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Also, it's a teaching moment for the Perfect Non-Reader, if I could figure out how

As a public service to any Gentle Readers who are unfortunate enough to be in a position of responding to people who want to shift attention from what Don Imus said to what Al Sharpton once said, what Chris Rock once said, what 50-Cent once said, etc, etc, here are some suggestions of rejoinders.

  • You are quite correct. I think CBS and NBC should fire them from their daily radio shows, as well.
  • Fuck you, asshole. See, it’s a joke! Plus, your cousin Joe once called your sister a bitch, so you can’t get upset when I call you an asshole. Right? Asshole.
  • What the hell are you talking about? I was talking about Don Imus. What the hell are you talking about?
  • You know, you are the first person I’ve ever heard criticize any rappers for vicious misogynist lyrics. Other than these, of course [pulling out a sheaf of printouts of speeches, interviews and op-eds by Maya Angelou, Julian Bond, Carol Mosely Braun, John Conyers, Bill Cosby, Marian Wright Edelman, Mike Espy, Louis Farrakhan, Chaka Fattah, Harold Ford Jr., Jendayi Frazer, Dick Gregory, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Gwen Ifill, Jesse Jackson, Robert E. Johnson, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Vernon Jordan, Alan Keyes, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Mel King, Barbara Lee, Spike Lee, Walter E. Massey, Kendrick Brett Meek, Kweisi Mfume, Juanita Millender-McDonald, Gwen Moore, Toni Morrison, Ray Nagin, Barack Obama, Colin Powell, Charlie Rangel, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Al Sharpton, Tavis Smiley, Anna Deavere Smith, H. Patrick Swygert, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Alice Walker, Maxine Waters, Diane Edith Watson, J.C. Watts, Montel Williams, and Andrew Young]. [Caution: do not attempt to strike your conversational partner with the sheaf of printouts, as injury may result].
  • Considering that Don Imus has had disproportionate success by virtue of being a straight white guy making fun of dark-skinned people, women, homosexuals, latinos, Irishmen and cripples, perhaps it’s reasonable that he be disproportionately punished for being a straight white guy. I mean, if he is taking the heat, it’s because he set up his microphone in the kitchen, yes?
  • Fuck you, asshole. No, it’s not a joke. You’re an asshole.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


What's amazing to me is that there are people to whom it's even an issue. Imus will be back. Or if he's not, who gives a fig? He's rich. Or if not, it's his own fault.

My suggested response:

Look! It's Zombie Anna Nicole Smith!

Oh, no. That's just someone watching TV. Sorry, it LOOKED like a zombie.


Well, now that I think about it, there are a few categories of people who might reasonably be expected to give a fig.

(a) People who are shocked and pleased that a rich, influential white person has suffered some (even minor) consequence for publicly insulting poor black women, and who hope that perhaps fewer people (particularly those with less clout than Mr. Imus) will think that they can insult poor black women and nobody of consequence will call them on it.

(2) People (particularly those with less clout than Mr. Imus) who are shocked and appalled that a rich, influential white person has suffered some (even minor) consequence for publicly insulting poor black women, and who fear that perhaps people of consequence will call them on any future insults they happen to give to poor black women.

(iii) People who enjoy Mr. Imus's show despite his various bigotries, and fear that there will be nothing remotely as entertaining to listen to as they drive their SUVs seventy miles from their Connecticut McMansions to their places of employment.

(fourth) Journalists who are not generally able to use the phrase "nappy-headed ho" on the air, and fear that this may be their only chance.


True, any or all of those categories of people might be reasonably expected to give a fig.

I was being flip, and not making a good argument. I'm not sure I have a good argument, or even that it's necessary to have an argument about this, since the fundamental points are that:

* Don Imus, along with many other people, are assholes.

% Don Imus just got some comeuppance (however minor).

I think that you and I both agree that * is not so bueno, and that % is a Good Thing.

I really just wanted to offer "Zombie Anna Nicole Smith" as a suggested response to people who might want to focus your attention elsewhere, and my contempt for the public attention span at large overpowered my resistance to being flip. Sadly, it's fairly easy to overpower my resistance to being flip.

Particularly when it comes to media attention being focused on issues that deserve mention, because Yay Comeuppance for Assholes, but really don't deserve 24/7 coverage in a world where, say:

The population of entire towns are staying indoors for fear of being murdered or kidnapped


The lying, corrupt government of a world power is finally caught by the opposition party breaking an actual law, but is fighting back tooth and claw with every rhetorical trick in their book (lies, basically)


A country involved in a bloody civil war is facing possible invasion in the one stable province thereof by a nation who fears stability of that province in particular


An otherwise previously stable government of a nuclear power that faces another nuclear power across a tenuous and disputed border is systematically being eroded by its head of state, prompting protests in the streets of that nation's capitol that have lasted for a month and are only escalating

None of which issues are getting as much airtime as Don Imus's job prospects.


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