Imus and Justice

April 12, 2007

I've been thinking about writing about the Imus thing since I heard about it. Hesitated not just because of time, but because its so overdone. Well, even though I know they'll never know it, I want to thank NBC and CBS (and their advertisers) for doing the just thing and removing Imus from the airwaves and twisted copper cables.

I was hesitant to call for his job. That's called mercy, right? And forgiveness? Maybe he's honestly contrite? But that's not the bottom line. In a bout of one-upmanship with his producer he said some truly offensive things — that shouldn't just be offensive to women or blacks. They should be offensive to us all.

And that's more or less at least half the equation for why he was on the air in the first place. So cancelling his show should be seen as a triumph for saying: yes, you have the right to say whatever. But nobody's required to continue giving you a platform without limit. And frankly, unless you feel that its okay to exploit anyone and everyone for your own personal gain, then surely you'll agree that sometimes we must impose limits not just on physical interactions, but also on lingual — which is mental — interpersonal interactions.

Seeing anyone lose their job is unfortunate. But he can probably handle it a lot better than the office worker or janitor who, imitating him, finds himself in the same situation — hitting up Monster and the classifieds.