Skip to comments.Don Imus, RIP
Posted on 01/02/2020 5:01:57 AM PST by Kaslin
Washington -- This past Sunday brought the news to the front pages of our leading newspapers of the passing of shock jock Don Imus. Comparatively speaking, it was happy news. At least, it was happy news compared with the news that otherwise adorns the front pages of The Washington Post and The New York Times and is then repeated and repeated in the newspapers' interior pages.
Most of the stories these dolorous journalists cover are stories of squalor, grief, travail and out-and-out evil. Do you doubt me? See how many cheerful stories you can find either on the front pages or on the later pages of your newspaper. That is, if you still read a newspaper. Most of the stories will reflect the concerns of their editors and writers who are generally unspeakably gloomy and consumed with conveying their gloom to their readers.
So the death of Imus was a refreshing break from the newspapers' morbid daily fare. No wonder they are having a difficult time finding readers. Try, fellows and fellowesses, to present the world with an occasional wink.
Imus was a man with a sufficiently dismal view of the world to serve as editor of either of our major newspapers, though I am not sure that his work habits would fit well with the habits necessary for the grind of a daily newspaper. He had bouts with alcohol, cocaine and depression, and he was often photographed wearing cowboy dress ... indoors. He actually wore a cowboy hat in the studio. Also, one of the obituaries reported he walked around his office in his undershorts. Let us pass on to his so-called humor.
Years ago, I had an occasion to comment on his humor when he got himself into trouble. I called it "bleak humor." In his obituaries, the obituarists made a major point of Imus' sense of humor. One, from The New York Times, seemed to be particularly smitten by it. You be the judge.
Imus called Dick Cheney, the former vice president, "a war criminal," which is untrue and leaves Imus sounding like a standard-issue left-wing Democrat. He called Steve Forbes "a mean-spirited creep," which, again, is untrue and leaves me wondering if Imus knows what mean-spirited means. He called Rush Limbaugh "a drug-addled gas bag," a description better aimed at Imus himself. He described Oprah Winfrey as "a fat phony" and Ted Kennedy as "a fat slob." Well, I have been led to believe that obesity is a disability, and to call the former Lion of the Senate a slob might be meant by Imus as a compliment. Saying Newt Gingrich is "a man who would eat roadkill" is at least funny, but as with Imus' claim that Hillary is "Satan," it lacks wit and imagination. As I have said, his humor was bleak.
What got the famed shock jock into trouble back in 2007 was his reference to black women athletes as "nappy-headed hos." Again, there is no truth to his description, or at least no discernible truth to it, and if his audience did greet the remark with laughter, it was most likely nervous laughter. Nervous laughter is often the result of extraordinary rudeness, and such rudeness is often a comic's attempt at a cheap laugh. Apparently Imus took this route rather often.
Imus was, of course, another of the broadcasting media's phony tough guys. After his line about "nappy-headed hos," he immediately collapsed into what I called a "whimpering bundle of apologies." His rush for a cheap laugh put me in the uncomfortable position of siding with Barack Obama, who responded to Imus with, "He didn't just cross the line. He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America." Well, I am not sure of your daughters, Mr. Obama, but I am in agreement with you on the stereotypes.
Why would these newspapers put Imus on their front pages and devote more space to him than they devote to a four-star general, a business leader or any other distinguished citizen? The reason is simple. Don Imus spoke for the media's constituency of morbid, unimaginative pessimists. As I say, his humor was bleak -- exceptionally bleak. There was no joy or wit in it. Now he is dead. And that jolly commentator, Rush Limbaugh, took his place long ago as America's most followed radio commentator.
As a kid Emmett Tyrell was one of those who got mocked, pushed around, de-pantsed in the hallway and locked inside his locker.
As a kid Don Imus was one of those doing it to him.
Imus did try to do some good, with his foundation and camp for children with cancer. One big difference between Imus and the ‘journalists’ Tyrell is referring to is that Imus didn’t try to pass himself off as an expert, or to label his show ‘news’.
How old are you, 10 years?
Oh poor widdo Kaslin!
Did you flash back on the wedgies and swirlies and butt-kickings you had to endure?
Don’t post the damn story if you are going to wet yourself over it.
This is a weird article.
I would give him the benefit of doubt, and give him 14 years - about the age of Imus’ locker room humor. I was introduced to talk radio by Limbaugh in the early 90s. It happened that Imus-in-the-morning was on the same station on my radio as Rush was. So I actually listened to Imus a few times. I heard nothing but tasteless juvenile locker room banter.
It was difficult for me to believe that an adult would actually speak like he did, and that a legitimate radio station would actually put it on the air. I preferred silence to Imus, and so my drive to work was punctuated by radio silence.
I woke up listening to Imus in the mornings back in the 60s. Lost him from my radar after those years.
I recall he had a decent couple of comedy routines: The Columbia School of Live Auditions was one of my favorites. I also recall when he was having a contract “dispute” with his network, ABC? Commenting on the air he said his contract paid him third place in morning shows in NYC albeit he was number one in audience numbers. He continued he could not, by contract, do a job action and would only be paid for not showing up was for “unexpected disasters and the like”. He closed with let’s see what happens tomorrow. Well, his show went on the air with a stand in for about two hours. When he arrived he said he was late because “the enemy took the bridge and he had to detour”. The next day, late again, he said he did not want to break the turtle parade on the Belt Parkway! The third day he was on time with a new contract putting him at number one. That is how I remember him, a sarcastic but funny DJ. The later years I leave for others to comment about.
Now stop posting to me, you moron
You give me the benefit of the doubt?
But you don’t have the stones to speak to me?
You two make a good pair.
You can post whatever you wish.
Just don’t be such a baby about it.
Don’t dish it out, etc. etc.
Did Howard Stern Celebrate his Death? Oh wait, he is off for the Holidays. We’ll have to wait until Monday to find out.
The Left loved Imus until the Nappy Headed Hoe controversy, (note that he didn’t originally say it, he just reacted and repeated what one of his on air staff said).
Then we had his scathing Routine directed at President Clinton at the Correspondents Dinner.
The majority of his show was liberal guests.
Yeah. Imus was a dyed in the wool liberal.
...not to mention that his humor was bleak.
The author forgot to mention that Imus was also very boring.
I don’t listen to talk show radio, and haven’t for years. I read Rush’s transcripts of his show and post them
Yeah, Imus got mean. But in his heyday he was funny. His ego was his schtick.
In 18 years of driving around New England before Satellite radio I became a fan of several radio folksand then they became too rich and over exposed, and they flamed out: Imus, Stern, Beck, Dr Laura, Rush...
It doesnt mean they are bad people. Its the nature of the business. And as the spotlight fades, they become more outrageous in order to get us back. They always fail.
I never really cared for Imus. I’d listen on occasion.
What put me permanently off was a Christmas-time show collecting donations to his charity, and some car dealer donated, iirc, a Humvee. Imus wanted to know from his lackey if it was the deluxe model, not the cheap model, given it was his charity...@ss.
Another time, Imus had Mike Barnicle on, a rival newspaper columnist of Boston drive-time talker Howie Carr. Imus let through some slanderous stuff about Carr’s wife, who happened to be listening driving the kids to school.
Thanks to the Dersh, the settlement paid for a Palm Beach condo.
” as with Imus’ claim that Hillary is “Satan,” it lacks wit and imagination.”
The truth may sometimes seem to lack wit and imagination.
Before satellite I would listen in the morning. I was listening on 9/11. Warner Wolf was doing a play by play from his NYC apt that had a direct view of the towers. His description of the second plane hitting the tower is etched in my brain. Every time I hear of Don Imus I think of that.
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