Friday, April 13, 2007

The Great American Don Imus Fraud

A so-called ‘shock jock’ in the traditions of Redd Foxx and Lenny Bruce, although Don Imus has been at it for so long as to virtually define the genre.

Donimus A so-called ‘shock jock’ in the traditions of Redd Foxx and Lenny Bruce, although Don Imus has been at it for so long as to virtually define the genre.
Offense and borderline indecency (if there is any longer such a thing) is the name of the game. Steve Dahl, Howard Stern and Larry Lujack come to mind, although it’s not exclusively a male gig at the mic. Liz Wilde had a briefly syndicated show that featured "Blow It Out Yer Ass" Fridays.
Imus is gone from MSNBC and CBS, after one dip too many of his irreverent paddle intothe waters of racist commentary. Calling the Rutgers Women’s basketball team ‘nappy-headed hos’ was the defining moment in America’s willingness to put up with outrageous behavior.
Alsharpton Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, both of them ministers with their own political agendas, quickly co-opted Imus’s throwaway moment and made it theirs.
I don’t much like formats like Imus’s, so I can’t say I’m a listener or that I’ll miss him. But I don’t doubt for a moment that, if he wants to keep broadcasting, Clear Channel or some other national radio syndicate will provide a forum.
Jessejackson The controversy has taken somewhat of a has-been radio personality and given him national exposure, made him a king. As a recognized name, he’s now right up there with American Idol’s Sanjaya Malakar.
What fascinates me is the crafting of our national outrage at an old man, making what (for him) has always been a perfectly normal racially insensitive remark. There's nary a blink when Bill O’Reilly lays on us that
I've been to Africa three times. All right? You can't bring Western reasoning into the culture. The same way you can't bring it into fundamental Islam.
Billoreilly Er, right Bill. Africa, you mean, not African-Americans, for god's sake.
O'Reilly, waiting to appear at a fundraiser for Best Friends, a charity benefiting inner-city schoolchildren and trying to fill time before an African-American singing group called the Best Men was set to perform, said
"Does anyone know where the Best Men are? I hope they're not in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps."
That must have made a hit with the inner-city tykes. Funny I guess, funnier than ‘nappy-headed hos’ anyway.
Rushlimbaugh Rush Limbaugh goes on the air and calls Jesse Jackson a ‘chocolate’chip’ rather than ‘nappy headed’ and it wasn’t a great line, but it got by. In the early days of Limbaugh's radio career he is said to have told a black caller to "take that bone out of your nose and call me back."
Since, he’s said that all composite sketches of criminals look like Jesse Jackson. He seems to have a thing about Jackson, but commenting on the notion that black opinions matter, the drug addicted radio host blew it off.  "They're only 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?"
If this sounds like support of Imus as not all that bad by comparison, it’s not. What it is, is a passing comment on how and why (or maybe only how) we seem as a culture to be so lacking in culture.  All directions are down-hill, but the outrage is a laser-focus on small time offense.
Sharpton and Jackson would please me greatly if they were able to somehow defend what their own young and black and rich rapsters sing about when they’re not shooting each other. 50 Cents, as an example, rapping I'm Supposed to Die Tonight
All through the hood, I keep hearin' niggas sayin'
I'm supposed to die tonight
niggas come put a hit out and they talkin' like the shit okay
I'm down to ride tonight
We rollin, whip stolen, AK loaded
I'm down to ride tonight
We smokin', straight locin', locked and loaded
Somebody gon' die tonight
FiftycentAs an offensive message literally broadcast to young people, that strikes me as a long way below a has-been shock-jock popping off an unfortunately (but obvious) racist comment.
The N-word no white man dares say is selling millions to our kids and Al and Jesse apparently don’t give a shit--layin' low for the brothers. What’s routine for Eddie Murphy on a concert stage is a scandal of major proportion at CBS-MSNBC and, more importantly, their advertisers.
Keith Olbermann and Tucker Carlson shamelessly sucked their thumbs, shaking their heads over what ‘had to be done’ on their airwaves.
Anncoulter Ann Coulter may take home the Oscar for outrage, but then Ann has nothing to say of relevance and has become rich--as Imus, 50 Cents, O’Reilly, Fox News and Limbaugh have all become rich—by shouting FUCK in our face and daring us to blush.
I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East and sending liberals to Guantanamo.
All Arabs. Nothing even vaguely racist there, Ann. Just a third of the world’s humanity you don’t happen to know jack-shit about.
If Gore had been elected president, right now he would just be finding that last lesbian quadriplegic for the Special Forces team.
That’s picking up the all but impossible 7-10 split, denigrating lesbians and cripples with one bowling-ball.
We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.
What about their babies? Did you forget their babies, Ann? That’s mindless hate in an age of mindless hate by the most mndless of the haters. It's Ann Coulter’s recipe for world overpopulation. The only detour in the road to white American supremacy and endless shopping, turns out not to be hunger, oppression and inequality, but the insufficient manufacture of carpet-bombs.
And we put up with that crap and get all bent out of shape about ‘nappy-headed hos.’
The message is the method and this message is ubiquitous. “Don’t listen, don’t talk, don’t give a shit. That’s my contract with America.”
Don Imus is a sorry old man who apologized as best he could in a failed attempt to save his show. But anyone who saw his twenty-minute mea culpa had to believe that he spoke from the heart--yeah, there is a heart behind that insufferable mouth--check out how Imus uses his ranch.
Al Sharpton (who’s had his own problems with quotes) and Jesse Jackson (who once called New York ‘Hymietown’) spoke to their power base, which is their right. Al and Jesse clearly know their limit and their limit doesn’t include taking on their own black rappers or any shock-jock below the age of seventy.
Stevecapus Steve Capus, NBC News President got very close to the bone, when he said repeatedly on Hardball that (paraphrasing)
“we need to continue the dialog about what is appropriate—continue the remarkable American dialog that has just begun.”
A dialog begun? Or ended all too quickly ?
The main perps are still at large, inciting their mob crazies, raking in personal fortunes and driving us ever further apart.
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