The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

22 April 2007

Imus Fired, US News & World Report, Mort Zuckerman


Network Waited Too Long, Says Publisher

Did CBS actually wait too long to fire Don Imus?

As the debate continues over the network's actions in the now- infamous "nappy- headed hos" debacle, US News & World Report publisher Mort Zuckerman has weighed in with this new piece:

Why 'Ho' Is So Hurtful

By Mortimer B. Zuckerman
Posted 4/22/07

Don Imus surely never imagined that he would provoke such a widespread national conversation about race, sex, and culture. Some good may yet emerge from this squalid episode if we get beyond Imus himself.

Given his record, it was more than a slip of the tongue. Plumbing this new low, he should have been fired instantly by CBS (instead of waiting for advertisers to pull the plug). Such a swift repudiation of his assault on the admirable young black women on the Rutgers basketball team would have expressed the national revulsion. "I'm a woman, and I'm someone's child," said Kia Vaughn with moving restraint. "I achieved a lot. And unless they've given this name, a 'ho,' a new definition, then that is not what I am."

Imus, it has been said, was doing no more than spewing the language of sexual and racist aggression mouthed by African-Americans in rap and hip-hop (and talk radio, movies, TV, etc.)-and financed by corporations. If you look at the current top 10 rap albums they relish the "N" word and insult "ho's" and "bitches." That does not make the revealing language acceptable. In fact, it takes us back to a core issue: why the increasing stature of African-American females seems to have caused the male culture to demean them.


The failure to complete high school is almost the equiv- alent of economic suicide. Those who drop out have lives that are marked by increased rates of crime, drug use, and gang membership. The street culture not only reflects a deeply dysfunctional society but perpetuates what it celebrates. So it is imperative that we address these issues that so often manifest themselves in the attempts by black males to demean striving black females.

That is what we see in the language of the street, and that is what was regurgitated by Don Imus: When he had to call forth from his subconscious a way to react to the women of the Rutgers basketball team, he could only think of "nappy headed ho's."

Imus has helped reset the boundaries of acceptable speech. But we must go further, reawakening awareness of the unmet needs of our society.

Except on terrorism issues, Zuckerman is known to reside firmly on the left, which may explain his perspective in this piece.

While it's true the network did wait until advertisers had made their decisions, it seemed reasonable for CBS and MSNBC to spend a few day determining what course of action could be taken. With Imus In The Morning now dead and buried, Zuckerman's position seems excessive.

Or is it? Leave a comment below.

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  • I'm so saddened,.Brian. You didn't manage to work in a photoshopped image of Al Franken.

    What disappoints me most is that I read your credits, and it is not you who is making the graphics on this website. There are others doing them. You've got a little dirty tricks shop going on here.

    The implication is that you are getting money from someplace. Clearly, this site is not supporting itself. And I don't think the money's from Soros.

    What so saddens me is that you're riding this Irish thing. It's not like the Irish have ever been very prosperous under English rule.

    I dunno. Is it that the Irish supported the Nazis against Britain? Does that make your heart sing?

    I have no love either for the English, but my allegiance is with the working class, Irish, American, British, or German.

    Where are yours?

    By Blogger metrodorus, at 23 April, 2007 01:09  

  • hey this is a clearly right wing blog. brian clearly worships rush,sean hannity ect. remember that bay state showdown blog when he backed that dead horse healy. like in this post zuckerman is clearly left wing. I will be willing to bet when a democrat takes the whitehouse brian will either turn into a drunk or hang himself. and if we are really lucky hillary will win and I know brian will implode boy that would be funny.

    By Blogger nandgtrucking, at 23 April, 2007 06:22  

  • I think Zuckerman is a bit excessive on this point. Considering when he wrote it though, it was probably timely.

    They did wait too long to fire him. From what I have gleaned from various sources, the only reason he was still on the air was economics. So long as the advertisers are there, you can push the envelope, but only so far. People who have been in broadcasting know this. That is why they get so nervous when the sense the line moving. Staying on the edge is important to most of them.

    As far as these two trolls that have attached themselves to this blog, you just don't get it do you? Your personal attacks do nothing except show you for the cowards and numbnuts you are. It is sad to see that you have nothing better to do than try to trash someone who said something you don't agree with. This site does lean right, of course if you actually read this site, you would know that he has called peopole out from both sides of the fence. He main goal here is not to attack left or right, but to point out hypocrisy in the industry, which mainly comes from liberals. Funny isn't it? Most of the really nasty stuff comes from liberals, most of the double standards and hypocrisy comes from liberals, and most of the anger and filth comes from liberals. Is this a trend, or just your nature????

    By Blogger Cincimaddog, at 23 April, 2007 12:12  

  • The interesting thing about this controversy is that it was the direct result of recent changes int echnology. Filesharing, YouTube, blogs -- these are the means with which these recordings were spread. It wasn't the original technology it was aired on, the radio.

    Users had the ability to distribute, and they did.

    Shelly Palmer has a good essay about this, on Media 3.0 -- "Imus in a Techno-Political World"


    By Blogger Emily, at 23 April, 2007 12:35  

  • Dog:

    You summed up pretty well the deal on the beyond liberal posters here.

    One other thing they have in common: General inability to use CAPITAL letters.

    Trucking's post is in small letters with one exception: When he/she uses the pronoun "I", that is capitalized; it happened twice. I wonder if that means anything psychologically...

    By Blogger Missouri Show Me, at 23 April, 2007 15:44  

  • "Most of the really nasty stuff comes from liberals, most of the double standards and hypocrisy comes from liberals, and most of the anger and filth comes from liberals. Is this a trend, or just your nature????"


    i'm sorry...who are YOU?

    By Blogger hashfanatic, at 23 April, 2007 19:03  

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