Hypocrites, Intolerance, Self-loathing, and Extreme Censorship Destroying Free Speech in America, Don Imus’ demise

I begin this article by doing something that is rare for one of my persuasion, coming to the defense and outrage of how a liberal is being treated in the media.  The results of the past ten day’s worth of public persecution of CBS radio talk show host Don Imus has shown how low the liberal media and the tide of liberalism has washed over main stream America.  This IS a watershed moment in our culture and a dangerous one for our political future as well.  Yes I know this is a bold statement and a leap many feel that can not be made, however as I always have in the past almost 2 years worth of posts will show everyone just how accurate and true this is.  As is customary in situations like this, according to recent years worth of protocols I am supposed to begin by denouncing and distancing myself from Mr. Imus and his statements as he is presumed toxic and guilty and numerous other bad and despicable things.  I am not, will not, nor feel the need to do this for this case.  The point is not so much what he said or the context of it, as the title of this article states it is a reflection of something much larger and if we are to continue to play ‘blind man’ in this country then we will eventually fall of the preverbal cliff or walk in front of the truck stupidity we are finding ourselves in.  So with no apologizes or tip toeing around the thousands of intentionally laid land mines tied to this event I will begin.  This article is only about the events surrounding the Imus controversy, not the actual event itself.

The facts of the case have been blasted before the public since the 4th of April, some repeatedly, some are little or not known.  In my fashion of displaying the facts I will briefly break down what really happened as goes to showing who is really in control of your media and cultural standards in the present and near future.  On April 4th, during his morning sports segment Don Imus, producer Bernard McGuirk, and sports reporter Sid Rosenberg were all commenting on the final women’s basketball tournament championship game between Rutgers and Tennessee.  The three were commenting on how tough and physical the Rutgers team was and in a seemingly natural and fluid conversation the remarks in question, as well as seemingly worse (as well as a comparison to the Toronto Raptors and Spike Lee movie) were made.  The whole exchange took less then 10 seconds and could have been easily missed, fact.  What follows next is where the mud in the water begins to shine.

The liberal media watchdog group, Media Matters has one staffer dedicated to Imus in the Morning, the rest of the staff is closely monitoring and waiting for any and all conservative media to make a mistake to pounce.  This staffer may or may not have know Don Imus’ show is a unique blend of sports, current events, political forum, and shock humor.  The political forum is mostly liberal as is the comments on current events.  While Don Imus is an equal opportunity offender, his views and those conveyed on his show are liberal slanted.  Media Matters immediately contacted their outlets whom which they have influence, Salon.com (liberal e-zine), the New York Times, and MSNBC who ran stories bringing the remarks onto the national stage.  USA today and the LA Times all credited Media Matters with breaking the story, an endorsement Media Matters greatly trumps up on their Don Imus time line page.  For a change liberals are bashing liberals as hard as they do conservatives.

On April 5th Don Imus responded to the articles the same way he has about hundreds of offensive comments he has made over his long 40+ year career pioneering the Shock Jock radio show format, by stating is was not a big deal, taken out of context, and meant as a joke.  Media outlets, smelling a national story reminiscent of the Michael Richards, Isaiah Washington, and Ann Coulter ratings generators, instantly contacted Rutgers for their reaction, of which an overwhelmingly majority were unaware as to the comments at this stage (Don Imus’ show has a demographic majority of white males age 30+ in its morning time slot).  At this time only the school seemed aware and their publicists made a statement to the media.  MSNBC began to distance themselves and issues a public statement to that effect.

April 6th Don Imus apologized on the air and in some length for the words, context, and insensitivity he displayed.  Now lets stop right here.  Not even 48 hours after the offensive supposedly occurred an apology was issued.  It reads of sincerity, honesty, and a real emotion of apology.  The Media Matters website published the apology and this is where the story gets interesting.  Rutgers women’s basketball team is mostly African American, only 2 European descendent players were at the tournament.  According to New Jersey’s Association of State Colleges and Universities Rutgers had a fall 2005 student population of 88,782, 63% white, 13% Hispanic, and 12% black.  This means the remarks were not directed at a predominately African University nor one with the reputation of being so.  This is important in that is shows there was not prejudicial pretext to the comments, rather they were ‘off the cuff’ comments spoken in a light hearted manner.  On this day the National Association of Black Journalists stated the apology was ‘too little, too late’.  How is making a public apology less then 48 hours after the incident too late?  How was the apology too little?  Here we are beginning to uncover the veil of the real beast behind this news story.  One word of caution, jumping to conclusion and knee-jerk reactions are part of the problem, civilized peoples in a civilized society use dialog and logic to influence their thoughts, not pure emotion.  From here the story only gets more and more interesting like peeling an onion you do not know the size of.

At this point too many local and regional news outlets were covering the story it attracted a media desperate for a follow up to the void left by the seemingly endless Anne Nicole Smith story.  Now the NAACP, NOW, and numerous other national organizations began foaming at the mouth.  A radio veteran who built his career on shocking and provocative programming found himself isolated and abandoned by his network, friends, and nearly everyone in the public eye.  Soon after sponsors pulled out of his 2 shows and despite going on Al Sharpton’s radio show and apologizing and even trying to explain himself to Sharpton and NABJ president Bryan Monroe they both continues their public demands for his firings and now they have them, Don Imus was fired from both MSNBC and CBS Radio.  Now what will CBS do with his $5 million a year newly renewed for 5 years contract?  If they are smart they will pay him off on the condition he does not pick up a microphone for 5 years, else Don Imus free of restrictions and pissed off will most likely resort to his old self against his former bosses and those he sees as responsible once a small radio station with little to now listeners hires him to boost their ratings and propel them into a successful program, it is worth noting Don Imus was WFAN’s largest paying sponsor spot and racked in $15 million per year, including syndication revenue to over 80 stations nation wide, according to Forbes Magazine’s website.  This is a huge hit to CBS radio who earlier lost Howard Stern to satellite radio as well as the local stations who have to fill a 3 hour void in their morning programming, costing them $200,000 to $300,000 per year for local shows compared to the $60,000 per year they paid for the syndication (most local stations can not afford this and will have to get another syndication in a week!).

Let us go in order here, first by looking at the hypocrisy of the whole affair.  This matter drew legitimate national attention only after Al Sharpton got involved, tipped of by his friends at the NABJ.  As I will point out Mr. Sharpton has many roles in these series of events running up to the outcome.  Staying on the topic of hypocrisy, Al Sharpton, on his radio show in an interview with Imus, called for Imus’ head on a silver platter, for offending the character of the Rutgers’ women’s team, then broadened to to all African American women, including his daughter, Imus responded by saying, "I said you have the right to say and do whatever you want to do. What I want you to do, and everybody else – everybody who’s calling me a racist, everybody who’s calling me a bigot, everybody who says, I don’t know anything about him, because I’ve heard people say, I don’t know what’s in his heart and I don’t know – I’ve never listened to his show, but I want him fired. That’s an ill-informed decision."  If you read through the interview you see Imus asking why black rappers, comedians, and actors are not publicly persecuted or fired for saying much worse then he did.  Sharpton stated he has had people fired, however if this has happened the ‘only public meeting’ Sharpton did so in a total vacuum, there has been no public spectacle of Sharpton, Jackson, or other black leaders having 1 black rapper, comedian, or actor fired or taken out of circulation for making the same or worse comments in their daily performances.  Now let’s look at the real hypocrisy here.  Sharpton has a history of good after anyone perceived of violating civil rights, to a criminal degree.  The New York media circus case of Tawana Brawley in the 1980’s destroyed a Steven Pagones’ career and after a few years Sharpton was found criminally liable for defamation of character, and his legal friends, Maddox and Mason, disbarred and they all had to pay hefty restitution to Mr. Pagones.  He never apologized for his actions or results in the case.  Let’s move on to the 1991 New York Crown Heights riots where Sharpton came and publicly whipped a crowed into a frenzy over the accidental death of a black youth by a Hasidic Jew, the mod was so stirred up they went out and hanged a Jewish youth, Yankel Rosenbaum and when the accused killer, Lemrick Nelson, was acquitted he incensed another riot resulting in property damage, terror in the community, and anti-semtic slurs and actions for months (Nelson was found guilty in Federal Court soon after), did Sharpton apologize?  No, Sharpton issues the follow statement instead of an apology, "We must not reprimand our children for outrage, when it is the outrage that was put in them by an oppressive system."  How about last year’s Duke Lacrosse team case where Sharpton organized and publicly denounced the school, community, team and men for fostering decades of racial motivated intimidation and violence against an innocent black exotic dancer she accused them of raping her?  Will Sharpton apologize to the men, families, compensate Duke for a Lacrosse season ruined, condemn the woman for crying wolf when it was proven this week in a court of law she was lying, filing a false police report, perjury, libel and slander.? According to past performance I bet not.  All this from a man who dropped out of Brooklyn College after 2 years, he did not complete seminary school either.  Does this mean he is not really a Reverend then?  I may be confused but aren’t men of God, Christians believing in the teachings of Jesus Christ, supposed to turn the other cheek, accept humbleness and apologizes and trust in the good of man, not incite riots, false accuse people, or denounce people publicly?  Pure hypocrisy.

Next on the agenda is intolerance.  While racial slurs and hate speech is despicable… it is not illegal in America.  We all have the choice to not listen or to voice out our condemnation of the words, but the people saying them have the right to say them, just as we have the right to protest against them, more on this later.  America has become a country of intolerance.  We do not tolerate people who have views against ours, religions against ours, entertainment outside our view of normal, mean people, bad people, etc.  We want them all in jail or under a bus, the problem is who determines who is bad?  Who is the morale voice of reason who determines who is good and bad, what is offensive and what is acceptable?  Who is our god in determining right from wrong?  The air of hatred has turned within us all to where we look outward and see and condemn the actions of everyone we don’t like.  Should Imus see punishment, of course… but how much?  When is enough enough?  Who is the determiner of this?  Who is our compass to say, "ok, you apologized enough, pay your fee and go your way’?  We are so intolerant there is never enough!  There is no retribution for anyone in the public eye.  We are disassociated from the fray so we foam at the mouth and encourage the likes of Sharpton in a public crucifixion of anyone’s character and livelihood.  We are not satisfied with apologizes, people entering programs, receiving intervention, agreeing to correct the issue, no we want blood and we want it now.  Our short attention span and attention deficit society has looked beyond the belief of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and despite Imus being guilty, was it a crime or a defamation, a verbal assault of heinous nature intended to cause pain or oppress a person or group?  Where is the line, what is the line, if one crosses it how can they come back across it and be in good standing?  When did America become the society of vigilantism and instant justice?  While we all know a racist when we see them, are we so blinded by our intolerance to not separate a racist remark from a racists?  I am afraid this is the state of American society today.

One thing political correctness has taught me is that our society is full of self loathing individuals who are beyond the ability to deal with criticism or respect enough for others opinions to tolerate a view radically opposed to their own.  Does this mean I condone sexism, racism, oppression, degradation of individuals… of course not.  But if the fears of the minority dictate the natural behaviors of the majority it will eventually build into a backlash, and this is what causes riots and revolutions, as the Iraqis.  It is human nature to notice differences, categorize things into easily identified groups, and to believe we are better then the person next to us, otherwise we as a species would have never achieved a small fraction of what we have.  We are all arrogant, self centered, and superior feeling no matter what we chose to believe.  Its called the id, ego, and super ego.  We all keep it in check, that is why humility is such a powerful force, and why demeaning someone is such an act of cruelty.  The air of political correctness plays on our guilt, making us feel guilty for thinking the person over there is weird and different.  This guilt for realizing a natural impulse and thought plants the seeds of self-loathing.  One thing people need in inclusion, it is part of our emotional needs.  Inclusion dictates if we are loathing ourselves to the point we have to drag others down into our misery pit.  By stating ‘you are mean and cruel and wrong for thinking or saying this or that’ we instantly build a group, a collective, a group in which we have the inclusion we need to survive.  Over the years it went from being a good idea to stop bullying and pointing out the obvious to a political movement that colors our very social fabric now, demonstrated by this incident.  Maybe it isn’t nice to call me an injun or a drunk, but if it were true then what is the harm.  Yes I am American Indian and I love good beer, drinking maybe 4 times a year, this is true.  All growing up I got this and I learned to not pay attention to it, how… pride in who and what I am.  It is not fun or taboo if it has no effect.  The Cleveland Indians do not offend me, my people living in squealer and poverty because of Federal mismanagement and policies do.  If Imus had made a drunken Indian joke I would not care because I would know it was just that a joke.  A self-loathing society is incapable of laughing at itself because everything is sacred, and this causes more self-loathing and internal pressure.  This is how we are right now.  Everyone wants to believe in the ideals of ‘freedom of speech, religion, pursuit of happiness’ yet if in this we offend anyone we are bad, terrible, loathsome individuals incapable of redemption or inclusion in society as a whole.  Our social membership requires self-loathing, praying to the alter of political correctness, and worshiping the demigods of social conciseness.  If we all hate ourselves for being human then who leads us?  If we are all incapable of seeing the world through individual eyes then how can we advance?  Orwell got it right, but it was not the government that became big brother, it was the self-loathing pundits of the church of liberalism and political correctness.  They now control our collective conciseness and what we think and say, if we rebel (on purpose or accident) we are denied access to all we know.  They hated themselves so much for being different they stripped us all of our groups and gave us robes of individuality all flawed and imperfect to a degree we are the same.  All this evident with our obsession on pills and miracle cures for depression, PTSS, weight gain, ED, blood pressure, what have you.  We can not believe in ourselves but only we are flawed and therefore broken.  If we feel people with black hair are criminals because all our friends were robbed by black haired people we are wrong, shamefully wrong, and made to feel so.  If this continues the drug companies will not be able to make enough pills to fix us, because when you go against nature and defy nature’s law you condemn yourself to extinction.

Despite all this there is a troubling under current above the turbulent surface that is far more dangerous and sinister.  This is the specter of censorship, added to the hypocrisy and joined in by the self loathing cousin of political correctness makes a toxic atmosphere in which all our ideals and beliefs wither and die.  While the ACLU is condemning Don Imus it is at the same time fighting for, free speech?  Some are stating this is akin to hate speech, well let’s look at this.  Hate speech is ‘a controversial term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against someone based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. The term covers written as well as oral communication’, according to Answers.com oh and ignore their first definition… it is too narrow and incomplete.  Many victims groups and civil rights groups have called for legislation against hate speech, similar to hate crime legislation passed in the wake of the Matthew Sheppard incident.  As a knee-jerk reaction this seems a good idea, but lets look at the implantations to free speech, one of our founding principals.  Sites such as First Amendment Center.org have a page looking at this and I found the most disturbing quote on the site…

"The calls for restrictions include declaring hate-mongers mentally ill, government monitoring of groups and individuals espousing hate, outright censorship of hate speech on the Internet, and punishment of hate speech in all forms and media. It has even been proposed that recent hate outrages justify lifting the restraints placed on the Hoover-era Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow the agency to investigate groups and individuals for religious or political speech it deems extreme."

Is this how the left and political correctness crowd really feel?  Let me re-introduce my favorite quote to you, "Those willing to sacrifice freedom for safety deserve and shall receive neither." – Benjamin Franklin.  One of our countries greatest thinkers, ever… this is truly a dangerous time.  Our country has been crystallizing for some time.  I am not positive it is solid yet, but when it becomes so watch our, for the crap will hit the fan then.  This Imus thing is showing how far things can go.  If a public figure can have his career and life destroyed in 10 days for making a really bad joke, listen to the comment in its entirety, then who is next?  Imus had powerful journalists, politicians, entertainers, community leaders on his show over the past 30 years at CBS.  With all this he was able to be tried, convicted, sentenced, and bleed publicly all within the course of 10 days, then what if you or the person down the street lets an offensive comment slip in a moment of anger or astonishment?  Imus is a big boy, he is rich after 40 years of pushing the Free Speech envelope, for once he has gone beyond the point of now return, proving the world is flat.  Once we censor one aspect of our society it will not stop!  If we dictate we can’t call Indians injuns anymore then what is to prevent orange ties from being outlawed in 10 or 20 years?  What will our society be when this is over.  Comedy will cease to exist.  Art will be so sanitized so as not to offend anyone that the point of aspiring to provoking thought will be gone.  Our skins will be so thin we are incapable of withstanding the most harmless of insults.  Our enemies no longer need to fly planes into buildings, but broad cast to the world we are a bunch of ‘wusses’.  I may hate liberals for their tactics and opinions on many things, but we are all Americans and one of our God given rights is that of Freedom of Speech.  Yes I said God given, who do you thing allowed this to happen and be retained all these years while the world around us went to Hell? 

Now we are close to a tipping point, one where public opinion is warming up to the notion of restricting our freedoms we enjoy.  Freedom of speech, religion, assembly the right to bear arms, the right to telling the person next to us to get bent if they offend us.  The very second we restrict one, any one, of these we cease being American, and begin to turn into a totalitarian society where only the one who is making the rules is free and their rest slaves to their whims.  My ancestors risked life and limb crossing the ocean to be the first Europeans to live freely on a new continent, while a few thousand miles west my ancestors were continuing to live free and enjoy a life style they molded out of thousands of years of tradition.  I accept that the Europeans conquered the country and I accept their government and principles, because I agree with them.  I can not accept seeing my country continuously rapped and degraded into a mockery.  Censorship, self imposed or government sanctioned, is against the very basis on which we fought a war against the world’s mightiest empire and military might and won.  We were tired of being censored and told what to thing and do and not having any say in our governance or taxes, for that we revolted and won.  Now we are facing an enemy from within, one disguised as a friend, political correctness.  It promises love, peace, and universal inclusion, but its promises are lies.  Pure lies.  Censorship is wrong, un-American, no matter how much make up and perfume you slap on it, no matter the dress it is in, it is still a pig, just a gaudy one.  This air of self-imposed censorship, political correctness, is a devil, one which promises the world but lies to the point we will ruin it all if we accept it. 

The self appointed deacons of political correctness, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al are the ones who hold the keys to this politically correct Hell we are about to step into.  If we allow this to go down without some measured reply of saying it went too far, then the next will be all those they hate.  Don’t believe me that there is a list?  Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bob O’Reily and the such will all be next.  All have stepped into the mess we call politically incorrect speech before, and worse yet they got away form it.  If this goes by without a hitch then we open season on anyone with opinions against those of the extreme left.  All moderates and right wing thinkers will be targeted and once they slip just a bit and that is that, their voices silenced.  With out an opposition pointing out a different point of view we become too vain, too weak, believing our own crap does not stink.  The ACLU used to cry out when a voice was silenced, now they stand by and applaud when it happens, hypocrites.  Where is the list?  We need a universal standard list of what is offensive and what isn’t.  Without this list we have no real compass.  Well, the hypocrites Sharpton, ALCU, NAACP, et al will never produce it because then know then they will have to crucify their own people.  Rappers, comedians, actors in the black community get a free pass when it comes to these words.  Only token opposition to their use is offered in times like this.  Why isn’t Opera and Sharpton demanding MCA, RCA, Virgin, EMI, Universal, MGM, etc fire all their black entertainers for degrading black women for racists, hurtful, stereotyping speech and performances they produce every week in our country?  They are hypocrites, and those following them are lemming minded, soul-less, zombies who are enemies of America for what is was founded for.  Fairness is balanced and impartial, this air of intolerance runs contrary to each and every principal of fairness.  We have become slaves to intolerant attitudes towards everything we do not like.  We no longer have the vision or patience to wait out a fair and balanced outcome.  We are blinded my our intolerance we rush into judgements assured we are right.  Ask the Brooklyn Heights Jewish community how fair and balanced Sharpton was to them.  Tolerance equates patience, we have run out of this, thanks to instant gratification nation syndrome and this hyper intolerance has spewed forth an air in which any and all actions are hastily interpreted and judged before they can be measured.  Our self loathing belief in political correctness as a savior is the preverbal false profit we were warned against.  We have allowed the serpent to whisper into our ears and believed all the lies that we are above petty differences and disagreements and are one homogenous and pleasant society where all is candy and sunshine.  Our human nature is shunned and punished when ever it dares to show up making us hate ourselves even more, perpetuating our self-loathing vicious cycle that is political correctness.  If the Rutgers’ women’s basketball team were so offended by Imus then they would not have any Jay-Z, Tu Pac, Fidy Cent, Outkast, Ice Cube, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Dave Shapel, et al songs or albums on their iPods, CD collections, posters on the walls or attend concerts, comedy shows, TV broadcasts, movies/DVDs.  Political correctness is not a one way street, if it is good for Imus and white people then it is good for the black community as well.  Bill Cosby seems to be the only voice of reason coming from the black community these days, yet because he violates the laws of political correctness his voice is suppressed by those with an agenda of fear and hate, chasing after ghosts their hero’s defeated decades earlier.  If this continues we will have beyond this social imposed censorship we have seen played out in our media over the past few years, we will watch freedom die as the radical left passes censorship formally.  Even if this does not happen, the self imposed censorship we have now is too much.  We have non-elected stewards with the keys to success and ruin in their hands and their judgement and sentenced are harsh and unrelenting.  How much is enough, when is it over, who dictates the end?  Who polices the police?  If Sharpton is to be emboldened and encouraged by his victory of getting Imus fired then who holds him accountable for the Duke incident?  Who is the check and balance against the NABJ and NAACP?  While government censorship is leveled universally, like here in China, in our self imposed censorship environment it is run by a mob mentality that is hungry for blood and unrelenting.  It is a sad and despicable state America is slipping into, one I have feared for many years.  After the race issue is put to bed will we digress into a society where perfume is labeled as offensive, causing people to get fired (like in Canada), or where people driving SUVs are denied access to any and all facets of society?  Every journey begins with 1 step, and if we continue to sit back and watch such spectacles as spectators we will find the game expanding into the stands, then it is too late.  Again this article is only about the events surrounding the Imus controversy, not the actual event itself.

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