Friday, April 13, 2007

Imus: What Took So Long? Why Just Imus?

Don Imus' comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team was both racist and sexist. And frankly, shocking to me.

I live in a conservative enclave of southern Ohio. Several years back, we did a demographic study of the area within a five mile radius of our church building and found it to be 98.2% white. But I can't imagine any of my acquaintances or friends around here making comments like those Imus made from a New York City radio studio a few days ago.

Imus got the axe because his tasteless comments finally registered "objectionable" in the financial marketplace and in the marketplace of ideas. He was voicing a morally despicable notion that, finally, in the twenty-first century, could not be accepted by the public. That's good.

But I have two questions:
  • What took so long? AND
  • Only Imus?
Imus has been an equal opportunity dispenser of hate for some time now. Back in May, 2005, I asked Is Don Imus' Fifteen Minutes Up? The immediate occasion for that post was his assault on MSNBC news reader Contessa Brewer. But I also recalled his Clinton-era appearance at the White House press corps dinner in which he spoke nastily about Bill and Hillary Clinton's personal life. I wrote that, as of that moment:
...the high and mighty Washington elite [still] bow and scrape to him, apparently deeming his classlessness to be hip or something. Isn't it time the guy got the axe?
But to me a deeper issue than what happens to Don Imus, deeper even than the racism and sexism reflected in his most recent comments, is the nastiness he and a number of others have been allowed to spew for so many years now.

Imus is gone. But there are many supposed entertainers, artists, and satirists left in music, talk radio, television, movies, and video game production who are making big money through nastiness. They promote a culture of physical, psychological, and emotional violence that disdains the humanity of groups and individuals. They coarsen our culture, degrade our discourse, and balkanize us all. These folks have every right to spew their junk. But the rest of us also have the right to turn them off, tune them out, and ask Big Media to deprive them of their platforms and any income derived from their invective.

Satire is a legitimate thing. Putting down self-absorbed power mongers in politics, business, or the arts is a necessary step in improving our common life. Satire can also puncture the inanities of current fads and social conventions, also useful.

Imus was, questionably, seen as a satirist. But Imus and others have used their media platforms not to satirize or even entertain, but to vent hate and stereotyping against whoever they want to pick on.

Don Imus is off the air because advertisers and an aroused public said, "Enough!"

When will we say the same thing about the Michael Savages, Snoop Doggs, Rosie O'Donnells, the creators of games like Grand Theft Auto, and others who, each in their own ways, use hatred and disdain of others as part of their schtick?

[See here, here, and here.]

[UPDATE: Moanna asks if my reason for including Rosie O'Donnell on her list is attributable to my listening "to those those who misquote her as she speaks out for the right of all Americans to question their government and make choices in their lives."

I respond:
No, Moanna, I include Rosie O'Donnell in that list of media hate mongers because of her racist stereotyping of orientals and her hateful lumping of Christians with radical Islamic-based terrorists.

To poke fun of [sic] Chinese people on national television with the "ching chong" stereotyping of past generations or to say that all Christians--who account for much, if not most, of the charitable giving and serving in the world today and are so involved because of Christ's call to love their neighbors as they love themselves--represent the same sort of threat to the world as that of Osama bin Laden is not only factually inaccurate, it's hateful.

That's why I include Rosie O'Donnell in that list of haters.

On the Christian front: Perhaps O'Donnell was exposed to a form of Christian faith that was all about rules and nothing about grace. I'm sorry for that and would love to acquaint her with the God revealed in the Bible. But before she spews hatred, she ought to know what she's talking about.

Thanks for your question and for reading the blog.

God bless you!

Mark Daniels
[THANKS TO: About.com's phantom Conservative Politics: US editor for linking to this post.]

3 comments:

Moanna said...

Why did you dump Rosie O'Donnell in with the hate mongers? You may be listening to those those who misquote her as she speaks out for the right of all Americans to question their government and make choices in their lives.

Mark Daniels said...

No, Moanna, I include Rosie O'Donnell in that list of media hate mongers because of her racist stereotyping of orientals and her hateful lumping of Christians with radical Islamic-based terrorists.

To poke fun of Chinese people on national television with the "ching chong" stereotyping of past generations or to say that all Christians--who account for much, if not most, of the charitable giving and serving in the world today and are so involved because of Christ's call to love their neighbors as they love themselves--represent the same sort of threat to the world as that of Osama bin Laden is not only factually inaccurate, it's hateful.

That's why I include Rosie O'Donnell in that list of haters.

On the Christian front: Perhaps O'Donnell was exposed to a form of Christian faith that was all about rules and nothing about grace. I'm sorry for that and would love to acquaint her with the God revealed in the Bible. But before she spews hatred, she ought to know what she's talking about.

Thanks for your question and for reading the blog.

God bless you!

Mark Daniels

Deborah said...

LOL...Susan Heathfield is not a phantom. She is pitching in as guest blogger at About.com's
Guide to Conservative Politics until a new, permanent one is found by management.

Susan is the Guide to Human Resources. Hers is an OUTSTANDING site, by the way.

About.com (correctly) believes that one person can't adequately be the editor/guide of two different sites. Otherwise, Susan would likely be their choice.

Susan's is an impassioned, midwest voice of moderate conservatism with a libertarian tinge. She is not a member of the religious right.

She has guest-blogged at Conservative Politics before. Then, and now, we enjoy bantering between the two partisan sites.