Thursday, August 16, 2007

SHOULD DON IMUS GO BACK ON THE AIR? LET THE LISTENERS DECIDE!

Just over four months ago, national broadcast personality Don Imus was fired from his simulcast radio/cable morning show after he made, to say the least, insensitive remarks regarding the Rutgers University women's basketball team following their appearance in the NCAA Division I national championship game. Imus' unscripted comments were stupid and bordered on racist, and his employers at CBS Radio and MSNBC were correct in sacking him.

Now there are reports that Imus has been in negotiations with New York talk station WABC-AM and other broadcast organizations to revive his Imus In the Morning show. Needless to say, the possibility has stirred up controveresy over wheather he should ever return to the business which has been his trade for nearly four decades.

Personally, I am not a fan of Don Imus. I believe that he is an old, bitter man whose on-air persona is the way he is off the air, and that he should retire to his New Mexico ranch. That said, I also believe in giving a person the opportunity to redeem themselves and allow the people a chance to accept or reject him.

It's always possible to turn oneself around. The best example of that we've seen recently is Greg Mathis. A serious drug user/dealer and gangbanger in Detroit during his youth, Mathis had numerous run-ins with the law. Thanks to the support of his mother and several key mentors, Greg not only earned his GED, but his college and law degrees. However, after graduating from law school the State Bar of Michigan refused to issue him a license to practice law for several years due to his juvenile background. Mathis finally received his license, and as many people now know became the youngest person in Michigan history to be elected as a Superior Court judge and is now the host of one of America's most popular "judge" shows.

While I probably would not listen to Imus, I would not deny the people a chance to accept or reject his return to the airwaves on their own. The station's management would certainly be aware that signing the "I-Man" would be a risk.

That said, let me add here that I generally don't like the idea of nationally syndicated radio programmes in morning or afternoon prime time anyway. Radio stations should concentrate on serving and supporting the communities and areas that they are licensed to serve. Sadly, since deregulation of radio in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan, a lot of good, talanted air personalities are out of the business, and a lot of communities are without local news and entertainment.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don Imus is no risk to anyone. He is a "Cash Cow".

Any Station that hires him will roll in the money he makes for them. CBS was getting upwards of 20 to 30 Million a year from his brand of humor. You seem to not know the kind of humor Don Imus and gang used. And was rewarded to continue using. Being uninformed is a poor excuse for a blogger. Please get your facts straight. NHH is not bad considering what is played on Rap stations all over the Country.

Bruce from Florida

11:06 PM  
Blogger CNASD said...

As a journalistic entity that's mission is based in the principals of "Free Speech" and enshrined in the Constitution, we do contest that everyone one deserves a second chance. However there is ample evidence that Don Imus is habitual racial opportunist & misogynistic bigot. In no way a first time offender or was this last incident an aberration within his career. Only he and his staff began this highly charged & traumatic period for a group of college kids, (or especially in this case, a group of respectable young ladies).

Don Imus and his staff chose the level & content of dialogue that is was in clear violation of FCC rules and regulations. Within that action, Mr Imus and his staff decided to defame/degrade a specific and small group of people through identification chosen. As such, those actions exposed several young women to an highly charged sexist and racist environment through the defense of Imus by his most avid fans. This is highly actionable, and the conversation that started was done so at the behest of the producers "Imus in the Morning".

Should Mr. Imus wish to continue to expose groups of people to his brand of banter, his free speech rights are protected & they should be. However, libel and defamation are civil violations that carries penalties & the award of damages.


It may be to the best interest of Imus and his producers to settle, we can not think of one Mother or Father on the Bench, or one juror who would think such words were good for their daughters.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

Don Imus should never have been OFF the air! He deserves the back pay from CBS and I look forward to his return.

10:32 PM  

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