Tuesday, April 10, 2007

About that Imus thing

The Rascal has been absent from his post for the past several days, during which time I've given considerable thought to radio blabber Don Imus' racist and sexist references to the women's basketball team at Rutgers and to the reactions they've engendered.

Some people -- this guy, for example -- contend that the two-week suspension of Imus' show by his bosses at CBS and NBC amounts to enfringement of his free-speech rights, but I disagree. No government has silenced him. Rather, the networks merely have exercised their rights to air or not air whatever they want whenever they choose. As for the people who are howling for Imus to be fired, they, too, are only exercising their rights. Imus is still free to say what he wants, but that freedom doesn't give him a right to force himself on any network that doesn't want to have him.

On the other hand, I would be loathe to join in any organized boycott of Imus' advertisers. That kind of thing goes too far in discouraging controverial expression on the airwaves. At the end of that road lies the programming of only pablum.

My prediction is that Imus will get fired and will flee to the unrestrained medium of satellite radio where he can wallow with the execrable likes of Howard Stern.

Among the hundreds of things I've read about this controversy, I find this one and this one especially worthy.

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