Friday, April 13, 2007

Don Imus Firing is Overkill

I have wanted to post on my usual subjects today, however, I can’t get past what happened to Don Imus, fired by MSNBC and CBS. As one commentator said this morning, the one group who has not had the opportunity to be heard is Don Imus’s fans. I felt that was a valid point. I am one of those Imus fans who does not have a voice at this moment.

I have to admit that I only watched him when he was interviewing someone. I had to switch him off at all the other parts of his programs because of his crude remarks about women, which were offensive to my female family members.

However, for me, he was the most interesting interviewer on TV. He beat the other cable news interviewers such as Tim Russert on NBC and Chris Wallace on Fox and Chris Matthews on MSNBC, hands down. The reason I liked Imus’ interviews was that his interviews were always so unpredictable while at the same time, substantive.

His morning competition was boring, boring, boring. Fox and Friends is thin. On CNN once you heard the morning news, it was the same old, same old, all day. Imus knew how to engage people.

Ann Coulter made her usual sharp observation when she pointed out that women’s basketball players should be grateful, as Imus was probably the only person in America, watching women’s basketball. She had a point, because those of us who followed Imus, realized that what he said was meant to be his locker-room admiration for the toughness of the Rutger’s women team. Unfortunately, the comment came out badly.

Imus is not a racist. He supported the black candidate Harold Ford for U.S. Senator. He raises money for Sickle Cell Anemia victims, a disease that primarily strikes blacks. The percentage of young blacks he brings to his camp for children with terminal illnesses, is equivalent to the percentage in the general population.

He does make insulting remarks about women and I always wished he would not do that. On the other hand, you learned a lot about his respect for women when you watched him interact with his wife, Deirdre. She is a strong personality, and on the program, she would take him on without fear or favor. He interacted with her with deference and humility.

Imus is showing class as he apologizes. His class is matched by the wonderful Rutger’s women players. I can’t say as much for all the other people who are using this tragedy to push forward their own agendas such as Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and even the presidential candidates.
It is a sad day.