Thursday, August 16, 2007

Will New Imus Boss Learn From CBS’ Mistake?

As by now, everyone has heard that the notorious radio talk show host Don Imus has made a nice settlement deal with his former employer, CBS. But that’s not the real important item.

What’s important is that an anonymous source, according to the Associated Press, says that Imus is trying to get back on the air. Apparently, he may go to WABC-AM, according to this Associated Press source.

If ABC hires the I-Man, will it learn from CBS’ mistake of firing him?

Was Imus wrong for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team “nappy-headed ho’s?” You better believe it. In fact, he has made so many insulting remarks about people throughout the years, that it’s surprising he got so much attention now.

Was it wrong for people to call for the firing of the shock jock? No, they have as much right as American citizens to say what they want as Imus did.

Was CBS right in firing Imus? No. Besides the fact that his apology should have been enough, there was no need for Imus to be fired. CBS was trying to cover itself. It also shows that CBS doesn’t have what it takes to be a part of the confrontational world of talk radio.

If CBS can’t take any heat, then it shouldn’t be in the game. It’s that simple. And CBS is one of the big three, certainly a pillar of broadcast journalism, and a symbol of the First Amendment. If CBS caved in so easily like a house of cards because people were screaming bloody murder about Imus’ stupid remarks, then CBS has no idea what journalism or freedom of speech means.

And ABC has dealt with a lot of heavy hitters like its own talk radio hosts Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. It would seem logical that ABC can handle a tamer Imus compared to those two.

But Imus’ firing reflects what is happening to America in a certain degree. No more Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s infamous and inspiring words, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

No, it seems as if we have to protect everyone and not hurt their feelings. And while being nice is a virtue that seems to be dwindling away in today’s society, it should not be an unwilling accomplice in the murder of the First Amendment.