Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Idiot Imus

What a great scene this would have been: Last Wednesday, when Don Imus was discussing the Rutgers women's basketball team's championship game loss to Tennessee, he said, "Man, that Rutgers team was aggressive, and athletic. Plus, all their players will graduate, most with B averages and above -- unlike the men's teams, where many of the players are barely eligible academically, and many don't ever graduate."

It didn't happen -- only in a dream I had during a brief nap today.

Yesterday, I wrote about how the media have given Imus' ill-conceived comments disproportionate attention over the lies of the Bush Administration, particularly those of Vice-President Darth Cheney. That doesn't mean I don't think Imus acted like an idiot. He did. Anyone who watched the press conference of the Rutgers women's basketball team today could not help but be impressed by their intelligence, maturity and humanity. They're anything but "nappy headed hos."

My friend Claire made a brilliant, if troubling, observation today about Imus' remarks -- about how easily and smoothly they were communicated. They were not part of a drunken tirade, like Mel Gibson, or a moment of uncontrollable anger, such as with Michael Richards. The comments emerged as a rather comfortable back-and-forth rap between Imus and producer Bernard McGuirk. What that shows is how easily in this era of talk radio and cable commentators -- whether it is "nappy headed hos" by Imus, the "halfrican candidate" by Limbaugh, or "faggot" by Ann Coulter -- the line of what our society deems as acceptable discourse can be crossed.

That is what is most troubling about what Imus did.

Maybe this will be a tipping point -- a place where the media will draw a line and say "no more of this."

Given how profitable these shows are, I am not holding my breath. But, I can still dream scenes like those above.


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