Wednesday, April 11, 2007

idiots with microphones

today's current events quiz:
which idiot with a microphone said this:
"i'm not a bad person...i just made a mistake."

a-- opie and anthony [shown here waving at bicyclists] ?

b--don imus [shown here dodging responsibility] ?

c--"rush" limbaugh [shown here with his favorite pick-me-up] ?

d--bill o'reilly [shown here catching a whiff of his own] ?

e--howard stern [shown here thinking his dna matched dannielynn's] ?

unfortunately, my little blogger host won't allow me to post more photos of these vile creatures. it will, however, allow me to post this wonderful article, which is from, and contains a summary of just SOME of the abhorrent things that have come from the mouth of don imus, and creature i have despised since i first became aware of him some years ago. i have never watched an entire show of his; the same can be said of howard stern, opie and whomever, nor any of the other of this ilk, whether shown above or not.

from [thanks, by the way]

The Wit and Wisdom of Don Imus

A guide for Washington's power crowd.

By Timothy NoahPosted Tuesday, April 10, 2007, at 6:59 PM ET

Don Imus' long-standing acceptance by the political establishment is a contemporary illustration of 1940s socialite Perle Mesta's famous advice about how to draw Washington's power set to a soiree: "Hang a lamb chop in the window." Politicians like John McCain and Barack Obama, and famous TV journalists like Tim Russert and Cokie Roberts, are no more standoffish than their predecessors; the only difference is that the lamb chop has been replaced by a microphone. For some years now, the broadcast industry has conducted, via talk radio and reality TV, a series of experiments to gauge precisely how much personal humiliation the species Homo sapiens will consent to endure. The most surprising finding is that even people with constant access to the media will make themselves available to interviewer-comedians like Sacha "Ali G." Baron Cohen or Stephen Colbert*—performers whose sole aim is to get laughs at these celebrities' expense. If there's an outer boundary to what a famous journalist or politician will put up with, science has yet to find it.
In the direct-humiliation department, Imus falls well short of Colbert or Ali G. Imus in the Morning is a variation on the experiment, wherein the belittling is indirect. Here, the research question is how long respectable journalists and politicians will associate themselves with a radio host who spews continual invective based on race, ethnicity, and religion. Without exception, every political and journalistic celebrity who appears on Imus' show is diminished. Yet they keep coming back. Is it because they don't know what Imus says when they aren't around? That's what they tend to claim. "I don't listen to the show," McCain told journalist Philip Nobile in June 2000. In an April 9 appearance, Tom Oliphant told Imus, "Solidarity forever," but later covered his ass by saying, "I don't know beans about hip-hop culture or trash-talking or, what do you call those things where you run on forever? Riffs." One person who can't claim ignorance about Imus is Evan Thomas, who on April 9 told the New York Times' David Carr that it would be "posturing" for him to refuse to go on Imus' show after Imus got dinged for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos." Thomas puffed Imus in a 1999 Newsweek cover profile ("The Ringmaster"). "With his quick takes and sense of the absurd," he wrote, "Imus is the perfect voice for an age that prizes irony over solemnity." The Newsweek piece made only glancing reference to Imus' penchant for uttering racial and ethnic slurs on the air, overlooking, for instance, the shock jock's admission the previous year on CBS News' 60 Minutes that he'd once told a colleague he hired producer Bernard McGuirk to tell "nigger" jokes. ("That was an off-the-record conversation," Imus protested to Mike Wallace.)
In the unlikely event that McCain, Oliphant, and others don't know who they're dealing with, let's review some of Imus' remarks (if you prefer, riffs) from the past. This stuff isn't hard to find. Many thanks to the Web sites Media Matters for America, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting, and (where Nobile tracked Imus' show) for the quotes that appear below.

On blacks:
"William Cohen, the Mandingo deal." (Former Defense Secretary Cohen's wife is African-American.)
"Wasn't in a woodpile, was he?" (Responding to news that former black militant H. Rap Brown, subsequently known as Abdullah Al-Amin, was found hiding in a shed in Alabama after exchanging gunfire with police. Imus is here alluding to the expression "nigger in the woodpile.")
"Knuckle-dragging moron." (Description of basketball player Patrick Ewing.)
"We all have 12-inch penises." (After being asked what he has in common with Nat Turner, Malcolm X, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Latrell Sprewell from the New York Knicks, and Al Sharpton.)
"Chest-thumping pimps." (Description of the New York Knicks.)
"A cleaning lady." (Reference to journalist Gwen Ifill, possibly out of pique that she wouldn't appear on his show. "I certainly don't know any black journalists who will," she wrote in the April 10 New York Times. The Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page used to appear, but after he made Imus pledge not to make offensive comments in the future, he was never asked back.)

On Jews:
"I remember when I first had [the Blind Boys of Alabama] on a few years ago, how the Jewish management at whatever, whoever we work for, CBS, or whatever it is, were bitching at me about it. […] I tried to put it in terms that these money-grubbing bastards could understand."
"Boner-nosed … beanie-wearing Jewboy." (Description of Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, a frequent guest.)

On women:
"That buck-tooth witch Satan, Hillary Clinton." […] "I never admitted it when I went down there and got in all that big jam, insulting Bill Clinton and his fat ugly wife, Satan. Did I? Did I ever say I was sorry for that?"

On Native Americans:
"The guy from F-Troop, Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell." (This is a reference to the zany Indian characters on the 1960s TV sitcom F-Troop. They had names like "Roaring Chicken," "Crazy Cat," and "Chief Wild Eagle.")

On Japanese:
"Old Kabuki's in a coma and the market's going up. […] How old is the boy? The battery's running down on that boy." (Reference to Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, who died the following week.)

On gays:
"I didn't know that Allan Bloom was coming in from the back end." (The homosexuality of the author of The Closing of the American Mind became widely known when Saul Bellow published Ravelstein, a novel whose protagonist was based on Bloom, who by then was deceased.)
"The enormously attractive [NBC political correspondent] Chip Reid, I can say without being accused of being some limp-wristed 'mo."

On the handicapped:
"Janet Reno's having a press conference. Ms. Reno, of course, has Parkinson's disease, has a noticeable tremor. […] I don't know how she gets that lipstick on (laughter) looking like a rodeo clown."
Every one of these statements came directly out of Imus' mouth on his program. That's striking because Imus usually leaves it to other show regulars (especially McGuirk, the aforementioned point man on "nigger" jokes) to say the most offensive stuff, with Imus feeding them straight lines. It's safer that way.

i don't need to subject myself to this crap to know it has no place on television or radio, whether cable or not. my little granddaughter is bi-racial. to my knowledge, she has not yet been subjected to the type of sick, depraved comments spewed by imus in the mistaken notion that it is funny. but i can only hope that if it does, and if i am within earshot at that time, that i can muster a small portion of the grace, eloquence, and dignity demonstrated by the subjects of that sick bastard imus vitriol. the state of iowa, and the university of iowa, was so lucky to have had c. vivian stringer on its payroll. the rutgers university community is so fortunate to have her, and the entire women's basketball program, speaking on their behalf.

the REAL champions of the 2006-2007 ncaa women's basketball season have been crowned.


gpickle said...

Ah, Don Imus. I don't listen to his radio show and have never seen his tv program (kill your television) and most of what I know about him I learned at an advanced screening of the Howard Stern movie that I was lucky enough to attend as a benefit of my membership in the Kim West International Fan Club, Llc with none other than KIM WEST HIIMSELF!

Yes, I know Don Imus as well as he knew the Rutgers women's basketball team. So I am as qualified as he was to say he is just another white male who reinforces negative stereotypes about minorities.

Pete Basso said...

gpick and Westy - finally...yes, I think Hell has frozen over today, (just look outside), we totally agree on something.

Kim, great post and insightful too. I was driving in northern MN today listening to the radio and all the hype that has come with the Imus situation, why has it taken so long to condemn this guy? By the sounds of it, and shown in your examples, this guy has been dodging the bullet for years. I've never listened to his radio show nor watched his TV program but can't believe what he said, it was terrible and those girls certainly did not deserve that comment.

Now to throw in some contraversy into this situation...(straight from the talk shows circuit today),

1. Why do we have a double standard in the country making it politically incorrect for Imus to mutter this kind of garbarge but allowing Spike Lee, rappers, or anyone of African American descent to say this and not receive the same critcism?

2. Also, when these events occur, (where the African American race is insulted), the white person must go to Jesse Jack-ass or Al Sharpton to recieve their punishment / pardon? Since when did these guys become the judge and jury? Haven't both of them been guilty of these same atrocities in their careers on a daily basis? Why isn't someone out picketing Jesse for his racial remarks made regarding the Drake LaCrosse athletes?

the mostly reverend said...

1--re: spike lee--
i think the difference here should be obvious: spike lee is making social observation, pointing out inequalities in life, in an attempt to effect change for the better. imus, and others [remember hoard cossell and rush limbaugh on monday night football?] are just bigoted assholes, filled with denial, whose tongues ultimately get them in trouble. an archaic, racist, sexist "sense of humor" or set of values and attitudes is NOT acceptable in the public at large--and these are terms which describe the words not only of jerks like imus and others [and i include rush and bill o'reilly here], but also durrent-day rappers and hip hop artists. as imus shows, public appeal and bottom line [read: $$$] does NOT make it right, nor should it make it acceptable.

2--re: jesse jackson and al sharpton as leaders: because although they have made mistakes, they have admitted their mistakes, and more importantly, they CONTINUE to walk the walk, AND they continue to speak out accurately [for the most part] for the wronged and the oppressed. granted, they tend to appear to be opportunists at times, but to those folks who have been victimized, the are a great and real source of comfort--AND the victims know that attention WILL be focused on that issue, and that it is likely that something will happen as a result.
you know that if jesse and al show up, SOMETHING is gonna hit the fan.

does drake HAVE a lacrosse team?

Bart said...

Drake Law School had/has a Rugby team. When I played for DSM, early-mid '80's they fielded a side and participated. Rugby parties tended to be wilder than most other groups that I can remember.

Anonymous said...

Its Duke.