I'm shocked-- SHOCKED! to find ignorant comments being made on the radio!
So everyone seems stunned by Don Imus' stupid and insulting remarks about the Rutgers University Ladies' basketball team.
Hmm. What else do you expect in the medium of talk radio, where the only way to get attention is through continuously pushing the envelope of outrageous behavior? How can anyone be seriously surprised by the inane ramblings spewed by these moronic talking heads? If you choose to listen to these fools at all, then you can't be surprised by what they say, since this is hardly the first time this guy and his little doofus sidekick have said something deeply offensive. What is far more interesting to me is why these two cretins are so terrified of women who are obviously capable as athletes as well as students. And of course, the only response is to imply that they are sluts-- and ugly sluts, to boot. Flavor this verbal vomit with more than a soupcon on racism, and you've got a ratings winner on your hands. How typical. But not shocking, certainly.
And don't even start me about the lyrics of music that is shrieked into the tender eardrums of our kids.
Blame these two imbeciles, certainly-- and every advertiser who supports their juvenile braying and every mouthbreather who gives an ear to their schtick and keeps them swimming in endorsements.
But our society encourages this kind of outrageous behavior. We don't demonstrate the attention span or the manners to discuss things civilly or deeply. We are the People of the Sound Bite. And God help us, the last thing we want to do is to be expected to think or engage in civil discourse about topics of interest or controversy. We see the same thing in some corners of the blogosphere, in people who do nothing but tear down and belittle others. The argot of talk radio revolves around diminishing others, not engaging them; in belittling accomplishment, not celebrating achievement; in assuming a stance of moral superiority while utilizing the vocabulary of a guttersnipe.
So condemn the inarticulate ramblings of Don Imus, absolutely. But until we are willing to stop giving our attention to those of his ilk, we can't act surprised.
And so now it's been announced that Imus has been fired -- right in the middle of his radiothon, too. Here's an interesting snippet from a story about his firing:
Bryan Monroe, president of the National Association of Black Journalists and vice president and editor director of Ebony and Jet magazines, met with Moonves on Wednesday. It seemed clear Moonves and his aides were struggling with a difficult decision, he said. He urged them to take advantage of an opportunity to take a stand against the coarsening of culture.
"Something happened in the last week around America," Monroe said. "It's not just what the radio host did. America said enough is enough. America said we don't want this kind of conversation, we don't want this kind of vitriol, especially with teenagers."
I'd love to think that this is what Imus' firing means, but I am not so sure. I imagine he will land on his feet somewhere. And I am certain that we will still hear ignorant, racist, sexist, hateful verbiage on the radio.