It's Not Just Don Imus
13/04/07 13:32 | Permalink
A now-unemployed Don Imus made a career out of disparaging people, knocking them down for the sake of entertainment. He was not alone. Entire television networks, as well as the 24-hour news channels, base their programming on similar content.
Turn on VH1 and E!, and much of the time, you will see shows dedicated to the attack of has-beens by never-beens. Purported standup comedians and reality stars are interviewed for “Top Ten This” and “Top 100 That” shows which, for the most part, just make fun of people who were once highly successful and in the public eye but are no longer in the limelight. These low-rent Joan Rivers imitators laugh at people who have achieved far more than they ever have or will, and people tune in to watch them do it. They must, otherwise there wouldn’t be so many of these shows.
The 24-hour news networks use the same approach. Because only so many newsworthy things happen in a 24-hour period, the news networks can’t just report the news, they have to talk about it. And talk. And talk. To give the impression that this talking is itself news, they bring on purported experts to gab about what has happened. Again, these are not people who really merit any attention for their achievements or opinions, yet their rantings are broadcast internationally. Ann Coulter is just one example.
So as the media attacks Don Imus for making a mean-spirited, racist and misogynistic comment -- and it was all of those things -- what is held out to us as being news and entertainment continues doing the same thing. This is why I have pretty much quit watching television, for news or entertainment. I wonder who the people are who still watch it.
That Ol' Double Standard
11/04/07 08:41 | Permalink
Ok. Don Imus uses the phrase "nappy-headed hos" to describe members of the Rutgers Women's basketball team, and his show gets suspended for two weeks, and Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson call for him to be fired. On the other hand, countless hip hop stars make millions of dollars from rapping about beating and "pimping" their "bitches" and "hos," and Sharpton and Jackson themselves have made bigoted comments over the years about Jews and white people in general.
The lesson: black performers and leaders are rewarded for being racist and misogynistic, and whites are chastised for the same conduct, even when it's language used in numerous top 40 hits by those same black performers.