The Don Imus Controversy… Undoubtedly, what Imus said was ill-advised and insensitive. I don’t defend his comment. But should he lose his job over it, as the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have called for? Absolutely not. First of all, there’s a little thing called the First Amendment to be considered. Secondly, Imus’s comment wasn’t a hate-filled tirade of the ilk of Michael Richards, just a joke in very, very poor taste. He’s an entertainer telling jokes, just as rappers are entertainers writing and singing songs. Last time I checked, Sharpton and Jackson weren’t calling for every hip-hop artist who has ever used the word “ho” to be banned from ever recording another album. If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander. Thirdly, if Michael Irvin’s Tony Romo comment and Bryant Gumbel’s Winter Olympic comment, both with racial implications, aren’t enough to warrant them being fired, Imus’s comment shouldn’t warrant such an act, either.
Is it okay for some people to use a derogatory term like “ho” (i.e. rappers) and not others? Of course, not–that’s hypocrisy. And it’s not as if Sharpton and Jackson are strangers to inciting racial controversy. Who remembers Sharpton’s defamatory statements and false accusations in regards to the Tawana Brawley case, or his “diamond merchants” comment during the Crown Heights Riot? What about Jesse Jackson’s derogatory references to Jews on multiple occasions? If Imus should be fired, shouldn’t those statements have merited the end of Sharpton’s and Jackson’s careers? I guess I missed the press release stating it’s okay for them to be bigots. Hypocrites.
Anyone else wonder if Sharpton and Jackson are enacting a personal vendetta for all the jokes Imus has made at their expense?