Friday, April 13, 2007

Imus Blog

Imus wears a cowboy hat indoors: this is wrong.
As a middle-aged white guy liberal, I must weigh in on the Don Imus flap. Full disclosure: I have never listened to his program. I have never had any desire to listen to his program. Besides, his program is not carried where I live, as far as I know.

But I am aware of who he is. Back in the seventies, there were billboards of him everywhere in Manhattan - before he got fired from some station or other, and then admitted that he had substance abuse problems, and came back in a blaze of glory into his radio world, where he remained ever since, well, this week.

I read a New Yorker profile of him, and watched another on 60 Minutes. I never quite got him. He seemed like a secretive, self-important creep to me. But then, there are so many self-important creeps out there. Why single him out?

I gather that writers liked being on his show, because he’d actually read their books, and asked good questions. That's a plus. And folks like Dan Rather and others liked going on his show because he allowed them to show another side of their personality with his wacky shenanigans. Well, I guess that’s a plus too. Any time a media smoothie acts goofy, it’s probably good for the republic.

On the other hand… there’s the notion that you can say anything that pops into your damn head, and because you’re a person on the air, with a history of being a person on the air, and having a roster of fans who hang on your every word, you can get away with it, and even be considered “witty.”

Well, there was nothing even remotely witty about Don Imus’ remarks last week. It’s hard to wrap my mind around exactly what they were. I don’t think Imus is a racist – but then again, maybe we all are – I think he was more trying to be a hip white guy – the kind of guy who watches women’s basketball, and has opinions about it.

So all right, he was paying attention to the NCAA Woman’s Basketball Championship. You, outraged person, were you? I sure wasn’t.

Be that as it may, Imus referred to the losers of this championship competition as “That's some nappy-headed hos there.”

Okay. He was referring to teenagers here, black teenagers who had come from behind to almost seize a championship, yadda yadda. The point is: you don’t refer to kids as nappy headed hos. What is the point of that?

I don’t know anything about the NCAA Woman’s Basketball Championship, but I will go out on a limb and assume that the young women involved in it were hard working, determined, focused, and bitterly disappointed that they didn’t go the distance.

If Don Imus were truly a fan of the genre, wouldn’t he have taken that into account. And called them valiant, or brave, or feisty…. No, tin-eared Don Imus called them “nappy headed hos.” Proving that his audience is not young black women, but idiot white men, spinning the dial between ESPN, him, and porn.

I am so sick of this. Well, he’s gone, but it is still Imus’ World. We just live in it. Or try to live in it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't think he was a racist until he went on Sharpton's show and said, "I just can't win with you people." That, to me, spoke volumes.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people means the National Association of Black Journalists who went after him like a lynch mob. It did not mean black folks in general since there was not a cry from the public for him to be fired in the middle of a charity event and before he got a chance to meet with the team.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really think that in order to judge Imus some ppl should actually listen to his show .. listen to his routine and understand that comedy is not about being truthful and speaking your true feelings .. SoWhat Imus said they were nappy haired hoes ... who cares .. I have heard almost every black comedian use the words cracker,redneck, Hoe , Bitch and lots of other degrading epithets to describe white ppl women, ppl of southern descent and nothing is wrong there! right? well all i can say is that if you think that Imus said Something wrong, A little self reflection is neccessary in order to find out where your insecurities come from .. I think we should all just boycott anything and anyone that sponsors al sharpton, jesse jackson, and chris rock.. just because these are the real racists in society

8:38 AM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

"...if you think Imus said Something wrong, a little self reflection is necessary in order to find out where your insecurities come from...."

I have self-reflected, and can safely conclude that wherever my insecurities come from, they definitely do not come from Imus.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

exactly so why persecute a personality for having a personality

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and one more thing .. you criticize Imus for his remarks but feel free to belittle "idiot white men, spinning the dial between ESPN, him, and porn".

9:56 AM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

You're an Imus fan. Your world is emptier without him. I sympathize. But let it go. I'm sure that another radio personality will come along to whom you can attach your devotion.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One issue you seem to miss is that its not about devotion or racism or some knucklehead who has an opinion ... It is about the ability in this country for someone to speak there mind.. they have compared him to ppl who have actually made racist remarks such as that asshole from seinfeld "Michael Richards"and others.. I am not blogging in the defense of Imus but instead in the defense of what is happening to this country .. Really, who cares if Imus called them a bunch of nappy haired hoes .. its not the first time that someone has said something out of line on the radio .. How about that dick HOWARD STERN .. now that is someone who should be persecuted .. what belief system allows a society to destroy a persons way of life on his word alone ... say some thing about that piece of shit al Sharpton , I personally knew Tawana Brawley .. i grew up in monticello NY .. what about all of the other mistakes sharpton has made ... he is the true leader of ignorance.. he is a bandwagon fanatic .. i now live in nyc .. let me ask you something .. the Sean Bell shooting .. suppose you were a police officer in NYC and regardless of color you had 3 guys ram your car and reach for something in there waste band .. would you not respond with lethal force knowing that you very well might get killed if you didnt .. Al sharpton has ruined the lives of some of NY's finest just because he has to be heard .. i say we put a bag over sharptons head not to hurt him just to protect everyone else and then let him speak .. the difference being every time he opens his mouth to speak .. he takes away valuable oxygen from himself not the rest of the planet

10:44 AM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

Bags on heads can be a useful tool, I agree. We need more of them. Sharpton is a media hound, true, but he doesn't have sponsors. It wasn't the listeners who took Imus off the air. The "ppl" who put him on the air took him off the air. I don't know the facts of the Sean Bell case, but I do know that if police shoot an unarmed man on the night before his wedding, there are bound to be repercussions, whether the Sharptons of the world milk them or not.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the ppl who took him off of the air were the corporations fearing the boycott that this self indulgent big mouthed piece of shit called for .. The ppl in this country are the empowering structure behind Al Sharpton and his facist regime .. please refer to the following clip below .. and then let me know if you think that the ppl of this country should let him dictate who we listen to on the radio and what we can and cannot say

1987: Sharpton spreads the incendiary Tawana Brawley hoax, insisting heatedly that a 15-year-old black girl was abducted, raped, and smeared with feces by a group of white men. He singles out Steve Pagones, a young prosecutor. Pagones is wholly innocent -- the crime never occurred -- but Sharpton taunts him: "If we're lying, sue us, so we can . . . prove you did it." Pagones does sue, and eventually wins a $345,000 verdict for defamation. To this day, Sharpton refuses to recant his unspeakable slander or to apologize for his role in the odious affair.

1991: A Hasidic Jewish driver in Brooklyn's Crown Heights section accidentally kills Gavin Cato, a 7-year-old black child, and antisemitic riots erupt. Sharpton races to pour gasoline on the fire. At Gavin's funeral he rails against the "diamond merchants" -- code for Jews -- with "the blood of innocent babies" on their hands. He mobilizes hundreds of demonstrators to march through the Jewish neighborhood, chanting, "No justice, no peace." A rabbinical student, Yankel Rosenbaum, is surrounded by a mob shouting "Kill the Jews!" and stabbed to death.

1995: When the United House of Prayer, a large black landlord in Harlem, raises the rent on Freddy's Fashion Mart, Freddy's white Jewish owner is forced to raise the rent on his subtenant, a black-owned music store. A landlord-tenant dispute ensues; Sharpton uses it to incite racial hatred. "We will not stand by," he warns malignantly, "and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business." Sharpton's National Action Network sets up picket lines; customers going into Freddy's are spat on and cursed as "traitors" and "Uncle Toms." Some protesters shout, "Burn down the Jew store!" and simulate striking a match. "We're going to see that this cracker suffers," says Sharpton's colleague Morris Powell. On Dec. 8, one of the protesters bursts into Freddy's, shoots four employees point-blank, then sets the store on fire. Seven employees die in the inferno

11:22 AM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

Let's see if I can follow your train of thought. Big mouthed piece of shit Imus should remain on the air because Sharpton's fascist regime wanted to take him off the air.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no thats not what i am saying .. this a general viewpoint stating that wrong or right, Imus was used as a focal point for al sharptons racist and uninvited political battle against the white devil .. i do not neccessarily disagree with the Idea that people are in an uproar over the fact that Imus Once again was the most vocal and aggressive personality on the radio today .. The fact that the public allows someone with Al Sharptons Credentials to dictate what and who we listen to is absurd and i think that if you want to put out the fire .. THROW THE FUEL IN THE RIVER and walk away .. the race issues that we have in this country would eventually subside to a degree IF and when people who incite hatred and racist views were eliminated from the public eye .. not all racism and hatred would vanish but at least it would not be at such an inciteful level if it was not constantly challenged.. these issues are issues that should be fought in a closed arena.. not in the public spotlight .. when there are allegations of hatred and bigotry, the country goes wild, ppl start to think .. one racial group speaks out and makes accusations at the other which in turn causes the other to defend and talk shit .. this is not about Imus it is about freedom of speech and freedom to be who you want to be .. Al sharpton has been Wrong for his actions throughout history .. he is the fuel for the fire .. he thinks that he is helping (or does he )

12:10 PM  
Blogger Don and Sher said...

I am an Imus fan but what he said was wrong and should have been suspended but he should have never lost his job.
As far as the "you people" comment by Imus. I didn't see it as "you BLACK people" but people in general who were going after Imus.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

power 105.1's "are you smarter than an asian?"

The hits don't stop... more racist radio news. Last week, around 9:00 am on Wednesday, the Ed Lover Show with Egypt and Ashy on Power 105.1 in New York aired a segment called "Are You Smarter Than An Asian?" Yeah. That title alone makes me scream that's racist! But it gets a lot worse. In the segment, an "Asian" guy named Mr. Hung Lo spoke broken English with a stereotypical Chinese accent, with "Kung Fu Fighting" music playing in the background. A listener then called in and competed with Mr. Lo to answer jacked up questions like "How does an Asian pronounce 'fried rice'?" That's racist!

Some needs to answer for this. This kind of stuff has happened more times than I can count now, and nothing seems to change. The Asian American community continues to struggle for respect, while the rest of America conveniently writes us off as the punchline for a joke. Or a racist, idiotic radio gag. Don Imus makes an off-the-cuff racist, sexist remark, the entire nation goes into an uproar, and he gets fired. Rightly so. He should have to face those consequences. But radio stations across the country purposely build entire segments and jokes around Asian stereotypes all the time, and no one does a goddamn thing. Where is the justice? They need to know that we will not allow this any more. If this is going to happen, someone's ass is going down. That's racist!

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hits dont stop..... well lets take a long look at the raciest argument. There is a network called BET, there was a network called UPN, there are endless hip hop music which indicate african american individuals in compromising situations. Why is it accpetable for two african american males to call each other ni*&*^ but if a hispanic or white person did it would be wrong. How can you blame the sheep for following the shepard. Imus is only acting the way Snoop dog does when me makes a video. The last question i have to ask is why when a direct question is asked such as when the moring show ask Al Shartpton and Rev Jessy Jackson about the influence and aceptable language and verbage used in rap videos do they not answer the question, but skirt around it and blame slavery. A person is the master of their own destiny. The last comment is that if it walks like a duck talks like a duck and looks like a duck is it a cow? The ones who are crying the most should realy see how hipocritical they are. ...

4:48 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

A network called BET exists, yes, which targets a black audience. So? Disney targets tweenagers. So? UPN doesn't exist any more, I don't think. I only watched it for STAR TREK. Many African Americans actually hate it when African Americans refer to each other as n***** and have said so. There's actually a ban against using the word in public in NYC isn't there? Unenforceable, but it's still there. Anyway, there's a big difference between a black person using the word and somebody who isn't. There's a question of intent for one thing. When black people call each other n**** it's an expression of friendship, re-purposing a word that previously had only existed to demean, insult, and threaten. When white folk use it they're either (a) demeaning black folk or (b) pretending to be black.
Re: 105.1- Hung Lo? Who could possibly think that's funny? I can't imagine even a racist who would think that's funny. Egypt and Ashy - I don't know them - sound like they have created a radio black hole into which every trace of wit and humor gets sucked in, only to implode.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am a 15 yr old latina and black girl, and as a part of the minoritiy race i want to voice my opinion, don imus is how old?? lets just say OLD. anyways, comedian or not, that was unacceptable. If a black comedian was on the air and called a caucasian person 'cracker' this or 'white trash' that there would have definitley been an uproar..but i ha

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


5:30 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

Woh! Lower your voice, bud.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, I thought we were all trying to be equal, so if we are are equal, why can't white guys say the same things blacks and rappers say?

5:37 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

Re: don imus is how old?? Well, yeah.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

There's NOTHING stopping white guys from saying the same things blacks and rappers say. Go ahead. Do it in my neighborhood. The young black men will probably applaud your effort.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its a doubble standard. It is only acceptable if you are part of the click, social status, golf club, or GANG. I am hispanic but i dont go around calling my friends Wet backs or beaners. I do not see the logic. And to answer the questio about a black actor or camedian a "cracker" then just rent Chris rocks "Bigger Better, Blacker. How can you every one else chagne when the source stays the same. There is a saying... you cant change anyone only yourself. Keep that in mind when you support thoes whou brign you down.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

I don't see the logic either, but I grew up in North Dakota, and we used to call each other "farmer," when we wanted to insult, or be affectionate in an insulting sort of way. As in, "You dumb farmer." Of course, most of us WERE farmers. So there you go.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see your point, but in the same breath what if a hispanic called you a dumb farmer,would it make any difference. My wife is white and i am hispanic. We refraine from implicaicating any deragatory language between each other. I am not here to toot my own horn. I am just confused why this has become such a huge debate. Imus is a man who has made his money on remeaming others such as Howard Stern and Rush limbaugh. There will never be complete accpetacne or equality. I still have recieved an answer to the how these leader skirt the question under the blanket of "slavery" but i guess everyone has to have their vice...

5:57 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

btw, here's what Snoop Dogg had to say over at "It's a completely different scenario. [Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about hos that's in the 'hood that ain't doing shit, that's trying to get a nigga for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them muthafuckas say we in the same league as him."

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that the comment made about Snoop dog just proves the point i am trying to convey. thank you for posting. I guess Imus anit no white land owner reveberating the language used by most of his listeners in an atemp to reach all his listeners. Is it possible that he was refering to the way they play, very rough and hard IE not giving enough time to their personal apperance. Either way ther will be no about of words or MONEY to pasify the VOICES of so called injustice.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

He was just flapping his gums, with no thought to hurt. That's my opinion. He just didn't think about what he was saying. But why would this even occur to you to say? It's not witty. It's not funny. It's not accurate. It's stupid.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit that my last comment was a bit immature. It just is so upsetting that one act of head in the sand by a white individual can become such a contorvery. I am just at a loss for words and hate when a specific group, black mexican whtie, asian, use things like this to develope political platforms. There is so much to hate or dislike in this world why waste time arguing over this.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

Well, as I said, I don't care one or another if Imus stays on the air or not. And I'll admit, there is a certain amount of bitterness. I wish I had MY radio show, for goodness' sake, on which I would never say anything foolish, stupid, or hateful. Have the networks approached me? Not.
But Imus was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was a perfect storm of his personal stupidity combined with slow news week combined with the ongoing "culture wars," and disgust with the,uh, "coarsening" of the culture. There is no argument.
But I have to admit - I have been doing this blog for a couple years now, and NOTHING has generated more response than this. I dunno why, but it's true.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sometimes the best stories have nothing to do with equality or fair reporting, just down and dirty political mud slinging. I think it is fair to say that if the Imus story was chaged to a PETA activist developing a way to create a utopia on earht it would be bumped for a good police chase or gang shooting. Just goes to show you socity isnt what it used to be. thank you for the conversation.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

Helicopters! High speed chases! PETA activists, by the way, will never creat a utopia on earth. Nor will anybody else. Society howeever, as you claim, is not what is used to be. Alas, Babylon. Alas.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, here's Dr BLT's answer to the whole Imus ordeal. You heard it first here:

Imus Forgive
words and music by Dr BLT (c) 2007

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been listening to Imus for years. He is a good, caring person.
What struck me the most that is the fact that people who strived to get on his show all betrayed him. Russert is disgrace. Media was showing only one side of the story. The whole thing was blown out of the proportions. And corporate America got scared of two so-called "leaders" so much that dumped the most prominent voice of America, who cared about kids, veterans, autism, war, etc. And democrats lost my support over Imus with their remarks and "righteous" rage.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad to hear someone who actually knows what they are talking about ...,2933,266117,00.html
Proves alot more good than the bad that the satanic reverend al sharpton or his girlfriend Jesse Jackson have proven.. I think it is time for ppl of all races to wake the fuck up and realize that we are all on this doomed asteroid together and there are alot more important issues at hand than whether or not Imus says the right thing .. I think it speaks volumes that someone would actually let these two monstrosities be there leaders.. there are too many lame excuses and not enough clarification of the real problems .. Would it be ok If david duke were the the unofficial spokesperson for the ppl of european descent ,lets say sicilians(the first slaves) and everytime a sicilian did something wrong it was attributed to the fact that they were slaves 500 years ago,David duke is the mirror image of al sharpton .. C'mon ppl lets all wake the fuck up and stop being a bunch of bitches.. Is there a reason that white males are taught to be pacifists, from the time they enter grade school while all other nationalities are taught to fight for equality.. Its bullshit .. I think that this country belongs to everyone, ellis island did not have a sign on it saying whites only ... My only issue is that if you want to live in this country you have to earn it .. abolish welfare, abolish any government agency that allows ppl to sit on there fat ass and collect money for being garbage .. make sure to file your taxes on time there are 12 million welfare reciepients counting on you

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this?
There are African Americans, Mexican Americans,
Asian Americans, Arab Americans, Native Americans, etc.
And then there are just Americans.
You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction.
You Call me "White boy," "Cracker," "Honkey,"
"Whitey," "Caveman" .. And that's OK.
But when I call you, Ni**er, Towel head, Sand-ni**er,
Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink ... You call me a racist.
You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you,
So why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?
You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King
Day. You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day. You
Have Yom Hashoah You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi You have the NAACP.
You have BET.
If we had WET (White Entertainment Television) .. We'd be racists.
If we had a White Pride Day .. You would call us racists.
If we had White History Month We'd be racists.
If we had any organization for only whites to "advance" OUR lives
We'd be racists.
We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of
Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce.
! Wonder who pays for that?
If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships
... You know we'd be racists. There are over 60 openly proclaimed
Black Colleges in the US , yet if there were "White colleges"
THAT would be a racist college.
In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching
For your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights,
You would call us racists.
You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're
Not afraid to announce it. But when we ann ounce our white pride
You call us racists.
You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer
Shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug-dealer running
From the law and posing a threat to society .. You call him a racist.
I am proud.
But, you call me a racist.
Why is it that only whites can be racists?

6:05 AM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

Rave on, poor put upon white boy.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that you are a democrat.. or at least psychologically challenged

9:38 AM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

Does that mean being a democrat is a step UP from being psychologically challenged? Or a step down? Do you have to be psychologically challenged in order to be a democrat? If so, do you need to have a certificate of mental health in order to be a republican? Who issues such a certificate? A psychologist? Most psychologists are liberal, aren't they? I'm not sure how this works....

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice comback .. i was only trying to lighten up the situation .. came across that rant on a page and thought it was a little true but it does have everything to do with the imus debate ... about the certificate you can get it from hilary or obama

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rant has little to do the Imus debate. The point is that he is a public figure making racist comments on air. And unlike rappers or comedians, his racism is directed toward a group of young women in particular who did not choose a lifestyle in which they would expect to be called hos. They are not on television for dancing provacatively or being half-naked. They are not on television because they embody the stereotype of loud ghetto girls. These are young ladies in college, whose parents and guardians who pay for their education are proud. And they should be. Not only do they have to maintain a certain GPA to be on the team, but they took the team far this season. And the way they have handled themselves, espcially during this "scandal" has been admirable. They warrant more respect than to be called nappy headed hos. I think that a distinction should be made with people. A man strung out behind the garbage in an alley might expect to be called a junkie or a druggie. The women who show up to the auditions of hip hop videos know what they will be referred to as in the music they dance half naked to. They are the ones who have to answer to those who call them hos. But not the young ladies of the Rutgers Basketball team.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the sad truth of this is that it is necessary to have a conversation / dialog about it. Al Sharpton is the enemy of racial equality for without racism he is out of a job. Don Imus is a prick, period. He sold photos of an intimate nature when he he had the moral obligation not to. Who cares what Imus or Sharpton says? It will not affect my life's outcome at all, and probably not anyone reading this either.

5:45 PM  

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