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Blogger Spurs US Radio Host's Firing

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the those-tubes-they-reach-everwhere dept.

Media 505

jas_public writes "The Wall Street Journal reports on the controversial events which ultimately led to the firing of radio shock jock Don Imus. 'At 6:14 a.m. on Wednesday, April 4, relatively few people were tuned into the "Imus in the Morning Show" ... Ryan Chiachiere was. A 26-year-old researcher in Washington, D.C., for liberal watchdog organization Media Matters for America, he was assigned to monitor Mr. Imus's program. Mr. Chiachiere clipped the video, alerted his bosses and started working on a blog post for the organization's Web site.' The article breaks down how that viral video clip and word of mouth outrage reached the ears of the presidents of CBS and MSNBC, ultimately leading to Imus' dismissal."

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Radio vs TV (2, Interesting)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18729937)

I suspect, if Imus was only on the radio, hardly anyone would have known about it.

Re:Radio vs TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18729949)

You suspect wrong. Reverand Al is everywhere.

Re:Radio vs TV (1)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730145)

Imus was canned because he had somehow got himself attached to the establishment. Politicians the establishment love to fawn over like Lieberman and McCain were regular guests.

Bill O'Rielly and Coulter both make far more outrageous remarks but they get a pass because the establishment does not take them seriously. Same goes for rappers.

What sunk Imus was not just the one comment, it was the history. In particular the long tirade against Gwen ifell.

OK so David Brock is no longer a right wing hit man, but is it an improvement now he is a left wing hit man?

Lieberman used to make his sanctimonious pleas against vulgarity in public life, then appear on Imus, go figure what type of hypocrite he is. Media Matters was tracking Imus precisely because he gave establishment war supporters a platform.

Re:Radio vs TV (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730351)

OK so David Brock is no longer a right wing hit man, but is it an improvement now he is a left wing hit man?

Is David Brock a left-wing hitman?

Re:Radio vs TV (0, Troll)

caseydk (203763) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730415)

Lieberman used to make his sanctimonious pleas against vulgarity in public life, then appear on Imus, go figure what type of hypocrite he is. Media Matters was tracking Imus precisely because he gave establishment war supporters a platform.

You're forgetting that he supported Kerry in 2004 and even supported him after Kerry's stupid "if you're dumb, you join the Army" (paraphrased) remark. MM was monitoring him because he was a target for removal... he didn't toe any Leftist line and should therefore be silenced. These thugs can't win in the marketplace, but they can win by going on the attack.

There are others on their list...

Re:Radio vs TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730463)

No he didn't, he ran as an independant in 2006 since his own party dumped him. Can you show me when he supported Kerry after saying the stupid troops line?

this whle Imus thing is insane (5, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18729951)

In an off the cuff remark, Imus calls the Rutgers girls "nappy headed hos". Moral outrage, Al and Jesse crank up their publicity machine, Imus gets fired.

Meanwhile, rapper DMX [wikipedia.org] uses lyrics such as "what these bitches want from a nigga", and "I fuck with these hoes from a distance", and we hear cash registers.
Just as racist, just as misogynistic, just as insensitive.

And this was a liberal watchdog group? Gimme a break. I thought the left at least gave lip service to freedom of speech.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (4, Insightful)

The Iso (1088207) | more than 7 years ago | (#18729981)

The words he used don't matter. If he had called the Rutgers girls "ugly and loose," it would have been just as bad. The thing is that he attacked the looks and morals of innocent women who've done nothing to inject themselves into public discourse.

"Attacked" them? You sure? (2, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730289)

attacked seems a little strong. I haven't seen the video, but I read the transcript and was like, jeez. He prolly should apologize for the slip but getting *fired?!

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (2, Funny)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730293)

I've seen some of these girls, and I'm sorry but ugly is an understatement, half of them belong on the men's basketball team.

Most women basketball players are hideous. (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730335)

But I bet Don Imus wouldn't call an NFL line man ugly even if the dude looked like Sloth from the Goonies. It was a cheap shot, probably didn't merit being fired, but when the money dries up...they're not going to keep his show going. Many of his sponsors jumped ship and there were very few who came on board.

Business decission

Re:Most women basketball players are hideous. (1)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730433)

Don Imus was an "equal opportunity" offender, while I don't remember a specific incident involving an NFL player, he insulting an NBA player (sorry can't remember the name), by calling him a knuckle dragger.

Don Imus is/was offensive, and that is what CBS/NBC paid him to do, it just so happens that outside forces "convinced" his employers that his services were no longer needed.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730339)

If he had called the Rutgers girls "ugly and loose," it would have been just as bad.

No. To be specific, if he had said the Tennessee team was ugly and loose he MIGHT have been chastised but he'd still be on the air. I look forward to the day when the media is just as diligent and chest-thumping self-righteous about racist minorities and liberals who say or do something stupid.

Oh wait, that happens all the time and they don't give a damn. Guess it's only news if righty whitey does it.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18729985)

Jesse "Hymietown" Jackson?

Say it ain't so!

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (2, Insightful)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730059)

And this was a liberal watchdog group? Gimme a break. I thought the left at least gave lip service to freedom of speech.

So did I. He may be obnoxious but setting some attack dog on him to pick up and publicise his misdeeds does rather stink. If someone feels personally insulted and takes offence, fine. But that is not what happened here.

The difference with rapper DMX is that he is not employed by someone who will sack him for perceived outrage. His performance is measured in how many CDs he sells, not how many people he does not manage to offend.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (4, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730117)

The difference with rapper DMX is that he is not employed by someone who will sack him for perceived outrage. His performance is measured in how many CDs he sells, not how many people he does not manage to offend.

Imus' performance is measured in ad dollars. Nothing more. Some majors pulled out, he got sacked.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730311)

Two different sorts of popularity contests. One has to sell CDs, the other one has to avoid upsetting too many (powerful) people.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730493)

It could also be that CBS and MSNBC just got tired of Imus' stupid cowboy hat, his crypt-keeper face and the fact that he mumbles all the time.

I mean, really, a radio announcer who has terrible diction. What a concept!

It should be obvious (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730071)

If you criticise someone in your own group with emotive language you can get away with it. If you go after somebody else in a group you have nothing to do with the same sort of language is a deadly insult. This is also in the land that went bezerk over a nipple so extreme reactions can be expected - see what I mean - I've just put the readers on the USA on the defensive.

Re:It should be obvious (5, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730095)

This is also in the land that went bezerk over a nipple

This is the land where the media went berzerk over a nipple...

Re:It should be obvious (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730197)

It is also the land where the media went berzerk about this shock jock - I should have stated it differently but that is exactly what I mean.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (4, Interesting)

pla (258480) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730085)

Moral outrage

No. Mock indignation, so everyone can try to look "less racist" than everyone else.

Even his worst detractors don't seriously consider him a racist - Just another shock-jock using racially-charged language to make a buck.



Just as racist, just as misogynistic, just as insensitive.

C'mon, hasn't Chris Rock taught you anything? We show racial insensitivity. They (and it doesn't matter which "they" you refer to), as a repressed minority, subvert our vitriol to sardonically weaken our merciless blows.



Gimme a break. I thought the left at least gave lip service to freedom of speech

Nah, the right pretends to care about the bill of rights. The left pretends to care about "the children". Neither really does, of course, but let's get our pack-delusions straight here. ;-)



And FTR, I don't listen to his show (though I have left it perhaps three or four times while scanning channels, to listen to one of his guests)

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1, Insightful)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730329)

No. Mock indignation, so everyone can try to look "less racist" than everyone else. Which is precisely what the right has been using for the past quarter century to suppress liberal voices in the media since the religious reich got SOAP taken off the air. The comments that caused Bill Maher to be taken off ABC were far more defensible, in that case what sunk him was inadvertently telling rather more truth than folk could accept - if suicide bombers are 'cowards' dropping bombs from a plane is an even more cowardly way to act.

So now right wing racists finaly get measured by the same standards of gotcha that they have used to take liberals off the air for years. They have been blubbing about how a person can't make a racially insulting comment any more without being criticized for it all along, its not like they can pretend this was some sort of supprise.

There are plenty of liberal journalists who lost their jobs for nothing more than doing their jobs. Eric Alterman got dropped because he was too liberal, because his questions about the administration were too good. Nobody gets fired for being too Conservative, ask Bill O'Riely.

So now the same group of whackos who complained about the 'liberal' (i.e. true) journalism of Alterman and co get upset because the same tactics are used to take a racist, hate-filled bigot off the air.

Now that is synthetic outrage.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (5, Interesting)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730097)

No, this is the nanny-state "why can't we all get along" PC left that conservatives like to think is all that makes up the Democratic party.

This is manufactured outrage pure and simple. No one really thinks Imus had an intent to cause anyone grief. Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson need their names to be in the headlines at all times because they're media whores; that's their job. And of course the white PC left had to be just as outraged to prove to everyone that they aren't racists.

Imus was was just making an observation that the Rutgers team was mostly black and looked like gang members due to their tattoos. He phrased it in a politically incorrect manner, which is what got him canned. I believe it was George Carlin who said that language is neutral. It is intent that makes something offensive or not. Imus's intent was to make the point that the Rutgers team was more butch than the Tennessee players in a humorous way.

Of course, as you say if black people use those words in a derogatory manner, society gives them a pass (in fact, popular black culture seems to encourage their use). Either words are ok for everyone to use or they are ok for no one to use. Double standards are bullshit, plain and simple.

I'm white. I'm liberal. I'm not a racist. I thought it was funny. Anyone who was seriously offended by his remarks needs to grow up.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (3, Insightful)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730279)

Of course, as you say if black people use those words in a derogatory manner, society gives them a pass (in fact, popular black culture seems to encourage their use). Either words are ok for everyone to use or they are ok for no one to use. Double standards are bullshit, plain and simple.
As you said, whether or not something is offensive falls on intent. If you use derogatory language against your own race, you're given a pass because it's obvious the intent is not there.
To paraphrase Chris rock - If you call your kid an f'ing moron it's acceptable, if someone else calls your kid that you're going to be upset.

I'm hispanic, moderate. I didn't think it was funny, I also didn't think it was offensive. Kinda a throw away remark if you listen to it in context. Taken out of context it could be seen as offensive, I guess. What's sad is how media has become so huge and competitive, they will disect every single word to try and create a story.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730471)

While I agree with Chris Rock's statement, he doesn't live by his own rules. His shows are filled with "cracker" and "honkey" references, certainly not comments directed as his own race.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730603)

That's the waves of the media, all reactions are overblown. I bet, soon 'poor Imus' will find a new and better job. Or, if he dies out of poverty someone will get rich by writing a book out of it.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

asninn (1071320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730499)

Of course, as you say if black people use those words in a derogatory manner, society gives them a pass (in fact, popular black culture seems to encourage their use). Either words are ok for everyone to use or they are ok for no one to use. Double standards are bullshit, plain and simple.

You only say that because you aren't and never have been on the receiving end of these things. Case in point: I'm gay, myself. When a gay friend of mine walks up to me and says "hey, what's up, you fag", I won't mind; I know he doesn't intend to hurt me, and neither is he using an insult as if it's just a neutral word, pretending that the intent to hurt that comes with it doesn't exist. What he's doing is different: he's taking a tool of those who want to hurt us from them and turns it around, into a badge of pride, if you will.

Things are different when someone else calls me a "fag". Some people might be out to hurt me; some, like you, might simply say "fuck that, I'm gonna say whatever I want, freedom of speech, dude" and use the word without caring about what it means either way; some might even try to use it in the same way my gay friends might, but it doesn't work in either case.

The real reason for that is that it's not the word as such that matters (that is, the collection of letters, or the collection of sounds that make up its pronounciation), it's the meaning - the intent.

I don't know what Imus intended to say, and I don't want to accuse him of racism just because of what he said, just like I don't want to accuse anyone of homophobia based on their use of the word "fag". But to claim that because black people use words like "nigger" it's OK for everyone else to do so as well simply isn't true. Double standards? Maybe, but you're not the one who's been discriminated against, verbally abused, beaten up and sometimes even murdered in cold blood, so who are you to talk?

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

Ender_Wiggin (180793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730567)

You do realize he called a specific group of teenagers whores, right? I bet their parents weren't too happy to hear about them being mentioned by name on the radio and cable tv simultaneously in such a manner. A rapper can talk about Hos as much as they want (and I turn it off), but calling a specific person a whore? Didn't eminem have to settle lawsuits because of that?

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730113)

I thought the left at least gave lip service to freedom of speech.

Aye but rather than getting lip serviced from the front, Imus has defnitely gotten his service 'round the back.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730121)

What do you actually think "freedom of speech" means? Hint: It does not mean nobody can stop you from insulting people on company time. Every time such stories come up here, I'm really a bit put off by the stupidity of the "freedom of speech" yelling that comes up. If the guy had had to go to jail, your comment might makes sense. He didn't, so it doesn't.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (3, Interesting)

youbiquitous (150681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730209)

As soon as I heard about the comments made by Imus, I told my friends he would be suspended or shitcanned and that his defenders would compare his remarks to hip-hop lyrics and blame the liberals for his troubles. As a 65 year old white guy, you don't get to appropriate the language of hip-hop. Throwing some hip-hop slang into your sentences does not make you sound hip and edgy, it just makes you sound like a jackass.

Bizarrely, Imus seems to have been expressing admiration for the Rugers team. Listen to a recording of what he said - it doesn't sound like he's trying to insult or show contempt.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (5, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730277)

Agreed. But what troubles me the most from the above summary was the phrase "A 26-year-old researcher in Washington, D.C., for liberal watchdog organization Media Matters for America, he was assigned to monitor Mr. Imus's program."

So from the *very* beginning, this was not a case of listeners being morally outraged; it was a matter of a leftish organization waiting for a conservative radio talk show host to say something that they could use politically. Granted, everyone knows that both sides do this and on a purely tactical level, it was idiotic of Mr. Imus to GIVE them material to work with. But does anyone else object to this? Who *wouldn't* run afoul of the the Thought Police if they had people "assigned" to monitor their speech?

Ironic and probably surprising to some that it was the Left (generally positioned as the side most concerned with Free Speech issues) who issued this particular politi-fatwa.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

Ender_Wiggin (180793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730519)

Are you suggesting the Rutgers women basketball players and their parents jumped on Imus, not because he offended them specifically, but because they were all in on a leftist plot?

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

ari wins (1016630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730303)

Agree completely, except at the end. Free Speech isn't the issue here, it's the disdain that the populace has for any public figure who would say something as ignorant as what he said.

Abuse of power (2, Insightful)

anonymous_echidna (1019960) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730349)

Imus, middle-aged white guy, abused his privileged position in a stupid (not funny) attack on people who really "don't deserve it" (quote from Imus's own words).

OF COURSE IT MATTERS WHO YOU ARE!

Can you imagine language like this from President Bush? The Pope? How about a teacher? At the other extreme, we expect rappers to come out with hurtful foul language, and just look at the result: some people seem to think that that makes it ok for Imus. The law applies equally, at least in principle, but standards don't. We adjust our language and manners according to context, and pointlessly tearing down young relatively vulnerable people on public airwaves doesn't meet the standards Imus should have met, even for a shock jock.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730355)

Liberal? Only if you mean it in its original context would they do more then give lip service to free speech. A true liberal wants freedom from government and a modern day "liberal" wants the government as parent to everyone and they demand polictically correct speech, politically correct by their definition of course. The real problem with with using the "modern liberal" approach of government is that it is impossible to legislate common sense, morality or just plain good manners. All of which have declined considerably during my lifetime, which is not to say that it was anywhere near perfect around the time I was born, nor that one can only blame government for the results. Before you start quoting all the improvements that have occurred that would "prove the AC wrong" just let me say that I agree that in many areas there have been certain improvements and hopefully many more will occur, but most likely they will come from society and not from government.

This doesn't have anything to do with free speech anyway because the government hasn't as yet interfered with the process. Just like out on the street, yeah, you can say what you want about someone, call them any name you please, but that doesn't mean they have to listen to you, it doesn't mean their friends or the common bystander has to either. If your saying it on the air and you offend the customers to a greater degree then your employer/content buyer cares to tolerate they are free to fire you and deal with the contractual problems in court if necessary. If your using your company money to finance advertising on a show that you find you can not condone as it might been seen as you supporting that sort of behaviour your free to pull the advertising and deal with the consequences. Though lots of companies seem to ignore it these days the old fact that the customer is the boss still holds true, which can give you lots of bosses to keep happy and maybe you can afford to lose some of them but at some point you have to meet the bosses requirements of good behaviour or you run out of bosses.

Many years ago I had an interesting and fun conversation with the black gentleman that had the apartment next to mine. We were talking about this similar kind of double-standard. I had seen him get into a fist fight with highly prejudiced white man over the white man calling a particular other black man a n****r. A month or so later I heard the same word being used by him in an angry voice. So I stepped out of my apartment to see what was up and he was telling this dopey eyed black man to stay away from his apartment with rather colorful language including calling him a n****r. After the guy left my neighbor stepped over to me and started talking about the other man still referring to him that way, which made me break out laughing. After telling him why I was laughing he responded "look, your a cool white dude, but not all are, you have your white trash and we have our n****rs, I don't care if you call a n****r a n****r, but they damn well better be a n****r or we going to have to talk about it". Like many other words it seems to be who is using them as well as who is hearing the words, as I have heard that same word used many times in a joking manner by black people and as almost a word of affection. Lots of white people grew up using it too, their parents used it and to them it just meant a black person, whether or not there was hate involved in its usage depended on the person using it.

There is prejudice in all of our lives, regardless of how much we would like to claim we have none. We build prejudice as we gain experience and exposure to other peoples ways of viewing the world around us. Some prejudice is based in our own history, some is of the urban legend type, some is just imprinted on us by our friends, relatives and coworkers and its not all race related. It can be gender related, society/work level related, physically or mentally related ( jocks vs. nerds for example other then prejudice just applying to one of those two aspects ), religion, place of origin, prejudice, on and on go the possible subjects of prejudice. Society has a long way to go to eliminate prejudice. When certain prejudices are eliminated we won't really even know it, because no one will be talking about them anymore.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730359)

"And this was a liberal watchdog group? Gimme a break. I thought the left at least gave lip service to freedom of speech."

"LIBERAL" = "Leftist". We don't have any more classical Liberals and Conservatives.

Also, anything done within African-American culture is beyond criticism or comment or observation outside its membership. The proper way for non-Africans to discuss such things is offline and out-of-range.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

Undertaker43017 (586306) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730535)

"The proper way for non-Africans to discuss such things is offline and out-of-range."

And thanks to Jesse and Al there are now potentially 2.5 million more people discussing these issues "out-of-range". The KKK and others of like thinking, must love every time Jesse and Al get involved, because they are those groups best "recruiters".

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

rschwa (89030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730377)

I think a big difference here is that DMX is talking about Hoes in general.

Imus was talking about someone's teenage daughter.

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730461)

Freedom of speech means being able to say that someone else's remarks are unacceptable. Freedom of speech also means being able to say that I think somebody deserves to be fired. I'm liberal as hell, and I think Michael Savage should shut his mouth, and I still believe in free speech. If you can't see how those positions are consistent, you're not half as smart as you think you are.

Liberal does not mean that you stand silent when a public figure uses racist, misogynist speech.

"Freedom of Speech" refers to political speech. Calling a young girl a whore who's never done one thing against you is not political speech. In the part of Chicago I live in, it's "get your ass kicked"-speech.

And DMX may be just as misogynistic and insensitive as Imus, but one has phat beats and one has a fat head, so one gets paid and the other gets fired. Capisce?

Re:this whle Imus thing is insane (1)

Ohiosan (918854) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730549)

OK. Let's not get this twisted...

Imus made some pretty raw comments that offended a lot of people. But there are too many other clowns on the radio / TV that say the same if not worse. Imus was dumped because the big boys pulled their big money [cbsnews.com] out of the pot.

If this was a two-bit show getting advertising dollars from Joe Bob's Auto Shop and Ice Cream Parlor, we would not have heard about it. In the end, this was all about green.

This is not a good thing (4, Insightful)

eventhorizon82G (954828) | more than 7 years ago | (#18729953)

This is certainly something that we, as a country, should not be proud of. It is a horrible sign of the times we live in that we have so-called watchdog groups hiring people to monitor radio and television broadcasts for "offensive" material for the sole purpose of attempting to rally their censorship team to fire the person who had the audacity to let loose an insensitive remark. What happened to the mentality of "I hate everything you stand for and have to say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."? Unfortunately this issue is endemic in the United States today. There are very large segments of the population of a wide range of ethnicities that cross party lines who simply are looking for any excuse to be offended and recoil in mock outrage; they are tearing this country apart at the seams.

Career Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730073)

I wonder at what stage in his life this guy said, "Yes, dammit! I want to spend my life snitching on right-wing radio talk show hosts!"

Re:This is not a good thing (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730163)

What happened to the mentality of "I hate everything you stand for and have to say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."?

That mentality is still around. People have a right to say what they want, the government is not getting involved here and imprisoning Imus. However, though Imus has a right to say whatever he wants, other people have the right to make their displeasure know and convince his employer that continuing to employ Imus would be detrimental to their business.

Re:This is not a good thing (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730357)

What happened to the mentality of "I hate everything you stand for and have to say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."?
I defend your right to say it, however, I will also use my freedom of speech to voice my displeasure at your comments. It is then the right of those who give you a national radio show and sponsorship to decide whether or not they want to associate with you.

Re:This is not a good thing (1)

eventhorizon82G (954828) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730389)

It's disingenuous to be a proponent of free speech and then clamor to shut someone up.

Re:This is not a good thing (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730455)

It's disingenuous to be a proponent of free speech and then clamor to shut someone up.
Voicing displeasure != telling someone to shut up.
Telling companies that you choose not to purchase their product because of their sponsorship of speech you disagree with != telling someone to shutup.

The "crazy guy" preaching all day on campus isn't having his freedom of speech violated just because nobody chooses to listen or associate with him.

Lesson from this debacle (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18729959)

There is a lesson to be learned from all of this. When the PC police comes after you for denigrating people of the wrong race, gender, etc ... show some spine! Apologies and visits with Al Sharpton, et al did nothing to prevent him from spiralling into unemployment. Now he is a loser in everyone's eyes. If he had said something like "I refuse to apologize! Looking back it was kind of a dumb thing to say but I say dumb things sometimes, so deal with it! Any harm on these girls is the doing of the media, not me, since they weren't listening to my show," well he'd still have a lot of enemies but he'd at least have the respect of the subset of Americans who believes you can call somebody with nappy hair "nappy-headed" without having committed some kind of capital crime.

He'd be wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730431)

If he had said something like "I refuse to apologize! Looking back it was kind of a dumb thing to say but I say dumb things sometimes, so deal with it! Any harm on these girls is the doing of the media, not me, since they weren't listening to my show," well he'd still have a lot of enemies but he'd at least have the respect of the subset of Americans who believes you can call somebody with nappy hair "nappy-headed" without having committed some kind of capital crime.
So, the damage he does is limited to the people that hear him? Well, no. If I badmouth someone or some group, even if they don't hear it directly, that still negatively effects them. Furthermore, is the whole team "nappy-headed"? No. So he'd really "have the respect" of the subset of Americans who use "nappy-headed" as code for "nigger." Which I'm pretty sure he has anyway.

Re:Lesson from this debacle (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730591)

Yeah, I think it's interesting that from a PR standpoint, apologizing may be the wrong thing to do. Mark Fuhrman (remember him?) said nothing, and his thing eventually blew over, and now he's got a 2nd career as a writer.

"Blogging" is the most overrated thing ever (4, Insightful)

Bryan Ischo (893) | more than 7 years ago | (#18729963)

It seems like every day there are two or three stories on Slashdot that try to hype up the importance of "blogging". Why, just because someone put a really retarded sounding name on the concept of writing web pages, is blogging such a hyped thing?

It reminds me of the early days of Slashdot, when *anything* having to do with Linux was featured in big bold headlines like it was a miracle. This has toned down a little bit over the years but even today the hype factor for Linux on this site is a bit annoying (and I am a huge fan of Linux, it's the reason I started reading Slashdot back in '97 - despite the hyping of everything Linux, it was a good place to get news when such news sources were scarce).

I can't shake the feeling that people who don't really understand "them Internets" hear a word that has no meaning - "blog" - and assume that it just must be something really cool and important. Because really, it isn't. I nearly hurled at the idiocy of it all the first time I heard the word "blogosphere".

Re:"Blogging" is the most overrated thing ever (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730007)

Blogs are overrated and not important? Perhaps you are missing the entire point of this story. A blogger has managed to stop national discourse in its tracks with one of his blog posts and refocus it on something so trivial as a stupid three word phrase uttered by a radio host about some women who, as female college basketball players, were of no concern to 99% of America beforehand.

Now I personally would view this as being a not so pleasant consequence of the emergence of blogging, but let's face it. If this blog didn't exist, nobody who wasn't listening to Imus's show would have known he had said that.

Learn to read (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730049)

He dislikes the word "blogging" and the importance put on it. This story could just as easily have been "man posts about Imus on his website," but instead it says "blog" so it's newsworthy.

Re:"Blogging" is the most overrated thing ever (1)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730037)

Friended, because you also despise the word "blog".

Re:"Blogging" is the most overrated thing ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730041)

I agree with you, i'd simply like to add another fine post 2k term, "mindshare" to that list.

just as "blog" is a flashy name for simply writing your thoughts/research on your website, "mindshare" is a flashy name for "getting people to recognize your product without actually giving it to them"...

what's most annoying about the term "mindshare" is it's almost always connected to crippleware or crippled media..

"we'll circulate this crippled crap.. it'll get us an amazing amount of mindshare".

Re:"Blogging" is the most overrated thing ever (1)

kharchenko (303729) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730395)

Well, my eyes roll when someone starts foaming at the mouth about blogosphere revolution and such. I am with you, but unfortunately it looks like it's here to stay. Part of the problem is that technology finally got easy enough to be actively used by the mouth-foaming types - hence all the hype. Another issue is that we didn't come up with a better name initially.
There was homepage, for instance, but that's a bit different and takes longer to pronounce.

These people tread a fine line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18729971)

I have often wondered if these people (the shock jocks) are having us on. The trick for them is to say something outrageous enough to keep the focus on themselves and keep their audiences entertained/whatever without getting fired or thrown in jail. The sad thing is that some people seem to take people like Ann Coulter seriously.

We have a hockey commentator named Don Cherry. All I have to do is put on my Don Cherry voice and I can say anything no matter how politically incorrect. So, maybe we give these people some kind of license. Maybe most people see them as buffoons just for our entertainment. I do worry about how many people take them seriously though.

Credit where credit is due (2, Interesting)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18729973)

I think Don Imus should get credit for his own firing. Reporters spurred it on but it was Imus's comments that lead to the firing. I just think it's rediculous how shocked everyone was. The guy in the past never hid his racist views. The network yanked his chain in recent years but he finally reverted to his old style of commentary. The shocking thing wasn't he got fired it was how he lasted this long.

Re:Credit where credit is due (5, Insightful)

debest (471937) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730587)

It wasn't his comment that got him fired. Like you said, he's apparently said lots of similar (perhaps worse) stuff on his program before. If it was the comment that got him fired, then by that logic he would have been fired years ago.

No, here's what led him to getting fired...
1) He makes an inappropriate, racist comment.
2) Someone senses opportunity to make political hay and gets the mainstream media involved.
3) Sharpton and Jackson get indignant and get more media involved.
4) ** Major advertisers start pulling out of Imus' show **
5) Imus is fired.

Imus does *not* get fired unless #4 happens. To WFAN and MSNBC, this is strictly about money, nothing else. When the controversy started, they mostly just poo-pooed the critism of Imus. When the firestorm started in earnest, they suspended him for two weeks (hoping that this action would quell the controversy, and Imus could go back to being host of their top show). But when it didn't stop and the networks started seeing real dollar losses as a result of sponsers pulling out, it was over. No major sponsers were ever going to be associated with Imus ever again, and he instantly became an albatros to the networks' bottom line. Whoever replaces him permanently will probably not get the same ratings as Imus would have. Hell, his ratings now would be *huge*. But ratings aren't the issue: it's revenue, and if no one wants their name attached to Imus, he's toast.

All the racist comments in the world would not have gotten Imus fired. All the indignation in the world would not have gotten Imus fired. Money got him fired.

Hard Work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18729975)

And my mom said I could never make a living watching TV and e-mailing complaints.

Call me a nappies-headed hose and I would be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18729991)


Call me a nappies-headed hose and I would be ... If I were a hose, and had nappies on my head, okay.

Spend a sunny weekend in Bahgdad and tell me how this is important. How about an all-expense-paid 15 months in Afghanistan?

this won't work with fox ; ) (1, Funny)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18729995)

if it did.. they'd have to have a HUGE job fair to replace their entire staff.

Not Slashdot too???? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18729997)

Please say it ain't so. Get of the Don Imus nonsense already.

FUCK off (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730013)

So, black rappers, black people, and other such and such groups are going to use some offensive slang ant it wont be counted as offensive, but when a white person uses them it will be SO bad an offense that it will cause them to be fired.

see, im a humanist. many of you morons in those watchdog groups do not know about danton, erasmus, rousseau, french revolution and what brought human civilization to this point in the scale of civility, but i do.

im also kinda a hippie. i dont condone divisions, labelings, agression and such.

i am also liberal. i want any group to live as they please as long as they dont become harmful.

so with all these qualifications, to the watchdog that caused this shit and the other watchdog groups who are supposedly maintain a vigile for civility, i tell this on that matter :

FUCK YOU.

morons. this is the point where your or any minorities' sensitivities and rights end.

you like any other group of the society are NOT allowed to discriminate. If some black person CAN use the a slang, a white man or an indian can ALSO use that slang. Carve these words into your heads.

from now on, i also will be using that slang, not because i particularly need to, but only for idiots like you, in your grand stupidity and ignorance, have offended ME and my freedoms as a human being, and i dont condone any group, black or white, to have more freedoms than me. if you dont like what you see below, you will have to stop black people saying those before ever having a chance of stopping me.

so, fuck of bitches, stop being a hoe and straighten up your black/white ass before some other guyz in the hood sorts those out with da' baskets.

"ebonics" is related to this issue, and also wrong (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730081)

I know no nation outside the us that has a separate dialect for people of african descent.

"ebonics" is rooted in racist practices (forced submission to white schemas of "black inferiority", denial of education, the list goes on and on).

it is at the same time promoted by and derided in mainstream america, with the obvious ulterior motive of promoting separatism.

weather it either supplants "normal" dialect, or is killed off, it should be eliminated as a separate dialect.

Re:"ebonics" is related to this issue, and also wr (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730269)

I'm don't understand what you're saying here. We should force people to speak "white" English? What kind of white English? The New England variant? Midwestern? Southern? I vote for Midwestern, myself.

I'm of the opinion that the separate dialect exists because of poor schooling facilities for blacks until just recently, especially in the South. I think its still in use and will continue to be in use as a way of distinguishing themselves among the masses. Indeed, as I think you're trying to say, some people promote AAVE (ebonics) as a distinct language that should be taught as standard in some areas where it is widely spoken. Some even go as far to say teaching black youth standard American English is robbing them of their culture.

I hope you can clarify as I don't know if I'm agreeing with you or not.

Re:FUCK off (2, Insightful)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730139)

as long as they dont become harmful
This is the root of all evil. It is *by definition* impossibile to grant freedom to people and restrict it at the same time. As soon as you put some restriction on people's freedom you have betrayed your ideals, according to what you say. PC idiots simply believe that speaking ill of someone is harmful. Apparently you don't, but this is just a matter of "how much freedom" rather than "freedom/slavery". In fact I'd argue that taxing my income is very harmful to me. But I don't expect you to let me live as I please...

missing the point, its about double standards. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730195)

but taxation is universal.

if they attempted to make taxation only for white people, because black people were previously disenfranchised for hundreds of years, you'd have a fit, and rightfully so.

he's not complaining about the right to use racist language, he's complaining about the double standard in which black people are allowed to use such derogatory language, but as soon as a white person uses it the room stops, and people pick up their torches and pitchforks to burn the witch.

Re:missing the point, its about double standards. (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730275)

I might have missed his point (actually I didn't: taxation is most definitely NOT universal) but you missed mine: I was criticizing his self-defeating ideals of granting people freedom by limiting it.

Re:missing the point, its about double standards. (2, Interesting)

MechaBlue (1068636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730299)

It would be interesting to follow the transmission of the memes on the whole "thug life" culture. I'm betting that it's not coming from the NAACP. Is it from pop culture, such as movies and music? Take a step up the ladder and see who owns and runs the studios, labels, distributors, and stores. I'm betting that it's not the artists and it's not the guy with the baggy pants, G-Unit shirt, and a swagger.

Is it okay for these pop icons, and their fans, to be using such language? I would imagine that many groups for black civil rights would say that it isn't, that glorifying thugs and hos is not helping black people gain equal social footing.

Or I could judge a visible group solely by the words, actions, and affectations of its most visible and accessible members.

Re:FUCK off (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730301)

It is *by definition* impossibile to grant freedom to people and restrict it at the same time.

The world sure is a simple place when you're young, huh?

Re:FUCK off (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730551)

Thanks for the needless jab, now please substantiate your argument, if you have one, or get lost.

Re:FUCK off (2, Insightful)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730169)

Hey dumb ass, you should be able to tell the difference between a person who is trying to be offensive to a whole culture and someone who isn't. Furthermore, no one is limiting your freedom. No one limited that dick who just got fired either. You have the freedom to say whatever the fuck you want and so can he. But that doesn't mean that people can't complain about it or that his bosses can't fire him if they think his actions are going to bring ratings down or lose them ad revenue.

In addition, just because we have the right to say whatever the fuck we want and be offensive doesn't mean we should. That's called being an asshole, asshole.

Re:FUCK off (1)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730419)

+5, Flamebait :)

Re:FUCK off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730219)

many of you morons in those watchdog groups do not know about danton, erasmus, rousseau, french revolution and what brought human civilization to this point in the scale of civility, but i do.

Considering all your I'm-so-educated name dropping, you can't capitalise worth shit.

Re:FUCK off (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730559)

First, I do support the right of entertainers to engage in language and activities of questionable value. Musicians,comedians, actors, Matt & Trey, etc, all engage in protected speech.

Given that, even though this was a so-called white-on-black thing, I do not think the issue is particularly racial. And I do not think, in the end, Imus was fired for racist remarks, or that the indignation was primarily a result of the racist nature of those remarks. I believe what got Imus fired, and what was shown by the constant repetitions of the clip, and his failed apologies, was that he was fundamentally uncouth and uncivilized, and while such things are entertaining for a while, such uncivilized behavior is often only tolerated for a while.

Let me explain what I mean. It is quite accepted now to make fun of celebrities. We can call a big screen actress a ho, we can say the president couldn't find his office without an aides help, we can say the NBA is bunch of drug laden deadweights. All that is acceptable because these are highly paid highly trained professionals. Their job is to, in some respect, entertain us, and part of that entertainment is being the butt of sometimes very demeaning jokes. Whether we accept it as right or wrong, that is reality.

OTOH, the Rutgers team are not highly paid professionals. They are kids. Many play ball to get an education. They are protected. We don't allow bully's to attack our kids, no matter what. If a person tried to murder a kid who accidently wandered around at night, we would not say, oh well, the kid should not have been out so we will let the kid be murdered, we still protect the kid as best we can. If a young women got up on stage and did something silly, in a dress that was cut too low, and way to short, few of us would tolerate anyone on the radio saying that she looked like she was ready to service the entire theater. It is just not civilized. We tolerate bully's but expect them to pick on celebrities their own size. Not be so cowardly that they need to pick on people who cannot defend themselves.

It seems to me that this is also what happened to prosecutor in the Duke case. He thought he was prosecuting a professional athletic team. He wasn't. He was prosecuting some kids who made a mistake, and hoped to make his name known by attacking them. Like Imus, It was only a matte of class and race in that he was using those factors to further his career. It was true that these kids in their delusions, like so many other student athletes, thought they were pros, and though they could handle being treated like the pros, but that was clearly not true. They were kids, doing what kids do. They should not have been treated like some mutli million dollar athlete who is paid to know better. As a result, the prosecutor's career might be at an end. Like Imus this is how it should be. Because next time it will be the paparazzi sneaking into the girls locker room of the high school, claiming that their pics are protected speech.

One last thing. Your last line illustrates why most rap music and comedies are so much less offensive. In general, the lyrics are telling a story of hurt, or are directed at a specific, equal, and known adversary. They are seldom directed at a random specific person. I know of no rap song that attacks a college athletic team. I know of no rap song that says, hey, you Mary, who I just picked out the phone book, is bitch because you won't sleep with me. About as bad as it gets is the denigration of the person we see in the street, which is bad, but at least names are not named.

Not that the purpose is to justify, just to say that I fully support uncivilized person being removed from the public grandstand. Imus may, if he wishes, stand in Manhattan apartment, with his windows open, and scream down to the street all the insults he wishes. Though i do imagine that his neighbors will sue him for uncivilized behavior.

Please Explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730015)

For the three people left on the planet who aren't familiar with USA slang, what was racist about those remarks? "Nappy Headed Hos" The WSJ assumes we know.

Re:Please Explain (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730045)

'nappy headed' = black person. 'ho' = prostitute.

Re:Please Explain (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730125)

Nappy-headed [wikipedia.org] hoe [wikipedia.org] .

It was "racist" because Imus is white and he called black people hoes.

I don't like Imus, but I HATE the PC movement (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730099)

As much as I dislike Imus for his inability to speak (he's sort of like the DJ version of Bob Dylan) and the unimaginativeness of his show, I can't help but feel for the guy here. I don't think he exercised the greatest judgement in the statement he made, but you know what? Who gives a crap? People open mouth and insert foot every day. Honestly, he's probably said a lot worse things with a lot fewer negative repercussions. I think they're hanging the guy for what's really a non-issue.

So some girls at Rutgers got their feelings hurt. I hate to tell them, but it's not going to be the last time in their lives that happens. In the grand scheme of things? If this is the worst insult they ever have had in their short lives, and if this is the worst insult they ever get... they're going to be the luckiest people on earth. I was called worse by the time I was six.

If only the politically correct crowd would wake up and realize how offensive THEY are. Using the "correct" terminology doesn't make you not a racist. When you start thinking of euphemisms that are "appropriate" to use for every race, class, gender, disability, or quirk real or imagined, you're spending waay too much time categorizing and much less time seeing the person as a whole.

Re:I don't like Imus, but I HATE the PC movement (1)

xs650 (741277) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730243)

"So some girls at Rutgers got their feelings hurt. I hate to tell them, but it's not going to be the last time in their lives that happens. In the grand scheme of things? If this is the worst insult they ever have had in their short lives, and if this is the worst insult they ever get... they're going to be the luckiest people on earth. I was called worse by the time I was six."

I wonder if those young ladies are thinking about the fact that Imus used his shows as a platform to raise millions of dollars for charities each year, something he is unlikely to be able to do 10% as well now. I realize they didn't personally can him, but their over reacting playing the victim role was a major contributor to the old crackers demise.

As others have said, Imus has a record of being crude and mean spirited, it's that long record of being allowed to get away with it by the networks as long as it was bringing money in that makes firing him now look absurd. The initial two week suspensions, some public humiliation and apologies along with some well defined standards for future shows would have been more than enough.

I personally think Imus is a horses ass, but he did a lot of good work.

 

Al Sharpton (1, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730111)

An open letter to Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton, you are idiot, a stupid clown who deserves to be called by the title n****r. Oh and incase you were wondering it has nothing to do with the color of your skin, the characteristics of your hair or anything else superficial like that. It has everything to do with your repeated demonstration of idiocy. Most people are able to grasp simple civics lessons. Most public figurers are over the course of decades able to figure out how the American system works.

This is America Al, the country where people have a right to express ideas whether they are popular or not, I agree Imus made an unfair generalization. I bet most people agree with that. The thing is he as a write to express his thoughts. You and the rest of this nation have the responsibility to evaluate them and dismiss them if you find them to be without merit.

Tell me Al, why is it that you are allowed to run your mouth but other people can't? I am sure that the people Imus was referring too had their feeling hurt. What about when you say awful things. Like when you and Jackson accused him of intentionally flooding New Orleans. That would be a monstrous crime. As hated as he is by so many he is not a monster and with no real evidence that is a horrible thing to say. What about his feelings, why do you have a write to hurt people when nobody else does?

You have made many baseless charges against a political party I associate myself with thought the years. Often you accuse us of being bigoted racist oppressors. The fact is most of us are not. I consider it a hurtful and unfair generalization. I don't personally feel any less insulted by it then I suppose the girls Imus was talking about might feel about what he said. Still I am not out there trying to stop you from spreading your lies. I am not trying to take your mike away. I don't go out and protest loudly for news agencies to stop carrying your hate filled sound bytes.

When confronted with your lies I respond calmly and intelligently to them. I work to convince people of their false hood by my own actions and presentation of concrete examples from history showing them to be wrong. Above all I respect peoples freedom to say and think whatever they like.

Go ahead and continue to make my case;

Re:Al Sharpton (1, Offtopic)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730155)

youre failing to grasp the subtle difference between lobbing accusations and making direct and thoughtless ad hominems.

additionally, the charges were not baseless regarding katrina.
politicians actually DID neglect the levee system, the safety protocols, and dragged their feet in responding after the fact.
the only major difference that can be gleaned between the areas worst hit by katrina and those worst hit by other major hurricanes in places like south florida is the skin color of the majority of the residents.

to this day the new orleans black community remains thoroughly gutted because of the inadequate response.

Re:Al Sharpton (2, Informative)

mppm (898502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730287)

I, for one, welcome our new free speech overlords, Jesse 'hymietown' Jackson and Al "Tawana Brawley" Sharpton.

Re:Al Sharpton (1)

ultimad (879139) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730453)

I wanted to post this Open Letter on Wikipedia's Al Sharpton's page, so that it will be reached to dogs.. er! watchdogs. But, Damn those kids. They already started vandalizing that page and Wiki says editing that page is disabled untill Apr24.

Re:Al Sharpton (2, Informative)

reset_button (903303) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730569)

Nice coincidence that at the same time they speak out against Imus, the Duke lacrosse team is found innocent. Sharpton defended her, and Jackson gave her a scholarship. There was no evidence to point to their guilt, and they obviously made their claims of guilt based on skin color.

P.S. Nice touch firing him on the day of his annual fund raiser for sick children. If you want to donate despite the cancellation of the radiothon, you can call 877-877-6464, or donate online here [blackbaud.com] . This information was provided by the Opie and Anthony radio show, which I happened to catch that morning.

Disturbing (2, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730119)

Not that I am a fan of Imus nor am I defending him. But I am very much disturbed that a paid blogger hounded Imus and "created" this much outrage. This does not bode well for the net, the on line communities. How many in the blogosphere are really saying what they believe in? How many are paid spouting off the views of their paymasters? How many such paid hatchet people are creating multiple handles and ids to inflate the numbers, so to speak? I hope every true, not paid posters in /. would come to see this blogger as a threat, unless, of course, he has stated and disclosed clearly he was paid to blog.

Free speech or hate speech? (3, Insightful)

MechaBlue (1068636) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730127)

Is freedom of speech the ability to say whatever I want, wherever and whenever I want, to whomever I want, in a private or public venue, without justification or repercussion? Or is freedom of speech about the ability to advance unpopular ideas, particularly those that are critical of powerful bodies, such as the government.

The man makes a racist comment on a syndicated talk show and someone heard it. No shock there. This person was recording the show and passed on portions that were of interest to other people. Like Slashdot, Digg, and other information aggregators and disseminators. People took particular offense to the issue which, given a long history of slavery, segregation, and discrimination didn't sit too well. Then the invisible hand of the free market came down upon the companies that were making millions from this talk show and said that it was completely unacceptable. Rather than lose more money, the companies cut their losses.

A few casually racist words on the air may not seem like much but it does imply that racism is okay. It reinforces the idea in the minds of the public and it tacitly condones actions like this: http://www.texasnaacp.org/jasper.htm [texasnaacp.org] .

Brewer testified Berry then pulled a logging chain out of his truck bed and tied it to Byrd's limp body.

"I said personally, 'You're not going to drag this man like you did that mailbox?'" Brewer said. "And he said, 'I know where we're taking him.'"

Berry backed up over Byrd's body, then drove along the dark roads.

"I told Shawn again, 'Pull over and take the man off ' the chain, Brewer testified. "He said, 'We're almost there. Don't worry.'"

They stopped in front of a predominantly black church, where the remainders of Byrd's body were left.

The Youtube (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730133)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RF9BjB7Bzr0 [youtube.com]

See what you think. As always, context is everything.

Re:The Youtube (2, Insightful)

TwoUtes (1075403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730309)

Yep, context is everything. Calling one group of predominantly black women cute is far less newsworthy than calling another group of predominantly black women nappy headed ho's.
Once again, we the people have allowed Sharpton, Jackson, et. al. to ruin someone for mere words.
Remember "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me"?

Oh (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730217)

> 'At 6:14 a.m. on Wednesday, April 4, relatively few people were tuned into the
> "Imus in the Morning Show" ... Ryan Chiachiere was. A 26-year-old researcher in
> Washington, D.C., for liberal watchdog organization Media Matters for America,
> he was assigned to monitor Mr. Imus's program. Mr. Chiachiere clipped the video,
> alerted his bosses and started working on a blog post for the organization's Web
> site.' The article breaks down how that viral video clip and word of mouth outrage
> reached the ears of the presidents of CBS and MSNBC, ultimately leading to Imus' dismissal."

Ummmm, hooray?

So, how does your own medicine taste? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730229)

After the radical and rabid years of the forceful rigging of every media by the Moral Watchdogs of the Right, "Focus on the Family" et al., stomping everything that doesn't match their party rhetoric into the dirt, savaging the freedom of speech for decades, getting not just individuals fired but whole companies shut down, one, single, solitary Rightie Radio host steps down when he was obviously a few weeks from retirement anyway, and oh-how-you-all-yell now at the injustice.

Color you blue.

Yes, mob rage obliterating free speech *is* a bad thing. Good point. We'll remind you of that when the wholesale slaughter of the free media which you happen not to agree with continues tomorrow.

There's a framing alignment issue here (4, Insightful)

Spirald (9569) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730237)

I'm hearing a lot about this story from the perspective of Imus being singled out for saying "nappy headed ho", whereas others (insert random Hip Hop artist here) are not "fired" for saying similar things. This meme appears to be diverting much attention and energy from the both the actual cause of the outrage, and, conveniently for those politicians concerned, from an steaming pile of accumulating scandals in the US executive branch.

IMHO, the actual cause of the outrage is that Imus made an unprovoked derogatory slur on national media against a -specific- group of women, simply because they were female and black. This was basically a public sucker punch against an innocent group of actual, real life young women with parents, relatives and friends.

Can anyone here reasonably say that if a popular, well known personality, on national TV and radio, called your wife or daughter or good friend a (insert race specific stereotype) (insert culture specific derogatory slang for whore), you wouldn't want to defend them at least by complaining to their employer? What if this crap was directed against your team, business, or place of worship?

Somehow this is getting played into making folks look like they're supporting censorship, and it appears to be some sort of insidious dividing tactic that splits folks into the false dichotomy of "if you don't support commercialized hate speech, you support big brother censorship". Man, we are so getting played here.

Re:There's a framing alignment issue here (2, Insightful)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730331)

I wouldn't. I'd laugh, probably agree with them as I knew it was in jest, or even if it wasn't responding as if it was in jest is how you kill the insult at it's roots. I'd call the person an asshole or something similar, and leave it at that. There used to be a saying back when I was little (20 in a month) and it was around long before me, it goes something like this:
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.

There's a little more to it than that... (2, Informative)

Shifty Jim (862102) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730323)

The article breaks down how that viral video clip and word of mouth outrage reached the ears of the presidents of CBS and MSNBC, ultimately leading to Imus' dismissal.

The word of mouth outrage reached the ears of mainstream media, which in turn spread to the ears of the average American, which in turn made MSNBC and CBS's advertisers, which lead to them pulling their ad dollars from both networks, which in turn lead to a loss of revenue, which at this point the problem finally reached the ears of the presidents of CBS and MSNBC.

See? Simple.

The really scary aspect of this. (4, Insightful)

joedoc (441972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730393)

When conservatives raised hell in 2004 regarding Ted Rall's racist depiction of Condoleezza Rice in one of his cartoons [gocomics.com] , the reaction was curious. The issue was largely ignored by most of the media, and the conservative commentators, websites and blogs that did rail against it were pretty much told to just shut up. Rall's cartoons are still carried by his syndicate and many newspapers.

Someone posted comments earlier about the alleged irony that a "liberal watchdog group" pulled the trigger on the Imus fiasco. But the real scary thing is the working of one sentence in the story:

A 26-year-old researcher in Washington, D.C., for liberal watchdog organization Media Matters for America, he was assigned to monitor Mr. Imus's program.

Wow. "...assigned to monitor Mr. Imus..."

Now, since my liberal friends and foes are always screaming about the alleged erosion of their constitutional rights, and some believe it's necessary to make specious claims, such as comparing George Bush and Hitler, doesn't it concern anyone that this "liberal media group" is "assigning" their staff to "monitor" radio personalities? Do you not have a picture of a room full of people, hunched over their desks with headsets on, pen in hand, jotting down any comments they perceive to be offensive to someone? Then reporting to some self-proclaimed arbiter of political and social correctness for action?

I have to wonder what else they plan to "monitor" if their like-minded compatriots ever regain full political power.

2 Australian "race-hatred" cases - past & pres (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18730409)

So, there's a popular (weekend or Sunday mordning) host on ABC's Radio National
- Ian Macnamara (sp?), a.k.a. "Macca" by nam- still on the air... long after play-
ing & aparently praising a song deemed to encourage race-hatred (in this case,
against Australian Aboriginal people, who are described in the song simply as
"Men without shoes"... The song asks "What do we do with these men without shoes,
and later suggests shooting them... as - historically - happened to indigenous
people in the Australian state of Tasmania... The song hadn't actually been re-
leased in commercial form, but was played from a broadcaster's "cart[ridge]"...
which Macca was reportedly sent from the group who recorded it, possibly in
Queensland...?)

In the above (past) case, the host ("Macca") was reportedly "given training on
the inappropriateness of his playing that kind of song on-air... but he's been
going on-air ever since; and Australian ABC continues to publish his books...
while Australia continues to "peddle" them from their post offices, across the
country...

More recently, a well-known local (to Sydney) "talk jock" of a radio host was
deemed to have helped call for people to go to Crenella, and participate, vio-
lently, in the Crenella Riots, in recent memory.

Both the "talk jock" and his radio station have been held responsible for the
race-hatred calls broadcast by the "'jock"... we'll see if anything, by way of
punishment, ever comes to either of the [legally] responsible parties.

(We got station tapes of Macca's praise for the racist song he chose to play
on-air, and the media has brought to light parts of the racist words in the
more recent case...)

So far, AFAIK, no one has resigned or been taken off-air in either case...

Doesn't make sense (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730525)

Imus has been labled as a "Shock Jock" for years. He and Stern have made a living off of trying to piss off/offend as many as possible, that's their job! So he fires up the wrong group and gets fired? So many people have gotten so over sensitive about everything nobody can tell a joke without getting in trouble. Face it in the U.S. these days white men are the only group your alowed to make fun of without getting stomped. This whole dishonest Politicaly Correct thing has gotten ridiculous. Maybe most folks need to quit taking themselves so seriously?

The irony is... (3, Interesting)

Ogemaniac (841129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18730601)

MSNBC, CBS, and any companies which pubically backed out of advertising on his show before it was cancelled are now on my personal list of companies with whom I will not associate with. And yes, I have written them letters and hope they get the message that giving into PC whiners will cost them business as well.

Barring something really important, I will not watch MSNBC or CBS for six months. Lesser punishments have been dealt to P&G, Sprint, GM, and Staples. I am sure there were more but those are the ones I saw somewhere.

Sure, Imus is a loud-mouth idiot who says all sorts of ridiculous things. He offends just about everybody at some point. I am so sick of certain communities screaming bloody murder when THEY are offended that I now WANT them to be offended as often and thoroughly as possible. They need to learn to get over it.
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