Monday, April 09, 2007

More on the Imus Foot-In-The-Mouth Disease

I just heard the most astonishing take on the whole debacle at my local public radio station. It was described as "news", not an opinion, so the tilt given to the whole program was most instructive.

If I wanted to mount a defense of Imus's acts this is how I would do it. The report began by pointing out that Imus has always been a racist and a sexist and that he is an equal-opportunity offender, because he has attacked pretty much all groups except the one he himself belongs to (white hetero-sexual Christian men). The report then continued by describing, very carefully, how little support the "Fire Imus" demonstrations had. Forty people in one demonstration, three protesters at a press conference.

Yawn. What's the fuss all about, then? Well, the report tells us that making fun of black female college basketball players is not really kosher. But then it went on asking why Imus would be attacked NOW, given his general nastiness over the years. No answer to the question was given, but perhaps no answer was wanted, either. Just the hint that this is nothing worth looking at.

Then there were the discussions of racism. "Nappy-haired" was addressed, but "hos" was not. I have found the same distinction in some other places on the Web, too. It is as if the sexism is less serious than the racism in those comments, because the sexism uses a term borrowed from the black rap culture.