Saturday, April 14, 2007

Three more things on Imus 

Three little-noted aspects of the Imus story, before it fades completely into last week's news:
First, as illustrated by this Americablog post, instead of the supposedly liberal Imus being defended by liberals, the liberal bloggers were some of the first voices criticizing what he said and pointing out that racism and sexism were long-standing problems on his show.
Second, in spite of that, it was not the bloggers who were organizing the sponsor boycott and show cancellation. From my reading of the liberal blogs, the general opinion was that while Imus SHOULD be fired, they didn't ever think he actually would be -- they thought Imus was too powerful and well-entrenched for such a thing would ever happen.
They thought the story would just degenerate into another "I know you are but what am I" talkfest blather where Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and rap musicians and Hilary Clinton end up on the receiving end because of what THEY said or didn't say or didn't say soon enough or said too soon or too quietly or too loudly or whatever, rather than focusing on what Imus said.
This time, it was the sponsors, and the CBS board, and the MSNBC employees who apparently stepped up to the plate and cut through all the BS and said "Enough! There's a limit and we've finally reached it!"
Third, the Imus firing sends a pretty clear message to the media. Listening on Friday morning to our own talk-radio host, I got the distinct impression that there was a cool breeze blowing on the back of his neck. Not that our guy is a shock-jock racist blowhard, but I think he had said to himself "If even Imus can get fired, then maybe I'd better make damned sure my brain is in gear before I open my mouth."

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