Friday, April 13, 2007

The PC police claim another victim

It's rare that anything in the news gets me fired up, but the whole debacle over Don Imus this week (and his subsequent firing) has angered me more than anything I can remember in recent years.

I didn't watch or listen to Imus' show. The (very) few times I'd seen it on MSNBC, it was like watching paint dry. So I'm not making this post from a standpoint of a fan whose hero has been taken down. However, the way he has been crucified over an offhanded (and forgettable) remark greatly pisses me off.

This is a guy who has donated millions of dollars to charity and has set up a "getaway" ranch for kids with cancer who have very little to look forward to other than an early death. This is a guy who does a "radiothon" every year to raise even more millions of dollars to help sick kids and the families of babies who have died of SIDS. To have his forty-year radio career destroyed by a bunch of politically-correct thugs because of a two-second (admittedly rude) comment that had no hatred or malice behind it isn't just wrong -- it's insane.

Slimeballs like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do nothing but sit around and look for things to get offended about, and then call for the cameras and raise a gigantic fuss until they get what they want (and more often than not, any concessions that their target du jour makes are never enough to satisfy them). If there's such a thing as a non-violent terrorist, they fit the bill: "Do what we want or we will do bad things to you." For all their crowing about trying to represent the African-American community, Sharpton and Jackson have done more to damage race relations than any racist or bigot organization in history.

It's not so much Imus I'm concerned for (he's got plenty of money and will be fine whether he tries to resurrect his career or not), but the bigger picture when it comes to the suppression of free speech. MSNBC and CBS both caved to pressure from the relatively tiny portion of their viewer/listenership that made the most noise about Imus' comment. Corporations are terrified of being portrayed as supporting racism, or even the perception of racism.

Now that Imus has been successfully destroyed, Sharpton and company will move to their next target. The next offhanded comment or slip of the tongue he latches onto will be even less offensive than "nappy headed hoes" (is that even racist?). And now that the first battle has been won, companies will jump even faster at the chance to distance themselves from the perception of any wrongdoing. Saving face is more important than sticking up for your guy, or even doing what's right. That's sad. And cowardly.

So what's the solution? Well, you can certainly write to both MSNBC and CBS Radio and let them know what you think about the firing. I know that personally I'm done with MSNBC altogether, and I've already told them so. Will it do any good? Probably not -- I don't have the resources or media coverage of a Reverend Al. But I do what I can.

This may well be the final year of Imus' "radiothon" charity drive (the radio firing actually happened DURING this year's event -- classy, CBS). I called and made a donation this morning, both because it's a good cause and because I want to help make the point that this is a good man who does good things, regardless of the occasional verbal slip he may have made on the radio. Every dollar the drive raises this year is not only helping sick children, but it's a slap in the face to the self-aggrandizing dickbags who would destroy a man's career over a couple of badly-chosen words.

I strongly encourage anyone reading this to consider donating to the charity drive. It's almost over, but there's still a little time left. You can call 877-877-6464 or go to the Radiothon website (note that they've already taken his name off the site, but it's the correct one). When they ask for comments, tell them you support Imus and free speech.


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