Am I the only person in the United States who is not surprised that Don Imus uttered a thoughtless, racist comment on his radio show? Where has America been for the past 40 years? What day has gone by that he hasn't said something offensive?
In Imus' defense, I can't actually state with any certainty what he has said over the past 6-7 years, which is about when I stopped listening to him. It's true he can be simultaneously very ascerbic and amusing; he also has an A list of guests over the years which rivals The NewsHour on PBS or any of the Sunday morning talk shows. For that reason alone, the show was often worth listening to, although it was also punctuated ad nauseum with meaningless, mindless drivel from Imus about his idiot wife and practically perfect young son (he has an older daughter as well but one would never have known it to listen to him. To hear Imus tell it, Wyatt was potty trained by two weeks, playing Chopin at four months and splitting the atom before he was a year old). However, I eventually stopped listening for the very reason he is in such hot water today-he could also be jaw droppingly offensive. Very often, it wasn't even Imus who was the worst offender-he has admitted in the past that his producer, Bernard McGuirk, mainly gets air time for "nigger jokes," and Bernie made the most of his opportunity (slandering liberals was another favorite pastime of McGuirk's). If the truth be known, the "nappy-haired ho" remark is one of the more tame to be made on the Imus show in recent years. Consider the following blasts from his past:
-He's called the starting lineup of the New York Knicks "the gorilla special effects in Instinct"
-He's advocated bombing Mecca
-He's insulted a variety of reporters who differ in skin color and ethnicity from he, calling them "beanie heads" and "cleaning ladies"
Sooo...why all the righteous indignation now? I'm not arguing with it, I think it's been too long coming, but for people to act like this is the worst thing he's ever said, when it probably wasn't even the worst thing he said that day, is a little disingenuous of those in the media and especially those on the campaign trail. Many a politician of presidential stature has sold his soul to be in Imus' good graces, including souls as divergent as John Kerry, John McCain, and Alan Keyes. It's a safe bet, though, the pre-2008 politico parade has stopped for the I-man, which in reality may be what finally brings the curtain down on "Imus in the Morning."
I mean, if nobody shows up, you can't fill four hours with racist jokes...can you?