Monday, December 3, 2007

The Return of Imus

I was stuck in traffic yesterday morning. This was probably a good thing as I got to Listen to a good portion of Don Imus. I think it made me appreciate on some small level what he meant when he said he was thankful for being fired:
I was thinking how fortunate it was that I had been fired, because had I been there talking to them, and apologizing to them, and offering them these excuses, and still had my job.... they would have thought that I was there to try and save my job, and that might have been true, but I was there to try and save my life.
Another thing he said was he realized that when he met with the students and was "providing context" to his remarks, it was irrelevant to them. This hit somewhat closer to home. I think more people have had the experience of being forced to face their own prejudice, and find themselves saying something to the effect, "But I have (insert group here) friends!" or otherwise justifying behaviors or statements. In the end it doesn't matter.

However, does it matter that Imus had done so much good? Well perhaps it both mattered and was irrelevant at the same time. Maybe it didn't directly make up for the remarks, but taught us a greater lesson.

I sort of grew up listening to Imus. My dad mainly listened to 660 AM "The Fan" in the car when I was growing up. Especially in the morning. I don't know at what point Imus was syndicated, but really it didn't matter. From my point of view there was always Imus in the morning.

When I rediscovered AM radio on my own, I became a WABC fan. Morning Drive time was time for Curtis and Kuby. Although I had mixed opinions about the "incident," I was not reallt affected by it. To be honest, I was initially disappointed to hear that Imus would come to WABC, as I had grown accustomed to the cast of characters that I heard in the morning.

My memories of the I-man pitching his charities was first SIDs and then later his ranch. Regardless of any accusations of fund misappropriation, and the general waste of money that charitable bureaucrats can do sometimes, kids with cancer go to the ranch and have fun. It's somewhat ironic that it is a functional ranch, uet the meals are vegetarian, but hey not everyone can eat their own dog food.

A left learning person I know remarked years ago that the man is a bigot and he carries a handgun. Well I don't see a link between gun ownership and bigotry. Unless he has shot anyone we cannot link his gun ownership with prejudices. However, I think his owning a gun and behaving certain ways provided a different context for people who had negative views about Imus before the incident.

So in the end nothing has changed, but Imus's position on the dial. Oh and of course 2 black comedians working on Imus's staff. Perhaps if he makes some off color remark about non celebrity African Americans before 6am, and the two black comedians on the air don't get offended by it, that will provide some context we can all agree on. Then again perhaps not.

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