"I remember when I was a child, being taken to the celebrated Barnum's Circus, which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities, but the exhibit on the program which I most desired to see was the one described as 'The Boneless Wonder.' My parents judged that the spectacle would be too demoralizing and revolting for my youthful eye, and I have waited 50 years to see The Boneless Wonder sitting on the Treasury Bench."
And guess what public figure was constantly accused of making "outrageous" remarks, trading in "insults, trashings and character assassinations"? Of what public figure was it asked: "Who can examine this record of insults and say that here is a man of class?"
That's right: Ronald Reagan. Those particular quotes are from Washington Post columnists Richard Cohen and Colman McCarthy.
Was Reagan "nice" to the Soviets? They certainly didn't think so. The Soviets constantly denounced Reagan as "rude," and our dear friends at the BBC upbraided Reagan for his "rude attacks" on Fidel Castro, Nicaragua and the Soviet Union. Post columnist McCarthy indignantly charged that Reagan had "put down an entire nation -- the Soviet Union -- by calling it 'the focus of evil in the nuclear world.'"
Oh dear! Reagan wasn't "nice." No wonder he never accomplished anything.
One more item for the delusional Miss Grundys still obtusely citing Reagan as their model of "niceness": As governor of California, Reagan gave student protesters at Berkeley the finger. Remember that next time you ask yourself: "What would Reagan do?"
People who are afraid of ideas whitewash Reagan like they whitewash Jesus. Sorry to break it to you, but the Reagan era did not consist of eight years of Reagan joking about his naps.
The reason people don't like what Imus said was because the women on the Rutgers basketball team aren't engaged in public discourse. They're not public figures, they don't have a forum, they aren't trying to influence public policy.
They play basketball -- quite well, apparently -- and did nothing to bring on an attack on their looks or character. It's not the words Imus used: It would be just as bad if he had simply said the Rutgers women were ugly and loose.
People claim to object to the words alone, but that's because everyone is trying to fit this incident into a PC worldview. It's like girls who say, "It's not that you cheated on me; it's that you lied about it." No -- it's that you cheated.
If Imus had called me a "towheaded ho" or Al Sharpton a "nappy-headed ho," it would be what's known as "funny." (And if he called Anna Nicole Smith a "flaxen-headed ho," it would be "absolutely accurate.") But he attacked the looks and morals of utterly innocent women, who had done nothing to inject themselves into public debate.
Imus should apologize to the Rutgers women -- and those women alone -- send them flowers, and stop kissing Al Sharpton's ring.
This wasn't an insult to all mankind, and certainly not an insult to Al Sharpton. Now, if Imus had called the basketball players "fat, race-baiting black men with clownish hairstyles," well, then perhaps Sharpton would be owed an apology.