By Frank Moher
So, Don Imus has been fired from both his CBS and MSNBC gigs because he referred to the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.”
Stupid? Yes. Racist? Certainly. A firing offence? I’d say so.
Then again, Rush Limbaugh once told a black caller to “Take that bone out of your nose,” and in another instance asked his listeners, “Have you ever noticed how all newspaper composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?” This would be the same Rush Limbaugh who once suggested Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because he was black.
And fellow paid-mouth Michael Savage said last year, in reference to the arrest of 17 suspects in an alleged bombing plot in Toronto, “”Whenever you see the word ‘South Asian,’ substitute the word for ‘terrorist,’ or reference to ‘terrorist.'” Earlier this year, after Melissa Etheridge won an Academy Award and thanked her wife and four children, Savage remarked: “I don’t like a woman married to a woman. It makes me want to puke. How’s that? I want to vomit when I hear it. I think it’s child abuse.”
Then again, Bill O’Reilly suggested that a young woman raped and murdered in New York last year was responsible for her fate because of the way she was dressed. And see here for a full range of other inspirational ditties uttered by America’s right wing talk show hosts.
And here’s what Don Imus hasn’t done. He hasn’t plumped for a deceitful, illegal war in Iraq that’s killed, as of today, 3296 Americans and at least 61,000 Iraqis (or over 655,000, if you believe the MIT study). He hasn’t demonized the word “Liberal,” thus effectively reducing his country to a one-party state. He hasn’t applied “yer either for us or agin us” rhetoric to American foreign policy. And he hasn’t been beating the drums for a war in Iran.
All this and more Messrs. Limbaugh, Savage, and O’Reilly do day after day, along with a host of other TV and radio screechers. So what say we keep Imus’s stupid remarks in perspective? And if we’re going to get rid of him, shouldn’t we also get rid of the guys whose talk actually ends up killing people?