I’ve kind of avoided the subject of Don Imus, because this whole thing is getting old. Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, Ann Coulter, Isaiah Washington, Tim Hardaway – it’s numbing how much intolerance there is. My friend Grace asked me what comments I found more disturbing: Rush Limbaugh’s comments on Donovan Mcnabb or Don Imus’ comments on the Rutger’s women team. My response was that Limbaugh’s comments were more hurtful because they attempted to belittle Mcnabb’s accomplishments based on race, but I’ll agree to say that the source of the comments are more from ignorance than out and out hate. Imus’ comments are pure bigotry no question. There was no intelligent discourse. He couldn’t say “oh here are the PC police once again”. There was nothing redeeming in what he said. The best part is he keeps digging himself deeper.
Today he’s on full damage control, issuing apologies on his show and then going on Al Sharpton’s radio show to face the fire. His comments are littered with examples that show he still just doesn’t get it. This morning he said he knows African-Americans. This is the famed “I’ve got black friends” defense and is always the go to defense of the worst bigots. As if having a black cleaning woman or doorman excuses his behavior. I wonder how many black people would call Imus a friend. Then today on Al Sharpton’s radio show, Imus became frustrated and said he can’t win with “you people”. Obviously he’s learned his lesson (sarcasm).
Here’s the thing: MSNBC (who at the writing of this has suspended Imus for 2 weeks) and WFAN who syndicates the show will fight to keep Imus. Why? Because all of this lends credibility and importance to someone who has not be credible or important in years, or in other words, people will be listening now. You shouldn’t shake your head at the fact that Imus said what he did, but that the companies that employ people like him Coulter and Limbaugh continue to do so regardless of the fact that their actions are indefensible.
For someone that does what Imus does, this type of controversy does nothing but increase ratings and put more money in the pockets of his bosses. There will be no lack of suiters if he does lose his job.