Imus in the Mourning

I know. The normally crack staff here at Ketchup Is A Vegetable is sorely belaboring the Imus incident. We can’t help it. We’re a big fat radio nerd.

I do want to clarify the position I took previously upon first absorbing this information. The lede in that opinion piece should be tethered a bit, to say that Don Imus is not ONLY a racist; he’s ALSO a mysoginist. I do not for a moment truly believe that there was no racial element to Imus’, um, how you say, boner? Of course there was. But I don’t think that’s what motivated him to speak. Look at what the subject of his sentence was, then look at its modifier. I think the modifier in this case has got more attention than the subject, and I don’t happen to think that’s as ought.

But I did want to append what I wrote before, though I know I’m often shouting into air in this little space: Don Imus has spent the last decade or so running hard to create himself into a Frankenstein, half Stern, half Rev. Hargis, half Tim Russert. The reason Imus matters is because of the hybrid he’d become. If you’d have gotten upset to have heard Russert say this thing, then you should consider this infraction similarly. Imus regularly spoke to lawmakers and journalists, and from his perch in Secaucus had inexplicably turned himself into somewhat of a shaper of opinion. As such, anyone who says Imus didn’t matter and that this comment was superfluous either just doesn’t care or just remembers Imus as that wacky D.J. who ordered all those hamburgers.

But there is a new message going forth these days, one we heard in Virginia last mid-term, and one ringing from the MSNBC and CBS studios today: You are no longer allowed to hold national power, via media or elected political office, if it becomes clear that you basely despise a group of human beings based upon race or gender. This is a good thing. It is a good idea. It is good in government, and it is good for our country.

Unfortunately, it’s just talk. And talk is nothing while D.C. doesn’t get to vote, and while the prison population in the United States is so hopelessly out-of-wack, and while there’s still a stupid clueless white guy who had a career on the radio for 30 years and still never figured out that “But I have lots of black friends” still doesn’t help and that “you people” just digs you in way deeper.

That shade of crayon is no longer called “flesh,” you lizard-faced moron. And you do not get to call those young women by that name today and then interview John McCain tomorrow. No, no, no, no, no. 

Have a wonderful retirement, Don Imus. 


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