Radio

Imus and the Media Hose

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You still see it, in certain circles, when the topic turns to Anna Nicole Smith. The speaker turns his nose toward the air, adopts a tone of resigned disgust, and sighs, This story is so unimportant, but it's EVERYWHERE. Why can't I avoid it?

Since I have avoided virtually all coverage of the Smith story without any effort at all—indeed, I've been meaning to Google her and catch up on what I've missed—my sympathy is limited. In the Internet age, it's nearly impossible for a topic to so dominate the media that it becomes literally unavoidable. But here we are, entering week two (or three? or 42? it feels like a year) of the Imus affair, and though I'd rather be paying attention to, say, this, I can't escape the chatter. Even my local newspaper has been giving it front-page coverage, as though the people of Baltimore are overwhelmed with curiosity about the fate of an aging shock jock. This was an actual page-one, over-the-fold headline last week:

Controversy steals shining moment
Rutgers team voices hurt; Imus' remarks speak to struggle facing female athletes

"Controversy"? Everyone is on the team's side. Even Imus' defenders say the joke was out of line. Does it "hurt" to have the entire country come to your defense after a throwaway putdown by a morning DJ?

So at last I understand how you Anna Nicole Smith people feel. You have my condolences. We'll meet again in news-snob heaven.

Unfortunately, these faux outrages have a way of making themselves significant, as every interest group tries to widen the attacks to include its own targets of choice. Tom DeLay says, "If the Left takes Imus, we'll take Rosie." The watchdog group Media Matters has a long list of right-wing talkers it probably wouldn't mind "taking" as well. There have been roughly seven trillion cookie-cutter op-eds comparing Imus to rap lyrics. They're all variations on the same theme: that we've only just begun to clean up the country's polluted airwaves. Naturally, there are calls for the FCC to get involved. It's a nipplegate for news nerds.

Speaking of rap, here's one of the few genuinely entertaining comments to come out of the affair—Snoop Dog explaining why the two uses of "ho" aren't comparable:

It's a completely different scenario. [Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about ho's that's in the 'hood that ain't doing sh–, that's trying to get a n—a for his money.

So that settles that.

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  1. I have it on good authority that God has put the karmic debt of Gov. Corzine’s injuries on Al Sharpton’s bill.

  2. Well, there were controversies about whether Imus should be fired, whether African-Americans brought this on themselves with the culture created by Snoop and his compatriots, and whether Imus was after all just joking.

  3. [Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls

    Does the double negative mean that rappers are talking about collegiate basketball girls?

    Anyway, even after a weekend of watching talk shows and reports on the Imus statement I’m no closer to finding out what in particular was so offensive about the statement. Was it the “n” word or the “h” word? My assumption is that the “n” word (as in “diaper”) is supposed to be interchangeable with the “n” word (as in “African American”), and so I won’t be using it. But I would love to see some clear rules about this, instead of the same old “oh my god, that statement was racist and offensive, but we can’t tell you exactly what made it racist and offensive”.

  4. “the karmic debt of Gov. Corzine’s injuries”

    Sorry- Corzine was rushing to make political hay on his own account; that was a cost of doing business. Has Corzine’s State Patrol driver been cited for inattentive driving? I am all in favor of driving “at speed” but why wasn’t the highly trained professional driver looking far enough down the road to see that situation developing?

  5. Was it the “n” word or the “h” word? My assumption is that the “n” word (as in “diaper”) is supposed to be interchangeable with the “n” word (as in “African American”), and so I won’t be using it.

    “Nappy” is an unkind term for black people’s hair, mostly used within the black community itself. I don’t think it’s supposed to be innately racist; there are salons out there with names like “Nappy by Nature.”

    It was the context that offended people. “Nappy-headed ho’s” basically means “black whores.”

    Imus has certainly said worse, and I’m still unsure why this was the comment that pushed people over the edge. As Alexander Cockburn put it, “It’s like announcing Bluebeard veered into
    unforgivable moral excess when he knocked off wife number five.”

  6. Well, there were controversies about whether Imus should be fired, whether African-Americans brought this on themselves with the culture created by Snoop and his compatriots, and whether Imus was after all just joking.

    Those couldn’t be what the headline was referring to. None of them have anything to do with the team and its “shining moment.”

  7. Assuming (as is likely) that Al Sharpton and company will renege on their pledges to clean up hip hop culture on the airwaves, we’ll have Imus back in 6 months to a year. Sober minds will realize how silly it was to single out Imus’s comments from a sea of similar comments, especially when Sharpton makes some BS excuse as to why he doesn’t call for firing those responsible for similar comments.

  8. “Imus has certainly said worse, and I’m still unsure why this was the comment that pushed people over the edge.”

    i think it was the target. successful student athletes are a pretty sympathetic group.

    also, imus looks like a walking corpse. that certainly didn’t help his case any.

  9. The article quotes the team captain as saying, “As Coach Stringer said, we realize that it’s about women across the world, across this nation. It just so happens that we finally take a stand.” So the stealing of the shining moment probably refers to the team getting involved in larger cultural disputes instead of being allowed to enjoy their success.

  10. The Rutgers coach has said “let the healing begin.” So am I to assume that at some point- unbeknownst to me- it was found that sticks, stones *AND* names hurt now?

    Man, this all gets so confusing…

  11. May I dare say that none other than Ann Coulter has produced the most reasonable assessment thus far?

    She states that such comments at people who are engaged in the public sphere, like the disgusting Gwen Ifill (sp?, who cares?), are legit targets of even really nasty comments, whereas a college basketball team–whose only exposure to the public sphere is good basketball–are not legit targets.

    I have to say, I agree with Coulter here. As long as the women are just playing basketball, they’re off limits for this sludge; the moment one of them makes a political comment, the gloves are off.

  12. We’re talking about ho’s that’s in the ‘hood that ain’t doing sh–, that’s trying to get a n—a for his money.

    Is it bad that I know exactly what he is saying?

  13. Albionite: I beg to differ. When you’re on national TV, it’s hard to characterize yourself as an everyday joe, or jane as the case may be.

  14. (Incidentally, I have heard many comments about how the Rutgers women are great because they’ve overcome so many stereotypes to succeed. Erm, not to knock them, but they’re black people playing basketball. Erm…..)

  15. Lamar, it’s the reason for that national exposure which, I think, was Coulter’s point. I don’t mean to defend her, but I think she was getting at the fact that, if you voluntarily enter a nasty arena–politics, social issues, etc–then you become a fair target for anything. But if you get national exposure because you’re damn good in a very limited, apolitical field, then you should have some immunity.

  16. Can we get Glenn Beck? That man is one of the stupidest most annoying blowhards I have ever seen. A recent promo for his show on Headline News actually said “Glenn Beck talks and talks…see what Glenn Beck is talking about.” That is a good summary, this man is lacking in intellect and wit and expertise but is willing to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk….That this sells is truly depressing…

  17. Oh, perfidious Albionite!

  18. I don’t think the word “ho” offended anyone. I’m sure the basketball players themselves use that word. However, the word “nappyhead” seems to be real offensive. There was a author of (I believe a series) of a children’s book that received much grief and even threats. There was much protest and uproar. She had to defend herself fevorously . The name of the character in her book? Nappyhead.

  19. It was the context that offended people. “Nappy-headed ho’s” basically means “black whores.”

    Thanks for the explanation. I was under the impression that the words in the phrase, not the phrase itself, were offensive. That made me feel a little self-conscious going to the local deli and asking the black saleslady for a few regular items, because I was afraid that the names of certain food staples may have become offensive to her.

  20. perfidious?

    why? what have I written that is untrustworthy?

  21. Jozef,

    In a riff about how ugly the Rutger’s basketball players were, Imus called them as “nappy-haried hos.” Pointing out that a woman has African features as a way of describing how ugly she is is pretty racist. Calling them whores is pretty sexist (which didn’t get nearly as play). Using black slang to calll them whores is racist and sexist.

  22. Albionite,

    “Perfidious Albion” is a hoary old term for England, used by its detractors.

    No, that’s not what “hoary” means.

    Anyway, this isn’t about magical mystery words. It’s about calling a group of college athletes whores, and of using “African-featured” as a way to mock their looks. It’s not the word, it’s the meaning.

  23. Imus should have been fired years ago for being boring. Over the years I guess I’ve listened/watched two or three hours of Imus all total. I’ve never understood how anyone could keep from changing the channel after ten minutes. Even if I agree with the point he’s making, he goes out of his way to make it in a stupid and offensive manner. I guess that’s the point.

    So why does anyone care what Imus says? And why start now? I’m with Jesse, this should be a non-story.

  24. joe

    Assuming that black people, presumably due to their unique inferiority and ignorance, are the only ones whose slang would substitute “ho” for “whore” sounds pretty racist to me.

  25. The biggest tragedy of this whole thing is I’m no closer to knowing whether or not the plural of “ho” is “hoes” or “hos.”

  26. Folks, this isn’t a race issue, it’s a gender matter. Imus told a group of women that they had bad hair. Dear Jesus, I’m surprised that the man hasn’t been terminated with extreme prejudice.

    As for the “shining moment”, I seem to recall that Rutgers lost. So maybe it’s a less-tarnished-than-everyone-but-Tennessee moment, but “shining” seems less than apropos. In the U.S., at least.

    If Imus had called the Ohio State men’s basketball and football players nappy headed hos, I think it would’ve been okay. As a matter of fact, I believe that Urban Meyer said something like that to Jim Tressel.

  27. This whole debacle reminds me of when I my high school’s badminton team got me kicked off our highschool news crew for saying on air that badminton was “almost” a sport.

  28. Joe, if he’s such a racist, why did he characterize the Tennessee team as cute? They’re predominantly black too. He fought for Harold Ford Jr. because….he’s a racist….??? I think you never really watched Imus, and know you want him gone so that all those perceived racists don’t have their racist rallying point. But, hey, you have a point. If calling women ugly by making reference to their color or calling them hos is racist (using your over-expanded definition) and sexist, then we have to get rid of a lot of hip hop, some rock, a decent amount of daytime television, lots of morning DJs and a few other radio and TV personalities. This purge will hurt both the left and the right. Put another way, it will hurt the American people.

    Albionite: Let’s not forget that Imus supposedly called Gwen Iffel a “cleaning lady” covering the white house. Iffel consistently says that she was not outraged. This lady doesn’t conceal the truth very well. She has outrage pouring out of every pore of her body. She’s a bit of a fraud when she says that her emotions don’t play into this. She makes herself out to be Mrs. Objectivity, when it seems that pure emotional outrage is driving her. Anybody who saw yesterday’s Meet the Press could have seen it plain as day.

    Oh yeah, why is Nancy Grace still on the air? Can we PLEASE get her? Gwen Iffel does some good work, I just find her too personally invested in the Imus story to be of any editorial value. Nancy Grace, on the other hand, has no intrinsic value whatsoever.

  29. Lamar, I saw MTP yesterday, too. She kept saying how the insult didn’t matter to her. And kept saying it, and kept saying it. And the more she said it didn’t matter, the more I began to see Imus’ point.

  30. joe

    btw, I was only slightly teasing you about “black slang”

  31. I’m getting ready to move, so I sold my very old big-screen on Craigslist a month ago, and will be buying a new one in a month when I arrive in my new locale. So I decided to try an experiment: live without TV for two months.

    It’s been amazing. I’m getting reading done that I hadn’t had a chance to address, doing a lot more blogging, cooking healthy meals, and generally enjoying the heck out of life. All that and I’ve barely heard anything about Anna Nicole Smith (although Imus has hit the blogosphere & podcast world, so I couldn’t avoid that).

    You want to avoid the unimportant news? Avoid the news altogether.

  32. Lamar, it’s the reason for that national exposure which, I think, was Coulter’s point. I don’t mean to defend her, but I think she was getting at the fact that, if you voluntarily enter a nasty arena–politics, social issues, etc–then you become a fair target for anything. But if you get national exposure because you’re damn good in a very limited, apolitical field, then you should have some immunity.

    It’s definitely the choice of victim that did him in, but I’d say it’s not the arena, but the specific behavior. Student athletes get criticized all the time, when they get arrested, or get in fights, or hire strippers for a party, or get bad grades, or showboat on the court, or brag about how great they are.

    The Rutgers women didn’t do any of that. They became known for playing good basketball, with spotless behavior as far as we know. The insult was based not what they did, but who they are – black women. Couple that with the place – they had become a fairly big feel-good story in the NYC area – and the response becomes less surprising.

  33. Albionite

    “Assuming that black people, presumably due to their unique inferiority and ignorance, are the only ones whose slang would substitute “ho” for “whore” sounds pretty racist to me.” Wow, is that a stretch. You’re right, “ho” is a term from the Dutch-American subculture. It’s not black slang at all.

    Lamar,

    I didn’t claim that Imus himself was a racist, just his comments. I don’t know his personal feelings. I do know that using references to women’s African features to describe them as ugly and unfeminine is racist and sexist.

    I’m willing to believe that Imus was just latching on to whatever he thought was the most offensive insult he could think of to apply to those women, purely for shock value. Frankly, I don’t care which was it was; under either of those scenarios, he’s a flaming asshole.

    “then we have to get rid of a lot of hip hop, some rock, a decent amount of daytime television, lots of morning DJs and a few other radio and TV personalities” I’ll just point out that every time the word “whore” or its incarnations are broadcast is a rap song or on Jerry Springer, it’s bleeped out.

  34. Let’s pretend that someone criticized our Secretary of State – a very public figure, one that Ms. Coulter would deem “fair game” – by calling her by a nappy-haired ho.

    Who here thinks Ann Coulter would defend that?

  35. joe,

    I guess you really know your black “sub”culture. I was teasing you. Now I’m just offended. Aren’t you the happy white liberal who appreciates the “black subculture”?

  36. joe

    re: Rice

    none with any sense. Regardless, I just mentioned that Coulter had it right (or close thereto) this ONE time.

  37. Who here thinks Ann Coulter would defend that?

    Hmm, y’know, it depends on who says it. If it was anyone to the left of Lincoln Chafee, absolutely not. She’d sink her teeth into their necks while using that big sickle-shaped claw on her hind legs to slice open their bellies, revealing the soft entrails, which she would then feast upon.

    Anyone between Chafee and say Powell, would certainly go undefended, and may get a mild condemnation. Between Powell and McCain, they wouldn’t get any condemnation, but probably wouldn’t get much defense. Anybody in the Rumsfeld world would at least get a healthy dose of “Look! A baby wolf!” Whereby she would change the subject by pointing out something unattractive one of her accusers has said, a la “But what about that ‘Hiemeytown’ crack?”

  38. Sorry I mentioned Coulter. Christ!

  39. like the disgusting Gwen Ifill (sp?, who cares?)

    Pardon my lack of hatred in general, but what exactly did Gwen Ifill ever do to anyone? I watch the news hour every day for years and never once heard so much as a peep out of her that merited any comment. Her moderation of Washington Week has always been solid… whats the beef?

  40. that this phony ass “issue” gets any play at all is sad shit, mang

    never mind the families of nappy headed untermensch our nation’s currently fucking over royally

    some dimwit w/ a deep voice went outta bounds by poking malicious fun at the nappy headed players on a high-end college basketball team

    Imus shoulda stuck w/ freaking on the dune-coons

  41. Don’t be. Everybody piling onto that particular political football is just good clean fun for all ages!

  42. . Iffel consistently says that she was not outraged. This lady doesn’t conceal the truth very well. She has outrage pouring out of every pore of her body. She’s a bit of a fraud when she says that her emotions don’t play into this

    You guys are frothing. First off, Iffel hasnt been covering the Imus thing on the news hour. At all. Jeffrey Brown has handled all the discussion of the issue.

    Seriously, you’re acting like the woman is unprofessional or something, when shes easily one of the most solid and unflappable journalists in america. Other that your acute perception of her inner-outrage, whats the case here for slagging her off?

  43. Pardon my lack of hatred in general, but what exactly did Gwen Ifill ever do to anyone?

    Imus took a crack at her a couple of years ago, IIRC, and I think what our perfidious young friend is trying to say is that his cracks at Ifell were disgusting, not that she was disgusting herself.

  44. Am I the only one who knows what “perfidious” means? Give me some substantive reason to use the term, or admit you’re ignorant of what it means.

    God, I despise public education.

  45. Irony alert:
    #1 There would be no need for “national healing” if the talking heads hadn’t repeated Imus’s slur.

    #2 If the Rutgers team had ignored the comment it wouldn’t have “diminished” their achievement at all. See Tiger Woods response to Fuzzy at the masters about 10 years ago.

    #3 The demands for Imus’s head due to offensive comments were satisfied in a matter of weeks without the FCC.

  46. but what exactly did Gwen Ifill ever do to anyone?

    Nothing, and that’s the point. The Rutgers team didn’t do anything either. Imus just arbitrarily insulted people he didn’t know. So the insult is meaningless. It’s the professional victims in our society who blow up mindless (if not gratuitous) bigotry into a national debate on race.

  47. Gwen entered the public, political, arena. THAT is what she did. She is fair game.

  48. Gilmore: I stated why I think Gwen Ifill wasn’t an effective mouthpiece on Meet the Press (i.e., not the News Hour), and I also stated that she usually does good work (as you noted). Gilmore, it wouldn’t kill you to actually read the comments, you know?

    In the event that you cannot go back and read the comments to which you are responding, let me restate why I brought up Ifill: she was personally insulted, denied being insulted, and didn’t bring up the rumor that Imus insulted her in a derogatory way. Several times she also said that she absolutely does not watch certain types of TV, but when the discussion turned to children, she claimed that she watches all of that stuff “just enough to know what’s in it.” When Gwen Ifill is exaggerating to make a point, you know the conversation is screwed up.

    While she put on the veneer of an objective assessment, she was really seething and it showed. If she would have said “I’m as mad as hell….” then she wouldn’t have come off so phony. As it stands, she tried to hide behind a veneer of rational objectivity when in fact she appeared to be motivated by outrage.

    I don’t mean to demean Ifill. She probably should have avoided such a personal and emotional topic for her, but she does excellent work and journalism would be worse off without her. But in this particular case, her irrational pound-of-flesh attitude seemed out of place next to David Rosy Cheeks Brooks’s analysis. Frankly, it seemed out of character for Gwen Ifill. I’m not sure I’ve seen her outside of the dispassionate analyst role.

  49. Give me some substantive reason to use the term, or admit you’re ignorant of what it means.

    I’ll do neither, because neither would be true. I know what it means, and had no substantive reason to use it, other than flippant, absurdist, and referential humor.

    And what’s with the crack at public schools? Surely you recognize that for all their stuffy snobbery, places like Eton have served a purpose, and offer a real alternative to failing comprehensive schools, don’t you? No need to turn everything into class warfare.

    (note to the confused – the above joke centers on the difference in definition of ‘public school’ between the UK and the US)

  50. I confess I do not appreciate the supposed homour. And you still don’t know what the term means. Where have I been “perfidus,” i.e., deceitful?

    (Note to the normal: “lunchstealer” is obviously not a grad of Winchester and Cambridge. “Perfidious” means “deceitful” and/or “untrustworthy.” He/She has used a 10-dollar-word in hopes of fooling those of us with 50-cent educations; do not be fooled. When he/she can show how I have been deceitful, I will acknowledge his/her superior wit. Not goddam likely–probably an Oxonian.)

  51. btw, I notice that “joe” got gone in a hurry, once he got called on his racism.

    Anyone, not from the wrong school, care to comment?

  52. This is America’s version of the Muhammed cartoon debate.

  53. Albionite,

    Huh? I haven’t gone anywhere; I responded to both half-assed accusations of racism.

    Anyway, get the pole out of your ass. “Perfidious Albion” is an old insult directed towards England. Calling you perfidious doesn’t mean anything, except an attempt to be cute by refering to an old expression.

  54. joe,

    looked that up on wikipedia, did you? No, it is NOT an “old insult.”

    “perfidious” has meaning

    And my SN is not “Albion,” it is “Albionite.” Cuteness does not cut it with me.

    But speaking of your knowledge of black slang…care to comment?

  55. and joe

    I like you, but you may as well hang a Stars and Bars over your home.

  56. come on, joe….

    you have my permission….

    I promise….I won’t hold it against you….

    really! If I call you a lily-white mick….

    will you call me a nappy-headed ho? or even a nigger?

    please, dude, i like you, man…just type it and press “enter”

    DO IT! Type “A-B-I-O-N-I-T-E-I-S-A-N-I-G-G-E-R”

    I’ll love you forever if you do.

  57. (aLbionite) damn! can’t even spell my own SN! bring on the racist jokes, I deserve them.

  58. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were mentally ill.

    No, no, everything you wrote is quite correct.

    If I take one of those mimeographed sheets you’re holding, will you let me walk past you, out of the train station?

  59. joe,

    🙂

    You’re cool, despite not having gone to the proper schools, and being, you know, a sod-hopper.

    But come on! Don’t you want to? It’s OK. Do it! 🙂

    My mental health professional assures me that I am perfectly sane despite all the bees swarming in my head.

  60. snicker.

    giggle.

    almost makes me feel guilty for taking change out of the jar to pay for my ding dong the other day.

  61. OK

    So how many of the remaining nerds like me who read this whole thread would have jumped on joe if he had called me a nigger?

    And how many of you jumped on me for calling him a mick? Or stupid? Or illegitimate? (didn’t I call him a bastard? well, I meant to.)

    I begged him to call me a nigger! But I’ll bet you would have overlooked that plea if he had.

    I’m really not trying to make a point, other than “Dear God, please, can we forget about getting along, and just get over our goddamned selves, at least for a few goddamned minutes?”

  62. chortle.

    [looks up] oh. was thinking of something else.

    *chomps on ding dong thoughtfully. gazes out to horizon.

  63. I am a nappy-headed white pimp. Seriously.

    And I also must confess I was called all kinds of names as a kid for racial reasons, including the “n word” and versions of it. At the time, I did kinda feel injured. But I was 12. I thought things would never get better, I could never forget and forgive my tormentors, etc.

    Now, almost 30, I think I was kinda a wuss when I was 12. I was also 12. As an adult, I dont really think being called a name could injure me. And I dont see how I would need “healing” or “restitution” if someone called me a name.

    Being 12 and treated that way and being physically attacked was something completely different.

    I’d also say with a high degree of certainty that I’ve probably faced more racism in my life than any of those Rutgers girls, and I get it from all sides.

    See, although the news tells me its now widely accepted and we celebrate people like Derek Jeter, I grewup in a biracial family in OLD Days of the early 90s. While both my natural parents were white, my father that raised me was black.

    And it was socially acceptable for both white and black kids to call me racist names. At the same time NO ONE would ever call a black classmate a “nigger” but it was used towards me all the time. The same white kid that called my dad a nigger or caled me a nigger lover or said he wanted to lynch my baby brother would then go high five his group of black friends. If it didnt happen to me I wouldnt believe it.

  64. Albionite,

    I’m going to go look up “sod-hopper,” and if it’s insulting, you’re in for a one hell of a titty-twister.

  65. Isn’t “sod” short for “sodomite”?

  66. No, I think the limey was just calling me a croppy.

  67. Looks like you’re not going to be hearing much about Imus for the next few days…

    There is one thing worse than unimportant news: Important News.

  68. If it bleeds, it leads. I’m a little angry that Don Imus stole the thunder from what should have been a full week of We Miss You, Mr. Vonnegut. When Anna Nicole Titty gets that much coverage and Vonnegut gets nil, you know that we’ve failed as a culture.

  69. (Note to the normal: “lunchstealer” is obviously not a grad of Winchester and Cambridge. “Perfidious” means “deceitful” and/or “untrustworthy.” He/She has used a 10-dollar-word in hopes of fooling those of us with 50-cent educations; do not be fooled. When he/she can show how I have been deceitful, I will acknowledge his/her superior wit. Not goddam likely–probably an Oxonian.)

    A – I wasn’t the first to use it. That honor goes to P Brooks, and joe’s early comments about ‘perfidious albion’. I was just carrying on the riff.

    B – Seriously, do you REALLY think I was calling you perfidious? It was a further riff on the “I think what our bright young friend is saying is…” chestnut out of crappy old ’50s B-scifi movies. I threw ‘perfidious’ in instead of ‘bright’ because it sounds slightly absurd, and I thought it seemed funny. YMMV.

    C – “Superior wit?” It’s not a competition, and if it was, Stevo, Herr Crane, and His Moosliness (mooseliness?) would have long since driven either of us from the field. I could give a rats ass if your wit is superior to mine. Besides, joe’s misuse of ‘hoary’ is funnier than anything I’ve posted.

    D – I was not seriously calling you ‘perfidious’. If you felt that I was, I appologize, to my knowledge you are in no way treacherous. It did not occur to me that you might take it personally, and had no intention of hurting your feelings. One assumes you’d have had no problem with the epithets ‘peevish’ or ‘pedantic’.

    E – There are more uses of ‘perfidious Albion’ out there than just wikipedia, and yeah, it is an old insult to England – referring to their reputation for making an agreement with a group of natives and then turning around and colonizing them. Examples abound.

    F – I’m really not trying to make a point, other than “Dear God, please, can we just get over our goddamned selves, at least for a few goddamned minutes?”

  70. “When Anna Nicole Titty gets that much coverage and Vonnegut gets nil, you know that we’ve failed as a culture.”

    Lamar,

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

  71. Even Imus’ defenders say the joke was out of line.

    No, not true. Imus is a sucker for black preachers, and one he talked to over the weekend convinced him that he had committed a grievous sin. Imus is a sucker for the helpless, or anybody he can contextualize as helpless.

    But what Imus was doing in the remark was stating amusingly what was going down : a tattooed tough team was taking on a cuter looking team. With women’s basketball, that’s about all the attention sports guys give it.

    The question to ask is whether his observation was accurate as well as amusing. If is, it’s appropriate and right on. I bet it’s pretty good, myself.

    To act as if grown women can’t cope with this, women being fragile flowers containing fine souls, attacked by a male idea, is ludicrous, and itself demeaning to women.

    So, to summarize, what Imus said was not out of the ordinary, not racist, and not offensive, and is exactly what he was paid to say and amused the people he was paid to amuse.

    The vulnerability to a MSM hit is the disturbing thing.

    I could argue further about how narcissistic black culture is, believing that whites are even interested in the intraracial fine points of nappiness and skin lightness, when all whites know is that it sounds funny; which is why Imus used it.

  72. I’m us.

    We are legion.

  73. Re: “Perfidious Albion”

    For fuck’s sake, this is an anti-British phrase that has become such a chestnut that it is now used jokingly much more often than it is used in earnest — sort of like “inscrutable oriental” or “ugly American.”

    I first encountered it in Volume I of Jerry Pournelle’s There Will Be War science fiction anthology, in a satirical SF story about a future economic war between France and Britain, trying to sabotage each other’s production of wine and tea, respectively. (I forget the title and author.) At one point a French character shouts, “Oh, perfidious Albion!” That was supposed to be kind of funny. It was supposed to be kinda funny here too. And I thought it was kind of funny, as a throwaway pun-like like. Let’s lighten up. Richard Milhous Christ.

  74. LAMAR SEZ =

    In the event that you cannot go back and read the comments to which you are responding, let me restate why I brought up Ifill: she was personally insulted, denied being insulted, and didn’t bring up the rumor that Imus insulted her in a derogatory way.

    Oh. *that*

    dude, i still think you’re frothing. Your beef is tht she wasnt ‘honest’ about being insulted? God, how ridiculous. She’s a nightly broadcaster. Do you think that professional standards might recommend that one avoid ad hominem bickering? No – because i didnt read you right. Right? 🙂

    While she put on the veneer of an objective assessment, she was really seething and it showed. If she would have said “I’m as mad as hell….” then she wouldn’t have come off so phony. As it stands, she tried to hide behind a veneer of rational objectivity when in fact she appeared to be motivated by outrage.

    Great. So you get to psychoanalyse the public victims of ‘slander’. and judge them on their reactions, but the actual perpetrators of gross misconduct are treated more liberally. OK. Now i get how your world works.

  75. “Great. So you get to psychoanalyse the public victims of ‘slander’.”

    Well, I did read Proust, so I pretty much know everything…. 🙂

  76. Hell, Stevo, turns out that this isn’t even the first use of ‘perfidious albionite’ on these here itnertubes.

    My favorite is “The Pirate Armada Engages Perfidious Albionite”.

  77. As the author of the aforementioned scurrilous slur, I would like to say, first and foremost, I wish I had been aware of the reaction it caused, in order to more fully enjoy it.

    What was it Virginia Woolf said?

  78. What was it Virginia Woolf said?

    “Mmm, that was some good Ridinghood”?

  79. “Mmm, that was some good Ridinghood”?

    That sounds less creepy than, “Mmm, that was some good Peter.”

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