Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mirroring Imus

Frank Rich, the brilliant New York Times columnist, hit the ball out of the park today with his editorial "Everybody Hates Don Imus." He catalogues the "astounding display of hypocrisy, sanctimony and self-congratulations from nearly every side of the debate, starting with Al Sharpton...."

For those of you who didn't hear the full context of the Imus remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team, just the selectively edited sound bites that the media focuses on, here they are.

The reaction to this "humor," ... really a dialog with Imus's evil twin and show producer Bernie.... was a resounding enough-is-enough.

While Imus defenders like to point out the many good works of Imus, that argument is like saying the penalty for the mass murder of 33 young men by John Wayne Gacy should be lessened because Gacy spent his spare time entertaining children by dressing up as a clown.

Imus was a mass slurmeister and is now paying the consequences. As Imus said of himself.... "I dished it out for a long time, and now it's my time to take it."

One of the most troubling aspects of the whole incident is the way it buried other news of import, like the devastating bombing in the Baghdad Green Zone.... glossed over in the media's rush to make ratings and the big $$$ on the Imus controversy.

Which brings us to the bottom line.... Why the Imus-type of entertainment?... Why the media capitalizing?... Why the downward-spiraling coarsening of America? Because, the public likes, tolerates or even demands it.

Until that image in my and your mirror says "Enough" nothing will change.

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