Might Be Changing My Mind On Imus Firing

Warning: I am reconsidering my view on the Imus situation, and I might be changing my mind to support firing him. Not sure, but I am undergoing a reconsideration. I will add comments documenting my thoughts as they progress...

As I learned as a novice writer in college: "writing is thinking... of the most profound sort."


Paul Hue said...

I am trying to come to terms with this. Are we going to banish from the airwaves now any images of Mohammad because some people will respond with homicide? What about ridiculing the pope?

I am struggling with this somewhat, because I do realize that we all censor ourselves and each other to some extent. I say lots of outrageous things, and Nadir uses MF sometimes. But neither of us us MF around older people or when speaking at our high school program.

Paul Hue said...


A pretty good case for Imus from Pat Buchanan.

sixstringslinger said...

Of course he deserved to be fired, if for no other reason than complete stupidity on his part. The remarks he made - fairly or unfairly - would have gotten him, or anyone else for that matter fired from pretty much any job anywhere. That's the world we live in and he should have known better.

Paul Hue said...

Six: This was an easy issue for me, but has become something of a struggle. Nadir initially wasn't sure about firing Imus, but then was persuaded by Obama's rationale: I would fire any member of my staff for saying this publically. Well, shall we now fire all TV and radio hosts who say on the air what would get them fired from corporate jobs, including staffs of politicians?

What kind of a world would that be?

And what of the groups of Americans who take as much offense to Nadir calling Bush a lier as he, you, and me take at the Imus comment? I am really struggling with this.

uptownseteve said...

"And what of the groups of Americans who take as much offense to Nadir calling Bush a lier as he, you, and me take at the Imus comment? I am really struggling with this."

Bush IS a liar.

You're in denial and just don't want to hear it.

The Iraqis had nothing to do with 9/11 nor did they possess nuclear weapons (smoking gun becoming a mushroom cloud).

Bush made both of those assertion to lead this country into an unnecessary and immoral invasion of a sovereign nation which did nothing to us.

Paul Hue said...

Steve: Debating or declaring the righteousness and accuracy of your view is irrelevant to this discussion. Now that you and Sharpton and Nadir have further established the standard by which media officials get fired for "offending" people, what will you say when the mob comes for one of you? Do you remember when Bill Mahr got fired, and what he got fired for? Do you support that?

Sharpton claims that firing Imus has nothing to do with getting ad dollars taken from his networks, but rather misusing the public's airwaves. What if some group of people gets "offended" by some of the things he has said on his radio show, such as demanding arrest for the Dukesborro Boys?

Paul Hue said...


Kinky Friedman makes a good case for Imus and against his enemies.

Paul Hue said...


He once called Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz, a regular on the show, a "boner-nosed, beanie-wearing Jew boy." Kurtz considered it part of the game. "I wasn't thrilled, but I just shrugged it off as Imus's insult shtik," says Kurtz. "I don't believe for a second that he doesn't like Jewish people."

Paul Hue said...

One of the concepts causing me to favor both firing Imus and banning his comments is my recognition that his show appeared on one of the networks, and was funded by many of the companies, that already ban lots of his jokes; but for Imus, they all made an exception... not just for black jokes, but for all sorts of his other jokes.

Annoying me about the firing and banning: For one thing, the claims that "context doesn't matter", by people who accept this language from people according to the speakers "race" (which is context) and who also claim that figuring into their objection is Imus' forum's inclusion of serious people and topics (also context).

Nadir said...

I'm still not sure that Imus should have been fired for his obviously racist comments.

But he wasn't fired for his comments. He was fired because his sponsors abandoned him. Otherwise they would have fired him the afternoon he made them. They would have fired the sports dude in 2001 when he made a racist comment about the Williams sisters.

Please. This was determined by the market, Paul. Just like you would want it. Why are you struggling with this?

Paul Hue said...

I agree that Imus' comments were "racist" only in that he applied them only as a result of his "racial" categorization of the girls. I do not believe that these comments demonstrate that Imus is himself a racist; to the contrary, accounting for his other comments and actions, it appears much more likely to me that Imus is no more racist than any other white entertainment mogul who hires zero black people into his act.

I disagree with your assessment that he wasn't fired for his comments. Your reasoning comprises two planks: (1) He only got fired when his sponsors started abandoning him; (2) He didn't get fired on the spot.

But his sponsors abandoned him because his comment got his show branded "racist". Thus we agree on the mechanism of his firing: the sponsors left. But ultimately that traces back to the branding of "racism."

The free market aspect of this leads me into the area where I have trouble supporting him, as the headline of this thread indicates. Imus was operating right there with all the other cringingly bland, indistinguishable morning network blather. On no other one of those shows would the network execs or the corporate sponsors tolerate from the mouths of all those truly idiotic blathering dunderheads just one of dozens of utterances that come out of Imus' mouth every day.

Watching his replacement today on MSNBC was just pathetic. Now TV morning has absolutely no intelligent, insightful discussion at all. The new show contains many of the journalists who used to call into Imus. With Imus running the show, these people were witty and intelligent; without him they're just listless and vacuous. I'm upset with Imus for not having protected the only non-stupid newstalk on morning network tv. I think he drastically overestimated the importance to his success of the silly side of his show, especially the parts that treaded the furthest into the area of race.

And of course it bothers me that people could be so bothered about what gets said on a show, especially a show that they don't even watch.

Paul Hue said...

I no more support the "free market" axing Imus than I do its axing of Bill Mahr or Ward Churchill.