It's been really fascinating to watch the Don Imus Drama unfold over the past week. There was no doubt in my mind that the nationally syndicated radio host should be fired for referring to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos", but I never actually expected it to happen. (Not in George W. Bush's America.)
Because "Imus in the Morning" made too much money for CBS to give home the boot. And initially, all the company did was suspend him for two weeks. But then the advertisers started pulling out of the program, and all of a sudden Imus wasn't such a hot commodity anymore.
I've read a ton of news stories and opinion pieces about the fallout over the past couple days and I want to share links to two of my favorites. The first one is by Miki Turner of MSNBC (who like me, didn't expect Imus to be kicked to the curb) and tackles the "what about freedom of speech?" issue.
The second one is a New York Times editorial by Harvey Firestein titled "Our Prejudices, Ourselves." I'm generally not a big fan of his, but this piece really touched me. Here's an excerpt in case I haven't convinced you to click the link.
AMERICA is watching Don Imus’s self-immolation in a state of shock and awe. And I’m watching America with wry amusement.
Since I’m a second-class citizen — a gay man — my seats for the ballgame of American discourse are way back in the bleachers. I don’t have to wait long for a shock jock or stand-up comedian to slip up with hateful epithets aimed at me and mine. Hate speak against homosexuals is as commonplace as spam. It’s daily traffic for those who profess themselves to be regular Joes, men of God, public servants who live off my tax dollars, as well as any number of celebrities.
Tell it like it is, Harvey.