Saturday, April 14, 2007

Musings on one journalists take of the Imus firing

I don't listen to Don Imus. In fact I've never heard of him. I suppose that if he overstepped his shock-jock bounds by making a poor racist comment about the Rutgers basketball team and it affected his stock value then he deserves to be pitched to the dogs. No disagreement on that one.

Yet I must take exception to the double standard. I realize that I'm supposed to be all good with the fact that rappers can say what they want about black women while white males in particular have to tip-toe on eggshells not to offend, but I admit that i'm not fine with it.

NEWSWEEK columnist Eleanor Clift says in her article that the real issue here is that Imus said what he said on public airwaves, as opposed to rappers:

The only thing worse than what the rappers say would be government regulation of
their right to say it. The difference with Imus is that he’s on the public
airwaves. It’s not a question of whether he can say all the outrageous things he
says--it’s where he says them. The marketplace has spoken.

Now, perhaps it's my imagination, but this argument seems to be lacking in credibility. I, for example, know where MTV is located. I can find BET if given enough time witht he remote. That's a lot of rappers with a lot of "ho's" getting a lot of playtime, all at the touch of my fingertips, and in known venues. Furthermore, it's MTV and BET, not Don Imus, who are really lifestyle trendsetters for the young and impressionable masses.

Truth is, I'd never heard of Don Imus before a week ago. If people choose to get their opinions from shock jocks then so be it, but I think more frequently the listeners agree with or hate on the host depending on what they thought going in. Shock Jock radio has always been more monologue than dialogue.

But Clift has another point. Basically Imus, she concludes, was pulled because of advertising backlash. Now that's really the heart of the matter. The consistent reinforcement of a double standard, coupled with a population that is almost entirely desensitized to public displays of trashiness has combined with an education that has panzied an entire generation who are now the primary consumers.


Post a Comment

<< Home