Stealing from Bill Maher, I have a new rule:
“Anyone outraged by Don Imus’s remarks is forbidden to link approvingly to Al Sharpton’s role in this matter.”
Period. And no, that is not excusing Imus.
I lived in Poughkeepsie in 1988-1989.
*** Update ***
And in case you are confused, while this was originally about some tasteless racist remarks, this is now all about raw political power:
Imus, who has made a career of cranky insults in the morning, was fighting for his job following the joke that by his own admission went “way too far.” He continued through the day Monday, both on his show and Sharpton’s.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who marched with about 50 protesters Monday outside NBC offices in Chicago, said Imus’ suspensions will not halt the protests.
“This is a two-week cooling off period,” Jackson said. “It does not challenge the character of the show, its political impact, or the impact that these comments have had on our society.”
Imus survives unless he keeps talking the next two weeks. His main problem is that he has no real base of support- he has spent the last few years on the right side of the war issue and alienated many conservatives, he was on the right side of Walter Reed, and has been a vocal supporter/champion for a number of issues that have alienated him with many on the right. He has nowhere to go- the left think he is an icon of the right and think they can get a scalp, the right feels like he betrayed them and is happy to see him hurt.
And really, he is just a cranky old radio jock who has been giving people what they want for years. Anyone who is remotely surprised or shocked that he said this about the Rutgers basketball team has CLEARLY not watched or listened to his radio show in the past ten years. In one sense, it seems almost unfair- it is like spanking your dog after he chewed up the 200th pair of shoes. While I am sure that he now understands the remarks were inappropriate, he probably feels blindsided and shocked by all the outrage directed at him.
Take that for what you will.