CBS has fired Don Imus over his comments on the Rutgers women’s basketball team. While I’m amazed this has turned into the brouhaha that it has, I can understand firing him in this media crazed world we live in. But this comment by Leslie Moonves, president of CBS is pretty rich:
“There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society,” CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said in announcing the decision. “That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision.”
Really Leslie? You were worried about the effect this had on our young women of color? Even though you have at least 3 or 4 urban stations on CBS Radio that I’m sure play artists who have said things 10 times worse about young women of color?
What really weighed heavily on your mind is fact that advertisers were pulling ad money left and right over this kerfluffle (my new favorite word). That’s all this was, a business decision. If it hadn’t blown up in the blogosphere, I can garrone-tee (thank you Justin Wilson) Imus would still have a job.
Some fun quotes from Rev. Jackson and Mr. Sharpton:
Jackson called the firing “a victory for public decency. No one should use the public airwaves to transmit racial or sexual degradation.”
Yup, I bet that never happens on Urban radio.
Said Sharpton: “He says he wants to be forgiven. I hope he continues in that process. But we cannot afford a precedent established that the airways can commercialize and mainstream sexism and racism.”
Right, nothing in the airways commercializes and mainstreams sexism and racism, nothing to see here folks, move along, nothing to see.
Jason Whitlock nails it in his latest on this issue:
Hey, what Imus said, calling the Rutgers players “nappy-headed hos,” was ignorant, insensitive and offensive. But so are many of the words that come out of the mouths of radio shock jocks/comedians.Imusâ€™ words did no real damage. Let me tell you what damaged us this week: the sports cover of Tuesdayâ€™s USA Today. This countryâ€™s newspaper of record published a story about the NFL and crime and ran a picture of 41 NFL players who were arrested in 2006. By my count, 39 of those players were black.You want to talk about a damaging, powerful image, an image that went out across the globe?Weâ€™re holding news conferences about Imus when the behavior of NFL players is painting us as lawless and immoral. Come on. We can do better than that. Jesse and Al are smarter than that.
Nothing Imus said was that shocking, considering the source. And yet, the Jesse Jacksons and the Al Sharptons of the world are calling for his head, with Barack Obama and others close behind. This is the sad state we find our world, one where someone like Imus who as recently as last week, CBS paid big bucks to say outlandish and sometimes offensive things, gets fired while black artists say horrible things about black women all the time and no one bats an eye.
It’s sad and it’s ridiculous and I’m not sure what can be done to change it.