What was Don Imus thinking? | VailDaily.com

What was Don Imus thinking?

Charlie Owen
Vail CO, Colorado

What was Don Imus thinking? Did he forget that he had an audience of millions listening to his every word? Does he think he did anything wrong?

There are three things I’ve learned from the media circus that is “the Don Imus ordeal.”

The first thing is that America loves it when we crucify one man for the sins of a nation. Everybody has at one time or another said something in bad taste, not realizing the affects it could or would have on certain listeners. Behind closed doors, things are said by almost everybody that they would never say in public, and it does not make them bad people or racist, it just means they have something to say, they just can’t think of a politically correct way to say it. Usually.

The only difference between Imus, and you and I, is that he made the fatal mistake of using public airwaves to make a comment that became the proverbial straw that broke the the camel’s back.

The second thing I learned is that the media thoroughly enjoys cannibalizing itself if it leads to higher ratings. News stations and papers ate this one up, and why not, it made all of them appear as angels sending a devil to the pits of hell. Suddenly even the Fox news network could be watched by liberals because everyone could agree that Imus did a bad thing.

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Finally, lesson number three, free speech in America is evolving. For good or bad, I know not, but it is changing to be sure. It is inevitable that certain speech that was acceptable in the past will eventually become taboo and socially reprehensible if it steps on too many toes.

And that is probably a good thing, because racist, gender, and homophobic slurs don’t ever really advance the cause of the human race.

What constitutes a slur, and what is an off-color remark meant to be funny, but perceived to be offensive.

I guess society will let us know when we have crossed the line, and after that, it’s up to the parties involved to sort things out.

It is a shame that a broadcaster of such stature had to end his long and prosperous career on such a sour note.

One can only hope that this public uproar was not in vain, used only as vindication for the offended parties, but instead fosters a national debate in which all people can openly discuss and figure out why racism, in any form, still exists.

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