I've known Imus since the early 70's when he and his family moved down the street from my childhood home. I never met him, but became good friends with his daughter in high school. She's completely opposite from her father's persona on the radio. A real sweat soft spoken girl who'd never be one to ruffle the feathers. I had heard enough stories from her to know that Imus was a bit out there. However, growing up in CT outside NYC, anything was strange if you weren't playing by "rules" set hundreds of years earlier by those who founded the town. 99% of the town were corporate big shots, the other 1% where too rich and drunk to care about the world.
Imus had a van back then with a church pew in it. He also had a closet full of cowboy boots way before the yuppies began to wear them on dress down Fridays. Occasionally, he'd MC a school function for his daughter. He was a good father and excellent provider for his family.
I haven't seen his daughter in years, but if we ran into each other, we'd definitely sit and chat for a while. If I had that chance today to talk to her, I know exactly what she'd say about her father being fired by CBS. I know, because her common "explanation" was that "it's all an act".
Imus In The Morning is an entertainment show. Plain and simple. He did a four hour a day off-the-cuff banter and scripted content to a huge audience listening to the radio. But, it was a show - an act.
Chris Rock does a show. Andrew Dice Clay does a show. Lenny Bruce did a show. Bob Hope did a show. Imus did a show. There's no difference between what Andrew, Lenny and Bob did for a living and what Imus did.
Imus change the radio format. He made way for Howard Stern who took the format to the next level. Today, shock jocks are common everywhere. Many, including Howard, have been fired for doing and saying stupid stuff. I heard Howard was fired from Washington D.C. for announcing Air Florida was running a special fare from Washington National Airport to the 14th Street Bridge. This, right after the airliner had crashed into the 14th Street Bridge. Another, a pair of shock jockers were fired for putting on the air a couple having sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral.
I founded Culture Catch because culture is what we preserve in a society. A thousand years from now the only thing that is left is our culture. We learn who the ancient Greeks are through the art. If you don't think what Imus, Howard and all the other shock jockers present as our pop culture today isn't valid then I think you need to take your head out of the sand. Their views and humor is exactly what is out there today. Their shows are just snap shots in time. They represent the way some people think and act in our society today.
Art and Culture are being attack time and again in this country. Protecting the rights of artists to create their interpretations of our culture is key to making sure that "art" is not controlled to the point of expressing only politically correct views. That distorts our history.
The word bitch, ho, honey, beast are words today that some use to describe woman. Years ago it was doll, baby, chic, bimbo, broad, barbie and hundreds more. Equally offensive slang of the times. Imus could have said, "a bunch of nappy headed bimbos". He'd still have a job. Why is that?
HO is a slang word mostly used by African-American men to discribe a woman as a whore. However, like the word nigger, the term is used in a more jovial friendly way as well. Did Imus use the word Ho because he thought the girls looked like or acted like whores? Hardly, he used the term to get laugh. Period. End of story. IT WAS A JOKE. Go listen to Chris Rock. Count how many times he uses the term nigger and ho in his act.
Even a bimbo airhead could figure out that Imus was doing his schtick....
What's really incredible sad is the fact that the media spent so much time and energy on Imus and who's the father of an dead playboy models baby. During this same period of time, a mentally ill kid goes out and buys a gun in Virginia for the purpose of planning the execution of fellow students.
How great would it be if our local papers where legally required to print a notice everytime someone purchased a gun in the town. If the purchaser is a student, then the school newspaper has to print the notice as well. In this case, a red flag would have gone up big time. The kid would have been stopped.
This is a great use of the press in this country. Getting Don Imus fired is not.