In the midst of the Don Imus/Rutgers women’s basketball team controversy, one would think that calling a woman a prostitute, or any similar epithet on the air, would be so inexcusable that it would meet with extraordinary media outrage.
After all, if you did a Google news search of the name Don Imus, it would generate almost 15,000 stories about the controversial radio host. The phrase "Nappy-headed hos" garnered almost 10,000 results.
Yet, when the New Black Panther Party leader Malik Shabazz called Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin a “political prostitute” on Thursday’s “O’Reilly Factor,” the media largely ignored the event. In fact, a Google news search of his name identified that only one major media outlet reported this outrageous comment, albeit at the USA Today Online Politics blog.
Regardless of the double standard, here is the disgraceful segment of this interview which coincidentally occurred within hours of Imus being fired by CBS Radio for his comments (video available here, h/t Hot Air):
This is waaaaay too funny, folks, and requires all combustibles, potables, and sharp objects to be properly stowed before proceeding.
In response to the recent brouhaha concerning Don Imus and the Rutgers women’s basketball team, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has called on “conservatives to use the available media (radio talk shows, blogs, letters to the editor) to protest and demand that Rosie O’Donnell be kicked off The View.”
They didn’t call him “The Hammer” for nothing, folks.
In a piece posted at his blog Wednesday – obviously before CBS radio decided to fire Imus – and deliciously titled “If the Left takes Imus, We’ll take Rosie,” DeLay described this deplorable event in a way that only he could whilst issuing a reciprocal call to arms:
In the midst of this disgraceful Don Imus affair, one thing has been sickeningly apparent: few members of the media have the guts to stand up to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and call them out for their obvious hypocrisy.
Such can certainly not be said of Jason Whitlock, an African-American sportswriter for the Kansas City Star who not only wrote a remarkable, must-read column on this subject Wednesday, but also went on MSNBC’s “Tucker” Thursday to say things about this issue and race relations in this country that few in the media would ever dare.
In reality, this is so fabulous that you must see the entire video (h/t to NB reader nicksmith112 and Hot Air), but here are some of the amazing highlights:
Has the Imus-inspired national conversation on race and sex jumped the shark? I'm starting to suspect so after hearing Pat Schroeder this morning. Her most notable contribution to the collective dialogue was to suggest that there's something inherently masculine about verbal meanness.
The former Democratic congresswoman from Colorado was a member of a panel moderated by NBC's Lester Holt on this morning's "Today."
"View" token non-liberal Elisabeth Hasselbeck appeared on the April 12 edition of "Hannity and Colmes" to announce her co-host appearance on "Fox and Friends" and to add her opinion on the Imus controversy. Hasselbeck echoed her comments on "The View" that Imus deserved at the very least a long suspension. However, she sang a very different tune when asked about her "View" colleague Rosie O’Donnell and her outrageous comments.
Co-host Sean Hannity asked Hasselbeck about Rosie’s anti-Asian remarks and inquired if Rosie should be held to the same standard. "The View" co-host responded that "that would be for Rosie to decide" and noted Rosie’s intentions "were not malicious."The transcript is below.
The AP is still spinning the anti-Imus wheel with spinoff articles. AP's Sean O'Driscoll wrote a scolding article (this could be old, but this one was posted Tuesday) that whites like Karl Rove should not attempt to rap, as he did at the Radio & TV correspondents dinner, concluding with Jimmy Kimmel saying it is "never, ever funny." Then there's this one from Deepti Hajela: "'Nappy' Has Long, Hurtful History." We are told that whites should never attempt the loaded "in-group" terms:
"When Imus says 'these nappy-headed hos,' his first flaw is he's using an in-group term that's loaded," said Lanita Jacobs-Huey, associate professor of anthropology and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California."When I hear it from someone who doesn't understand the depth of pain, they just don't have the right to say it," Jacobs-Huey said.
The April 13 edition of "The Early Show" reported on CBS firing Don Imus from the radio for bigoted remarks. To react to the news, anchor Harry Smith interviewed the Reverend Al Sharpton. After hard hitting interviews with Alberto Gonzales and Tony Snow, the CBS anchor seemed disinterested in throwing hard balls to the left wing activist. Smith asked standard questions like what "made it necessary for him not to be on the air," "did he seem like a person who was sorry for what he did," and even asked if Smith’s boss, Les Moonves "gets it."
Although he asked a very mildly worded question about what Sharpton would do about similar language in hip hop music, Smith did not bother to mention his past anti-Semitic comments and the Tawana Brawley case that even the ladies of "The View" discussed. Harry Smith, who covered the Duke lacrosse case dismissal the previous day, did not even see it fit to ask if Sharpton had any regrets from his rush to judgement in Durham. The entire transcript is below.
In the wake of the Imus affair, MSNBC is airing an all-day discussion on the theme "What's OK to say?" Poet Maya Angelou appeared at 11:05 AM EDT, and in the course of her interview with MSNBC's Peter Alexander, had this exchange:
ALEXANDER: Dr. Angelou, you're an author and an artist. I guess the question is, is there a need for more censorship of our media and of our arts, are you comfortable with that? And if that happens, when does it end? What is OK to say?
ANGELOU: Exactly. I agree with that. I think the society decides upon the censorship. Each person censors himself or herself. Do you think, if any of these hip-hoppers, if they said about Mrs. Bush what they say about black women, do you think they would be given a microphone? Do you really think so? So we have to censor ourselves. And then, the society makes that decision.
Touchy, touchy! Diane Sawyer is in the business of dishing out tough questions and challenging people's answers. But when a guest on today's "Good Morning America" politely corrected her on a First Amendment matter, the GMA host was quick to accuse him of "attacking" her.
Los Angeles-based radio talk show host Larry Elder was Diane's guest, in to discuss the Imus matter. Sawyer introduced him as a "conservative radio host" though on his own site Elder describes himself as a "libertarian" and "a blend of fiscal conservative and social liberal." Of course we all know how many times the MSM has described Al Sharpton as a "liberal" in the course of his innumerable appearances over the last week or so: that would be precisely zero, at last count.
Elder opined that Imus' punishment did not fit the crime. Imus' comment was offensive, sexist and racist, said Elder, "but he apologized, apologized again, did the obligatory beatdown tour à la Michael Richards by appearing on the Al Sharpton show, and as far as I'm concerned, that should have been enough. In the grand department store of life, Don Imus operates in the toy section and I think that those remarks should have been taken with some perspective, but they weren't."
Keith Olbermann opened his Wednesday MSNBC show by displaying video of Rush Limbaugh on screen as he smeared conservative talk radio as “racist,” asking, “Why have none from the racist right been protested, boycotted or fired?” He then delighted Thursday night when guest Sam Seder, of the far-left Air America Radio, predicted “the next time Limbaugh slips up, which I think is inevitable, I think you're going to see this sort of same type of reaction.” A pleased Olbermann exclaimed: “It's the best thing I've heard in a couple of days. From your lips to God's ears!” Olbermann had asked Seder: “How does Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage get away with worse than what Don Imus said?”
With “SELECTIVE OUTRAGE: Imus Was Not Alone” on screen, Olbermann teased Wednesday's Countdown by wondering: “Where's the other outrage? Rush Limbaugh calls Barack Obama 'Halfrican-American.' Michael Savage says the Voting Rights Act means 'a chad in every crack house.' Neal Boortz says Cynthia McKinney looks like a 'ghetto-slut.' Why have none from the racist right been protested, boycotted or fired?” He soon cued up race-hustler Jesse Jackson: “Why are there not efforts to remove them from the air?”
One positive result of the Don Imus imbroglio is a renewed focus on degrading, obscene, sexist, violence-endorsing rap music. Brent Bozell's entertainment columns offer a road map for anyone seeking a refresher course on nasty rap-music controversies over the last four years. Don't miss how media people (like, oops, NBC's Matt Lauer) make excuses for rappers:
In raising her two daughters, [Washington Post writer Lonnae O'Neal] Parker had one very definitive image in mind capturing what’s wrong with today’s dominant trend in hip hop. At the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, rappers Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent added pomp to the song "P.I.M.P." by featuring black women on leashes being walked onstage. This past August, she added, MTV-2 aired an episode of the cartoon "Where My Dogs At," which had Snoop Dogg again leading two black bikini-clad women around on leashes. She explained: "They squatted on their hands and knees, scratched themselves and defecated. The president of the network, a black woman, defended this as satire."
On Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” reporter Kate Snow hosted a segment on whether the Duke lacrosse players will be able to get their reputations back. In so doing, she discussed Reverend Al Sharpton’s role in falsely accusing New York prosecutor Steven Pagones of raping then 15-year-old Tawana Brawley in 1987.
Though this segment was not specifically related to the unfolding Don Imus story, GMA has thus far been the only network morning show to interview Pagones and, by implication, seriously question Sharpton’s role as moral arbiter in the Imus case. (In fairness, “Today” has mentioned the Tawana Brawley case in general as has MSNBC.) After discussing the Duke case, Snow segued into other high profile, false accusations:
Kate Snow: "Steven Pagones knows exactly how that is. 20 years ago, he was very publicly accused of raping 15-year-old Tawana Brawley."
Al Sharpton [file footage of Sharpton]: "Six white men, one named Steve Pagones. I repeat it again! The assistant district attorney of Dutchess County, were among those that attacked her."
On April 12, for the third straight day "The View" co-hosts discussed the Imus controversy. Most noteworthy, though, they also discussed the lack of moral authority from Imus’ most visible critic, Reverend Al Sharpton. Guest co-host Rose McGowan read verbatim Sharpton’s most inflammatory, anti-semitic remarks including the Tawana Brawley hoax and labelling Jews "diamond merchants." Co-host Joy Behar editorialized on the key remarks. Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck called Sharpton’s comments "hatred" and McGowan called them "complete bigotry." Rosie O’Donnell was unusually quiet. The entire transcript is below.
BEHAR: Because this Imus thing is not, you should pardon the pun, black and white issue. It’s not. It's a gray issue.
Thursday's New York Times was the only major newspaper to lead with the big news out of North Carolina -- the state's attorney general is dropping all charges against the three former Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of the sexual assault of a stripper at an off-campus house.
The story by Duff Wilson and David Barstow, "Duke Prosecutor Throws Out Case Against Players," noted:
"North Carolina’s attorney general declared three former Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a stripper innocent of all charges on Wednesday, ending a prosecution that provoked bitter debate over race, class and the tactics of the Durham County district attorney."
I write these words in the wake of the news that MSNBC has dropped Don Imus from its lineup. I fully expect that by the time you read these words, CBS Radio will have fired him as well.
The raging media controversy over the stupid racial insult Imus threw at the Rutgers women’s basketball team – “nappy-headed hos” – has led the usual cast of professional victims, like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the NAACP, to deplore the racist underbelly of the broader American culture.
But where were these people when the subject was gangsta rap? With these arrogant and profane multi-millionaires routinely insulting and deriding people, especially black women, with language one hundred-fold more offensive than anything that ever came out of the I-Man’s mouth?
The co-hosts of "The View" offered their input on news of the dismissal of all charges against the three indicted Duke lacrosse players. After discussing Imus again, co-host Joy Behar labeled the innocent players as "a little white boy’s club" that is "in effect" at Duke.
"It's interesting that it comes at the time of the Duke rape case. The boys are off because the girl lied and she didn’t- wasn’t raped. However, it’s interesting to me that a little white boy's club was in effect in the Duke University situation too. You have a bunch of white boys sitting around with black girls, coming in and stripping. Alright, they didn't rape them, but-"
Guest co-host Rose McGowan likewise stated that they are the rich white boys she grew up resenting and "really hoped" they were guilty because they should "stand for all of them."After pleading with them not to sue her, Rose smeared the players claiming they "possibly" had "a long history of really inappropriate things"
That didn't take long at all. A few days after Don Imus' racially-charged remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team, CNN set its sights on Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk radio hosts. On Tuesday's "Paula Zahn Now," host Paula Zahn teased an upcoming segment by noting, "If you think some of the things Don Imus says are insulting, you haven't heard anything yet." She then played Rush Limbaugh's criticism of embryonic stem cell advocate Michael J. Fox from last fall.
Later, in the segment itself, Zahn juxtaposed Don Imus's words with controversial remarks by Limbaugh, Neal Boortz, Michael Savage, and Randi Rhodes -- three conservative/libertarian hosts to one ultra left-wing host. Then on his Wednesday evening program, CNN host Larry King gave former Air America radio host and Senate candidate Al Franken (D-Minn.) a platform to attack conservative talkers.
On the Thursday edition of what would be MSNBC’s "Imus in the Morning" simulcast, NBC reporter David Gregory spent almost 15 minutes of air time discussing the radio host's firing with the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
Gregory, who quarreled with Sharpton on the April 10 "Hardball" over his role in the Tawana Brawley false rape charges, did not broach the subject again. He did, however, challenge Jackson over his use of the slur "Hymie Town":
David Gregory: "You referred to New York as ‘Hymie Town’ in the past. You, you apologized for that and you expected and indeed retained your platform in America as a civil rights leader and as an important voice in this country. Why, again, if I may, should Imus be denied that same opportunity for redemption and to retain a platform that potentially could be used for good?"
This is unfortunate timing, no? Deirdre Imus, the wife of ex-MSNBC personality Don Imus, is featured in a symposium on page 92 in this week's Newsweek lecturing to evangelicals that they shouldn't be behind the curve on global warming the way they were on civil rights for blacks in the 1960s:
Environmentalism is the civil-rights issue of the 21st century, and one doesn't have to look too far back to see that evangelicals sat on their hands when it came to civil rights for blacks. I refuse to sit on my hands and allow the evangelical heritage to be sullied again, because the very reputation of the evangelical witness is at stake. It's crucial that we not make the mistake of our fathers.
Give Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira credit. On this morning's "Today," Lauer suggested to his boss's face that in firing Don Imus he had caved to pressure from advertisers and people like Al Sharpton. And Vieira held Al Sharpton's feet to the fire, now that he had Imus' scalp, about going after rappers and others who use similar language every day.
Here's part of the exchange, which came at 7:05 AM EDT, between Lauer and NBC News President Steve Capus:
CAPUS: This one went so far over the line, Matt, that it was time.
LAUER: But the timing, the timing. You really don't have to try too hard to think that NBC News caved to the pressure from advertisers like Proctor & Gamble and GM and others and perhaps caved to pressure from people like Reverend Sharpton, who we'll talk to in just a second.
With Representative Kucinich already talking about reconstituting the Fairness Doctrineas
far back as January, a far from Conservative radio talker may have provided
said Congress with just the opening it seeks. The ultimate prize the liberals in
Congress are after has nothing to do with race, as always, it's about politics
more than anything else.
On his show tonight, Bill O’Reilly asked Al Sharpton if he was going to go after the rap music “stars” who consistently denigrate women and glamorize violence. The Rev told Bill that after “getting rid of Mr. Imus”, his National Action Network will “start looking” at some of the corporations that backed Imus. Sharpton claimed that some of those corporations also own some of the record companies. Sharpton told O’Reilly that this was “just the beginning of a long war” to deal with this type of language and behavior.
But in March 2005 Sharpton defended the content of rap music while condemning the violence surrounding the industry. He made it quite clear that it was “not about the lyrics” but the violence committed by the rap artists. Sharpton even went so far as to invoke the rap artists’ First Amendment rights to rap and sing about violent acts. Here is what Sharpton had to say in his March 9, 2005 interview on CNN...
On the Imus vs. Rappers front, MTV News reports that rap star Snoop Dogg has issued a new "warning" to the public: Don't dare to compare his lyrics — or any other MC's — to Don Imus and his recent racially inflammatory comments. MTV says "the Dogg" found there is no parallel. The Rutgers women Imus ridiculed were a success story, while the women he knocks in his music are "ho's that's in the hood that ain't doing sh--."
MTV transmitted a long, profane self-defense Snoop offered in a phone interview:
"It's a completely different scenario," said Snoop, barking over the phone from a hotel room in L.A. "[Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about ho's that's in the 'hood that ain't doing sh--, that's trying to get a n---a for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC [the cable network home to Imus] going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them mutha-----as say we in the same league as him."
The April 11 edition of "The View" again discussed Don Imus’s recent racist and sexist remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Rosie O’Donnell likewise continued her tirade about Imus’ alleged "free speech." In a statement too bizarre even for Joy Behar, Rosie said the next step is the "thought police" locking everyone up in Guantanamo Bay without a lawyer. Perhaps Rosie is feeling the heat after her own controversial remarks.
JAMIE-LYNN SIGLER: I think people who have a public voice just need to be conscious then of what they’re saying and the effect that it can have and understand that there’s going to be consequences if they say things like that.
After sliming the Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of raping a stripper, Times sports columnist Selena Roberts returned to school on Wednesday with "A First Class Response to a Second-Class Putdown," about the Don Imus-Rutgers University women's basketball team controversy, in which the talk radio host denigrated the team by referring to them as "nappy-headed ho's." Roberts gushed about the Rutgers' players speaking truth to power:
"Of grace and dignity, without a single boob joke for ratings or a raunchy sidekick for on-air laughs, the women wearing Rutgers scarlet managed to capsize society’s power differential yesterday….But possessing the power differential means bullying someone your own size. With the ear of a national audience, Imus denigrated women who have revealed the courage to play a sport in its pure, fundamental form even though it is often branded inferior to the dunk style of men. The gals absorb enough put-downs as it is."
This marks huge hypocrisy on the part of Roberts, given that in the Duke lacrosse case, she eagerly sided with two separate bases of "power "-- an out-of-control local prosecutor, Michael Nifong, who now faces an ethics complaint from the North Carolina state bar*, as well as a politically correct college faculty and administration eager to side with what they considered an oppressed minority victim.
Jeff Greenfield has called it "the ultimate act of hypocrisy and cowardice" for long-time guests of the Imus show [file photo] to stay away now. Greenfield, who is leaving CNN to return to CBS as Senior Political Correspondent, appeared on this morning's "Early Show" and was interviewed by co-host Julie Chen.
CHEN: Did you hesitate to go on the show yesterday?
GREENFIELD: No. If you have the benefit of being on his show for 15 years -- and there is a benefit -- there's visibility, if you have a book [you can promote it], and also, to be blunt, it's a great deal of fun -- the banter. To stay away from the show when he gets in serious and deserved trouble, seems to me the ultimate act of hypocrisy and cowardice. But I went on the show and told him, I think quite bluntly, where things stood and where they have to go. All of us, he and some of us as guests, have not really stepped up to the plate in looking at the way race has been used on that show as humor.
No matter how deplorable and terrible you think Don Imus's remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team are, the fact is, that his statements pale in comparison to the stuff pumped out daily by the American music industry.
Michelle Malkin has a big list of the various vulgarities that are routinely tolerated by the same media that is currently up in arms about Imus. Here's just one song:
Rich Boy sellin' crack
F*k niggas wanna jack
Sh*t tight no slack
Just bought a Cadillac (Throw some D's on that b*tch!)
Just bought a Cadillac (Throw some D's on that b*tch!)
Just bought a Cadillac
This, along with Roseanne Barr's recent anti-gay remarks are yet another example of our "neutral" media's double standards.
Is Don Imus worth the fury? Lost in all the media attention focused on the “nappy-headed ho's” racial insult by radio host Don Imus last week directed at the Rutgers University womens' basketball team -- all three broadcast network evening newscasts led with multiple stories on it Tuesday night after it topped CBS and NBC on Monday night, to say nothing of the non-stop cable coverage -- is how few actually heard his remark live since his ratings are so low. Monday's USA Today pegged his MSNBC audience at 354,000 daily viewers in March, about half the 692,000 who tuned in FNC's Fox & Friends and about 1/17th the audience of about 6 million who view NBC's Today show.
And he doesn't do much better on the radio side. “Putting things in perspective,” Dave Hughes, on DCRTV.com, pointed out Tuesday that in Washington, DC, “despite all the Washington 'power players' he has on his show, and all the press he gets, almost no one inside (or outside) the Beltway listens to him. In the latest Arbitrends, Imus, via Clear Channel talker WTNT [570 AM], was tied for 25th place in morning drive with Fredericksburg country outlet WFLS [93.3 FM],” a station most in the DC area can't even receive. Nationally, a Talkers magazine analysis of Arbitron ratings in markets across the country, for the cumulative number of listeners per week in the fall of 2006, documented that at least 19 nationally syndicated radio talk hosts have an audience larger than does Imus. Though he's on in the morning drive, when the most people listen to the radio, his audience is just one-sixth of that of Rush Limbaugh.
If George Allen turned up on Good Morning America to protest an incident of alleged anti-white bigotry, what are the odds the GMA host wouldn't mention Allen's macaca moment? I'd say they'd be a Dylanesqe "Love Minus Zero."
But when GMA aired a clip this morning of Al Sharpton expressing his outrage over Don Imus' recent comments about the Rutgers women basketball players, not a discouraging word was heard about Sharpton's history of racially-charged statements and actions that go far beyond the former senator's gaffe.