04/10/07 — Fuss about Imus: Shock jock’s faux pas sparks debate about race, speech

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Fuss about Imus: Shock jock’s faux pas sparks debate about race, speech

Don Imus shouldn’t have said what he did about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. His reference to them on his radio show was sexist, racist and offensive.

The question is: Should that one statement be enough to end his career on the radio?

There are many who do not like Imus. His comments are harsh and sometimes hit public figures hard. He makes fun of many, especially those who tend to the conservative bent, although he lately has been giving Democrats what for, too.

So, the question remains: Is one statement from a shock jock known for his comedic routines and other statements that are a bit “out there” a sign that he does not belong on the radio any longer?

And, while we are at it, do we consider at all Imus’s argument that his statement — although reprehensible — was not any different than those made on 90 percent of the rap albums made today?

Stay tuned. This one is far from over.

Imus did not do his mother proud. This statement was nothing less than idiocy for anyone to utter, let alone a man with a microphone that reaches millions of listeners each day. But he does have a point about a double standard — about what we will accept from some and won’t from others.

He might not survive this scandal — and he might not deserve to. But in the end, the public will have to decide what we as a nation are going to accept as public discourse and what we won’t. And then, we will have to apply that same standard to everyone.

Published in Editorials on April 10, 2007 12:44 PM