Category Five Hysterics Blow Out Don Imus
By: Rachel Marsden
NEW YORK -- A shock jock said something shocking. In other news, a bus driver
drove a bus.
America's original shock jock, Don Imus, has been fired from his long running radio show because apparently advertisers thought they were advertising on a smooth jazz program.
In recent Hollywood cases, people who say offensive things get sent to "rehab." But since Imus has already been there, I suppose it would be like sending Donald Duck to Disneyland, or Tom Cruise to the Scientology Centre.
After the NCAA women's basketball championships, he referred to women on the Rutgers team as "nappy headed hos." What followed were category five hysterics by black activists like Al Sharpton, making the media rounds and calling for the first lynching of a white guy in recent memory.
For the uninitiated, Sharpton is a self-appointed expert in all things racial. Biology, biologist. Chemistry, chemist. Linguistics, linguist. Racism...well, you get the drift.
As per the Queen's English, "nappy headed ho" merely refers to a promiscuous woman with a diaper on her head. If rappers--or anyone else over the years--has taken the English language and bastardized it to mean something else, that's their problem. Don't turn around and criticize someone for test driving your lingo, if he happens to be white.
A black comedian on my Fox News show, Red Eye, said he wasn't offended as a black man--but as a comic, he's offended by the fact the remark was unfunny.
Watching the Rutgers players' press conference, you'd think someone on their team had been murdered. Instead, some old guy on the radio hurt their feelings. How do some people make it through the name calling in grade school, let alone life?
No one made a big deal of this issue until the activists pounced on it as a prime fundraising opportunity. It's like when a child falls down and scrapes their knee. If someone starts saying, "Poor baby, I bet that really hurts, doesn't it?" the kid will cry harder and longer than if they're told to buck up.
Being a conservative commentator, if words truly were weapons, I would have been murdered several times over by now. They're just words--no one is going to be confiscating your dangling participles or verbs the next time you board an aircraft (although it would likely make the trip more pleasurable for the person next to you).
When Democratic Senator John Kerry attacked the military and claimed--as Imus has--that he botched a joke, no one called for his resignation. Ditto when some in the media slanderously referred to the anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans as "liars." But apparently even Imus' apology -- on Sharpton's radio show, no less -- isn't good enough. It was never going to be. Because when the free speech bus crashes, the thought police cruiser is always first on the scene.
In a recent incident, US Airways passengers reported suspicious activity by six Muslim imams prior to a flight. The imams now say they may sue the passengers for complaining--and having the audacity to think Muslims could endanger an aircraft.
A media legend has been fired -- not for inciting violence or criminality, but simply for making an off-the-cuff remark that some people choose to find offensive. As one of the very first U.S. television personalities to defend Imus' First Amendment rights on-air, I'm disturbed that so many of my colleagues have revealed spines of dental floss in this case. Use it or lose it.
PUBLISHED: TORONTO SUN (April 15/07)
COPYRIGHT 2007 RACHEL MARSDEN