The Debate

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First, let me address this nifty graphic that I found in South Carolina’s leading newspaper.   The subliminal message is clear here, let me see if y’all are sharp enough to scope it.    Anyway, everything was goin’ swimingly for our leading contenders until the end when Kucinich, Gravel and Obama got into a dust up over Barack’s understated messaging to the Jewish community about Iran.   We’ve gone over this terrain before so refresh your recollection.   Both Congressman Kucinich and Senator Gravel attacked the Safe Negro for essentially pandering to the Jewish community about a pre-emptive war with Iran that he had to forcefully rebut and put to rest. 

Gravel went off on an earlier tangent about nuclear weapons and asked Barack “Who in the Hell are we gonna nuke, Barack?  Gravel has been in the moth balls for a long time having last served in the Senate when the world was new and bell bottoms were still fashionable.   He did his level best to sound unstable and irrational enough to question conventional wisdom and charge that the military industrial complex mentality has the D.C. beltway firmly in its grip.  

Hillary, Barack, and Biden were clearly the winners of the evening with the responses they gave and the number of questions directed their way.   Some folk will be taking a closer look at Biden especially.   Bringing up the rear was Dodd and Richardson.   Richardson’s explanation of his Iraq plan was sensible enough to get him serious scrutiny as a possible Vice Presidential pick or Secretary of State.   He outshined Biden, Barack and Hillary on that.  

Lastly comes Edwards.  I was not impressed with his performance.  He wasn’t unfocused per se, but he just didn’t seem to be quite there tonight.

Harold Ford, Jr. Don Imus’s Nappy Headed Ho

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“The majority of Negro political leaders do not ascend to prominence on the shoulders of mass support. Although genuinely popular leaders are now emerging, most are selected by white leadership, elevated to position, supplied with resources, and inevitably subjected to white control. The mass of Negroes nurtures a healthy suspicion toward these manufactured leaders.” –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A tsunami of outrage has been blazing in the last ten days since Don Imus, Radio Shock jock and Harold Ford, Jr benefactor singled out the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Team with a racist and sexist epithet. In the midst of the firestorm, Tennessee’s black prince, corporate whore and senator-in-waiting, released the following obligatory and gutless statement:

I don’t want to be viewed as piling on right now because Don Imus is a good friend and a decent man. However, he did a reprehensible thing. His comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team were hurtful and wrong. Moreover, the comments robbed these young women of an important time to celebrate a magnificent and positive moment in their lives.

I am a big believer in redemption, and I understand that Don has done many good deeds in his life. Yet, no amount of philanthropy gives anyone the license to offend innocent people—particularly when it comes to matters of race and gender. So I’m going to follow the lead of those brilliant and gracious women of the Rutgers basketball team and wait and see how the next two weeks unfold. I certainly hope Don can come to understand better the pain he has caused these young women and their families, and I will leave it to others to decide how his future in media should play out.

Is it any wonder that I have lampooned Harold as”Harold Whore, Jr” and “the Whore?”

The statement is brilliant in the way it deftly positions him as an acceptable House Negro and corporate servant, unlike Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Its brevity is telling and its faint praise and politically expedient criticism of Don Imus was not what the Anus in the Morning was hoping for. The Anus in the Morning needed a lifeline and instead, the Whore pushed his head under the water until he drowned. Harold Ford, Jr doesn’t intend to sacrifice a seat in the world’s most exclusive club for Don Imus. While grateful for the endorsement and exposure Imus provided, and God knows he enjoyed his time as Imus’s nappy-headed Ho, Harold has no use for a John that can’t pay.

Cavorting with the Anus in the Morning and his merry band of on air racists allowed Harold Ford, Jr entrée and unfettered access to the media elite of this country also prominently featured on the program as guests. He could rub shoulders with those elitist D.C. journalists and New York Media powerhouses in the green room. Most importantly, he could shamelessly appeal to a white demographic that was entertained by the Anus in the Morning’s racist satire and confirmed in their bigotry.

Before all the contretemps, everything was smooth sailing for corporate whore extraordinaire Harold Ford, Jr. After 10 years of metaphorically swinging around a pole in the House of Representatives doing nasty favors in exchange for corporate cash in his g-string, the Whore felt that his apprenticeship was done and that he was ready for the big time.

The Whore understands how power operates in this society and in whose interests. Ours is a capitalist society that comes with all of the attendant drawbacks and moral compromises, which stratify our society along, racial and class lines. He understands that for him to ascend to higher office, he must first genuflect to power and service it better than a crackhead ho on his knees. Dr. Michael Parenti, author of “Land of Idols” has eloquently written, “The problem with capitalism is that it best rewards the worst part of us: the ruthless, competitive, conniving, opportunistic, acquisitive drives, giving little reward and often much punishment-or at least much handicap-to honesty, compassion, fair play, many forms of hard work, love of justice, and a concern for those in need.”

Ruthless, competitive, conniving, opportunistic, and acquisitive are all adjectives, which couldn’t be better in describing the essential character of the Whore. In short, he loves the game and doesn’t give two sh$ts about anybody but himself. Ain’t no way in hell he intends to be sidetracked by compassion or pushing some good-government crap designed to help those in need.

Any whore who doesn’t understand the art of seduction is not really a professional but an amateur. The Whore is anything but amateurish; he is a consummate professional. He set his sights on Don Imus and the Media elite that surrounded him and he conquered them all. Don Imus’s unapologetic racism was a minor peccadillo that the Whore ignored because the D.C. and New York power elite shared the same views. For the Whore, its all about the acquisition of power.

Jack White of Time Magazine told TomPaine.com’s Philip Nobile, “Imus will be untouchable as long as influential journalists and politicians turn a blind eye to the tide of racism and sexism that passes for satire on his program. Their tolerance of his nauseating brand of humor raises serious doubts about the mainstream media’s sensitivity to a range of racial and social issues. The problem isn’t really Imus; it’s his collaborators, who go along with him to flack their books and stoke their egos, selling out whatever principles they claim to believe in for personal profit. To hell with all of them.”

MSNBC wants to spin what they’ve done in suspending and subsequently firing Don Imus from his morning simulcast on the network. They’ve patted themselves on the back and claimed that internal pressure from unnamed African American and female staff, and not external outrage and the termination of major corporate advertising on Imus’s program dictated the decision to discharge Imus by the MSNBC News president Steve Capus.

Parenti has noted, “With command over organizational structure, personnel, and budget comes command over the practices and content of the institution. Those who call the tune may not be able to exercise perfect control over every note that is played, but individuals who stray to far from the score, who create too much cacophony, eventually find themselves without pay or position.” MSNBC News President Capus said that his decision “…was about trust. It’s about reputation. It’s about doing what’s right.” BULL****.

The truth of the matter is that Philip Nobile at TomPaine.com has been crusading against Imus for the last seven years. Every single one of Imus’s heavyweight journalistic regulars has been contacted and confronted about his racism, sexism, and homophobia. They have been asked point-blank to disavow Imus’s bigotry and to stop appearing on the program. Objectionable content was no secret to those who regularly appeared on the program or any network executive who ever freakin’ listened to the program; they never felt the need to confront it or him.

Parenti postulates that, “One widely accepted myth is that we have a free and independent press in the United States. In truth, the print and broadcast media are giant profit making conglomerates, owned and controlled by powerful banks and rich, conservative individuals. The reporters and editors who work for them learn to see the world with much the same blinders as owners, advertisers, corporate heads, and White House and Pentagon officials. Journalists think twice before delving into sensitive areas. They worry about having their copy cut and rewritten, and about being removed from choice assignments, passed over for promotion, or fired. The consequence is that coverage is limited and certain questions never get asked….”

Don’t let anybody fool you about the Anus in the morning’s tactics and battle plan. He intended to do his show his way and anybody who believed anything different was delusional and as far as he was concerned and could kiss his ass. After too many over-the-top skits and one of his producers calling the Williams sisters “animals” more suited to National Geographic than Playboy, he needed a good little sycophant and lawn jockey like Harold Whore, Jr to chat up, promote, and serve as window dressing. After being called out in 1997 for using the N-Word by Mike Wallace on 60 minutes, you’d think the Whore woulda steered clear. Naw, because the Whore ain’t got no shame. Never had and never will.

Kerry backs Imus

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John Kerry

Hat Tip: Taegan Goddard

In an interview with NY1 political anchor Dominic Carter, Mass. Senator John Kerry says radio-show host Don Imus should not have been fired by CBS – and won’t rule out appearing on a future program hosted by the controversial shock jock.

Kerry is the first high-profile Democrat not to support Imus’ ouster – who was fired last Thursday after making remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Here is a transcript of Kerry’s remarks:

Kerry: “I think that the…you know the punishment has to fit the crime so to speak. I think a long suspension, or a strong suspension met with his appropriate level, given that the team forgave him. To me it was in the hands of the young women. They made the judgment that they thought he was genuine and they felt they could forgive him. And I think it was appropriate to pay a price on the airwaves but I’m not sure that it was appropriate to say you’re off forever.”

Dominic Carter: “If Mr. Imus has a show in the future would you appear on it?”

Kerry: “It would depend on what the context of the show was obviously. If he goes back to doing the same old same old I’d have trouble doing that, but if it’s a different show and he says it’s going to be different sure.”

CBS Director Bruce Gordon, former NAACP chief, calls for Imus ouster

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HAT TIP : By DAVID CRARY, AP National Writer Wed Apr 11, 2007

NEW YORK – Bruce Gordon, former head of the NAACP and a director of CBS Corp., said Wednesday the broadcasting company needs a “zero tolerance policy” on racism and hopes talk-show host Don Imus is fired for his demeaning remarks about the mostly black Rutgers women’s basketball team.

He’s crossed the line, he’s violated our community,” Gordon said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “He needs to face the consequence of that violation.”

Gordon, a longtime telecommunications executive, stepped down in March after 19 months as head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the foremost U.S. civil rights organizations.

He said he had spoken with CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves and hoped the company, after reviewing the situation, would “make the smart decision” by firing Imus rather than letting him return to the air at the end of a two-week suspension beginning next Monday.

“We should have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to what I see as irresponsible, racist behavior,” Gordon said. “The Imus comments go beyond humor. Maybe he thought it was funny, but that’s not what occurred. There has to be a consequence for that behavior.”

Imus triggered the uproar on his April 4 show, when he referred to the Rutgers players as “nappy-headed hos.” His comments have been widely denounced by civil rights and women’s groups, and two sponsors, Staples Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co., have pulled their advertising from the radio show.

Gordon said that as a matter of principle, firing Imus should be an easy decision to make, though he respects the right of CBS leadership to consider all factors, including legal and financial repercussions.

“When I look at it from my position as a director, where my responsibility is to represent the best interest of the shareholders, it’s more complex,” Gordon said. “But at the end of the day, the image of CBS is at risk. … the ad revenue of CBS could be at risk.”

“What I expect is for management to take the next two weeks to do their homework,” he said. “I hope that the result of their due diligence is to terminate Don Imus.”

The CBS board has 13 members. A corporate spokesman declined comment on Gordon’s remarks.

The radio show originates from WFAN-AM in New York City and is syndicated nationally by Westwood One, both of which are managed by CBS Corp. MSNBC, which simulcasts the show on cable and is a part of NBC Universal, says it will watch to see whether Imus changes the tenor of future programs.

SUMNER REDSTONE SAYS CBS TO “DO THE RIGHT THING”

Neither Bruce Gordon or Sumner Redstone will be ignored.  Imus will be gone before his suspension is up.  The pressure from the bailing advertisers alone is enough to kill his show, and his $10 million paycheck dead.  But if that isn’t sufficient, perhaps scrolling through TOM PAINE. COM’s Imus Archive is.    They have been crusading for his ouster and recording his bigotry for the last seven years. 

MSNBC NIXES IMUS

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Hat Tip: http://informedvoters.wordpress.com/ 

NEW YORK – MSNBC said Wednesday it will drop its simulcast of the “Imus in the Morning” radio program, responding to growing outrage over the radio host’s racial slur against the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

In a statement, NBC News announced “this decision comes as a result of an ongoing review process, which initially included the announcement of a suspension. It also takes into account many conversations with our own employees. What matters to us most is that the men and women of NBC Universal have confidence in the values we have set for this company. This is the only decision that makes that possible.”

For those of you who question the morality of MSNBC’s decision to kill Imus’s program, read the following.

From Michael Wilbon’s Washington Post Column that killed Imus’s comeback:

“In 1997, during a “60 Minutes” profile, Mike Wallace confronted Imus and a former producer who quoted Imus as saying he’d hired a staffer to “do nigger jokes.” When I mentioned that earlier this week on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, Imus responded on his show that it simply did not happen — though I see it in a 2000 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review and had a producer access it through a transcript (also the audio version) on National Public Radio.

Wallace: “You’ve told Tom Anderson, the producer, in your car coming home that Bernard McGuirk is there to do nigger jokes.'”

Imus: “Well, I’ve . . . I never use that word.”

Wallace: “Tom?”

Tom Anderson: “I’m right here.”

Imus: “Did I use that word?

Anderson: “I recall you using that word.”

Imus: “Oh, okay, well then I used that word, but I mean . . . of course that was an off-the-record conversation . . .”

Wallace: “The hell it was.”

So, you’ll excuse me if I dismiss Imus’s apology as bogus. He’s apologized in the past, told veteran black journalist Clarence Page on the air he would “promise to cease all simian references to black . . . black athletes.” That was before Imus went back to the ape references, probably within a week.”

Imus Update

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Imus looses major advertisers Staples and Procter and Gamble.

“Aside from public condemnation, there are new signs of trouble for talk show host Don Imus — dollar signs.

Two major advertisers — Proctor and Gamble and Staples — said they will pull their ads from his show, which will be suspended by CBS Radio and MSNBC for two weeks starting Monday. Bigelow Tea said it may do the same, and more companies are reportedly considering pulling ads.”

M. J. Rosenberg of TPM Cafe-I say fire the racist. 

“Who but an old-fashioned racist would look at Gwen Ifill on PBS and say that she reminds him of a “cleaning woman?” Who but a racist would see those amazing Rutgers b-ball players and see “nappy headed whores?” Who but a racist would repeatedly liken black athletes to “apes” and deride brilliant black journalists as “quota hires?”

“Unless I live on Planet Liberal (it’s possible), I find it impossible to believe that anyone but a serious racist even has these thoughts about African Americans. I know there are plenty of racists. I know that a liberal Jew like myself is far from typical of white America.”

“But, at the same time, I think I know enough about this country to believe with all my heart that Imus is a throwback to a time in this country we want to forget: a time when successful African Americans, women, gays, Hispanics and Jews were constantly denigrated because of innate and immutable characteristics (race, religion, sexual identity, ethnic background).”

Gwen Ifill, a target of Imus’s racially offensive “humor” speaks out.

“The serial apologies of Mr. Imus, who was suspended yesterday by both NBC News and CBS Radio for his remarks, have failed another test. The sincerity seems forced and suspect because he’s done some version of this several times before.”

“I know, because he apparently did it to me.”

M. J. Rosenberg of TPM Cafe-Imus will be Fired by Friday: Count on it

“The contrast between Ifill and the white boys Jeff Greenfield, David Gregory, James Carville, Bill Maher and Ham Jordan (all of whom are rallyng behind Imus) could not be more stark. Cannot the old bigot come up with a single African American to support him. What about some Clarence Thomas type? Surely, there has to be some thoroughly discredited African-American who will stand with Imus. If not, wow.”

Michael Wilbon, Washington Post

“But there’s nothing rare about Imus’s vile attacks. This is what he does as a matter of course. Imus and his studio cohorts have painted black people as convicts and muggers and worst of all, apes. Not only do they find it funny, they expect everybody else will as well.”

“Sid Rosenberg, whom Imus once fired, then rehired, said one morning in 2001 that Serena and Venus Williams would be better off posing in National Geographic than Playboy. He knew he was saying Serena and Venus are closer to wild animals than women.”

Al Roker on Imus and his suspension

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(By Al Roker)

I cannot tell you how many people have asked me about my thoughts on Don Imus. As a student of broadcasting, I know Don Imus was one of the original “shock jocks.” I listened to him growing up in New York City in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

He is a radio icon.

That said, it is time for him to go.

I, for one, am really tired of the diatribes, the “humor” at others’ expense, the cruelty that passes for “funny”. Don Imus isn’t the only one doing this, but today he’s the one in the hot seat.

What he said was vile and disgusting. It denigrated an entire team and by extension, a community and its pride in a group that had excelled.

This controversy started and grew during the week. At first under the radar, we even had Don’s wife, Deidre, on the program, talking about “green” cleaning. I thought she was so good I wanted to talk to her about a television program for my production company.

Don and his wife have done a lot of good things—raising money for charity, including a ranch for children suffering from cancer and blood disorders.

Yet, Don Imus needs to be fired for what he said. And while we’re at it, his producer, Bernard McGuirk, needs to be canned as well. McGuirk is just as guilty, often egging Imus on.

The “I’m a good person who said a bad thing” apology doesn’t cut it. At least he didn’t try to weasel out of this by hiding behind alcohol or drug abuse. Still, he said it and a two-week suspension doesn’t cut it. It is, at best, a slap on the wrist. A vacation. Nothing.

The general manager of Cartoon Network resigned after a publicity stunt went wrong and caused a panic in Boston. He did the right thing. Don Imus should do the right thing and resign. Not talk about taking a two-week suspension with dignity. I don’t think Don Imus gets it.

After watching and listening to him this morning during an interview with Matt Lauer (video), Don Imus doesn’t get it. Maybe it’s being stuck in a studio for 35 years or being stuck in the 1980s. Either way, it’s obvious that he needs to move on. Citing “context within a comedy show” is not an excuse.

He has to take his punishment and start over. Guess what? He’ll get re-hired and we’ll go on like nothing happened. CBS Radio and NBC News needs to remove Don Imus from the airwaves. That is what needs to happen. Otherwise, it just looks like profits and ratings rule over decency and justice.

 

Brotha Al said what I was incapable of saying and without the profanity. My hat is off to him.