Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Racist Comments From Don Imus, Raw Politics, And Investigating Arson (Monday's Show)

Hi everyone. I hope you had a nice weekend. What happened to Friday's review, you ask? Uh . . . I forgot. I was going to make up an interesting excuse, but I've got nothing. Anyway, during that show a new segment, "Giving 360", was introduced, so I'll be curious to know if we ever see it again. They tried a similar segment like this before and it seems to have gone gently into that good night. I guess we'll see. Anderson's back from vacation and we begin tonight with a piece from him on the recent racist comments made by MSNBC's Don Imus on his show. What did he say? Well he referred to members of the Rutgers women's basketball team as "some nappy-headed hos" and then he and his producer yukked it up. Lovely. Imus didn't even apologize until two days later and that was surely due to pressure. Of course this isn't the first time Imus has made disgusting comments. Besides the racist comments, he's also partial to the homophobic variety. A real winner, this guy. For its part, NBC/MSNBC has decided to suspend him for two weeks. Wow, accountability. I'm always surprised to see it since it happens so infrequently these days. So now Imus is doing the apology circuit, going on Al Sharpton's radio show and I'm sure if the networks allow it he'll be popping up on Larry King any day now. I'm glad 360 covered this because these kind of things tend to go unnoticed, but this is so not top story material. Didn't Muqtada al Sadr lead mass demonstrations today or something? The Imus thing is just another example of the news making itself the news.

Next up Anderson has an interview with Al Sharpton, who has been leading the charge against Imus. Anderson wonders if a two week suspension is enough and Sharpton clearly thinks not. He believes there needs to be some kind of regulatory standard. Anderson notes Imus apologized, but Sharpton again reinterates that for him it's not specifically about Imus. Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction is brought up and though I'm not a Sharpton fan, he does kind of have a point about there being a standard. This is kind of reminding me of what happened with Dave Lenihan. Dave was a radio talk show host here in St. Louis and was fired for making an accidental racial slur against Condoleezza Rice. What happened was he had actually been praising Rice's qualifications to be NFL commissioner and had meant to say her being an African American would be a "big coup." Unfortunately, he misspoke and instead said "big coon." He was instantaneously horrified and apologized over and over, but 20 minutes later he was fired. Dave also taught at a local college and some of his students confirmed that he was always misspeaking. Initially the St. Louis based NAACP was outraged over his comments, but after having some time to review what really happened, they reversed their decision and supported him in asking for his job back. He never got it. It seems crazy to me that this guy lost his job and Imus, who does this stuff on purpose all the time, is still on the airwaves. Anyway, back in the interview Anderson points out how big politicos are always going on the Imus show and wonders if they should continue to do so. Sharpton doesn't really think so and neither do I. Why would you want to associate yourself with racism?

Moving on to an interview with "Amy Holmes, a conservative analyst and speechwriter for former Senator Bill Frist, and Stephen A. Smith of ESPN and a sportswriter for 'The Philadelphia Inquirer.'" Again Anderson starts by asking if the two week suspension is enough. Stephen strongly feels that it's not and he thinks both Imus and his producer need to be fired, specifically due to the initial response once the pressure began to mount. Anderson wonders if the suspension might just be the corporate overlord's way of pushing the whole thing away until the heat dies down. Amy agrees (as do I) and is surprised it took this long. Then she tries to make this into a broader issue of the degradation of African American women in our culture. I respect that. Well, not the degradation part; the trying to use the comments of one idiot to focus on a broader social problem. Unfortunately, that never seems to work. Remember when Katrina was suppose to make us all really focus on poverty in this country? Yeah, whatever happened to that? Hell, whatever happened to rebuilding after Katrina? Anderson points out the Imus supporters say he's an equal opportunity offender. Amy doesn't think many wrongs make a right. Exactly. Then Anderson asks if Imus got a pass early on because it wasn't until bloggers pushed this into the mainstream media that things started happening. Yeah, what's up with that? Why are bloggers always having to make the media do their jobs? I'm still in awe that it took coalitions of people working their asses off just to get an American newspaper to do a substantial story on the Downing Street Minutes. Pathetic. This Imus thing doesn't even come close in regards to importance, but still. So anyway, turns out Amy is not a fan of Al Sharpton and she wonders why people always run off to his show instead of apologizing to the person that has been offended. Though neither guest or Anderson mention it, Imus did say he wanted to meet with the players-for what it's worth. Anderson then asks what it says about the stations that air Imus if they allow him to go back on the air. You know, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt here, but I really hope that part of the reason for this Imus coverage isn't due to the cable wars. After all, MSNBC doesn't come out smelling like roses here.

Next up we have further discussion of the racist bigotry from CNN's own expert on that subject: Glen Beck. Seriously?! How did he even get into regular CNN? They need to build a moat or something. Anderson notes he has his own radio program and asks if he understands how comments like that could happen. Glen says yes and no. No? Dude, you do forms of this crap all the time. Less than two months ago you sexually harrassed one of your guests. Live on the air! Glen seems to think bigotry is Imus' schtick. Anderson then asks the obvious: does that excuse what he said? Um, no. Glen explains that he's doing what he was hired to do and he's making money for his corporate owners. He wonders if Imus gets fired for a "mistake" like this who will be next. Well, hopefully, YOU. And this wasn't just a one time "mistake." Personally Glen finds the comments reprehensible. Good Lord. Does he really not realize he basically does the same thing on his show? Anderson then starts to say that he thinks there are some things black people can say that whites can't, but he catches himself and reforms the question to take out his opinion. Yeah, I caught that. Anyway, Glen says no and gives a nonsensical answer to support his argument. Whatever. Oh and 360, you're seriously going to assault me with Glen Beck AND the horrible sound effect in the same segment? What did I do?

Transitioning now to Joe Johns with some "Raw Politics." First up we learn that NY governor Eliot Spitzer is trying to make his state as relevant as everyone else for super- duper Tuesday. Other Big Apple news includes, "Senator Barack Obama, trying to steal the show, literally, with an appearance on 'Letterman.'" Literally? Did he actually try to take Letterman's show and make it his own? I know, I'm being anal, but hey, words matter. Then we get John McCain still trying to dig himself out of his Iraq hole. Whatever. Finally, we learn that Elizabeth Edwards is a bit freaked by her rabid republican neighbor who likes to chase people off his land with a shotgun. Oh my. Probably want to stay away from that guy. I guess we all have our shady neighbors. I know I do. After this Anderson informs us that 360 is getting a podcast. They're getting so hip! Okay, so they're actually behind NOW on PBS on this, but awww. I'm totally going to download it some day just to say I did. Oh, and I can also then say I used the video part of my video Ipod. Because so far? Not so much.

Transitioning now to a Randi Kaye piece on arson investigations. Apparently they haven't been as accurate as one would hope. Cameron Todd Willingham's three young children died in a fire that he was convicted of setting. But did he? It seems that a lot of fire investigation is based on myths and not science. The Innocence Project referred Willingham's case to scientists for review and they believe he was innocent. Well that totally sucks. Unfortunately even with new evidence Governor Rick Perry still went through with his execution. Gotta love Texas. I know I kind of skimped on the blogging with this story, but this was a good investigation. Oh, and props to 360 for NOT running the forest fire arson story about the woman who planted the matches. I thought I felt that coming up, but yay, it never did. I think that one is ready for retirement. Erica then gives us the Headlines, which include a lot of Iraq stuff. That totally should have lead the top hour. And actually they could have done the whole second hour on the Imus thing, with longer discussions and more perspectives. Instead we get "What is a Christian?" Again. The Shot tonight is world class violinist Joshua Bell playing at a metro station in Washington D.C. Just cuz. Anderson suggests they should try to anchor one day in a subway. You should. I'd watch it. And actually, you did anchor from the subway once. Well, near it anyway. It was when there was a terrorist threat, shortly after Katrina I think because Aaron Brown was still there (aw, Aaron). I have no idea why I remember that. My brain is apparently filled with useless information. The show tonight wasn't too great. It's fine to cover Imus, but not in lieu of important news. C-

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woah, Eliza, you turn off comment moderation and immediately get spammed. Bummer :-(

I agree wholeheartedly about the order of the show tonight; big news in Iraq is, well, news. Infi Imus? Not so much.

11:32 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

I don't know what's up with the spamming. It seems to be happening more than the last time I had the moderation off.

I didn't even mind the Imus stuff, but it's not a top story. There's too much going on in the world right now.

11:40 AM  

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