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Exploiting Imus > Letters

Web Letter

The reaaction to Imus's remarks is largely hypocritcal.

The Rutgers players and coach faked the pain and outrage. They didn't know Imus and his status and could not been so badly offended by what he said. These ladies come out of the Eastern ghettos so they have been bombarded with worse epithets all their lives from their male friends and brothers. They are not sensative shrinking violets. They are tough getto survivors. They took advantage of their notoriety to self aggrandize and promote Rutgers athletics. They did a superb job of gaming us.

Imus is a brilliant and complex radio communicater. I followed his program continuosly since it was picked up by MSNBC in the early 90s so I think I know whereof I speak with the following comments:

Imus is a hardwired Jew and black hater at the subconsious level of awareness. His defect is that he has been poisoned with the standard anti-Jew and black stereotypes probably by his family and the cultural mileu in which he was brought up. This has been true of most gentiles since the time of the Greek empire. At the consious level Imus is not an anti-Jew. But when Imus gets provoked and angry his Jew-hating sterotypes emerge by reflex as with the Black Boys of Alabama incident. Many of his friends and radio guests are Jewish and he honestly likes them and they support him even though they know and like him even though they know he is a structural Jew hater. His producer Bernard McGuirk is a vicious Jew- and black-hater. McGuirk often incites and triggers Imus racist comments. McGuirk came out against the Iraq war because be believed it was incited by the Jewish Washington cabal to help out Israel.

The primary force driving Imus is to win at any cost in all endeavors. This includes driving his ratings up. One tactic he used is to be ever more outrageous and offensive and unpredictable on the air. NBC and CBS and sponsers let him do this because he made them tons of money. When the outcry threatened business they terminated him. His prestigious guests accepted this to get the notoriety and publicity they require.The networks fired Imus not in a high-minded attempt to protect the honor and dignity of the networks or accede to the demands of "hurt" network employees. They are lying hypocrites. They fired him because of fear of losing business.

Imus in the early 90s remade himself from a shock-music jock into a superb public affairs communicater just as he changed from a druggy alcohlic to a sober man. I learned more and got more insight into what really drives the major issues from the Imus program than from all other sources. Imus is a superb interviewer and has a vast array of leaders in all fields that he called on to discuss issues as they arose.

Imus will return to radio and TV soon because he makes a lot of money for people and he is truly a rare radio treasure. I hope when he comes back he will recognize the difference between satire and vicious ad-hominem hateful hurtful savage attacks. (His gratitous unjustified attacks on the Clintons were horrible, disgusting, unfair.) I hope he will refrain from attacking public figures for their personal characteristics--appearance, race, religion. I hope he will continue to attack public figures for their pompous actions, bad ideas, wrong policy, incompetence and evil motives.

Murray Nadler

Houston, Texas

Apr 20 2007 - 2:01pm

Web Letter

Do I think that Don Imus should have been fired? As a journalist, I have to say no, because if his own special brand of speech isn't protected by the First Amendment, mine isn't either.

However, no one is mandated to finance your fruitstand in the Marketplace of Ideas. The folks that called Imus' sponsors and told them that they had to make a choice between their business and sponsoring Imus in the Morning were exercising their free speech as well. They won.

Let's keep it real. Imus got away with a lot. He got away with hiring a producer to do nigger jokes. He got away with referring to Gwen Ifill as "the cleaning lady" when she wouldn't go on his show. He got away with racial, sexist, and homophobic slurs every day.

But when you pick on kids, and to me anyone who is less than four years away from their high school graduation is still a kid, you're not supposed to get away with that, and he didn't. When he called the Rutgers Womens Basketball team "nappy headed hos", he basically signed his retirement papers.

Do we need to address some of the more coarser elements in African American culture? Yep. And most of the folks that called for Imus' head the loudest said that as well.

But whether or not Snoop Dogg 'loves them hoes' wasn't the issue last week. Don Imus calling a group of college students "nappy headed hos" was. Let's not cloud that arguement, shall we?

Denise Clay

Philadelphia, Pa., United States

Apr 16 2007 - 1:58pm

Web Letter

I'm tired of the Imus pity.

Why was Imus was afforded such a high level of stature? He had politicians, pundits, and mainstream journalist on his show every day to speak about serious domestic and foregin policy issues. These people are respected figures (John Kerry, Chris Dodd, Tim Russert et al). They know Imus reputation, they know he says sophomoric, offensive, sexist, sometimes racist things, yet they continued to support him and continued to go on his show.

The politicians and pundits that went on his show are the very same people who detest the likes of a Howard Stern or Opie & Anthony and would never sit down and have a serious conversation, let alone be interview by them. So why didn't they stand up to the vulgarity, and ignorance of Don Imus?

One minute he's (Imus) doing an offensive (probably unfunny) comedy bit, the next minute Chris Dodd is on anouncing his presidential candidacy.

What the hell is that?

You dont see Howard Stern on 'The Mclaughlin Group'.

You dont see the the creators of South Park on 'Face the Nation'.

Don Imus, because he is a white man and liked by other more respectable white men, had been given a vulgarity pass. He had a license to have it both ways. That license afforded him the right to be crude, sexist, and racist and still be taken seriously by the mainstream media and political establishment. No African American (comedian or otherwise) in the history in this nation has ever been given similar liscense.

For 40 years Imus acted like an immature brat yet he was still invited to the grown up table.

The lesson of this entire ordeal is that if you want to be taken seriously as political commentator you have to act like a serious political commentator (not a juvenile).

It took Imus (and his enablers) 40 years to learn that.

Eric Tcandew

Little Rock, Arkansas

Apr 14 2007 - 3:33am

Web Letter

This is not a free speech issue. As far as I know no one has a right to be a talk show host. I would also ask where was all this free speech talk when Bill Mahr was fired for saying the 9/11 attackers were not cowards. I also take issue with this idea that black people are using this to avoid the issue of self hate as though this self hate comes out of now where least people like this guy and Bill Cosby forget Black people don't live in a vacuum and hip hop did not create the notion of demeaning black women. Imus is not being exploited, this title makes poor Don Imus sound like the victim here. What's up with that. Don't get me wrong I'm not saying rich white guys with their own radio and television shows can't be victims, because I believe every one suffers from this racist society we live in. However some of us suffer more than others.

Crystal Mason

San Francisco, California

Apr 14 2007 - 3:32am

Web Letter

We can all agree Don’s comments were thoughtless and offensive, but where is forgiveness in this country? Is it necessary to destroy a person’s career or would we be better for having forgiven Don as we have forgiven the Reverends Sharpton and Jackson time and time again for their thoughtless comments and general meddling. Where are the reverends’ and other unelected black leaders self-righteous indignations concerning the root cause of all this, hip-hop music, whose audience is predominately white? We can listen, but don’t get caught singing along. As one person said, this is just a case of an old man (by hip-hop standards) trying to be hip. Don is only guilty of using the accepted vocabulary of these crass times, which has made millionaires aplenty out of black performers while generating billions for labels, black and white owned. Additionally, why do these same advertisers find it acceptable to buy time on the stations running this defamatory content? How many of these companies are related in some way or another to the music industry that creates and distributes this trash? The double standard and outrage of all concerned is unacceptable and smacks of the worst kind of two-faced hypocrisy, profit without responsibility. Don’s comments and the reaction they provoked are just further examples of what is wrong with this country, which generally lacks restraint, compassion, empathy, and the ability to forgive fools their comments, all fools black or white. Let us not forget the unbounded greed of all.

Andrew Parker

Clearwater, FL

Apr 13 2007 - 4:22pm

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