Good Friday, April 6, 2007, radio personality Don Imus got up and went to work as he has done most business days since 1978 and performed the same radio show he has always performed: one that appeals to a lower common denominator than Rush Limbaugh, but still this side of Howard Stern. The content was not remarkably different than past shows, including faux-provocative statements and attempts at humor, usually at the expense of some focused group (read: minority). Imus has been allowed and enabled by his handlers (read: CBS and MSNBC) to say whatever he pleased without impunity. Imus grew intellectually fat and complacent in his cozy womb of network protection, never noticing that the times they are a-changin’.
I am perfectly sure that Imus made his unkind remark about the Rutgers’s Women’s Basketball team without even a fleeting second thought and in the same vein that he often referred to his own New York Knicks as “carjacker’s in shorts,” a comment no less racist but directed at a much less sympathetic target. And necessisarily, Don Imus was sacrificed, because that is what was called for and the public was to have no less than is head on a platter. I cry no tears for the silly so-and-so. He has had it coming for years. But in Clint Eastwood’s immortal words in his movie Unforgiven, “..we all got it coming to us, kid.”
Imus is not a cause; he is a symptom of a much bigger cultural problem, and I don’t mean the one Fox News or CNN is fighting. Follow the money and it will lead to the source.
© Copyright, C. Michael Bailey, 2007