Censorship

Imus in the Mourning

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Partly mummified radio host Don Imus has apologized for calling the Rutgers University Women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos."

He has appeared on Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show to make amends and has been suspended for two weeks by CBS Radio, which airs his program, and MSNBC, which inflicts it via low-rated cable TV on a largely indifferent America. (Talkers mag, the radio industry bible, rates Imus the 14th most influential DJ in the country.)

As off-putting and unfunny as his original comments were, his various attempts to channel the sociologist-cum-uncomedian Lenny Bruce may be even more pathetic–and far funnier in an unintentional way:

"What I did was make a stupid, idiotic mistake in a comedy context," Imus said on his show Tuesday morning, the final week before his suspension starts.

Asked by NBC "Today" host Matt Lauer if he could clean up his act as he promised on Monday, he said, "Well, perhaps I can't." But he added, "I have a history of keeping my word."

The radio host tried to shift some of the focus from himself, saying, "that phrase originated in the black community. … I may be a white man, but I know that these young women and young black women all through that society are demeaned and degraded by their own black men and that they are called that name."

I'm sure that all women realize they owe Imus a debt. I know that, as a Rutgers grad, I too feel empowered that he's out there digging through social degredation on everyone's behalf.

More here.

The response to racially offensive remarks is inevitably complicated, overdetermined, and filled with ultra-bogus posturing on all sides, especially, it seems, when it's an "idiotic mistake in a comedy context." That was certainly the case with Michael Richards, and it seems to be the case in this instance too, where humor doesn't really enter into the equation at all. If you compare Imus to his long-time rival Howard Stern, one of the main differences is that, no matter how outrageous he got, Stern was always clearly working in a satirical vein while Imus lacked that dimension.

Perhaps there's nothing worth taking away from this controversy other than two glorious weeks being free from Imus in the Morning.

Tim Cavanaugh saluted the United States of Umbrage and the long, happy life of America's anti-defamation industry here.

NEXT: They Call Him... Machete

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  1. I know it’s shallow on my part, but I can’t get past his name. Sound too much like…anus. And apparently the similarity doesn’t end there.

  2. I only know the word “nappy” from Stevie Wonder’s song, “I Wish”:

    Looking back on when I
    Was a little nappy-headed boy.

    There’s actually a verse from the song that makes me think of Imus’ situation, too:

    Smokin’ cigarettes and writing something nasty on the wall (you nasty boy).
    Teacher sends you to the principal’s office down the wall.
    You grow up and learn that kinda thing ain’t right.
    But while you were doin’ it–it sure felt outta sight.

    I wish those days could come back once more.
    Why did those days ev-er have to go?
    I wish those days could come back once more.
    Why did those days ev-er have to go?

  3. It’s interesting to watch Republican spinners try to characterize Imus as a liberal.

    They’ve got their story – Imus is getting off easy because he’s a liberal – and nothing is going to stop them from getting it out there. The fact that he’s been made a national pinata, the fact that the charge against him is being led by liberals, the fact that he’s not a liberal – doesn’t matter. That’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

  4. I still can’t get over the, the, words just fail, of somebody apologizing to Al frickin’ Sharpton.

    For anything, much less for being racially offensive.

  5. It’s always ironic when this kind of thing happens. Has anyone here checked out BET Network lately? MTV? Watch a few music videos or “reality” shows and tell me who is degrading whom. It’s the same old depressing double standard: Blame Whitey for the stereotypes the black “community” itself helps to reinforce and perpetuate.

  6. joe,

    I’ve never listened to Imus, but I admit I have always thought of him as a left-winger, based on what others have said. Is there a way to measure if he is a “liberal” or not? Do we know who he supported in recent elections or anything like that?

  7. Don Imus is more important than Jim Rome? Interesting to see big fat blowhard Mike Trivisonno on that list at 84, and I can’t believe that Click and Clack only made the honorable mention.

  8. Imus is like most people, he is mixed politically. He backed Kerry, but is a registered Republican in New York. He has to stay on the fence to get guests from both side.

    Personally, I don’t think he is conservative by any means, and I don’t think he is getting off easy.

    I listened to him everyday for years. I’m convinced he was just joking. But then again, it doesn’t matter what I think.

  9. Music is a world within itself
    With a language we all understand
    With an equal opportunity
    For all to sing, dance and clap their hands
    But just because a record has a groove
    Don’t make it in the groove
    But you can tell right away at letter A
    When the people start to move

    They can feel it all over
    They can feel it all over people
    They can feel it all over
    They can feel it all over people

    Music knows it is and always will
    Be one of the things that life just won’t quit
    But here are some of music’s pioneers
    That time will not allow us to forget
    For there’s Basie, Miller, Sachimo
    And the king of all Sir Duke
    And with a voice like Ella’s ringing out
    There’s no way the band can lose

    You can feel it all over
    You can feel it all over people
    You can feel it all over
    You can feel it all over people

  10. mitch,

    Like Howard Stern, Imus supported Kerry in the last election. On the other hand, also like Stern, his show doesn’t have much political content. He slags politicians, but doesn’t really talk about politics or policies or ideas, one way or the other.

    Basically, he’s a talk radio host and he’s not openly conservative, so that makes him a liberal, by the lights of the talk radio universe.

  11. Another tempest in a teapot….

    I want to know when Jackson and Al Sharpton are going to apologize to the whites for their transgressions.

    And I still haven’t hear Andy Young apologize for his “smart ass white boys” remark or for calling Komani (sp) a saint.

  12. All this shit for “nappy-headed hos?” Well, at least he didn’t call them “articulate nappy-headed hos.”
    What does nappy mean anyway?

  13. It’s slang for bad hair for blacks. At least, it was. It may have additional meanings, these days. I think a “nappy” is also a diaper in other dialects, to further confuse the issue.

    Sir Duke,

    When you believe in things
    That you don’t understand,
    Then you suffer.
    Superstition ain’t the way.

  14. As I told our local daily paper, Imus’ real offense is in reducing the women’s basketball team to the lowest level of sex-for-hire by calling them ‘hos, as if their hard work and accomplishments gained them nothing above the women on the street corners. It’s as if to say, when it comes down to it, all we are is sex organs attached to a meat puppet. I’m sorry, boys, my blood is still boiling over that, and issues of political correctness be damned.

  15. No Joe, what makes him a liberal is voting for Kerry.

  16. Mein Gott. hier

    (def 6 and 7 are interesting).

    Joe – “Basically, he’s a talk radio host and he’s not openly conservative, so that makes him a liberal, by the lights of the talk radio universe.”

    QFT. qft.

  17. Joe,

    Who is claiming that Imus is getting off easy? Who is claiming him as a liberal or a conservative? What the hell are you talking about? Other than the occasional tongue baths he gives to John McCain, I wasn’t aware anyone claimed Imus.

  18. I have to disagree with joe a tad. The Imus show is nearly all politics. If he isn’t shilling for his ranch, he has a political figure as a guest.

  19. Good point, Patricia. And in that sense, even his compliments to the Tennesee team – aw, they’re so cute and nice looking – are pretty insulting.

    But instead of looking at the racist and sexist elements as being in competition, it’s probably best to notice that they are exacerbating each other. He didn’t say they looked like prostitutes, but like “hoes.” The use of black stereotypes – nappy headed, they look more like the Toronto Raptors – wasn’t a different point than demeaning them sexually, but part of demeaning them sexually.

  20. What he said was gross and beyond the pale. Just because Sharpton and Jackson are pigs themselves doesn’t let Imus off of the hook. The only thing he has going for him is that no one really listens to him anymore.

  21. The joke was that they were trying to paint this picture that one women’s team was “normal” and the other team was essentially five Allen Iversons. They talked about tattoos, compared them to the Grizzlies, etc. They went too far.

    Believe it or not, there are black women on the Tennessee team as well, therefore the joke wasn’t against black women.

  22. “No Joe, what makes him a liberal is voting for Kerry.”

    Silly me, here I’ve been thinking that there were actual ideas behind politics. Nope, just shirts and skins, I guess. You are a conservative, to the extent that you vote for Republicans. You are a liberal to the extent that you do not. Anyway, as much as I’d like to think that 49% of the public (and about 3/4 of the Reason staff) are liberals, it’s probably not true.

    John,

    “Who is claiming that Imus is getting off easy? Who is claiming him as a liberal or a conservative?” John Fund last night. Dennis and Callghan – the right-wing, Bushie sports talk show hosts who are the #1 morning show in Boston. And then there’s “John D,” right up above your comment.

    “I wasn’t aware anyone claimed Imus.” Nobody claims Imus except Imus, but right now, the Republicans are trying to foist him off on the liberals.

  23. IMUS: So, I watched the basketball game last night between — a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women’s final.

    ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night — seventh championship for [Tennessee coach] Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.

    IMUS: That’s some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and —

    McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.

    IMUS: That’s some nappy-headed hos there. I’m gonna tell you that now, man, that’s some — woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like — kinda like — I don’t know.

    McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.

    IMUS: Yeah.

    McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes — that movie that he had.

    IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough —

    McCORD: Do The Right Thing.

    McGUIRK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    IMUS: I don’t know if I’d have wanted to beat Rutgers or not, but they did, right?

    ROSENBERG: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.

    IMUS: Well, I guess, yeah.

    RUFFINO: Only tougher.

    McGUIRK: The [Memphis] Grizzlies would be more appropriate.

  24. But it’s ok, because incog thinks they’re ugly.

  25. When did America become so pussified? No doubt, the PC crowd can call that sexist, but the thing about me is:

    1. I don’t care
    2. I don’t apologize
    3. Get your panties out of ya vagina and toughen up.

    This is the type of shit that makes Stormfront.com a necessity. Just so people can see what the real deal is.

  26. No, I said he was trying to make a joke…ass.

  27. IMUS: Here’s what I have learned: that you can’t make fun of everybody, because some people don’t deserve it. And because the climate on this program has been what it has been for 30 years doesn’t mean that it has to be that way for the next five years or whatever, because that has to change. So-and I understand that.

    And wouldn’t you think-our job at that ranch is to restore the self-esteem and the dignity and the confidence of these children. Why would I think then, it’s okay to go on the radio last Wednesday and make fun of these kid, who just played for national championship? Well, I can’t answer that. I’m sorry I did that. I’m embarrassed that I did that. I did a bad thing.

    But I’m a good person. And that will change.

  28. But its ok to call for his firing, because joe thinks he’s a conservative…..ass

  29. hokae. don’t care, don’t apologize, toughen up. gotcha.

    can I borrow your tae bo tape to toughen up?

    (what are you wearing?)

  30. Lenny Bruce an un-comedian? He was great!

  31. First off, big up to fellow RU grad Gillespie. But seriously, dog, when are you going to get another RU’er on staff to make up for the tragic loss of Cavanaugh?

    Imus’s thing is pretty bad but not for the reason that everyone states.

    Everyone focuses on nappy. Nappy is a fairly neutral term; it means kinky.

    The word “ho” in this context is just fucking awful. The Rutgers women did nothing that un-classy or provocative.

    Saying they were tough isn’t a bad thing either. Look, some people are tough–even girls.

    But calling them ho’s for no particular reason? Unforgivable. When and if we do get this clown off the air, it’s going to be fore all the wrong reasons…

  32. Whether or not you like Imus, he’s pretty egalitarian in whom he insults–its basically everyone including his own family and staff. He’s called his brother Fred things that are 100 times worse than “nappy headed ho”. The only difference is that Fred Imus and most of the other targets of his insult don’t have an “outrage for hire” infrastructure set up for just such an occasion like Sharpton and Jackson do.

    And to those of you complaining about the “debasement” of the Rutgers gals, let me get this straight–a slang term like “ho’s” becomes part of mainstream vernacular of slang primarily through hip-hop, black comedians, and movies/TV. So once it becomes part of mainstream slang, Don Imus uses it and *he’s* the insensitive, racist one?

    I wouldn’t listen to Imus at this point if my radio only received one AM station, but he’s clearly being scapegoated by the usual sources–Rev. Jackson and Sharpton–who measures the impact of injustice against the black community by what will get the most press coverage. Can’t be bothered with things like black-on-black crime, low levels of academic achievement, teenage pregnancy and poverty but let Chris Rock’s mom get bad service in a Waffle House (EVERYONE who eats at Waffle House has received indifferent service) or let a shock jock throw out an insult and they’re all over it.

  33. “No, I said he was trying to make a joke…ass.” ANd then agreed that they were ugly, as Imus said, and then linked to a picture to prove your point. Ass.

    But I love the theory that racist remarks aren’t racist if they’re jokes. Gee, why didn’t Michael Richards try that one? Oh, that’s right – because it’s an idiotic and indefensible argument. Ass.

    “But its ok to call for his firing, because joe thinks he’s a conservative…..ass” Uh, no, I think he’s not political. Maybe you should work on that reading comprehension, son.

  34. Wow. Way to address these double standards of speech codes. I thought this was a libertarian publication. Yes, Mr.. kill whitey himself, Al Sharpton, calling for Imus’ head, is indeed more free speech, but all this is empowered by the threat of government coercion from which the term “political correctness” originated. It is the distasteful speech that tests our resolve to live freely. I never listen to Howard, or Imus, so I, unlike the chick who wrote this at Reason, will not let personal enmity obscure the real issue here. Of course, I do not work for a magazine that defends personal liberty. Way to drop the ball.

  35. “Yes, Mr.. kill whitey himself, Al Sharpton…I will not let personal enmity obscure the real issue here”

    Uh huh. Hey, what was the post about? Al Sharpton or something?

    Good job not letting your personal enmity not obscure the issue.

    It would appear that the “this is an example of a liberal getting off easy” argument has collapsed, and they’re in full “hey, look over there” mode.

  36. It seems that Bernard the producer is the one that actually says the “controversial” things.

    He is the one who said “hos” and the one who brought up the “wannabe v. jiggaboo” Spike Lee thing. If you watched School Daze ( I did when I was about 8 years old), you know what he’s talking about.

    Imus was mostly responding to him and playing off him, and to me it seemed after he said “nappy headed hos” he kinda paused and became bewildered and didnt know what he was saying really.

    If you listen or watch Imus or any talk radio in general, this is hardly unusual. Imus and his staff in particular are always doing skits and impressions that are somehwat offensive racially, sexually,religiously, etc.

    In fact since this happened EVERY morning talk show on every little radio station has had a lot more fun with it and said much more controversial things.

    I was listening to one show this morning that was saying he should have called them “niglets” and was doing some kind of Chapelle-esqe “niggar” skit,etc. That and every other show has enjoyed saying “nappy headed hos” over and over.

  37. I know everyone here hates Bill Maher for being a fake libertarian, but his response to this when he was on Imus today was probably the most “reasonable.”

  38. But calling them ho’s for no particular reason?

    Do entertainers all of the sudden need a reason for saying what they say? Who cares what he called them? And why should Sharpton’s criticism — of all people — matter? Where’s Rev. Jackson…is this too close to “Hymietown” for him to show up and grandstand too?

    I’m kind of shocked Imus apologized — personally I’d have told people they know where the dial is, then get fired for something worthwhile, rather than suspended after some out-of-place apology to the weak automatons he “offended”. If one really must wallow in a victim mentality, they should not expect the rest of us to tiptoe around them.

    This is not an issue, this is goddamned hypocrites wasting newspaper space and internet bandwidth. Real things of consequence happen in the world, and we’re listening to a bunch of wolves fight over who gets to sink his teeth into a rabbit.

  39. random thoughts

    I think this is a lot different than Michael Richards ( and perhaps Mel Gibson). Not even close.

    I also wonder if Sharpton and Jackson think NAACP award winning actor Isiah Washington should be fired for his bigotry?

  40. I posted a picture of the other team, you know, the ones NOT called “nappy.” What were you saying about comprehension?

    ass

  41. FWIW, little joe, I think the girls in that photo are beautiful. Why would you assume otherwise? You might want to check yourself there, renaissance man.

  42. Yes, you posted a picture of the “prettier” team to prove your point. Did I claim otherwise?

    You think that gets you off? You think that makes it any less offensive to defend Imus on the grounds that he was right about the players’ appearances?

  43. I think the racism is the assumption that blacks are so uncapable of dealing with idiots like Imus, that they need special protectors like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to protect them from “mean words.”
    It must suck to live with white guilt.

  44. Every comment invoking Al Sharpton has been made by conservatives defending Imus.

    Not one of the comments criticizing Imus has made any mention of Sharpton, Jackson, or anyone else.

    I just wanted to point that out.

  45. IMO people should grow thicker skins.

    Imus is clearly apologizing only because his advertisers have put pressure on him to do so. What they don’t get, however, is that people like me listen to Imus’s show *because* we want to hear outrageous, offensive things.

    If your self-esteem can be destroyed by what some old fart in a cowboy hat says on a morning talk show, you need to seek professional help.

  46. “If your self-esteem can be destroyed by what some old fart in a cowboy hat says on a morning talk show, you need to seek professional help.”

    *sobs. runs out.*

  47. I wonder what a visit to the ol’ archives, back to the days of John Kerry’s “stuck in Iraq” flub, would yield about who needs “thicker skins” and “special protectors.”

  48. “Silly me, here I’ve been thinking that there were actual ideas behind politics. Nope, just shirts and skins, I guess.”

    well, yeah.

    that seems fairly obvious at this point.

    sharpton’s a lot like bill donohue, but folks outside of ny don’t really seem to get that in either case. at the very least sharpton is being put to some use by bringing a lot of pressure in the sean bell case.

  49. Every comment invoking Al Sharpton has been made by conservatives defending Imus.

    Not one of the comments criticizing Imus has made any mention of Sharpton, Jackson, or anyone else.

    OK, then I will.

    The remarks made by Don Imus were mean-spirited, and, to the extent that they accuse individuals of engaging in (a) prostitution or (b) lewd conduct, assuming that they didn’t, are potentially actionable. (Of course, that would be a matter to be explored by the players and their attorneys.)

    That the likes of Sharpton are involved is indicative of the “usual suspects” wishing to push their well-established agenda.

    There.

    JMJ

  50. No, I posted a picture of “a” team. You assumed it was the prettier one. Obviously you think the Rutgers team is ugly, not me.

    I posted it to show there were black women on the other team with the same hairstyle, therefore Imus was singling out a team, not black women.

    You need to concentrate on the words coming out of your mouth, not putting words in others. I can see it is difficult for you to be an ass in multiple threads at one time, though I must admit, from what I’ve seen today, you are the best I’ve ever seen at it.

  51. Incog,

    It doesn’t matter if you backtrack now. Your comments are still right upthread, where everyone can see them.

    You agreed with Imus about the teams’ appearances, then put up a picture to prove your point.

    You can keep squirming, worm, but it’s drawing more attention to yourself.

  52. I agreed with Imus? By saying he was trying to tell a joke and went too far?

    If my words are up there, show me. Make me squirm.

  53. Wait – Imus is alive?

  54. We can’t be worried about outdated ideas like freedom of speech when FEELINGS are at stake.

    Imus must bow down to the high preists of blackness, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, before we sacrifice him to the God of Political Corectness.

  55. beyond the pale

  56. Yes, incog, when you agreed that it was an appropriate comment, but that Imus just “went too far” in his telling of the joke, you were agreeing with him.

  57. We can’t be worried about outdated ideas like Imus’s employers’ freedom of speech when Pissing Off Black Policians is at stake.

    Hey, look over there! You know who thinks it’s wrong to refer to college athletes with racial slurs? BLACK DEMOCRATS, that’s who!

  58. I expected a monophonic choir here to say so what, big deal, teacher he called me a doodoohead.

    I don’t get it.

  59. you agreed that it was an appropriate comment

    Show me my words that agreed it was an appropriate comment. You said they were “upthread” for everyone to see. Show them to me, copy and paste ’em.

    “The joe Delusion,” now out on paper back.

  60. I don’t care one way or another regarding whatever sanctions Imus receives. Using the word “hoes” to describe any women is pathetic, unless they have, you know, actually prostituted themselves literally or metaphorically. Using “hoes” to describe female amateur (really) athletes for no reason is beyond the pale. That said, it ain’t my radio or t.v. network.

    I do wonder, though, why Gillespie thinks Stern’s use of language is superior, in some moral sense, to Imus’. I guess I don’t see it. It was ironic, in the book review Gillespie linked to, to read Stern waxing moralistically about the need to not walk out on your wife. I guess he wrote that before he hooked up with the model, huh?

    Finally, if anybody can’t recognize the morally grotesque nature of anybody apologizing on Al Sharpton’s show for the language they uttered, well, there is nothing that can be done at this point to introduce them to reality.

  61. Hey, look over there! You know who thinks it’s wrong to refer to college athletes with racial slurs? BLACK DEMOCRATS, that’s who!

    Well, duh.

  62. Especially with Sharpton >calling for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sanctions against Mr. Imus. “I think that it is clear that we’re not just talking … about his personal beliefs or feelings, or even his being contrite. What we’re talking about is public policy.”

  63. I guess the FCC has already reached me. This failed to post:

    So we speak at the pleasure of the federal government?

    And yes, for a lawyer called (Tawana) Sharpton…

  64. Every comment invoking Al Sharpton has been made by conservatives defending Imus.

    Wrong, joe. I mentioned Sharpton, and in no way did I implicitly or explicitly defend Imus.

    Apoligizing to Al Sharpton for being racially inflammatory or insensitive is like apologizing to Bill Gates for using a computer.

  65. Oh, and I too don’t like what Imus said.

  66. Bad Imus! Bad, bad Imus! There.

  67. M:

    time for his spanking.

    he can borrow the Noam Chomsky blow up doll and our force-feeding tubes.

  68. Perhaps there’s nothing worth taking away from this controversy other than two glorious weeks being free from Imus in the Morning.

    I’ve managed to go a lot longer than that being gloriously free from Imus. It is called changing the channel. Actually I have no idea if he is even on the air in Tampa, but it is every bit as easy to avoid him where he is.

  69. Go on, kiss it. Kiss it, Imus.

  70. Ugh. The Rutgers women’s basketball team is making the whole thing even worse by “responding” to Imus. It’s on every news channel. Don Imus is worth this kind of attention? Who cares what Imus says? Who can even understand what Imus says half the time???

  71. not responding, huh. smartest thing I’ve seen from you all morning.

    Toodles, lightweight.

  72. Ugh. The Rutgers women’s basketball team is making the whole thing even worse by “responding” to Imus.

    You obviously don’t get it.

    They are VICTIMS and that is the highest possible virtue that a person can have.

  73. R C Dean,

    “Wrong, joe. I mentioned Sharpton, and in no way did I implicitly or explicitly defend Imus.”

    Bullshit. The best defense is a good offense, and your reaction to the criticism of Imus was…to attack his critics.

  74. Me take nappy now.

  75. Here’s your word, incog:

    “The joke was that they were trying to paint this picture that one women’s team was “normal” and the other team was essentially five Allen Iversons. They talked about tattoos, compared them to the Grizzlies, etc…Believe it or not, there are black women on the Tennessee team as well, therefore the joke wasn’t against black women.”

    Would you like to come out and renounce the racist joke at the expense of the Rutger’s team’s appearance? Because you haven’t – you just said Imus’ phrasing went too far.

  76. Funny how you left the sentence THEY WENT TOO FAR out when you quoted me.

    Is this for real? I said “they went too far,” you then somehow claimed that meant I agreed with Imus, I told you to quote me, and in quoting me, you leave out the part in which I said he went too far?

    Is this fucking Bizzarro World? You are really a strange person.

  77. If anyone cares to read it, One of our writers on Highbrid Nation actually worked wit Imus over the last few years at WFAN and had some really interesting things to say about the whole situation with Imus and he also has some inside info that the media hasn’t mentioned about the whole story.

  78. joe, I need a good mindreader in my daily life; are you hiring out?

    Lemme see….one radio guy makes a rancid remark, in calling some female amateur athletes “nappy headed hoes”, and then goes on the another radio guy’s show to apologize for his words. The other radio guy has history of calling for a “white interloper” to be driven from a neighborhood, and standing silent next to an associate who calls for making the “cracker suffer”, prior to a murderous rampage at the “white interloper’s” place of business. The other radio guy also has a history of railing against “diamond merchants” at the funeral of a African American boy killed when struck by the car driven by a Hassidic Jew. A pogrom ensues which results in the murder of another Jew.

    Yeah, it’s really strange that somebody might think the apology aired on the other radio guy’s show is more notable than the initial remark about “nappy headed hoes”, cuz’, y’know, vile slanders of the character of some african american women, made in a pathetic attempt at humour, is more notable than angry race and creed-based incitements to murderous violence. Really.

  79. R C Dean,

    Joe’s got you there, R C; you are “objectively pro-Imus.”

  80. Using the word “hoes” to describe any women is pathetic, unless they have, you know, actually prostituted themselves literally or metaphorically.

    Clarification:

    Hoe

    Ho

  81. I do wonder, though, why Gillespie thinks Stern’s use of language is superior, in some moral sense, to Imus’.

    Because it’s obviously satire? I’ve listened to Stern for almost 10 years now and he’s not once come across as racist – despite using lots of “racial” language. Maybe it’s in the tone or the context. If he was going to be accused of racism, Al and Jesse would have been all over it by now.

    It was ironic, in the book review Gillespie linked to, to read Stern waxing moralistically about the need to not walk out on your wife. I guess he wrote that before he hooked up with the model, huh?

    Uh yeah, he wrote it when he was still married to his wife of something like 20 years. He “hooked up” with the model 7 years ago and is now engaged to her. Is that moral enough for you?

  82. Rhywun, I’m not the one one wrote of the moral need to stay with one’s wife. That was Stern. I don’t care what Stern does in regards to his marriages. I do wish he had refrained from giving everybody else moral advice on the matter, because it’s boring and annoying.

    As to whether any of Stern’s racial language has crossed the line, that’s pretty much in the eye of the beholder. Since I don’t think any radio program, broadcast or satellite, should have it’s content regulated by the government, I have no concern about any public policy dimension to which or how many beholders differ with your opinion.

  83. One wonders how much free publicity (and boosted ratings) Imus got out of this.

  84. Funny how you left the sentence THEY WENT TOO FAR out when you quoted me.

    Is this for real? I said “they went too far,” you then somehow claimed that meant I agreed with Imus, I told you to quote me, and in quoting me, you leave out the part in which I said he went too far?

    Is this fucking Bizzarro World? You are really a strange person.

    You get used to it.

  85. incog,

    “Funny how you left the sentence THEY WENT TOO FAR out when you quoted me.”

    I’ve already explained this, but since you’re apparently dense, I’ll do so again.

    Appending “but he went too far” when describing someone’s actions doesn’t mean you disagree with them. To wit, “Lenin implemented a program of economic equality, but he went too far. Here’s a link to picture of the czar’s family wearing jewelry.”

    Anyway, you still don’t want to say Imus was wrong to use racialized language while insulting some college athletes’ appearances. You know what? I’m not surprised you don’t.

  86. Rhwyun,

    “Because it’s obviously satire? I’ve listened to Stern for almost 10 years now and he’s not once come across as racist – despite using lots of “racial” language.”

    Exactly. I think the problem here is that many people genuinely cannot tell the difference between a racist statement and a non-racist statement on the subject of race. They hear other people saying things about race and not getting in trouble for it, they throw out their own thoughts, and can’t understand why everyone is staring at them with their jaws open, because the two sounds exactly the same to their ears.

  87. Imus sucks. I can’t believe he even HAS a job to get fired from.

    He’s an idiot for a lot of reasons, but number one, today, is providing a new forum for Jesse Jackson’s signature bellyaching and extortion routine, which I caught on “Hardball” yesterday.

  88. Tell me, joe, when did you develop your mindreading abilities, along with your unfailing ability to review the entirety of everything that Howard Stern has ever said in regards to racial matters?

  89. I can understand why basic reasoning would appear to be a supernatural ability to you, Will, but you would do better to just stay quiet, so your inability to keep up isn’t so apparent.

  90. …when describing someone’s actions doesn’t mean you disagree with them.

    Apparently, describing something now means you agree with it.

    “Hitler killed a lot of Jews.”

    Joe: “You fucking Nazi pig!”

    (Drink!)

  91. joe, I didn’t say “but he went too far,” I said “They went too far.” You know, the part of the quote you left out. I agree that the word “but” is a qualifier. That is why I didn’t use it. That’s the beauty of those little quote thingies on each side of a phrase. They let the reader know what someone actually said, not what they would have to say to fit your flawed argument.

    It’s, uh, upthread, uh, right there for, uh, all to see, except, uh, apparently, uh, you.

  92. Please, explain, joe, how basic reasoning has been lacking when the claim is made….

    “Because it’s obviously satire? I’ve listened to Stern for almost 10 years now and he’s not once come across as racist – despite using lots of “racial” language.”

    ….and, in response, it is noted that the quoted statement contains a remarkable implied claim, namely that in approximately 10,000 broadcast hours of talking, the talker has failed, even once, to come across as racist. I bow to your titanic intellect, in it’s unfailing ability (“exactly”) to detect the essential truth of that implied claim. You are an intellectual giant. Truly.

  93. Joe’s mental processes are so tremendously huge that it precludes any need to actually the read the words that are written by the people he engages with. He Simply Knows (backing out of the room in a pose of supplication).

  94. See a tongue-in-cheek visual of Imus and his newfound buddy, Michael Richards, hanging out and counting sheep…here:

    http://www.thoughttheater.com

  95. Aren’t Sharpton and Jackson both Reverends in the religion of the Guy who urged forgiveness and turning the other cheek? Didn’t they just celebrate the most Holy Day in the career of said Guy where he forgave his crucifyors? So why isn’t Imus’ apology and contriteness enough for “Rev.” Sharpton and Jackson? WWJD?

  96. What does nappy mean anyway?

    Short, tightly curled hair resembling the nap on a carpet.

  97. Best line so far, from Howard Stern:

    “He’s apologizing like a guy who got his first broadcasting job,” Stern said. “He should have said, ‘Fuck you, it’s a joke.'”

    Seriously, if this had happened a week ago, Easter Sunday would have dawned with chocolate eggs, marshmallow peeps, and Don Imus dragging a cross up your street.

  98. incog,

    You still don’t want to denounce using racial terminology to make fun of women’s looks?

    It’s ok, as long as you don’t go “too far?”

    Care to explain how one makes fun of women’s looks in racial terms without going “too far?”

    No, I don’t imagine you do.

    I’d be spinning my comment away, too.

  99. Teacher sends you to the principal’s office down the wall

    Uh, ‘hall’, but aside from that… one of the most tortured bits of scansion in all of songdom.

    Good music, tho.

  100. Will, WTF would make you think anyone would want to discuss this with you, if you are going to babble on like that?

  101. joe, you can’t even be bothered to avoid babbling about the words that you imagined that people wrote, instead of what they did, so why would you imagine that what you have to say is of any interest?

    Except for your omniscience, of course, o brainy one……

  102. joe,

    I’ve got to hand it to you for your first comment on this thread. It probably would have went a entirely different direction had you not turned this into a conservative v. liberal smackdown.

    Well played.

    FWIW, Imus is an unbearable bore, no matter what his politics (of which I am blissfully ignorant and plan to stay that way forever). Even you have to admit there is some irony in Al Sharpton offering up a chance to apologize, and then refusing to accept it once offered. I really don’t think you have to be of any particular political persuasion to find that at least slightly humorous/ironic.

  103. I am glad to see you’ve moved from arguing about what I did say, to arguing about what I haven’t said yet. That is actually fairly clever of you. I give you credit. Of course it’s your only move, but others wouldn’t have seen it. Kudos.

    One question, please answer yes or no – Do you think the Imus team “went too far?”

    Careful…tread slowly…. if you say yes, by your logic, you are agreeing with them, and you are racist. If you say no, well, of course you are a racist.

    I’m not falling for your lightweight shit.

  104. Will,

    “why would you imagine that what you have to say is of any interest?”

    Um, the people who keep responding?

  105. “One question, please answer yes or no – Do you think the Imus team “went too far?””

    What is the sound of one hand clapping?

    The question has no answer, becasue there is no such thing as “far enough” when using racist language to insult the looks of women of another race.

    You don’t seem to get that.

  106. Yes, incog, whether one thinks it’s ok to insult black women’s looks by using racist terms a little, or whether one thinks it’s ok to do so a lot, both of those positions are racist.

    That’s why I won’t agree with either one, and that’s where we differ.

    Still not going to say it wrong for Imus to use racist terms to insult those athletes’ looks, huh? No kidding. Now please stop whining about how terribly I’ve mis-stated your meaning, because I’ve given you a number of changes to walk it back, and you won’t.

    I think it’s pretty clear you meant exactly what you wrote – that Imus’s only problem was going too far in his language. I (dis)respectfually disagree.

  107. what are you doing with that other hand, joe?

  108. Giving you the finger.

  109. “Nappy-headed women” = not too far.

    “Hoes with hair comomonly associated with people of African extraction” = not too far.

    “Nappy-headed hoes” = too far.

  110. That finger remark was actually funny.

    Anyway, the joke was setting up a false juxtaposition between a “prissy” basketball team and a “bad-ass” basketball team. In doing so, they used adjectives that were racist, and wrong. They “went too far” in their attempt to paint the picture they were trying to paint. They could have done so without being racist, they didn’t. My “too far” comment was not about the degree of any individual racist comment, my comment was about the overall picture.

    I understand there is far to much nuance in there for you to understand. But that’s cool, just keep saying what you think people intend. I hear if you say it often enough, it becomes true.

  111. Joe or any other liberal that wants to answer,

    I don’t care about Imus’s remarks. Anybody who gets hurt over what is said by a radio personality deserves whatever suffering they get.

    Am I wrong to feel contempt for anybody who cares what Imus says?

    I remember after the Michael Richards thing a young black man going to a press conference and shouting down one of the owners of the club. I couldn’t help but thinking that no Asian person or Jew would take time out from the middle of the day to go protest some comedian because they would probably be in work or school.

  112. “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”
    “Giving you the finger.”

    No. I don’t think that’s what the sound of one hand clapping is.

    have to ponder this. [keed keed]

    basically this comment:
    P Brooks | April 10, 2007, 12:42pm

    sums it up nicely.

    have McGurk and Rosenberg (sounds like a Woody Allen merger of MacBeth and Hamlet, but that’s besides the point) gotten any flack?

    Had anybody actually seen anything more than a glimpse of Imus before?

  113. What is the sound of one hand clapping?

    I’ve been contemplating this koan for decades now, and I have an answer. It turns out that I can clap with one hand. Yes, I can bang my fingers against my palm. It sounds like a kind of lame clap, but it is audible. Thousands of years of Eastern wisdom mean nothing, now.

    Shhh! I’m listening to the sound of an unobserved tree falling in the woods. It sounds like. . .hickory.

  114. I have to admit that I am dissappointed that the Rutgers team captain said, “We’d just like to express our great hurt, the sadness that he has brought to us.”

    Until now, I thought they were tough, championship caliber women. It’s a little disappointing when they play the victim card. Don Imus didn’t hurt these women. Genes did.

  115. “It sounds like. . .hickory.”

    clearly a shill for big HARDwood.

    “Yes, I can bang my fingers against my palm”

    never heard it called *that* before.

    good to know.

  116. Oh for the love of… everybody needs to grow some skin. I too think Imus is a colossal bore, and I’ve heard enough anecdotes from people who ought to know (e.g. from Howard Stern and staff – many of whom worked at the same station) to guess that he may in fact BE a racist ogre, BUT I don’t think he “went too far”. What the hell is “too far”? Joe’s rather precise definition up above notwithstanding, there is no such thing – not in a country with free expression. What happens is, Imus apologizes to all the right people, gets a slap on the wrist, said people feign indignation at the lightness of the punishment and move on to their next target, and life goes on.

  117. clearly a shill for big HARDwood.

    Whoa… try to keep it clean.

  118. I couldn’t help but thinking that no Asian person or Jew would take time out from the middle of the day to go protest some comedian because they would probably be in work or school.

    Wheeeee!!!!
    Wheeeeeeeee!!!!!!!
    Wheeeeee!!!!!

  119. Imus did allegedly report on this, hier

    Rhywun – phew! Thanks – got a little carried away. Just got some “taint Praise” from using some new warming F1 lube and…

    [ahem]

    we interrupt this to say that we’re taking the Viking Moose to, um, rest. Apparently, the time he’s been spending in his bunk has not been for sleeping; rather he’s used the time for BATING!

    He will now be sent to hier for an anti batin’ cure!

    that is all.

  120. This thread is amazing.

    I feel sorry for people (ex. Joe) who think that there are only two political ideologies, and that they are Liberal and Conservative, or Democrat and Republican.

  121. and what of Trey Wingo’s comments, hier?

    *gets dragged off

  122. VM,

    Sigh. You and your mastication. Obviously, one cannot clap one-handed if one has something in the aforementioned clapping hand.

    You, you, matriculating thespian.

    All,

    The only issue at hand in L’Affaire Imus is that he works for a company that doesn’t want to piss off anyone. If he were, say, Imus the Independent Blogger/Podcaster, he’d have looked up how to say, “Fuck you, biotch” in German and have said it fifty times in one posting/podcast. Whether we are offended or not is irrelevant, and the statements of Imus and fifty other participants in the Keith Richards Health Through Snorting Dad Plan don’t say anything about our society or any of us as individuals. Except, of course, for Imus and the fifty Keith Richards Snorters.

  123. Pro L,

    What would Imus have against biotech?

  124. Imus to Kerry after his botched joke, “Stop talking and get on your bike.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZMRecdL_No

  125. highnumber,

    Nothing. I meant that he shares that walking-dead look perfected by Keith Richards. I assume that it comes from snorting his dad, as well, God wot.

  126. If I were a racist, I’d call Imus something really stereotypical and degrading, like: Imus is an old-geezer haole. Get it? He’s old, and he’s a haole. Surely this stereotypical degradation is offending somebody? Please?

  127. Lamar,

    Oh, gosh, you’re right. I just insulted zombies everywhere. I am so sorry. I plan to meet with Baron Samedi and apologize on his MSNBC show.

  128. Grand Chalupa | April 10, 2007, 2:12pm | #

    I don’t care about Imus’s remarks. Anybody who gets hurt over what is said by a radio personality deserves whatever suffering they get.

    Um, yeah. Precisely. Stuff like this requires the sanction of the “victim” to be effective. It’s always entertaining (for me) to see that pompous peacock Sharpton get his tit in a wringer whenever a member of his tribe gets picked on. He’s not in favor of censorship, mind you. He just thinks Imus’s speech went “too far”, and he should be censor-, er, fired. Al Sharpton: judge and jury. Priceless.

  129. “Had anybody actually seen anything more than a glimpse of Imus before?”

    yes. he keeps getting worse and worse like he’s the picture and someone else is dorian gray.

    he reminds me of one of my favorite album title.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0f/SnaresGiantAlien.jpg

  130. I just insulted zombies everywhere

    Zombie eat brains, but zombie no can swallow injustice of Pro Libs comments…

  131. I weep. Just returned from lunch where the tearful depiction of the trauma suffered by one of the ladies was the leading story on CNN. I almost burst out laughing at the absurdity of it all but fear I would have been misunderstood by the other patrons…

  132. Joe’s got you there, R C; you are “objectively pro-Imus.”

    Sauce for the goose, eh?

    I’ll have to remember this exchange next time joe points out that someone’s critics aren’t without warts their own selves.

  133. BakedPenguin,

    I will work with undead children, and I will spend forty hours of community service sewing limbs back onto zomb–I mean, Life-Challenged Americans.

  134. good start for Pro Lib; should also see sensitivity movie

  135. For the record: I have zero sympathy for Imus, and I wouldn’t blame his employers if they shut him down permanently as punishment for being a racist jackass on the air.

    Now, I have to attend to the following comment by Senor Chalupa:

    I remember after the Michael Richards thing a young black man going to a press conference and shouting down one of the owners of the club. I couldn’t help but thinking that no Asian person or Jew would take time out from the middle of the day to go protest some comedian because they would probably be in work or school.

    But some of your best friends are….?

  136. Princeton:
    All right, stop me if you’ve heard this one.

    Kate Monster:
    Okay!

    Princeton:
    There’s a plane going down and there’s only
    one paracute. And there’s a rabbi, a priest…

    Kate Monster:
    And a black guy!

    Gary Coleman:
    Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout Kate?

    Kate Monster:
    Uh…

    Gary Coleman:
    You were telling a black joke!

    Princeton:
    Well, sure, Gary, but lots of people tell black jokes.

    Gary Coleman:
    I don’t.

    Princeton:
    Well, of course you don’t – you’re black!
    But I bet you tell Polack jokes, right?

    Gary Coleman:
    Well, sure I do. Those stupid Polacks!

    Princeton:
    Now, don’t you think that’s a little racist?

    Gary Coleman:
    Well, damn, I guess you’re right.

    Kate Monster:
    You’re a little bit racist.

    Gary Coleman:
    Well, you’re a little bit too.

    Princeton:
    We’re all a little bit racist.

    Gary Coleman:
    I think that I would
    Have to agree with you.

    Princeton/Kate Monster:
    We’re glad you do.

    Gary Coleman:
    It’s sad but true!
    Everyone’s a little bit racist –

    All right!

    Kate Monster:
    All right!

    Princeton:
    All right!

    Gary Coleman:
    All right!
    Bigotry has never been
    Exclusively white

    All:
    If we all could just admit
    That we are racist a little bit,
    Even though we all know
    That it’s wrong,
    Maybe it would help us
    Get along.

  137. wow, a shout out to stormfront on this thread, i hope we don’t get besieged by celtic warriors and vicious norsemen (‘s descendants)

  138. R C-

    I’ll have to remember this exchange next time joe points out that someone’s critics aren’t without warts their own selves.

    You have obviously not accepted the ‘masculine’ approach to good health!

    If you get a “boyle” on your ass, the “manly”
    approach is to just ignore it— and wait for it to go away…

  139. But some of your best friends are….?

    People who work hard and go to school?

    Why yes, yes they are.

  140. Moral of the story? Never call a spade a hoe!

  141. Partly mummified radio host Don Imus….

    Nick wins the thread.

  142. To quote my buddy Mark Kilmer,

    I do blame Don Imus, and I’ll continue not listening to him. I do blame this on Al Sharpton. These girls couldn’t have been even classier, laughing Don Imus off as an idiot. Instead, they are being made to take the bullet and make a stand for nothing of consequence.

    Essence Carson plays classical piano. She’s not a nappy-headed ho, Imus. She’s not a victim, Sharpton. The team is comprised of winners.

  143. I love joe’s selective use of quotes. Using his system, I can turn this statement of his:

    It’s interesting to watch Republican spinners try to characterize Imus as a liberal.

    They’ve got their story – Imus is getting off easy because he’s a liberal – and nothing is going to stop them from getting it out there. The fact that he’s been made a national pinata, the fact that the charge against him is being led by liberals, the fact that he’s not a liberal – doesn’t matter. That’s their story and they’re sticking to it.

    To this:

    “I…a..m a..n…i..d..i…ot”

  144. And the big non-story that will never be told is that since imus is no longer on the air, will he get donations for his ranch that serves kids with cancer. If not then the closing of it, will never be reported by any liberal news show. However we can expect some conservative to ask the gals at Rutgers, how they feel about it!

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