Don Imus’ broadcast will not longer be a part of MSNBC’s morning programs.
In a statement, NBC News announced “this decision comes as a result of an ongoing review process, which initially included the announcement of a suspension. It also takes into account many conversations with our own employees. What matters to us most is that the men and women of NBC Universal have confidence in the values we have set for this company. This is the only decision that makes that possible.”
This is codespeak for sponsors were dropping the program faster than a five year old with a box of crayons discovers drawing on the walls is fun. Among the list of sponsors who said farewell to the “I-Man” were American Express Co., Staples Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., and General Motors Corp.
It is unsure what CBS Radio will do, but it seems that Imus’ mouth may have brought him more trouble than he would care to have on his plate. For those who would say is about free speech, it isn’t. This isn’t the government restricting speech, it is the market place setting a standard of behavior for journalists.
What Imus said last week, if it were a one time thing would have been enough for most reasonable business people to drop him. If you take in the pattern of behavior that his show has displayed for years, I stopped listening awhile back as I couldn’t deal with his ego and his foul humor. Did Imus have political power, yes he did, but to those who have much, much is expected.
He was not a shock jock, but had posed, and hosted many powerful figures in politics and in framing public opinion. His firing is LONG overdue, and other companies who hire such demagogues need to have their little feet held to the fire, regardless of the bias left/right or the targets of their vindictiveness.