Archive for April, 2007

The irony of Imus

[Derogitory comment by Don Imus] = 1*
[Mention of Imus' comment in news] = 1,076

* Don Imus apologized.

The Irony/Hypocrisy of the News Media
Somehow it’s okay for the the media to continue using (and profiting from) the demeaning statement that Don Imus used once. (It still doesn’t excuse what he said). It’s been repeated thousands of times during the past two weeks, and anybody who understands the media business knows that more readers and more eyballs means more dollars. Let’s face it, if you want people to read your story online, what phrase should you be putting in your headline? Oh the irony.

CBS leads the way with the hypocrisy train.
Could You Call Oprah A Nappy . . . (you know the phrase)?
Nancy Giles tries to turn it into some story about more women having a voice. I agree with her idea, but she’s spreading the same ugly message Imus did, and she’s doing it under the leadership of the very company that fired the old codger.

“Nappy (demeaning phrase) Or African Queen? Rutgers Graduate Pens New Book Entitled I’m African and Proud
I hope this lady’s book is great. Does she realize I found this page in Google news because she’s using the phrase to try and sell books? Oh the irony.

ROKER: There is no joy in what has transpired . . . via MSNBC
Good for Roker for not using the term in his headline. He actually buried in his column somewhere.

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The real reason Don Imus was fired

don-Imus.JPG“Imus initially was given a two-week suspension for calling the Rutgers women’s basketball team “[something really uncalled for and degrading to all women]” on the air last week, but outrage continued to grow and advertisers bolted from his CBS radio show and its MSNBC simulcast.” via Houston Chronicle

You really think CBS/MSNBC would fire Don Imus solely over his comment when his show brings in $15 million a year? He got fired by the court of public opinion and the good old U.S. dollar because advertisers were bolting. That’s not sexy for the news though. Being degrading to women (which his comment was) isn’t going to sell papers either. But racism will. Don’t just be disappointed by Imus. The media is not doing so well here either.

Suprised by his comments?
Let’s take a look at his past

He famously called Rush Limbaugh “a fat, pill-popping loser” and Lesley Stahl a “gutless, lying weasel.” His exchange of insults (“fat pig”) regarding his show’s former news reader, Contessa Brewer, made news as did Brewer’s response (“cantankerous old fool”). When Tucker Carlson brought up Brewer on the program in 2005, Imus hung up on him, calling him “a bowtie-wearing [body part].”

via Wikipedia

On the other hand.

Imus, maintaining his 2007 commitment to the U.S. troops fighting overseas, helped raise over $6 million toward Center for the Intrepid, a Texas rehabilitation facility. Considered to be the largest technological center of its kind in the country, it is designed to help treat disabled veterans and help them with their transition back into the community.

More recently, Imus took on the Veterans Administration when the Washington Post published a story uncovering the deplorable living conditions at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Imus’s rants preceded Army resignations, including that of Gen. Kevin Kiley, then Army Surgeon General, who lived adjacent to the troubled building and testified before Congress that he had no idea of the deplorable conditions because performing barrack inspections was not in his job description. This outraged Imus, who unleashed a relentless attack on Kiley’s personal fitness for military duty and dedication to his wounded troops.

also via Wikipedia

There’s a lot on this guy.

The court of public opinion: Part 2

Related:

  1. Impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been removed from office
  2. Exclusive: Sen. Roland Burris Reacts to Blagojevich Impeachment

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Read The court of public opinion if you want. This is a follow-up to that post.

I’ve been thinking lately about how often the media shamelessly convicts people in the court of public opinion because it’s good for news. That’s a lie. They do it because it’s good for business.

Chris Knudsen touched upon it himself just today (A note on society), and that post actually reminded me of some examples that show how people get convicted for crimes in the public’s eye but not in the courts or by actual juries.

Example One: Geek Squad/BestBuy sued for tech videoing girl in the shower
Thoughts: First off, Consumerist needs to get it’s headline straight. The tech allegedly did the videoing, not the company. I think we all know why the girl (who you often see smirking in the video) is suing a deep-pocketed company instead of some perv with a fake badge and a white shirt and black tie. Is he guilty? That’s exactly what I don’t want to decide in this post.

Court of public opinion?
Watch the news story, the journalist says “This news conference has just ended, so we haven’t had time to contact either BestBuy or the Geek Squad.” That’s because the evidence seems to say guilty and the attorney didn’t want BestBuy to comment before hand. She knew the media would jump all over it and wouldn’t miss the press conference.

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Hank Aaron on Barry Bonds

hank-aaron.jpgHank Aaron has said he won’t attend games where Barry Bonds might break the slugger’s career home run record. If your read my blog ever, you know I love to analyze people’s statements in the press, and I chuckled at Hammerin’ Hank’s response to the question of whether he would attend to see Bonds take a shot at the record.

“I’m 72 years old, and I’m not hopping on a plane and flying all the way to San Francisco for anybody.” via Yahoo.com

Kind of funny, but the guy has a point. He also said “It’s going to be a no-win situation for me anyway. If I go, people are going to say, `Well, he went because of this.’ If I don’t go, they’ll say whatever. I’ll just let them make their own mind up.” He’s right.

photo credit: dbking