Even by modern tabloid standards the outrage over Mr. Imus' thoughtless comments is remarkable.
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing - Macbeth
Name-calling is a technique that will neither be perfected nor improved. It will never be funny to anyone over 12 years old, it will never be effective. It is a technique used by the inarticulate to express anger and frustration that they may not themselves understand.
Oh, these deliberate fools - The Merchant of Venice
Is anyone really concerned about inarticulate millionaires making fools of themselves in public? This is a case where the aftershock exceeds the earthquake.
What a caterwauling dost thou keep - Titus Andronicus
Pop quiz! Which is better: "...nappy headed ho," or
Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood - King Lear
The effect of an insult, racially charged, hurled in a strange part of town on a dark night is different than the same insult hurled at a basketball game over public airwaves; the one in cause for concern, the other cause for a sideshow.
A whitely wanton with a velvet brow, with two pitch balls stuck in her face for eyes - Loves Labour Lost
Is it possible that of all the lost arts, among the greatest should be counted the art of the insult?
The shock jocks and pundits, I'll trade them all for a single bard of some renown
Your hearts I'll stamp out with my horse's heel and make a quagmire of your mingled brains - Henry VI Part 1
Of course, some are better than others. But if you're going to use the public media to spout outrage, would it be asking too much to at least try to be a bit more creative?
Methink thou art a general offence, and every man should beat thee. I think thou wast created for men to breathe themselves upon you - Alls Well that Ends Well
Tom Bruner (with due respect to W. Shakespeare)
Update: Keith Gilchrist writes:
Howard Fineman's advice to Imus is that he has to realize that it's a different time politically and that some of the stuff they used to do they just can't do anymore?
So it would be fine for Imus to continue to denigrate women if the political climate had not changed...and just as fine for journalists and politicians to continue to demonstrate their complicity by congenially laughing at his disrespectful comments...sometimes adding their own? "Imus In The Morning" is a mutual admiration society based on the skill of elevating one's self esteem by verbally attacking others.
The fact that Imus has enjoyed the tacit approval of so called serious journalists (Tim Russert, Brian Williams, Andrea Mitchell, David Gregory, Howard Fineman, Jon Meacham, Jonathan Alter etc.) has led him to believe that there was no line to cross...no boundaries...no borders. No...in his mind his radio kingdom is more vast than the Imus ranch...the one financed by his aforementioned radio "guests"...protection money, if you will, which buys them favor with King Imus.
Now the king is trying (as he does at the drop of a cowboy hat) to play the ranch card again. He extorts funding for the ranch which bears his name from those who share his fame and together they use the venture to wash their indiscretions away....and to provide them prepaid tickets to continue to do what they do. What they do is bad enough on the part of Imus, but what are these supposedly serious journalists thinking as they demonstrate what Tom Oliphant so emphatically referred to as "solidarity forever"? (Could Oliphant have been more revealing of his insecurity as he groveled.... wishfully and breathlessly referring to himself as a member of the Imus posse...throwing in a commercial for the products of Mrs. Imus for good measure?)
One who champions children's physical health and destroys their emotional health is suspect. That Imus is only championing environmental causes for the personal recognition is a case to be made. If he genuinely cared about kids as much as he professes, he wouldn't use them as grist for his "comedy" mill.
Context and climate have nothing to do with calling one's wife the Green Ho or college girls nappy headed hos. Where are the responsible adults in the media business? If they want to use the word ho, why don't they research how many teenaged girls in this country are being referred to as such after being lured into prostitution? The media might as well be paid by pimps as accomplices, as they are creating a climate of acceptance for the exploitation of kids....especially girls.
But what does the media care....they're laughing.....all the way to the bank...where they deposit the profits from selling out.