Don Imus appears to be history. One moment he was a master of the airwaves and the next moment he was a dead fish. What to make of it? For UK readers unfamiliar with Talk Radio, Imus was a well-known radio ‘personality’ who had a daily talk show that was big in the New York area and networked to some other parts of the US.
Like Howard Stern, his fame and notoriety was down to his willingness to ‘push the envelope’. In mediatalk this is another way of saying that he was often crude and offensive, occasionally funny but mostly intentionally shocking. The American word for such broadcasters is ‘shockjock’.
Imus and his ilk are not to be confused with conservative talkshow hosts like Rush Limbaugh, though Leftists like to categorize all of them together in order to demean the conservatives. Limbaugh, Lee Rodgers, Roger Hedgecock and others are serious political commentators who provide the real news that the Mainstream Media would sooner people did not hear. Imus, who was considered ‘big’ had about 2 million listeners and Limbaugh has 22 million!
True grownups avoid the shockjocks, as bad language and smut come cheap and have appeal only for the immature. When I was pre-teenage I was greatly impressed by shock and smut and then I grew out of it. However, in today’s world of one-parent childrearing, dumbed-down education and low media culture content, not to mention a music world that is infantile, there is an ‘adult’ audience for shock and mindless crudity. Imus swam in those waters.
As far as I can ascertain, Imus had no rational political line. He was all over the place politically as long as he could shock. Because of his ratings in the New York area, politicians and celebrities were keen to get on his show and few wanted to offend him. He has even sat on a stage beside Bill Clinton. But, like all such ‘celebrities’ he clearly did not realise just how fragile was his position, nor did he understand that the Media Class is infested with sharks who will feed on their own, given the chance.
Imus was not a card carrying Leftist, but an occasional fellow-traveller, and he overestimated his usefullness. So, when he recklessly went one small step too far on one of the litmus test issues of the dominant Leftist Media Class, he paid for his mistake.
Imus made a derogatory remark about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, most of whom are Black. He used the terms ‘nappy head’ and ‘Hos’. Like many who are not fully educated by rap music and not impressed by ghetto talk, I didn’t know what any of these words meant. Now my education has been brought up to date. The first phrase refers to tight curly hair (is ‘kinky’ now non PC?) and Ho is ghetto language for whore. It is, apparently, frequently used in rap songs by Black rappers.
Imus’ remarks did not immediately cause a ripple. After all, those who listened to him each day must have been immune to shock. But at some point, someone realised that Imus could be accused of offending two of the groups earmarked for use by the thought police of the Media Class Left who now seek to daily tighten the noose around speech and beliefs. Blacks and wimmin are litmus test topics. The Rutgers basketball women were said to be devastated and their supporters ‘heartbroken’, at least according to Lionel Tiger, professor of anthropology at Rutgers. I find this hard to believe. Not that I would expect the players to be delighted, but these are only the words of a shockjock on a small radio station. As I have written on this site before, there is the old saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’. Why would anyone outside of politics care what Imus said?
Still, if these ladies were suddenly expected to be devastated, they duly did their bit and their basketball success was suddenly ruined for them.
On cue, the Rev Jesse Jackson and the Rev Al Sharpton found themselves before the cameras and microphones and the Media Class was busy orchestrating a ‘firestorm’. It is highly likely that the US population was not angsting over Imus’ slur on Black women basketball players, even if some were aware of it. I doubt that it would have been a topic in the bar or at the office or on the construction site. Not even in the inner city Black enclaves where rappers practise their chords and lyrics and almost never record a song without at least a dozen references to hos.
Imus was suspended by NBC Universal and the next morning the Media writers got into gear. Three writers were required to write a Wall Street Journal piece that gave prominence to ‘civil rights leaders’ (the two Reverends!) and the National Organization of Women, who were calling for an advertiser boycott. It was clear that Imus’ goose was cooked and that suspension would morph into the Big Sleep.
What is amazing is that ordinary people seem to fall for this theater and end up having the required feelings about it all. For it is all much ado about nothing, at least on the surface.
On this website however, we never think that anything orchestrated by the Media Class is without significance. At the same time as this ‘firestorm’ broke around the unfortunate Imus, the three white lacrosse players from Duke University were being told that all charges against them had been dropped. These three men had been accused of rape and sodomy on a young Black exotic dancer and crucified by Media people, the Two Reverends of the civil rights movement and Leftist academics (does this grouping ring a bell?) before getting to a trial. It turns out that the young woman lied and the elements who have now crucified Imus, jumped the gun on the Duke Three.
The three young white men have real cause to be devastated and ‘heartbroken’, for not only have they been living in the shadow of a theatrically showcased trial but faced many years in prison. They are ruined, unlike the basketball girls. Nothing that they now do will repair the damage they have suffered.
The Media Class has not arranged the Imus case in order to distract from the Duke case, but it is able to capitalise on and manipulate news, and that is what it has done here. It has the power to turn bad news as well as good news, to advantage.
Imus is gone and good riddance as far as this writer is concerned, but his going is not good news for those who value free speech. For a start, anything that allows the Media Class and their allies in the self-styled civil rights movement and NOW, to demonstrate their power, tightens the noose around free speech. Secondly, the Media Class is able to stuff every media discussion with comments that link shockjock morons with the conservative talkshow stars who have broken the mainstream media monopoly. This is bad news, as it prepares the ground for a Democrat attack on the dissenting conservative airwaves. Thirdly, it provides yet another opportunity to fuel the race divide and the Left is intent on Balkanizing western society into victim groups.
Moving on to the UK political scene, this last weekend the British National Party launched its election campaign with some 880 local council candidates. The Party is the elephant in the room of current UK politics and the other Parties are terrified of the BNP’s rapid expansion as a political force and its capacity to be popular. The UK media has recently been full of warnings to the British people and scare stories about the BNP, whilst suppressing news of police harrassment of BNP campaigners.
Yet at the campaign launch, only one reporter turned up, and that was from a small local newspaper in Dagenham, Essex. Once again, the UK Media Class is marching in lockstep, this time to pretend the BNP is insignificant. We do not believe that the Media people phone each other to organize a boycott, though some might do so. We say that the boycott is simply the consequence of a Media Class acting in its own interests. Whether the boycott will be enough to stop the advance of the BNP in the May local government elections, is doubtful, for the Internet has broken the UK Media monopoly on news. Expect to read, see and hear some (mostly) dishonest scandal stories about the BNP break across the Media just before the election. Again, it will not require a conspiracy, for this Class and its Leftist ground troops will be simply doing what a ruling class has to do.