The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

COMMENTARY: The Rev. Al Sharpton is outraged, which should come as no great surprise to anyone, since outrage is the man’s business, and from the nice three-piece suits he wears I’d say business is pretty good nowadays. I am not sure why this week’s particular bit of nastiness from Don Imus set him off, though; one can hear African-American women called much worse on BET every day of the week and there’s nary a peep from the good Reverend. Now that I think about it, I am not sure how Reverend Sharpton fits into this equation at all; he neither attends Rutgers nor plays basketball for that college, nor is he a woman, and I think it’s been a while since anyone applied the first part of Imus’ insult to him, but only his hairdresser knows for sure.

As for the I-man, well, maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, but when a man publicly smears a woman’s character in this manner, it behooves the man to make a public apology for his boorish and altogether contemptible behavior to the woman, or in this case, women, whose character he held up to slander and calumny and to do so as quickly as possible. I must admit to a certain malicious happiness in Mr. Imus’ present discomfiture, however. He does not mind insulting the President of the United States whenever he takes the notion to, as well as those of us who support the President, and so the sight of Mr. Imus tripping face first over a liberal shibboleth is, for me at least, an altogether gratifying experience. I mean, really, what was he thinking when he said something so completely stupid? Or was he thinking at all?

In other news, we now know who the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s child is, and the proud father announced the news to the awaiting media not as a man about to take on the most serious task any man can undertake, but as a man who has hit the number in the MegaMillions jackpot. Our condolences to Dannielynn, who is not yet a year old and has, in her short life, lost a brother and a mother and become the meal ticket for a crew of voracious parasites that make tapeworms and bot flies look positively beneficent and beneficial by comparison.

UPDATE: CBS has just fired Don Imus, so yesterday's broadcast was the I-Man's last. I wondered why they went to this extreme, since networks don't usually fire people who make them a lot of money. Usually what happens in such cases is for the dolt who put his foot in his mouth to apologize to everyone you can possibly think of and then announce that he was a drug and/or alcohol abuser, and Imus certainly has the history to back this story up, and then go into rehab for a month while the scandalmongers move on to newer and fresher targets of opportunity. It then occurred to me that most of this country's major media companies are located in New York and have their flagship stations in the eponymous metropolis, and the broadcast licenses of all New York television stations are up for FCC renewal this year. In fact, those licenses are up for renewal in June, and everyone gets a month to file a petition to deny that license. To deny a license a complainant, if there is such a word, has to show that the current licensee is not acting in the public interest, and let's face it, having one of your employees use the air waves you license from the government to defame a mostly African American women's basketball team using a racist and misogynist epithet is not acting in the public interest by any conceivable stretch of the imagination.

Now if the I-Man had had the wit to slander those women in August, he might have saved his career; he might even have survived the loss of all those advertising revenues-advertisers, a noticeably gutless crew, would have stayed away for a while, but would eventually come scurrying back, drawn to Imus's high ratings like ants to that open bag of brown sugar in my mother's cupboard; but he didn't, and when you add the loss of advertising revenue to the cost of defending your license from the Reverend Sharpton and his minions, the obvious recourse is to get rid of the source of the problem. No Imus, no complaints, no petitions to deny license, no bad publicity, no court fights, no problems. All is well in medialand, and here I was, thinking that maybe CBS got rid of Imus because a sudden wave of the idealistic warm and fuzzies swept over the corporate superstructure. I think it's heartening to know that CBS remains a foursquare bastion of moneygrubbing bastards who'd gut their own mothers with a dull fishknife if they thought it'd add five cents to this quarter's profits. Yes indeed, God's in His heaven and all's right with the world.

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