Political correctness rides again

NBC’s decision to suspend Don Imus is yet another nail in the coffin of free speech, hipness and edgy humor.

Imus, like other shock jocks, rose to fame and fortune because he was willing to say and do what others wouldn’t. What set Imus apart, however, was his intellectual bent, his politically incorrect view on life and his A-level guest list. For me, Imus was the thinking man’s Howard Stern.

Now, though, Imus has been shut down for a fortnight because of a racially insensitive slur. As Imus was quick to point out, he’s offended every possible race, religion and creed. Yet, this time, he apparently went too far.

I don’t condone his bizarre ways, but I do support Imus in his free-thinking and free speech. Political correctness may have won with the Imus suspension. But, we all lose when a true original like the I-man is shut down.

I hope advertisers don’t follow NBCs lead and pull their spots from the I-man’s show. After all, he was merely living up to an image and reputation he’d carefully crafted for years.

Here’s hoping the I-man rests up and comes back from his forced hiatus bigger and badder than ever.

16 thoughts on “Political correctness rides again

  1. Rep- funny enough, I agree with your basic thought on this one. Imus makes a comment and get blasted yet rappers say the same thing and win awards.
    On the raindog thing- I assure you that isn’t me…
    But, the rainman has a point that often when you are questioned, you just “bridge back” to some other point.

  2. You refuse to engage my argument, and you’ve proven my point. We’re done here.

  3. Raindog, you’re starting to sound a little like a certain medical supplies executive I know. The point of my blog was to point out the power and unfairness of the PC police. I don’t think you’ve answered my question: why has one set of racially-insensitive comments trumped others that are far worse and more damaging? Imus has always shot from the hip and been an equal opportunity employer when it came to saying outrageous things. The Imus “trial” is almost identical to the rush to judgment we saw in Durham with the Duke lacrosse players.

  4. You assume too much; how do you know they’re not? I choose not to listen to them, just as I choose not to listen to Imus.
    You still haven’t answered my question but, then again, I didn’t expect you to.

  5. Ouch Raindog. Your anger levels remind me of those who are attacking Imus as we speak. Calling Imus and his comments “anachronistic” is absurd considering most Rap and Hip-Hop lyrics contain words and phrases that are far, far worse. Why aren’t Rappers who sell millions of records being attacked by you, Raindog? Why the double standard? I’m curious to understand your logic.

  6. Absolutely not. Imus is being pilloried for being an anachronism, an antique relic from what ought to be a distant past in which a certain segment of American society could listen to Jim Crow racist sentiment straight out of Birth of a Nation broadcast over the public air and think it funny without being called out for what they are.
    I’m no fan of Sharpton’s and I make no claim to his defense. As another saying goes, I wouldn’t piss on him if he were on fire. But the mere fact of his involvement in this case does nothing to remove Imus’ culpability for his remarks — as I’ve said above, it’s an irrelevant red herring. Check your logic — the enemy of my enemy doesn’t have to be my friend.
    A hypothetical for you: what would you think of Imus’ comments if Sharpton hadn’t been the one to bring them to the fore — if it had instead been, for instance, the Dean of Rutgers University who started the rock rolling down the hill? Would you still be defending him?
    What you ought to be writing about is the fact that Imus is now reputation poison. Advertisers are fleeing, and in a political season such as this no candidate is going to come anywhere near him. Looks like the would-be kingmaker’s lost his mojo and, one hopes, his show.

  7. What you’re missing Raindog is the double standard in our society. Why is a guy like Imus being pilloried when others like Sharpton are given license to say and do what they want without repurcussions? Has Sharpton ‘measured up’ in your mind?

  8. My views on Sharpton (which, I take it, are likely to be very similar to yours) are completely unrelated and irrelevant to the ones I harbor toward Don Imus. As the saying goes, even a broken clock’s right twice a day.

  9. Raindog: And what are your views of Rev. Sharpton and his opportunistic ways? Does he not deserve at least as much scorn? If not, google Tawana Brawley and get back to me.

  10. “After all, he was merely living up to an image and reputation he’d carefully crafted for years. ”
    This is a carefully crafted line of inane bullshit. Imus is an asshole who’s now going to reap what he’s sown. Richly deserved.

  11. I really like I-man, and, while disappointed in his remarks, will remain a fan. But Gwen Ifill’s op-ed in today’s Times really reminded me that we often lose sight of how an off-the-cuff remark aimed at getting a laugh can really make someone feel bad. Net-net, the incident might make me a little more mindful of putting people’s feelings ahead of trying to be funny.

  12. Imus is being put on trial by Al Sharpton,
    who has done little to stop the influence
    of rap music and how it shapes the speech
    and attitude of its listeners. Targets like
    Imus are fair game now, he’s white and he
    stuck both feet in his mouth with a comment
    set in a comedy context. Bad timing. He is
    also a seasoned on-air personality so the
    mike is always on. You can build a hundred
    bridges but fuck one little sheep and what
    do they remember? I think there is enough
    momentum building and Imus will eventually
    have to surrender his spurs. Sad but that
    is where politically correct has forced us.
    A world where Al Sharpton is calling the
    shots is a scary thought.

  13. Benjamin Franklin said something to the effect that a reputation is something we build piece by piece and year by year, yet can be undone in one fell swoop. Sadly, it doesn’t matter how many positive things the I-man has done over the years. The PC police are like a pack of angry wolves and they smell blood.

  14. Don Imus did a stupid thing…he has acknowledged his error…I think his suspension was just punishment for his mistake. But what about Al Sharpton…what penalty did he pay for a real crime…as the front man for the racist lies of Tawana Brawley. Don Imus didn’t dream up the language he used…Why doesn’t Al Sharpton come down on Snoop Dogg…Snoop gets paid to say…
    I’m a Bad Boy, wit a lotta ho’s
    Drive my own cars, and wear my own clothes
    I hang out tough, I’m a real Bo$$
    Big Snoop Dogg, yeah he’s so sharp
    On the TV screen and in the magazines
    If you play me close, you’re on a red beam
    Oh you got a gun so you wanna pop back?
    AK47 now nigga, stop that!
    Cement shoes, now I’m on the move
    Your family’s crying, now you on the news
    They can’t find you, and now they miss you
    Must I remind you I’m only here to twist you
    Pistol whip you, dip you then flip you
    Then dance to this motherfucking music we crip to
    Subscribe nigga, get yo issue
    Baby come close, let me see how you get loose!

  15. Bravo RepMan. It is frightening to me to see yet another example of what a double standard there is in our country when it comes to the black-white issue. Rap stars coined this term, and use it not in a comedic setting (as did Imus) but to blatantly demean and degrade black women. And Sharpton has nary a word for them. We are moving backwards, not forwards. Sharpton is a shameless profiteer who has done far more harm than good. His behavior and manipulation over the years has done more to stir things up than Imus’ comment.

  16. What I am curious about is how much “reputational credit” does Imus has. His big defense is that he is a good person and he keeps listing all of the good stuff he does for kids with cancer, etc. How much does that help him in this situation? Is your reputation something you can bank and then draw on when you need it in the future?