Judging by a general reading of both the Right and Left blogospheres, both sides of the political spectrum are trying to flick the Imus tar-baby off of their respective fingers. From what I've read and heard him say, Imus is a registered Republican who voted for John Kerry in 2004 and has a history of giving a platform to both types of politicians on his show but promoting Democrat policies. RINO, DINO, whatever; nobody wants him on their team anymore.
So now MSNBC has cancelled the Imus simulcast in the wake of a bailout from nearly all of the show's sponsors. The show is a CBS (Viacom) production and pressure is building for CBS to cut the cord also.
Personally, I liked two takes on this drama. First there's Ann Coulter's, appropriately enough. On yesterday's episode of Hannity & Colmes--a show that I usually catch only inadvertantly--she asserted that, since the Rutgers women are not public figures, they should be out of bounds for the "friendly" insults that are sometimes exchanged between members of the commentator class. For an example of the phenomenon, Coulter referred to Al Sharpton as a "nappy-haired ho" and said that he is free to refer to her as a "flaxen-haired ho" since they both have equal or equivalent platforms from which to get even (Ann needs to read my primer on the definition of nappy). Conversely, the Rutgers women do not have a platform for retaliation which is equal to that of persons like Imus (which is why they and their coach saw fit to hold a press conference earlier this week). They're merely a team of upstanding young ladies who excel in sports and academics.
Secondly, there's rapper Snoop Dogg's take. Many observers have correctly noted that much of rap "music" contains lyrics that are far more mysogynistic and disrespectful to women (black or other) than was Imus's statement. But Dogg noted (rather inarticulately) that when rappers make up rhymes about "hos" they're usually talking about the genuine article: about women who pursue rich men who are otherwise undesirable and not about women who are trying to get a formal education in order to make their own money and who could probably fake most rappers out of their shoes on the basketball court. (The rest of his comment fades into a seemingly Fog-induced [defintion #1] irrelevancy.)
Ann actually agreed with Snoop's take on things--at least the first part. (It's from her that I found out about the Snoop statement.) Now there's an interesting ideological pair!
To sort of repeat myself, it isn't so much the mindless racist language that Imus used in making his "observation" that bothered me, but the reason that he considers the Rutgers women worthy of verbal denigration. In the minds of some men--men like Imus and not a few rappers, the Rutgers women committed a cardinal "sin": not being physically attractive to the observing man personally. And, in spite of all the personal accomplishments of such women, this makes them fair game for scorn (to such men), whether couched in racist language or not. And, for that alone, Imus deserves the shunning of the magnitude that he is receiving.
(Thanks to Hot Air)
UPDATE: CBS bails.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- CBS said Thursday it fired Don Imus from his radio show after a public outcry regarding slurs he used about the Rutgers' women's basketball team last week.
UPDATE: My "Nap Standard" primer has made inroads into cultural understanding. According to my stats counter, lots of people did not know but want to know what "nappy" really means. Like the woman said, "it's a good thing."