Saturday, April 14, 2007

Insurgency of the Humorless

Upon the demise of Don Imus and his CBS and MSNBC sponsored radio program, Imus in the Morning, I have reflected on my own behaviors.

You see, I often liked to listen to Don Imus.  His icon busting approach to politics, politicians and media personalities was amusing to me.  He made fun of just about everybody.  In my view, he treated everyone the same, with derision.  He made fun of himself every day.  His cohorts would often refer to him as looking dead or dying.  It was running joke.

Imus' views were pretty mainstream.  He was against the Iraq war, though he often had Sen. John McCain on his show, whom he admired as a patriot and war hero.  But he gave equal time to Sen. John Kerry, who he likewise felt was a war hero.

So Imus was no conservative.  But a media watch group that listens in on conservative talk shows like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly (I don't consider O'Reilly a conservative by the way) happened to be listening in early that April morning to hear Imus utter the words "nappy,,,"  They were monitoring his show not because he is conservative, but because he often has conservatives on his show.

Friday's WSJ has the chain of events thereafter, and it is easy to see how things got out of control.  In fact, a lot had to do with the fact that Imus, realizing how his words were being taken, wanted to sincerely apologize, and by apologizing, brought more and more attention to himself and his whole approach and philosophy of radio entertainment.

I agree with Michael Medved, that the whole thing got way out of whack, and that the reaction was far worse than it should have been.

In fact, I have taken notice of similar sarcastic remarks on ordinary network TV shows.  Only the remarks were about other cultures, but similarly derisive, and actually, similarly amusing.

I am an Italian American, and Imus frequently referred to us as Mafia.  His characters on his show, Al Tomatoes, even Bo Deitl, often made fun of Italians.  I found it amusing.

But as I say, in retrospect, it was course, and finding humor in such things made me course, and less likely to see how others would be offended even if I thought they should have thicker skin, and be more self deprecating.  Who am I to require them to get a joke??!!

But I understand that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, two who have never removed a speck out of their own eye, let alone the beams in others' eyes, had actually insisted upon the awful ritual, and placed the Rutgers girls in a tight spot, to which they probably reluctantly complied - but they were used, and by very, very morally frail men who had no standing in my book to complain about Imus, though they probably wanted to get back at him, since they were the regular brunt of jokes on his program.

I must say these men are humorless, and so are many of us who can't stand to be made fun of.  But I agree that we should be a more sensitive nation - but let us ALL be sensitive, not just a select few.  Though I prefer the humor, and I suspect Imus will be back, stronger and more supported by his listeners than ever, probably on Satellite radio, but so be it.

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