SHOULD DON IMUS BE FIRED?---UPDATED
****UPDATE****MSNBC drops "Imus in the Morning" after major advertisers continue to pull advertising.
It's time I added my thoughts on the Don Imus situation over at MSNBC. I watch the simulcast all the time and have for years. Imus is no doubt a complete jerk. Drunk on his power in media, he often treats his guests badly, but they put up with it because he sells their books and exposes them to the all-important New York media market.
I don't watch Imus because I want to see Imus in action, though he is funny at times. I watch the show because of the guests. Most of them are from the left and I get an insight that I don't get while watching them on their regular news programs. It's amazing what they say while doing his show. Their statements during an interview expose to the listeners--without a doubt--that they have an agenda, and that agenda is anti-Bush.
So, the question is: Should Imus be fired for using the term "nappy-headed hos?" Of course he should be. If you used that term at your place of work, you'd be out the door before lunch. It's a term that is clearly over-the-line, and a term a white man can never, nor should he, expect to use without repercussions.
The problem everyone seems to have with this story, is that they soon get off-topic with the obvious side issue: Hypocrisy. Which leads to race baiters like Sharpton and Jackson and the Rap industry. It's an obvious leap to make. However, these two guys, along with the other issues that might pop into your mind, aren't the point of this controversy. What Imus said is the point. Period.
If you use the same terminology at work that Imus used, just expect to be looking for a new job. Give it a try tomorrow and see. Since your employer doesn't have a multi-million dollar investment in you, specifically, and MSNBC does with Imus, things tend to work a little differently. Obviously, then, MSNBC is going to attempt to salvage the situation and move on.
Imus, in my opinion, is Howard Stern Lite. Imus operates, and has for years, with encouragement from the suits, out on the thin edge of controversy. Sometimes he slips over the line without any problems, but this time he leaped over it, which caused everyone to move to damage control.
The damage, however, could be too great. Most of Imus' guests are top flight A-listers who will not want to be on the show for fear they will be viewed in the same light as Imus. With the exception of McCain and Rudy, most politicos will avoid Imus like the plague. More importantly, some of his advertisers are jumping ship as well, which is natural.
The two-week suspension MSNBC deemed appropriate could very well add fuel to the fire. Two weeks off for a rich guy like Imus is not a suspension; it's called a Holiday, and it is being viewed as more of an insult than a punishment.
If you avoid all the other issues that are connected to this story, it's clear Imus should be fired. Those other issues are worthy of discussion and they will be discussed, as well they should be.
One prediction: If Imus avoids the unemployment line, you can bet it's because Imus and/or MSNBC wrote checks to someone. That someone would be Revs Al and Jesse of the Church of United Shakedown Artists.
Priors on Imus at Blogmeister USA and Betsy's Page.