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What have we learned from the Imus incident

by Katie McLaughlin  |  2000 views  |  2 comments  |        Rate this now! 

So here we are, reading a ton about Don Imus and about his racist remarks on his show. In less then one week he gets booted from his show and his career is pretty much over. I was actually quite fascinated with the speed these serious decisions were made. On one hand, I'm glad his remarks were taken so seriously. He was wrong, he was inappropriate, he was out of line! So many people listen to his show and LOVE his opinion. I often listen to his show and he is certainly not shy. He is very straight forward and speaks his mind. I actually found his style very refreshing. However, when I heard his comment about the women's basketball team, I was very disappointed and ashamed for him. Do I like him less then I liked him before - I guess. Do I think he is a racist pig full of hatred - probably not. But does it really matter?

A lot of feminist associations piled on and screamed bloody hell. How could he make such comments about women’s basketball team? Why men keep putting women down without any consequences? Women’s success is being disregarded and dismissed by actions such as this. Imus was disrespectful and should be punished, he should be fired, he should be disowned by all his supporters! Imus was scrambling and tried to “fix” things by apologizing to various groups and even met with the team. It was too little, too late. All the groups that were protesting to his comments got great satisfaction from the final outcome.

At the end of the day, firing Imus was a business decision. Advertisers were pulling out in fear that they will be associated with Imus and his tasteless comments. Without advertisers, Imus is not worth a lot to the network. On top of that, MSNBC was worried to be associated with Imus in fear of loosing more advertising dollars from the same advertisers that pulled out from his show. MSNBC might also feel that by keeping Imus they will alienate other supporters of the network. So in essence, it was a snow ball effect. Imus is no more. He crossed the line that will cost many millions to networks.

Did America win by not having an Imus’ show anymore? Or was firing Imus too harsh? What about Clinton, who lied about having sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky? Why didn’t he lose his job? What about Mel Gibson, who repeatedly made racist and anti-Semitic remarks – people still go to see his movies! I hear so many people saying that they will never see his movies, but somebody does. That’s why Mel Gibson doesn’t need Hollywood’s support. Those very same people who said they were offended by Gibson’s comments go to see his movies. By doing so they help him to finance his movies! So how do we stop this behavior?

About the Author

Freelance journalist, grant writer, editor, blogger, and copywriter, plus mom of a very energetic toddler!

Read more by Katie McLaughlin




2 comments so far...

  • I think this whole thing is a circus - Imus saying what he did, the oh-so-predictable and over-the-top reaction from Sharpton and co., and the subsequent firing. Are we just too PC for our own good, too afraid to offend another ethnic group, where one slip of the tongue can cause this much backlash? I agree with Lisa.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Susan Ogilvy on 17th April 2007

  • Personally I agree with Imus being fired even though I've never listened to his show, but it concerns me that Americans are looking to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton as moral authorities for what is bigotry when they have themselves both hurled insensitive and bigoted remarks. Where is Al Sharpton's apology for Tawana Brawley?

    Imus being fired isn't going to address the issue of a level playing field that doesn't differentiate between Imus' "nappy headed ho" remark and Billboard's top 5 song this week, Mims "This is Why I'm Hot" that features equally egregious language.

    The question that everyone should be asking is why Viacom, which owns CBS, is willing to drop Imus but they are unwilling to put limits on MTV, which everyday promotes sexist and misogynistic music videos to young people. We celebrate "thug culture" by putting rap artists on magazine covers and television, yet erupt in a firestorm of self-righteousness when Imus makes the same remark but expresses sincerity in his remorse.

    There are no winners here, in fact we are all worse off because of the hypocrisy that accepts this kind of behavior from one community while acting like vigilantes to another.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lisa M. Nolan on 16th April 2007

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