Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Imus Be Mistaken

The scandal of this week is, of course, Don Imus’ racially charged comments about female basketball players from Rutgers University.

I’m not here to defend Imus’ comments. I don’t watch or listen to the guy; I don’t do talk shows at all. And I seriously don’t think a guy with freakish hair like that should really be commenting on anyone else’s. (No sour grapes here, honest.)

I can understand why the players were offended by his remarks. Their outrage over unwarranted personal comments is certainly justifiable. And activists such as Al Sharpton are correct when they say that, free speech aside, there have to be limits on “hate speech” on the airwaves.

But I’m not sure how to determine what is hate speech. I am reminded of Michael Richards’ racist outburst during a standup gig in California last year. At that time I stated that I felt comedians were given more leeway than others with their words, and that it should be that way.

For entertainers in general, actually. I’d never tell (the late) Richard Pryor that he shouldn’t use the “N” word; ultimately, he came to that realization on his own. Likewise, I’d never tell a rapper not to use that word, lest they pop a cap in my sorry ass. All kidding aside, maybe one day they too will come to the same realization Pryor did.

Imus has apologized, and insists his comments were “comedy.” Were they? I don’t know. He has a track record with questionable comments. And what’s funny to some is not funny to all.

But I have also written that “offensive” is subjective, and that the offended shouldn’t automatically be given victim status. Just look at those Middle Eastern nuts who threw a shit-fit over a cartoon. (News flash: Blogger Bogs Under Fire For Referring To Middle Eastern People As “Nuts,” Rejects Calls For His Resignation, Cites Alcohol For His Woes)

If someone read back through all my posts they certainly might find something to be offended by. I do consider myself a satirist (and somewhat of a “satyrist” - hehehe), and I don’t wish to change that.

I’m not certain firing is appropriate in the Imus case. I prefer to reserve the ultimate punishment for corrupt and/or inept public officials. Imus has been suspended, and maybe he should be fined and put on warning that further comments of a similar nature might end his career. I don’t think we should be too hasty in trying to end anyone’s career, unless they are, say, a career criminal or a habitual offender.

Not to flippantly toss anyone’s feelings aside, but I’m hoping this issue will soon die down so we can return our attention to issues like the ongoing catastrophe in Iraq.

13 comments:

Bird said...

top o' th!e mornin' to you bogs!

imus should be off the air just cuz he's ugly.

"activists such as Al Sharpton" - makes me laugh and sigh. he is so mainstream now when once he was merely a crackpot and an opportunitst.

"racially charged comments about female basketball players" - the focus on all this hubub has been race - how 'bout racially AND sexist charged comments? the sexist part of all this has been underplayed. it's not just about race.

some talking heads yesterday were saying how this situation has moved these players from powerless to powerful. i resent that. so, as college women, going about their studies and playing a mean game, they had no power? they acquired no power through inteliigence, athletic prowness? they could only acquire power by being called names from an old white guy?

now that's a problem.

one more thing - big difference between pryor using the n-word and richards using it - and imus using his phrase. tacit rule in our society and we all know it: blacks can use the n-word, whites can't.

and intent plays a role. pryor's use sometimes seemed as internal racism (dare the white woman judge) - compare to say, dave chappelle's - whose "niggar" sketch is pure satire and social commentary. of course, pryor and chappelle are 30+ years apart.

glad to see this new post this mornin' bogs!

Pete Bogs said...

bird - amen to that... Imus is the proverbial missing link...

as far as Sharpton's "occupation," I figured activist was the best way to describe it... that, or advocate...

I don't know why anyone would see those women as powerless... I have heard the sexist aspect of the slur mentioned in the media, though I think that still goes back to racism... meaning, "nappy-headed hos" seemed to be Imus imitating an African American who speaks in such a manner... "ho" is urban slang, a mispronunciation of whore, is it not? that doesn't make it ok, I'm just saying that it's all racial...

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

wontchoo take me to
hymietown!!!! jess say

this what i call offensive:
the duke lacrosse players branded as rapists for 13 months. charged without evidence. ruined. hows that for race relations?

as to the rutgers girls..imus i cant feel sorry for because i personally dislike him

but

its about down to thought police in merica now. too many crybabies. i wish the rutgers girls wouldve said

come down here and say that to my face, you washed up denture wearing punk. or flash a photo of imus and say who is this guy to put a dig on our hair. and laugh it off.

seriously, this PC is getting out of hand. people gotta stop being so tender.

right faggots?


grrrhehrehraha

Pete Bogs said...

k9 - I agree... we all seem to have some issues with Imus... so let's lose him on that basis! lol...

crybabies is right... they ought to give it right back to him... as I said, a guy with hair (and a mug) like that...

and on that lacrosse thing, it is tragic... their names and faces have been in the media for months.... guilty or not, they are forever associated with rape allegations...

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOD!

Imus just committed Suicide!

Turn on the news right now.

He is dead motherfuckers!

































I'm Gay @ the UK!

Anonymous said...

Hey.

The term "african American" is not a correct term to call black people born in America.

They should be called "Black People/person".

If not, I will say that I'm "African American". This is from a strict Origin of man theory. So, basically all my relatives (the first ones) are from Africa and I was born in America.

I'm "African American" dammit! It has nothing to do with me being a white human.

Also. If I were to go back even further I could be called:

"Mars American"

All life came from Mars when some Mars rocks hit Earth.

right?

"Mars American"

Can I tell the government that is my status?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

hahahahah -

imus is so ugly - he deserves to be off the air, even though his was a radio show and you couldnt' see him (until this week, when the damn24 hr news shows had to show him over and over again - i practically rolfed!)

i'm disgusted with the lack of intelligence on the radio, the tv...

but geesh -

it's cheap, swarmy enteraintment - lets' them that listen pollute their ears - the damn comment got more airplay than it deserved all because the talkin' heads jumped on it.

signed,
a frizzie-headed ho
(flap/flap/flap)

Pete Bogs said...

anon I - keep those rainbow-coloured flags flying!

anon II - isn't that "Martian American?" :-)

anon III - Imus was simulcast on MSNBC, so those with cable (not me) could see his creepy mug daily...

all - Kurt Vonnegut has died... bummer!!!

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

hey! i like anon's logic. so i am black after all!

kay (dee oh double gee) nine
wussup, wussssss up! grrrherherhaha

"blaxploitation" got. it. now. grrrherherhaha

/grrrr

Pete Bogs said...

News flash: Imus has been fired, and Paul Wolfowitz, another corrupt Bush crony, has been asked to resign...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070412/ap_on_bi_ge/world_bank_flap

Bird said...

at least the news cycle is over and we can move on from all imus all the time to something else (like kurt vonnegut tributes) all the time for a short time - we do, after all, have short attention spans, we african-mars-adhd-americans.

of course, if anon is right, we're back at the imus cycle again.

oh hell.

Hellpig said...

good ridance

next rosie and bill maher

Infinitesimal said...

Imus described Rutgers as "some rough girls from Rutgers. They got tattoos," and then called them "some nappy-headed hos."

He compared them to Tennessee, saying "The girls from Tennessee -- they all looked cute."

The conversation then went on to compare the game to "the jigaboos versus the wannabes." Media Matters reported that the show's executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, made that comment.