is important. I’d settle for conversations without assassinating one’s character with idiotic name-bashing. It’s too bad that bigot and hate sells so well in America.

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archeon of thrace's avatar

By archeon of thrace, April 12, 2007 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

But this issue does raise some important free speech issues.

I think it would be best if these types of events were openly debated.  If possible include the offending party in the debate.  Simply screaming “I’m outraged” or “Fire the bastard” is just not good enough.

Like I said better to have the racist/sexist/homophobes out where we can see them, than have them hiding under sheets in the night.

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, April 12, 2007 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

Big deal. Next week we’ll hear where he’s inked a deal with Sirius for umpteen millions, taking his fans with him.

And where the fans go, the sponsors are soon to follow. The lure of the dollar trumps all ethics and values.

Ain’t America grand?

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archeon of thrace's avatar

By archeon of thrace, April 12, 2007 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

America is a bigoted nation.
Imus was first castigated by the “Association of BLACK Journalists”.  I wonder could we have the “Association of WHITE Journalists?”.  Jessi Jackson is guilty of jew baiting (and he cheated on his wife, makes one wonder what kind of “role” model he is), and well Sharpton is allso a rascist.

Better a sexist and racist out in the open - than one hidden under the sheets in the darkness of night.

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By raven, April 12, 2007 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

Unfortunately, Imus will probably get signed on with Sirius or XM and join his alter-ego Howard Stern. There he will say whatever he wants. There are always clowns that will listen to the name-calling, shock-jock rhetoric. I find it boring and not worth my time.

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By rabblerowzer, April 12, 2007 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good riddance to this hatemonger masquerading as a commediane (one of the hundreds polluting the airwaves). Millions of American Fascists love Rush, O’Reilly, Hume and all the other vicious degenerates who hate Democracy. It’s way past time to eliminate this filth from our publicly owned airwaves.

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By Kol Klink, April 12, 2007 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good Riddence!!!

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By socalcde, April 12, 2007 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve always thought that Imus was a big jerk with a bad attitude, but it seemed to me that that is what gained him the kind of status that he had (not unlike Rush or Howard Stern).  The stupid things that he said were what people expected to hear from him, and was why they listened to him, so I find myself wondering why this time it got him fired.  I suppose they had to fire him once GM was going to pull their ads, but I’m still surprised that he was going to be suspended, which was silly, and only brought more attention to this situation.

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By YIKES, April 12, 2007 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

I can only hope that Rush will be next.

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By Barry, April 12, 2007 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While Don Imus’ remarks were clearly sexist and racially WRONG, I believe that Mr. Imus is anything but a racist. He obviously has friends of all races and all walks of life, and has shown NO BIAS of the people he has raised millions of dollars for. I hope corporations like GM, Target, Ford, and many others that dropped their sponsership of The Imus program work equally as hard to remove from the airwaves REAL racists and people who have engaged in PREMEDITATED criminal activity like Rush Limbaugh and Rev. Al Sharpton to name two.

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By Tony Wicher, April 12, 2007 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m with Bill Maher and Joe Scarborough. He was trying to be humorous and actually meant it in a complimentary way. Where would he have gotten the expression “nappy-headed ho’s” except from some rap song such as is played on MTV and sold in stores and played loudly in SUV’s by white teenage princesses in the suburbs. So why is everybody so shocked, shocked about this momentary brain fart? The current 120 straignt hours of coverage of this event are way out of proportion.

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By mia, April 12, 2007 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Joe has another great column on this.  he posted it earlier today before the CBS announcement.

check it out

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By Kate, April 12, 2007 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I feel like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have hijacked me.  What Imus said was WRONG.  What has happened to our country when we can’t forgive?  I don’t see Mr. Jackson marching down to Duke to apologize to the players.  I have yet to hear Mr. Sharpton apologize to NYC….I do see Imus apologizing, raising money for many charities, and putting time in to benefit others…which he has been doing for years.  I think this is an a horrible incident that been been made worse by corp. decisions.  Imus had an opportunity by virtue of his platform to take the negative and build a significant positive—which we all could use.

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