Bloggers discuss two major slap-downs: radio jock Don Imus’ two-week hiatus and Titans cornerback Pacman Jones’ yearlong suspension.
IgnorImus: Radio host Don Imus was suspended Monday by MSNBC and CBS Radio amid growing anger over his description of the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.” Imus has since issued two apologies and will soon meet privately with the Rutgers team. Bloggers debate the shock jock’s fate.
Joe Gandelman at The Moderate Voice predicts Imus isn’t going anywhere: “Aside from his role in radio and TV, he has received good (and justifiably so) publicity for his work with sick children. His show has also been a favorite among Washington and media elites, but not usually a favorite with whoever occupied the White House.”
Conservative Tony Iovino at A Red Mind in a Blue State doesn’t defend Imus but is baffled by the “blanket coverage”: “It’s ridiculous. We have to listen to Rev. Al (Tawana Brawley) and Jesse (Hymie Town) Jackson lecture us on racism? Please. Imus’ show is a comedy show. Live. A live comedy show is always going to generate jokes, good and bad, that stretch, push and sometimes break the envelope.” At Mirror on America, African-American blogger “Angry Independent” similarly criticizes the “selective amnesia” of black leaders like Sharpton: “They want to scalp this man for saying ‘Nappy Headed Ho’s’? … [W]ithin the so-called ‘Black Community’ this kind of language, often from Black rappers, is par for the course. … No one has degraded people of color (particularly Black women) more effectively than other Black folks from the Rap/R&B/Entertainment world.”
Also on Monday, Imus went on Al Sharpton’s radio show, where he told the host and the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, “I just can’t win with you people.” “Come on, Imus!” writes former MSNBC employee Robert Zeliger at Suburbarazzi. “I think the real problem is not that ‘those people’ won’t cut you some slack, but that you keep using the slack to hang yourself.”
The conservative author of Blue Star Chronicle compares Imus’ comments to Rosie O’Donnell’s various outbursts and cries double standard: “Why is no one demanding she be taken off the air or punished for her hate-filled rants? She insults everybody, picks fights with whoever she doesn’t like, makes viscous fun of Asians and is in general disgusting. She is held up as an example of tolerance and free speech.”
At Tenured Radical, Wesleyan professor Claire B. Potter chides the media for paying attention to the comment’s racism while ignoring its sexism: “Sexism is an important point of entry for critiquing athletics as an industry that promises respectability to the poor, as is race. Although high-profile male athletes are subject to similar sorts of racist depictions … only female athletes seem to be fair game for attacks on them as a sex. If they are not lesbians, they are ‘ho’s,’ as Imus put it.”
Gawker’s Alex Balk predicts that “there’ll be a continued hemming and hawing over the whole thing for a few more days and then it will be forgotten, as it always is, because, you know, he may be a bigot, but an appearance on his show does help to sell your book, and, really, isn’t that what matters?”
Pacman sacked: The NFL has suspended Titans cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones and the Bengals’ Chris Henry for multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy. Jones, allegedly involved in a shooting at a Las Vegas strip club, will be suspended for a year. Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to the players: “Your conduct has brought embarrassment and ridicule upon yourself, your club, and the NFL, and has damaged the reputation of players throughout the league.” Bloggers wonder what this means for Jones, the Titans, and the NFL.
Aaron Schatz at FOX’s Football Outsiders argues the Titans are nothing without Jones: “Say what you will about his personality, but Jones is an exceptionally talented football player. Very few starting cornerbacks reach this level of performance in their second year. He was only going to get better in 2007. Now he’s gone, and a lot of Tennessee’s playoff hopes are gone with him.”
Matt at NFL Gridiron Gab thinks the league “did the right thing here”: “[U]nless you want a league of criminals running around, these are the measures that you must take in order to protect the league.” Cheryl Thompson at AOL’s Casually Obsessed isn’t so sure: “So you make it rain a little, have a knack for being in the middle of gunfire, and may have had about 10 or so run-ins with the law, and all of a sudden you’re an ‘embarrassment’ to the NFL. Oh, wait, those are actually some shady things. My bad.”
Dimmy Karras notes that not even Jones’ recent “whitewash” interview with Deion Sanders could save him from suspension: “He admits to ‘horrible decisions’ but the first example he cites is letting friends drive his expensive cars — not spitting in a woman’s face (was this charge dropped recently? I can’t remember) or instigating a nightclub fight that left a bouncer paralyzed (probably didn’t bring that one up on advice of his lawyers).”
Will Leitch at Deadspin gets all teary: “So, Pac Man is out a year’s worth of rain, and Henry will miss a game for each arrest (or close to it). We ask them both, even though they’re going to miss a significant period of time, to not change, you beautiful bastards. Don’t ever change.”