April 18, 2007
This Monday morning, for the first time in 26 years, I was forced to speak to and listen to my wife, the beautiful Judy Licht. It wasn't so bad, but frankly I miss Imus.
Imus, as you know, was the victim of a business lynching sparked and spurred on by those two arbiters of racial tolerance and harmony, Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton. The Reverends, so-called men of God, who don't believe in forgiveness -- make that forgiveness that can't be bestowed unless you make a hefty contribution to Jackson's Rainbow Coalition and God knows what Sharpton calls his deal.
Let's first remember that Imus made a stupid and cruel statement about the Rutgers women's basketball team. They forgave him. They are fine young woman and are miles ahead of so many of their opportunistic "protectors."
So here's why I think that when the smoke clears, Imus deserves the thanks of many of the people who insisted that his four-second lapse in taste and judgment was the worst thing they had ever heard and pressured Imus' gutless broadcasting bosses to fire him.
But to do that, this fine family paper must print a piece of disgusting filth, a song called "Come & Get Me," written and performed by a rapper called Timbaland that demeans African-American men and women.
These are lyrics that almost every kid has been exposed to. I know it's on my own kids' iPods.
Nigga Your Time Is Up, I Ain't Come To Kid You
I Knew You niggas Was Dumb, But How Dumb Is You
Thinkin You Can See The King, When You Unofficial
You Don't wanna Go To War, Cuz I'll Launch These Missiles
I'm A Ride Or Die Nigga, I Be Tearin Shit Up
We Ain't Like Them Other Fools, Who Don't Compare To Us
All The Hos Love A Nigga, They be Backing It Up
But Me I Love Money I Be Stacking It Up
Okay, so he's not Cole Porter and Timbaland is certainly not Tony Bennett. So why did Imus do his detractors such a big favor? Apparently until this incident none of them had ever heard rap lyrics like these. I Googled everything I could find on rap and Al Sharpton and I Googled everything Jessie Jackson has said on rap and this is what I found out. No one who called for Imus being fired had ever said a single word against lyrics like these and the terrible way they depict African-Americans.
Sharpton, while condemning the violence surrounding the rap industry, made it quite clear that it was "not about the lyrics." In fact, he once said that rap music empowered young African-Americans. Today, with Imus' scalp on his belt, he is now doing his "Mr. Bluster" act about the lyrics.
Then there is Hillary Clinton, who said that Imus had to be fired for saying "ho." Hillary recently was the recipient of a big-money Florida fund-raiser at the home of producer and rapper Timothy Z. Mosley, a.k.a. Timbaland.
Let's pause in the reading of this column. I will wait while you readers go back and read the words of Hillary's benefactor. Naturally, when she talks to those wonderful women from Rutgers who found it in their hearts to forgive Imus, I expect Hillary, using that African-American voice that she developed when she made her Selma speech a few months ago, will tell the women that she is going to return her campaign contribution from Timbaland. Fat chance.
Meanwhile, after years of listening to but apparently not hearing rap lyrics, Sharpton and Jackson -- alerted by Imus' three career-destroying words -- are threatening to cash in on . . . er . . . er . . . investigate the rap music industry. Get thee to the bank, Sony and all you other rap music companies. I smell a big contribution to the Rainbow Coalition.
On Sunday evening there was coverage of the Imus incident on "Dateline." There, NBC News President Steve Capus, a man who has no chance of ever being in the world's thinnest book, Profiles in Broadcasting Courage, was giving us jazz on why he fired Imus. He actually had the chutzpa to say one reason was he listened to his advertisers, who represent the people of America.
Mr. Capus with his sanctimonious claptrap has had Imus on his television station for a few years and he's seen Imus go over the line many, many times.
It was OK until Al Sharpton jumped in. Then Capus cut and ran. Advertisers leave at the first sign of pressure. It's their money. But all Mr. Capus should know is soon after one advertiser leaves, their competition, sensing an opportunity, jumps in and takes their place.
This is from a story in last Sunday's New York Times. When the American Family Association, a conservative Christian group, pressured the Ford Motor Company not to advertise Land Rover and Jaguar in gay publications like The Advocate, Ford folded. So who's taking their place? General Motors.
American Express leaves and Visa comes in. Staples leaves, Office Max jumps in.
Imus will be back, and NBC and CBS's competitors will benefit. He will be fine.
The divorce rate will go up because a few of those millions of us who are left talking to our spouses in the morning will decide to leave home or at the very least buy a satellite radio.
Santa Claus will lose the chance to say, "Ho, Ho, Ho."
The Lone Ranger will just say "Hi Silver" -- no "Ho."
And the biggest loser will be singer Don Ho, who couldn't take the pressure of having Imus' first name and having been called "Ho" all of his life -- he died this weekend.
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