In addition Imus's producer Bernard McQuirk called the players "hard core hos" and went on to compare the Rutgers game against Tennessee for the NCAA championship as the "Jigaboos vs. the Wannabees, a take off from Spike Lee's satirical film School Daze. Bear in mind that neither Imus nor his producer is black. Both MSNBC and CBS radio have given Imus a two-week suspension, which begins next Monday. The team had just finished second in the woman’s NCAA basketball tournament. The team has 8 African-American teammates out of 12.
Now we here at Leftwingnutjob enjoy satire and the occasional knee-slapper as much as the next guy..but this wasn’t satire, nor was it funny if you happen to be black, female or a private citizen here in these United States.
A brief history on Don Imus the crotchety, sexist, racist tool/fool. He has been on the airwaves for over 40 years. His show is currently syndicated to over 70 radio stations as far as I have been able to research. MSNBC does a live simulcast of his show on their cable news channel. He has a history of being outrageous and people tune in to hear who he is going to trash next..sometimes with the individual he is skewering on the phone. Most of his guests do call-in appearances. He also has a lot of clout apparently in the political arena as well as the publishing, music and entertainment world..since those are the people that seem to be apologizing for him. For 40 years he has been bashing and lampooning public figures of all types, religions and nationalities. But that is where the similarity ends. These young women were not public figures..at least they weren’t until he opened his pie hole about them last week. Now, they are on every MSM reporter’s speed dial. They should be basking in the warm glow of finishing well in the NCAA tourney, and studying for exams. But thanks to Imus, their friends, teachers and associates look at them now and think “nappy-headed Ho’s” even though they are so far from that description it isn’t even plausible in anyone’s book.
Like Ann Coulter he used the “I was just kidding, it was a joke” defense. It didn’t work for Trashcan Annie and it didn’t work for Imus. The following day after his and McQuirk’s display of ignorance, Imus had the nad’s to wonder aloud on his show what all the fuss was about. He defended his comment by saying no one should take him seriously he was just trying to be “amusing”. As the shitstorm began building, Imus did apologize and he also did a mea culpa on Al Sharpton’s radio show Monday…but he also had to toss in all the wonderful things he has done for ‘black people’, and said he is a “good person who said a bad thing.” Imus’s show is broadcast in most areas during the morning drive time. Here, on the left coast, he is on in the middle of the friggin night on MSNBC.
The man is an equal opportunity shock jock. According to this article, here are the reasons people in the business have been tolerating his shtick for 40 years:
The reason Imus is still on the air has to do with the fact that he is very profitable and that dozens of powerful elected officials, journalists and TV personalities come on his show, promoting themselves to his large audience, and earning some kind of spurs for going mano y mano with Imus. Imus makes big bucks for WFAN, his local NY station and the parent owner, CBS Radio. And more recently, he has brought 40% growth for MSNBC, the cable "also ran" which desperate for audience, added 100,000 viewers in the past year (for an average total of 358,000) after it started "simulcasting" the Imus show.
Even Barack Obama went on his show to push his book when it first came out..that shows me the depth of his clout. Tim Russert is a regular, as is John McCain, who Imus touts quite often as a great guy who would make a great President. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little after typing that last sentence btw. But lets revisit his past indiscretions shall we?
This isn’t the first time that Mr. Imus has trolled these waters: he once called Gwen Ifill, then working at The New York Times, “a cleaning lady” and described one of the paper’s sports columnists, William C. Rhoden, as a “quota hire.” Both of those journalists are black, but Mr. Imus’s defenders like to point out that he is an equal-opportunity misanthrope whose show displays 360-degree offensiveness toward all sorts of ethnicities, sexual orientations and religious affiliations. He called Colin Powell a “weasel” and other times referring to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as a “fat sissy” and former Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, an American Indian, as “the guy from ‘F Troop”’
My POV on this whole, disgusting, racist, sexist bs is this: He talked about individuals that couldn’t defend themselves, who didn’t deserve this because they weren’t public figures. If, for example, your next door neighbor said the same thing about your daughter..would you forgive him in a couple of weeks and then go to his house and sit down to dinner with him?
I think not.
But like I said..he has been given a free pass most of his career because he sells books, records, etc for his guests. He also makes a shit-load of cash for his employer, CBS radio networks and has helped MSNBC’s ratings immensely. But all that could come crashing down on him and its not because Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and a slew of other African-American personalities or outraged women from NOW are calling for his head and picketing the headquarters of CBS.
Some of the companies that buy time and pay the bills for CBS have now weighed in..and they aren’t happy one damn bit. As of last night..three advertisers have pulled the plug on Imus. Procter & Gamble, Staples and Bigelow Tea have yanked their ads. Proctor &Gamble is one of the largest advertisers in America.
Imus has raised millions of dollars for good causes, but all that blows away in the firestorm of last Wednesday night’s sick attempt at humor at someone else’s expense. The team has stated they will meet with him, at his request, in a private, undisclosed location sometime within the next 7 days. They held an hour-long press conference today, which was carried live btw, hoping that they can now go back to their lives, some of them showing an obvious strain on their bright, young faces. But Imus and his bosses are just worrying about the effect this will have on their bottom line.
Only time..and money will tell if this moron stays on the airwaves. His remarks will figure very little into the equation in the final analysis. Because its all about the money for both his sponsors and his bosses.
For the young ladies of the Rutgers basketball team, it’s a matter of respect and hoping this all goes away as quickly as it came crashing down into their lives, by no fault of their own.
EDIT: MSNBC has handed Imus his cowboy hat. This of course will not change the attitude of Americans who still listen to bigots and homophobes on the radio. That problem still exists and firing him won't change that. Only we, as a Nation, can change that.
Tags: Imus, Sexism, Racism