For years I’ve listened to Don Imus on WFAN. There have been times when I’ve been a regular listener, and his parodies, ascerbic sense of social commentary, and the quality of the guests that he features on his show, typically prominent politicians, including President Clinton, VP Gore, VP Cheney, and President Bush (41), high profile writers and social commentators such as Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd, Mike Lupica, James Carvel, Mary Matlin, and Anna Quindlen among many others, have made his show part of the morning for mainstream Americans and power brokers. By giving politicians and pundits large blocks of time, typically fifteen minute segments, Imus has provided a venue not given to many by the mainstream media an outlet for their voice and ideas. However, another part of his show are more than a bit over the edge. If anyone thinks that this incident involving calling a woman’s basketball team a bunch of “nappy headed hos” is a one time breach of etitquette you are hardly correct, and Imus, CBS Radio, Westwood and NBC News need to be held accountable for his words.
MSNBC hosts an airing of the Imus show every morning, and typically members of their news media, Tom Brokaw, Bryan Williams, Tim Russert, and other NBC regulars appear on the Imus show regularly benefit tremendously from their patronage of this show; and they need to have their feet held to the fire for this incident. Can you imagine the uproar had this incident been perpertrated by Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity on their radio shows? Will this incident, which is just one example of many from this raise the furor of all members of the media, and those politicians, and candidly Democrats are more welcome on his show than GOP politicians; one can argue that this show was the John Kerry network during the last Presidential election, the calls from all sectors of the media, would be immediate, prolonged, and effective. These commentators would correctly be fired, as well as others who were responsible. Will politicians raise their voices as was correctly done when Ann Coulter made an incorrect remark at CPAC?
Don Imus should be fired, his positive work with children notwithstanding. If he is allowed to get away with just an apology, it would be a blow to the cause of responsible journalism. Don Imus is not a “shock jock”; he is a power broker, and now he has to pay the price for his irresponsibility. The same can be said for NBC, which is fast leaving the realms of responsible journalism.