But What About Those Awful Rappers?

4 comments April 12th, 2007at 11:32am Posted by Eli

Okay, I know I said I was done, but there are a couple of strands of Imus apologia that are really pissing me off.

The first is the “But rappers call women hos all the time! Why don’t you make them all stop before you call Imus a racist/sexist?” This concern about misogyny seem insincere and transparently tactical to me, similar to the way in which the oppression and rape of women under Saddam was supposed to be one of the reasons for us to be all happy about the war. Apparently misogyny is a really big problem when it’s not practiced by white people.

And, of course, the rapper argument completely ignores the racist dimension of Imus & Co’s comments, and itself uses racism to diminish the significance of Imus & Co’s comments. It’s a two-fer! Kai has the definitive word on this, with diagrams and everything. Although he’s missing the one with two non-overlapping circles representing Misogynist Rappers and People With Their Own Syndicated Political Column Or Show Who Appear In The Mainstream Newsmedia On a Regular Basis.

Also: So what? Other people’s misogyny in no way excuses or minimizes Imus’s.

The other strain of Imus apology is that he’s really a good guy, he was just joking around and said all this stuff ironically, and we’re letting The Real Racists Get Away OMG.

Given Imus’s track record of vile comments that he has either made himself, or cheerfully allowed his sidekicks to make, I really don’t buy this. The best I could say about him is that he sounded like a guy clowning around and trying to fit in with his racist buddies, but that’s a stretch, and still not exactly admirable.

But even if Imus really is a misunderstood ironist, it really doesn’t make that much difference. What he said was racist and misogynist, and MSNBC decided that they did not want to be associated with such language. So good for them, and that makes it easier for other media outlets to cut ties to full-time, professional racists and haters like Coulter and Limbaugh and Savage and Morgan. And if they refuse to, they’ll have to explain why their code of conduct is more lax than MSNBC’s.

The importance of this episode is that a mainstream media outlet has declared that yes, there actually are things you can say that will get you fired or removed from their airwaves, which is a very valuable precedent.

Entry Filed under: Media,Racism,Wankers


  • 1. Glenn  |  April 12th, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    They should all be shut down. I’m sick and tired of “ugly”.

  • 2. Eli  |  April 12th, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    That would be my strong preference, but I would settle for them being marginalized as unpleasant, fringe-dwelling freaks.

  • 3. Interrobang  |  April 12th, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    They’re welcome to be as ugly as they like, but do they really have to continue to draw huge paycheques from even huger corporations while doing so? I’m kind of tired of “asshole” being a standard mode of discourse these days.

  • 4. Eli  |  April 12th, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Well, they certainly don’t have a *right* to giant paychecks, but the corporations have the right to continue paying them as long as they don’t run afoul of FCC regs (which I think only apply to Democrats).

    But if the continued association hurts the corporation’s image and/or credibility and/or bottom line, they will eventually cut them loose. But the ones that are already right-wing propaganda outlets and draw their audience from the 30-percenters may be largely immune to such considerations.

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