Friday, April 13, 2007
That Was The Week That Was
There were a lot of crazy things that happened this week in the news, but I would be remiss if I didn't weigh in on the Imus story. I think everyone agrees that racial humor is unacceptable, but why Imus and why this time? What about Howard Stern, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and countless other comedians who make their living offending people? How did Rush Limbaugh get away with calling women "FemiNazis" on his radio show for years? Oh right.... that pesky old First Amendment.
Clearly, this wasn't the first time that Imus said something offensive over the years, yet millions of people continued to listen to his show, advertisers continued to sponsor him, and politicians and journalists...red and blue alike...continued to appear on his show. But when he offends sports figures that somehow crosses the line? Maybe this says more about America's obsession with sports than with our supposed "outrage" over public racism. Michael Richards made a vicious rant against black people that was not a part of his comedy act, yet Seinfeld videos continue to sell and advertisers continue to sponsor the syndicated reruns. Mel Gibson's career didn't go down in flames after his anti-Semitic diatribe.
Phil Mushnick of the The New York Post had a good take on the situation and the hypocrisy involved in his column here. I think it's sad that this will be Imus' legacy, when he's done so much good for so many. Sure, he brought it on himself. But let's be equal-opportunity enforcers and practice our newfound zero tolerance across the board.
For another EXCELLENT take on this topic, check out Upward Over the Mountain.