And here's a summary of what Howard Stern has said about it:
Artie said that when you've been on the air for that long, you should have the ability to argue that he's been on the air for 40 years and he's really not a racist. Imus doesn't even have that as an excuse. Howard said that he could never think in his mind that those girls on the basketball team are ''nappy headed hos'' like Imus called them. He said Imus really screwed up by wearing that cowboy hat that he's been wearing for years now. That gives people a warning that he's a redneck.It's annoying to read summaries of the Howard Stern show! You have to hear it. But anyway, I think Howard was making an argument like one I made about Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic comments. Mel was drunk, and some people said that meant we should brush off what he said. But my position was that the ideas have to be in your head. Drink lowers you inhibitions, so that things flow out that you held back when you had your sober caution intact.
Now, Imus wasn't drunk, but he was doing ad lib comedy. How can you do that but to let go of the inhibitions that allow ordinary people to function in social situations? He's got to take that risk to give a comic performance. But what comes out must in some way be in there. He's funny -- when he is -- because he's got a mix of interesting things in his head, some of which are the bad and unkind thoughts that may make us laugh because they are things that we hold in too.
We are all flawed, and we do need our comedians. We should talk back and express outrage about some things, but when is the censuring too much? How long must a man abase himself and apologize? How much do we want to see a man grovel?
Does anyone catch a smell of human sacrifice?Racism and sanctimony. Is there some way to get them to stop feeding off each other?
And whose sins has Don Imus been chosen to die for? What is going on here? The reaction seems so disproportionate to the offense...
I mean... go read this and then come back and tell me Imus is a capital offender. He's just a jerk! He should apologize and make amends to those basketball gazelles, sure, but why is he, of his whole populous class of offenders, getting his throat cut on the altar? And Jesse Jackson getting all high and mighty about it, that's funny!
The selective sanctimony of our society is stupefying....
[T]he thing that maybe freaked me out about it the most: I heard someone, I think Tucker Carlson, say solemnly, in almost hushed tones, "Barack Obama said he should be fired," as if that had been the deciding factor, the nod that dropped the blade. Who is Barack Obama all of a sudden? God? King Solomon? Emperor Nero?