April 11, 2007

IT'S JUST A PUBLICITY OPPORTUNITY:

Don Imus, Suspended, Still Talking (ALESSANDRA STANLEY, 4/11/07, NY Times)

Don Imus was suspended. But it looked as though NBC had suspended the suspension. This scandal-harried radio host and MSNBC star was free to appear on “Today” yesterday and explain himself again and again: His interview with Matt Lauer and his debate with the Rev. Al Sharpton, their second, were shown simultaneously on the MSNBC show “Imus in the Morning.”

The Rutgers University basketball players, fresh from a Rocky-like rise to the N.C.A.A. women’s championship game, held a news conference to explain that the slur-heard-round-the-world robbed them of their “moment.”

Mr. Imus’s moment keeps going into overtime.

NBC said Mr. Imus’s two-week timeout would begin next Monday to allow Mr. Imus to hold a call-in pledge drive for several of his charities for sick children. The radiothon begins on Thursday, leaving Mr. Imus more time to lobby to keep his job — and receive testimonials from longtime guests like the Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman and comrades in political incorrectitude like the comedian Bill Maher.

The network had time to showcase its disgraced star and wring every last drop of attention from the latest ado about verbal insensitivity.


Meanwhile, for Senator Obama it's "Mau-Mau or Else," Obama's silence on Imus alarms some blacks: Candidate faces first test on handling issues of race (Rick Klein and Joseph Williams, Globe Staff | April 11, 2007, Boston Globe)
Not until Monday evening, five days after Imus's comments were uttered and hours after CBS Radio and MSNBC announced a two-week suspension for the radio host, did Obama weigh in, saying in a statement: "The comments of Don Imus were divisive, hurtful, and offensive to Americans of all backgrounds." Obama did not address whether he thought Imus should be taken off the air.

The episode is the first test of how Obama -- who is of mixed-race background -- is handling the contentious issue of race in his presidential campaign. Even as polls have shown other Democrats attracting a large share of the black vote, Obama has steered clear of the kind of activism symbolized by Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who were both highly visible in the Imus episode but whose aggressiveness on race issues has alienated some white voters in the past.

But with Obama battling other Democrats -- most notably Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York -- for the support of black voters, the candidate's reticence on the Imus issue set off alarms yesterday among some black activists who are anxious to see him more forcefully push for racial justice.


Nothing will get him in good with the Left like a demonstration of humorlessness.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 11, 2007 9:04 AM
Comments

Agelaste?

...In my last post I quoted Milan Kundera on Kitsch. I need to go back to Kundera and that same speech, his Jerusalem Address, once again to most accurately define what I found so offensive in this presumption. Kundera uses the word agélaste. Rabelais, he tells us, coined the word to denote people who do not laugh because they have no sense of humor and “…are convinced that the truth is obvious, that all men necessarily think the same thing, and that they themselves are exactly what they think they are.” ....

Posted by: Sandy P at April 11, 2007 11:12 AM

"Nothing will get him in good with the Left like a demonstration of humorlessness."

Except that there was nothing humorous about what he said. Ridiculing the rich and powerful for their pretentions is funny. Mocking a nobody for their looks is just plain mean.

In other words, the humor in this situation is going to come from those who ridicule Imus...

Posted by: b at April 11, 2007 11:56 AM

b:

Bingo! Much of it, you'll have noted, involves his age, appearance, etc.

Posted by: oj at April 11, 2007 12:26 PM

Imus might be the one person alive who looks more decrepit than Keith Richards.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 11, 2007 1:35 PM

See?

Posted by: oj at April 11, 2007 6:58 PM

Imus has no class. Imus has never had any class. What he had was status as a member of the media elite -- love those "transgressive" "edgy" "shock jocks" that get the "Christers'" panties in a twist! That was fine as long as he was transgressing the "right" people (wordplay intended) -- but once he got on the worng side of PC-ness, they turned on him.

Now he's a washed-up nobody with no class.

Posted by: Mike Morley at April 12, 2007 1:52 PM

Class? He's a comedian. The jester must have no class.

Posted by: oj at April 12, 2007 2:24 PM
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