Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Buuullshit: Look who’s defending Imus!

The right-wing NewsBusters blog quotes Rosie O’Donnell on this morning’s “The View” as sticking up for Don Imus.

Apparently, to Rosie, it’s all about the Bill of Rights.

“[T]he point of the story is, if it impedes on free speech in America, democracy is at stake,” Rosie said. “Because democracy is based on freedom of speech and freedom of the press. So we really have to worry about that in this country. ... [I]t’s not a freedom if you outlaw certain words or thoughts, because then the thought police come and then before you know it, everyone’s in Guantanamo Bay without representation.”

From the nearest rooftop, I call bullshit.

Two counterpoints:

1.) Remember all that “ching-chong” crap that came outta Rosie’s mouth not too long ago? She probably figured she couldn’t criticize Imus for his “ching-chong” moment without having her own thrown back at her. So might as well pledge allegiance to the First Amendment, right?

Buuull followed by shit.

2.) Do you imagine Rosie would be gettin’ all Constitutional if Imus had described the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “some nappy-headed bulldykes”?

(And you know some of ’em gots to be!)

Yeah, me neither.

Way to be there for the sisterhood, Rosie.

30 comments:

Cal said...

That is one thing that is so strange about this Imus flap. I saw a clip on youtube where the resident conservative on The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, thought Imus' punishment (before the initial 2 week stuff and now his canning from MSNBC) should be that he get suspended until next Black History Month (February). There is a black female talking head Amy Holmes (actually she said she is bi-racial) who felt he should be fired. The sides people are taking aren't matching up with what I would usually think they would be.

Cal said...

I meant to add that Amy Holmes is a conservative also. She usually defends all free speech.

ItAintEazy said...

Obviously she has a lot to learn about the first amendment, like it doesn't protect you from being fired from a job.

Undercover Black Man said...

Absolutely, ItAintEazy. Imus had (and still has) the right to say whatever he wants. He doesn't have a right to a radio show or a TV simulcast... those are privileges.

He had the right to mock those girls as "nappy-headed hoes." And the offended parties had a right to protest that... to boycott advertisers, even.

That's what the First Amendment is about.

Rottin' in Denmark said...

Exactly, UBC. Every time a flap like this comes up, whether it's Rosie, Imus, Iverson, or the 'macaca' guy, comment boards are always flooded with lame defenses along the lines of 'this a free country! Imus/Rosie/Iverson can say whatever they want because of the First Amendment!'

I'm sure that there are more legally valid counterpoints to this argument, but for me, I object on the grounds that that was almost exactly what I said when I was seven years old and my mom told me to stop yelling 'diarrhea!' in the grocery store. If I've moved on since then, can't everyone else?

Elyce said...

I have been watching the View all week and am amazed at how full of shit they are! First of all, Rosie and Joy keep talking about people should not be able to get fired for the things they say, but people have lost their jobs over saying less. And the airwaves should not be an avenue for racial comments. Period! Barbara Walters was also very forgiving, "Imus said he was sorry and he sounded sincere," but she was not so forgiving when Mel Gibson attacked Jewish people. She was calling for everyone to ban his movies. And he said that to a few cops, not to millions of people. I think they are all full of shit!

Anonymous said...

Before Mel outed himself as an anti-Semite, he was (and remains) a misogynist. You'd think the women of The View would boycott his films on that basis alone.

One interesting thing (to me, anyway) that's come up because of Imus is the distinction between racism and bigotry. I've seen people arguing on the 'Net that what Imus said was bigoted, but not racist and that we shouldn't label Imus a racist based on that one remark. A few have said that since it didn't involve the N-word, it was bigotry, not racism. What do you guys think?

dez said...

Oops, that's me, dez, up above.

Undercover Black Man said...

Dez: Drawing distinctions between "racism" and "bigotry" is like wondering how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. If the issue is making ours a more civil culture, then "racism" and "bigotry" -- or even if "nappy-headed hoes" didn't rise to those definitions, even if it was just a debasing personal insult -- all that should be a no-go zone for broadcasters.

dez said...

Imus got fired: http://tinyurl.com/28472t

How long before he's on Sirius or XFM (or whatever the other pay radio conglomerate is)?

Undercover Black Man said...

^ My thoughts exactly. Imus won't go hungry.

Elyce said...

I think Imus's comment was racist, for a number of reasons. "Nappy" is a term that slave masters used to describe slaves' hair, making the distinction between blacks and whites. It was used in a very derogatory, vile manner, as if there was something wrong with having course hair. (And black people have many different kinds of hair, and ALL are beautiful) It was another was of separating blacks, similar to the way house and field slaves were pitted against each other. Those attitudes are still unfortunately prevalent today amongst blacks, the thought that being lighter or having straighter hair is better or makes one prettier, and that is absolutely false! What Imus said is perpetuating a slave mentality that definitely should not be tolerated today.

As far as Imus calling them "ho's", it raises the question if they were white, would he have said "Ho"? He might have, but citing rap lyrics as an excuse almost lets us know that HE associates the term "ho" with black people. So, yes, it was racist all around.

ItAintEazy said...

I think a lot of people are missing an even greater offense that Imus has committed in the same broadcast, in the same conversation. Elyce touched on it, but right after the "nappy headed hos" comment, Imus and his producers began distingishing the two basketball teams as "jigaboos vs the wannabes". Sure you don't see anyone in the mainstream media (*cough* Rosie O'Donnell *cough-cough*) try to defend why it's okay to call a bunch of black (and white) women jigaboos since they conveniently ignore a slur just slightly less invidious than "nigger" and "coon".

They tried, and failed, to give the correct reference to the movie "School Daze" where that phrase occurs, and indeed some people have said if's okay since Spike Lee used it. Um no, Spike Lee was addressing a worthwhile point. Imus and his gang were using racist standards in determining which group of women were more desireable.

S.O.L. said...

Hey UBM, did you catch the press conference by the Rutgers team? I thought they were quite, um, articulate.

S.O.L. said...

And this just in ... New Jersey Gov. Corzine was injured in a car accident on the Garden State Parkway. He was on his way to a meeting between Imus and the Rutgers basketball team. Early word is he's in critical but stable condition. Talk about repercussions. Damn.

Withnail said...

I'm wondering if you can comment on why Imus was fired. To Clarify - I was wondering if you could comment on why Imus was fired NOW. The man's got a long history of saying racist, anti-semtic and sexist comments. So what makes "nappy headed hos" the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back? Is it because he attacked non-public figures? Did he right (or wrong) person hire a publicist?

He's attacked, and been under attack, many times before. And while I really won't lose any sleep over the man, ultimately, I don't give a shit about him as a broadcaster. He's small potatoes, a gnat. What I'm really pissed off about is that Sharpton and his outrage machine attack this gadfly and leave Rush Limbaugh and others like him alone.

itainteazy said...

withnail:

I think it's the same reason why Trent Lott was forced to step down as majority leader of the Senate - we have their racist bullshit on tape.

Undercover Black Man said...

withnail: I think another key in Imus getting fired was that major advertisers started to bail (from the TV show, at least). That turned the story from a rolling snowball to an avalanche... kicked up the media coverage another notch...

And don't forget, speaking of Rush, he lost his side gig on "Monday Night Football" a few years ago for making slighting comments about black quarterbacks. (Don't know if Sharpton had anything to say it about it, though...)

S.O.L.: missed the Rutgers women's press conference, but heard about the Governor's car wreck. I swear, there's a curse on that job... You don't want to be governor of New Jersey...

Elyce said...

I think Imus lost his job now because his words were so blatant (as well as the advertisers). You really don't hear white people putting words together like "nappy-headed hos". His previous stuff has been regular racist stuff. Gwen Iffel's a "cleaning lady." Venus and Serena could be in "National Geographic." Those are the normal racist stuff. "Nappy-headed Hos" just sounds crazy, coming out of a white man's mouth, and I think the white powers that be could even see that.

susie said...

I honestly don't think that CBS cares that much about what was said, Imus has been inappropriate, hateful and racist for years. This time however, advertisers were bailing like he had the plague and that translates into money rolling out the door. Les Moonves can tie it up as an apology but it's pretty clear that it's all about the money.

I'm glad that he met with those girls and listened to them talk about how his words made them feel. And that he apologized to them regardless of getting fired.

And I agree with Elyce that most of what's flying around on The View is horseshit - it's like watching a bunch of drunk chicks talking out of their asses.

I can say that because I've been a drunk chick talking out my ass.

Elizabeth Cosin said...

I agree with Elyse. Every time I hear the phrase repeated, it turns my stomach. How does anyone think "nappy-headed ho's" is funny? I think it's the phrase itself that did him in. He could have walked up to the edge and probably still had his job but he went way over the cliff in my mind.

David: you were in Washington when the Greaseman committed on-air verbal suicide, right? Maybe we're evolving but shock radio isn't, I guess.

dez said...

More media "fun":

http://tinyurl.com/2jj9cn

WTFF?

SJ said...

Rosie O' Donnell is full of crap.

Undercover Black Man said...

Thanks for that link, Dez. I happen to know Malik Zulu Shabbaz. About 15 years ago, when he led a rap group called Defiant Giants, Shabbaz shared a stage with Chuck D during a hip-hop conference at Howard University.

When someone brought up to Chuck D the still smoldering controversy surrounding Professor Griff, Shabbaz piped in to say that Griff's only problem was talking to an "Uncle Tom" from the Washington Times. (That was me. Yep, it was my 1989 interview with Griff in which he said Jews are responsible for "the majority of wickedness that goes on across the globe.")

All that said, I blame Fox News, which is the only "legitimate" news organization that gives a frequent platform to the "New Black Panther Party." Last night on Hannity's show, they had Shabbaz's colleague, last name Nzinga, popping the same shit. And of course Hannity scored easy points by calling him an anti-white, anti-Semitic bigot.

All you have to do is look at my blogroll to see the wide range of intelligent black social and cultural commentators on the scene today. Why the hell does Fox keep giving publicity to the New Black Panther Party, as if more than a handful of idiots give a shit what Malik Zulu Shabbaz has to say?

To me, that's Fox stoking anti-black sentiment for its own entertainment purposes. And I'm sick of it.

Anonymous said...

This maybe kind of late in the coming, but I think perhaps why this whole Imus thing is so outrageous is because of how it made one of the proudest moments in the teams life so demeaning and ugly.

This whole incident just underlines that even at your absolute best, even at this country's best, someone's screaming that your nothing.

dez said...

He called you an "Uncle Tom" because you brought someone's bigotry to light? Did he expect you to shelve your journalistic integrity in favor of protecting Griff's idiocy?

I wonder if Rupert Murdoch will offer Imus a contract? Seems like he'd fit right in with their "infotainment" crap.

justjudith said...

the thing with rosie o'donnell is if you say you don't like her, she'll paint it as you have something against lesbians when in reality, it's just her. she is really a grating personality or at least she is edited that way on tv. that's everybody else's defense...

dez said...

Someone I know interviewed Harlan Ellison, and they talk a bit about Imus and the "N-word":

http://www.comicmix.com/news/2007/04/16/interview-harlan-ellison-part-1/

No comment from me since the guy gets my dander up and I just rant, but I'd love to hear what UBM and y'all think. BTW, what's a "sheenie"?

Undercover Black Man said...

Dez: "Sheenie" is an old-fashioned slur for "Jew."

Interesting interview with Harlan Ellison. He says all there is to say about himself with this:

"I’m an all-purpose card-carrying loather of all human beings."

In other words, he's a misanthrope. So I'm not gonna get bent out of shape over anything he says. I don't dig misanthropes. There are anti-racist misanthropes... George Carlin, for example. That's even more of a contradiciton... he has contempt for human beings in general, but avoids using racist slurs. Hooray for him!

dez said...

Aww, but George Carlin is really funny. Harlan's just...well, Harlan.