Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Imus, The Point

The "Imus is a pig" piece got me a lot of comment. Most of it was graciously positive and one college professor even used it in his business communications class as a topic for discussion. A list of possible actions was compiled and a vote held at the end. 97% of the class voted for Imus to be a towell boy to the Rutgers women.

But there were comments from dedicated Imus fans who didn't like me saying anythin bad about Imus, and some from conservatives who, as usual, went off on things I didn't say. Several of these commentors made me think that they didn't read the entire essay or simply don't have the reading comprehension skills to understand it if they did.

Let me go simple on these folks.

Don Imus is a talented radio personality and a bigot. He's a bully. He and his producer and his cohorts intentionally used words that caused hurt to people who did him no harm. He also has good qualities. My proposed sentence for his actions would be to put him in very close contact with those he hurt, in a subservient role, for an extended period of time...Not to punish him, but to let him experience the humanity of the people he harmed, let the people he harmed experience the humanity of the person who harmed them.

Whether Don Imus would grow from this experience, I have no way of knowing, but I doubt he will grow as a person without it. I suspect his career is greatly diminished, or will slide away in the next few months, or is possibly over all together. As more and more Imus racism comes to light, I suspect the latter. He has gotten away with being a bully for way too long. The real tragedy of Don Imus is that he has a good wit and much talent that he chose to use in a bad way. It made him rich, so I can't feel sorry for him at this point.

The people I have greatest concern for are the folks who have been the victims of misogyny and bigotry at the hands of people like Imus. By putting him in close contact with the players, I figure they will see him as what he is, just another person with problems. It is the burdens of the victim that weigh heaviest on a human being and this was what I would try hardest to lift.



Howard Stern tells richard Simmons about Don Imus. via Left of the Dial

I got replies:

"It is the unkindness in people we should hate. That, we can change ifwe do so choose."

The above struck me as the perfect ending to your thoughts. We
canchoose to change the unkindness of the spoken word. Just consider
who"performed the act" and do not take it personally. I listened to a
talkshow on the way home from Cookeville on Sunday night and it was great.It was
a "call in" talk show re Imus. Some blacks were adamantlyagainst his
remarks and are still talking about how horrible theirancestors were treated:
slavery, etc. Other blacks were not offended.So, it is really how
one accepts remarks such as that. Just let it go.I wonder what would have
happened if Imus made the same remarksconcerning the men's basketball
players. The gist of the program was"we do have a double standard when it
comes to so-called 'bigotry/racialslurs', etc." I agree with that. I never
heard about this Imus personuntil this happened. Enough junk on TV as it
is right now.



I consider you somewhat of a mentor , and a friend . With that said I am goimg
to take you on about IMUS , nothing personal , Stay


(I'm not going to repost any of Jim's "nothing personal" personal attack because you folks have all seen it. To say it was ill informed, poorly reasoned, and incorrect is not doing it justice.)


I am with you, up to the point you conclude our media "is for sale." I guess it
is the journalism school graduate in me that balks at that. Elaborate, please,
my friend.


(I did. Go back and follow the link. But I can elaborate in two words...Fox News. I have discussed media consolidation on other occaissions as well.)

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