12 April 2007
Hail to the "Nappy Headed Hos"
(photo: Embattled Curmudgeon Don Imus in the days before the bitches and hos got up in his grill)
I don’t listen to talk radio because it makes me carsick. It doesn’t matter if I’m in my car or in my kitchen, if talk radio is on, I am instantly stricken with feelings of motion sickness. This is likely brought on by a Proustian memory from childhood when my parents would smoke in the car with the windows rolled up while WBZ crackled on the AM radio.
Still, I’ve been closely following the Don Imus story -- mostly because he is this week’s diapered astronaut and I can’t look away. I listened to the transcript of his “nappy-headed hos” comments and their context. His egghead producer Bernard McGuirk egged him on, calling the women on the Rutgers team “hos” first, before Imus added the offensive frizzy adjective.
To me, they sounded like two old, out-of-touch white guys who just discovered Urban Dictionary. It was a lame exchange and it backfired like parents calling their kids “dawgs” in an effort to communicate with them via street talk. They should not only be penalized for sounding like racists but also for sounding like complete idiots.
But he apologized several times, spent three hours on Al Sharpton’s radio show --which is punishment in and of itself -- and is meeting with the Rutgers basketball team. As he should. His radio show has been suspended for two weeks, MSNBC has dropped its simulcast of his show and numerous advertisers have pulled their sponsorships.
And, of course, wherever there is indignation, there is Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
Last night, Keith Olbermann held their feet to the fire a little bit, something I’m surprised more media outlets or activists aren’t doing:
If they're protesting Imus for racial comments, why aren’t they going after Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz and their ilk who have built entire careers – quite unapologetically – on hatemongering, pandering to half wits who find racial stereotypes, misogyny, and gay bashing absolutely hilarious.
Is it because our expectations of these knuckle-dragging talk show hosts are so low that we simply accept this vitriol from them, sort of the same way you expect gorillas to hurl their own feces when they get excited?
Imus used the term “nappy headed hos” – that's pretty offensive, but is it any more offensive than these incidents:
- Last year, conservative talk show host Neal Boortz said Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney looked like a “ghetto slut,” and that her hair “looks like an explosion in a Brillo pad factory. It’s just hideous. No it’s not an Afro...it just shows contempt for the position that she holds. She looks like Tina Turner peeing on an electric fence.”
- Rush Limbaugh, drug-addicted conservative gasbag, has repeatedly referred to Halle Berry and Barack Obama as “Halfrican-Americans.”
- Barely-educated conservative blowhard Glenn Beck (also a former drug addict) called the victims of Hurricane Katrina “scumbags," implying poor + black = scumbag.
- Not even going to go there with skanky Ann Coulter as we've dealt with her before.
Where is the outrage here? The advertising exodus? If someone cannot control themselves or maintain the slightest level of decorum, they shouldn’t be on the public airwaves. I’ve always subscribed to the “don’t like it, don’t listen” philosophy but if they’re trying to set a new standard with Imus, then it should be applied to these hateful morons too.