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flatlander:Ease up on Imus

Austin Richardson
Vail CO, Colorado

Ever tell a joke that offended someone?

Ever laughed at an offensive joke?

You’re guilty.



As guilty as embattled radio/TV talk show host Don Imus.

The difference between the average Joe telling a joke around a water-cooler and Imus, is the format. Where four people hear the joke and chuckle at work, radio/TV gets out to millions, where thousands chuckle and a few grimace.



He made a bad joke, get over it.

Americans have this odd double-standard when it comes to “politically correct” behavior. It’s quite unnerving.

It makes me think about what they say about homophobes. You know the drill, the ones who deny it the most are often the most “guilty.”



People who are pre-occupied with “furrowing out discrimination” are usually bigots themselves, otherwise they a) wouldn’t be so sensitive about name calling and b) wouldn’t be so quick to point fingers and cry foul.

It’s a deflection, a ruse to cover up their own inadequacies or self-esteem issues by shifting blame to a common target. It’s one of the fundamentals in the mud-slinging technique of politicians. Once exposed, both indignation and redemption will draw ratings, which is the true goal.

Sure discrimination is bad. Nobody is denying that.

Unfortunately, middle-aged white men are the easiest targets. It might be that black or hispanic comedians (that’s what Imus calls his show, ‘comedy’) can’t say anything offensive enough to even register on the “watchdogs of the politically correct” radar screen. It simply doesn’t play as well.

The difference between ethnic jokes from Imus and ethnic jokes from a minority is delivery and perception. It’s easy to see a cowboy hat wearing middle-aged man as a bigot, but an ethnic or racially diverse person is rarely seen as a bigot because the stereotype doesn’t match up, no matter what that person says or does. Only WASPs are bigots because only they feel guilty.

And yes, the crux of this whole affair is publicity. Nobody is more adept at manipulating the media than folks in radio. They are pros at making themselves famous (or infamous, both drive ratings equally well).

So remember that the next time you see someone crying about a bad joke on television. The joke is really on them, because we’re on to their schemes.


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