Don Imus is the host of a RADIO PROGRAM named "Imus in the Morning."
To read the coverage of his latest head-on collision with good taste you would think he was the Secretary-General of the United Nations or a candidate for President of the United States.
He hosts a RADIO PROGRAM!
And he said something abysmally stupid last week about the women of the Rutgers women's basketball team.
MEMO TO ALL WHO WRITE (or aspire to write) EDGY COMMENTARY:
Don't pick on people who can't fight back.
Playing the "race card" has become a full-time occupation for professional Angst-Agitators like Jesse "Get Me a First Class Ticket to Hymietown" Jackson and Al "Tawana, Who?" Sharpton who are always looking for an opportunity to generate media attention (read income) for themselves in the guise of standing up for the people who can't stand up for themselves.
At the same time the Imus RADIO PROGRAM was making front page news in Washington and New York, the charges were dropped against the three Duke University Lacrosse players who had been charged with raping an exotic dancer.
Both Sharpton and Jackson were early pilers-on to the "Poor Black Woman Being Shamed by Rich White Boys" aspects to the case. As were the University administration and faculty.
In fact, Jackson offered to pay the tuition for the woman who accused the Duke students "and the offer stands even if it turns out she fabricated her story," according to a report credited to the Associated Press by radio station WRAL at the time.
Someone ought to call Jackson to see where he's been sending those tuition checks.
Someone else ought to check when Duke University will be issuing official apologies to the students.
Al Roker, who has long been known as a risk-taker by being the Today Show's weatherman and the of host the Food Network's "Roker on the Road" program, called for Imus to be fired.
A press release from the Santa Maria, California Chamber of Commerce crows about a local BBQ restaurant being featured on a "Roker on the Road" segment.
There is a line in the release which states (and I am not making this up):
"Al Roker was not on site during the filming, but will introduce the episode during the show."
Imus has raised over $40 million for various charities. Roker does voice-overs for the Food Network.
I think that about makes them about even, don't you?
MSNBC dropped the TV simulcast of the Imus RADIO PROGRAM on Wednesday. CBS which owns the host station in NY as well as Westwood One, which syndicated the program, followed suit Thursday afternoon.
That's fine with me. Business is business. If NBC and CBS believe that taking Imus on the air will cost them too much in advertising revenue and good-will, they should fire him.
I also didn't have a problem with US radio stations refusing to play Dixie Chicks' music - or country music fans refusing to pay to see them in person - after they 'dissed President Bush at a concert in England.
Imus, by the way, played Dixie Chicks' songs on his RADIO PROGRAM when many others would not. That was Imus' right. I exercised my right by switching to one of the sports stations whenever he did that.
Don Imus, and his posse, will not be out of work for more than a couple of weeks. Satellite radio companies Sirius and XM are in merger talks. The CEO of the combined group is likely to be a guy named Mel Karmazin. Karmazin and Imus go back a long way. Imus will be the "next big thing" in satellite radio when he is hired by Karmazin.
I wouldn't buy a satellite radio receiver to listen to Howard Stern and Nationals Baseball games when they (and I) am out of town; but I might if I can listen to Imus and the Nats.
Final thought on all this: The Rutgers Women's Basketball team is, paradoxically, the big winner. Everyone will remember them as the runners-up in the 2007 Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament.
Who remembers the 2006 runner-up in the Women's tournament? Anyone?
It was … Duke.
"On a the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to an early Jesse Jackson commentary on the Duke situation, to an interview between Al Sharpton and Bill O'Reilly; and an explanation of the "Hymietown" and "Tawana" lines. Also a link to the final bracket from the 2006 Women's NCAA Tournament. A sad Mullfoto story and a Catchy Caption of the Day.