Friday, April 13, 2007

Where did Don Imus really mess up?

Here is the video of Imus's "nappy-headed hos" comment:

I expected it to be something very venomous. I thought these "two words" were part of a longer tirade of the "sexist, racist" kind.

Now I am no expert on talk radio, but from what I can tell from this video, it was a pretty harmless remark. Sexist, yes. Racist, not really. Pretty standard fare for the medium. Worse things are said on Saturday Night Live and with more venom.

I expect a lot of mud-slinging from both the right and the left about language on both TV and radio going forward. Many heads will roll and comedians - black/white/conservative/liberal - are going to have to work a LOT harder for their chuckles in days to come.

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It seems strange that words like ho and the n-word are freely used by African-Americans, both by hip-hop artists as well as regular people, but it becomes a sin when a white person of any repute uses it.

A friend of mine put this in an interesting perspective. Issues like these, he says, are a result of a "fabricated cultural sensitivity" created by an overzealous media. A black woman wouldnt be as outraged by this as newscasters seem to be...and that the firing of Imus was a result of advertisers not wanting their names smeared by association...and that this is only another proof that corporations are dictating what we see and hear :p
Agreed about the media part of your comment. It's those guys at "Media Matters" who "broke" the story and are taking credit for it.

Also agreed about corporations deciding what you watch/hear. The explanation is simple enough: Content is hard to develop, but easy to copy/bootleg etc.. People get what they pay for: If cable subscribers are willing to pay for HBO, they get almost ad-free high quality shows. If public radio listeners pay up during the pledge drives, they get decent quality, ad-free radio. But if all you want is some freebie TV or radio, you get what the advertisers will pay for.
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