Monday, April 09, 2007

WTF? Fineman Tut Tuts Imus For Missing The Latest Change In The PC Rules

Digby. has the must read of the day. He hauls off and puts the wood to the traditional media's obsession of painting the liberal blogosphere as uncivil --- too many F bombs I suppose --- while ignoring the hate speech problems that permeate big time, rightwing political discourse.

Most stunnning is this amazing exchange between Howard Fineman and Imus:

FINEMAN: Just before I came on the show, I was coming upstairs and my cell phone rang, and it was some listener who called me out of the blue. I'd never heard of the guy before. I'd never heard his name. He called me and he said, "Are you going to go on the show and finally confront this Imus guy? Are you going to quit enabling him?" And, you know, I thought about that, and I said to the guy, "You know, I'll puzzle that through on the radio." And I would like to continue to enable you to do a lot of the good things you do. Including, you know, talking about stuff happening in the world, which you do a very good job of on this show.

You know, the form of humor that you do here is risky, and sometimes it runs off the rails. Most of the people who listen to this show get the joke most of the time, and sometimes, you know, as David Carr said in The New York Times this morning, sometimes you go over the line so far you can't even see the line. And that's what happened in this case. And I think of all the stuff you've done and do do, and, you know, you make your mistakes -- we all make our mistakes. We all make mistakes. This was a big one. And I thought that the way you handled it just now -- and I'm not blowing smoke here -- I believe it, you know, was very heartfelt. And I know you well enough to know that that's the case and you're going to do everything you can to set it right.

You know, I don't know what'll happen. I think -- you know, it's a different time, Imus. You know, it's different than it was even a few years ago, politically. I mean, we may, you know -- and the environment, politically, has changed. And some of the stuff that you used to do, you probably can't do anymore.

IMUS: No, you can't. I mean --

FINEMAN: You just can't. Because the times have changed. I mean, just looking specifically at the African-American situation. I mean, hello, Barack Obama's got twice the number of contributors as anybody else in the race.

IMUS: Amen.

FINEMAN: I mean, you know, things have changed. And the kind of -- some of the kind of humor that you used to do you can't do anymore. And that's just the way it is.

IMUS: But I would say, in the spirit of charity, that the same black journalists who are calling for me to be fired had the option -- and the same black leaders -- they had the option to call me when I was asking for weeks about help in trying to get more information about sickle-cell anemia, about what the government was doing, about what could be done about research. And nobody -- nobody -- called me.

Oh, how Fineman pines for the days - not long ago - of when you could freely drop racist gags so long as the N word wasn't dropped. Imus, for his part, thinks a good defense is to take a shit on "black journalists" and "black leaders."

These are bizarre fucking people. Elitist, arrogant and insincere about the offense that has been caused by Imus' racism.

But hell, I'm sure I've dropped an F bomb somewhere in the last 24 hours. Who am I to bash these Saints of our national discourse?


  • "sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me", BFD! Mcswine, the liberal media is tooo over reactive. Blacks can use the "N" word to describe each other, but it is a cardinal sin for any nonwhite to do the same. Double standard or what?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:32 AM  

  • It's all about intent. If you don't understand the difference between say Jay Z's use of the N word and the Ku Klux Klan's use of the word, you're about as dumb as Imus.

    Here's a great piece from Time magazine on use of the N word with which I agree.

    By Blogger Macswain, at 10:09 AM  

  • Canning Imus simply must happen considering who he works for.

    Viacom. CBS. NBC.

    No employer in the country can tolerate racist language by supervisors or even co-workers. The law says they must immediately investigate and remedy the situation. If they don't, they get sued. Sued big. Some have paid millions.

    It's insane to allow a guy to say publicly on the airwaves what he'd get canned privately for saying on the job.

    If the conservatives want to decry speech codes, so be it. It's a fait accompli. You can't tell the lady in the next cubicle you like her jugs. Speech code? Yes. But part of the bargain to keep the workplace open to all.

    Kinda like the schools when the philosophical parents of today's "speech code" obsessed conservatives where decrying the fall of separate but equal.

    It happens. It's the only way society advances. The only thing different about Imus is he has powerful friends in big media and politics.

    Doesn't matter. It's his conduct that's at issue. Not how "heartfelt" he tries to set it right, Howard.

    Put a fork in him. He's done

    By Anonymous Invalid, at 10:26 AM  

  • Which psrt was so offensive? "nappy"
    or "ho"?
    Give the guy a break, he is paying the price. What ever happened to the market place of "free speach"?
    (you honky MR'er)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:44 AM  

  • Which psrt was so offensive? "nappy"
    or "ho"?
    Give the guy a break, he is paying the price. What ever happened to the market place of "free speach"?
    (you honky MR'er)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:44 AM  

  • Where the fuck's my megaphone on CBS, NBC, a gizzilion radio stations? Why is my free speech being squealched?

    This isn't about free speech. It is whether you should be provided such a large platform for your speech if you have a history of racist, sexist or hate speech.

    By Blogger Macswain, at 1:09 PM  

  • What about all the black rappers songs and lyrics? are they less offensive? have you ever commented about them?
    or Spike Lee's movie about "jiggaboos 'n hos"?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:11 PM  

  • Imus buddy David Gregory is sitting in for Chris Mathews today on Hardball.

    Defending his buddy Imus, Gregory lit into guest Al Sharpton bringing up Tawana Brawley, repeatedly asking (in essence) how's what Imus did worse than what Sharpton did in Brawley.


    By Anonymous invalid, at 3:33 PM  

  • Gregory is right that what Sharpton did with Brawley is just as bad.

    The difference is Imus has made numerous racist comments and guys like Gregory do not reraise these problems with Imus the way they have reraised the Brawley issue with Sharpton continuously for over 20 years.

    By Blogger Macswain, at 4:25 PM  

  • Sharpton made the point that the airwaves can't be used to transmit racist speech.

    It's an excellent point; and unfair of Gregory to seek to nullify the point by attacking the messenger.

    By Anonymous invalid, at 6:12 PM  

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