Thursday, April 12, 2007

Time Marches Backward

Ten years ago Don Imus was on the cover of Time Magazine as one of the nation’s 25 most influential people. Today he is on the cover as one of the least. Make up your mind, Time! He hasn’t changed. You and the rest of the corporate media have panicked in the face of extortion by the process-headed Al Sharpton.

There is a long history of radio personalities getting suspended or fired for outrageous remarks. Corporate cowardice is evinced by the fact that there is no instance I can recall, as an informed observer of the industry, where management took action on its own, absent a complaint or threat.

And then there is my hero, Keith Olbermann, who along with Imus vaulted MSNBC into public consciousness and who is the best thing to happen to broadcast commentary since, well, Imus in his better days.

What a disappointment he turns out to be, telling a sports radio audience today that he was among those pressing internally to get Imus off the air. One of his guests the other night was Bill Maher, who was fired from ABC for his commentary after 9/11. Doesn't Olbermann get it? If he isn't the next to go, his name is sure near the top of the blacklist.

I don’t watch ABC’s The View, but I do read in AOL news, provided by Time, that there is a move to boycott advertisers to get back at Rosie O’Donnell for being un-American, whatever that is. The true racists on the right adopt Imus -- whose politics are really old-style liberal Republicanism -- and with his demise go after Rosie. Then the left is going to go after Rush. Over-the-air broadcasting is now a relic, and that's good. We will just have to pay to hear what we want.

Until then, a couple of questions:

If the MSNBC and CBS advertisers had stayed with Don Imus, would he have been removed from the network?

If MSNBC really believed its decision was motivated not by money but by the morality of the situation, why did it wait a week to decide what to do? Why did CBS wait even a day longer to become "revulsed." Could it be they were given shuffling orders from Al Sharpton?

Did you know that the CBS glamor girl Katie Couric read a personal commentary that was plagiarized from the Wall Street Journal -- and she still has a job.

Since there is real news going on the world, why was MSNBC alone among the cable news networks in devoting almost all its time covering the Imus affair? Could it be shameless, craven, pusillanimous self-promotion?

Do you know what Al Sharpton said about the Duke lacrosse players and whether he has apologized?

Why is Michael Savage allowed to be on radio? (Although, to be fair, MSNBC fired his ass in about week after he told a gay caller to die.)

I wonder if there are others like me who came to find Imus stale, crude and no longer worthy of our attention but who discovered MSNBC and its generally superior news coverage because we were tuned to “Imus in the Morning" in the first place.

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