A Lady Laments About... Imus In The Morning
by Jennifer Philo
Disclaimer: Read at your own risk!
The following opinion article respresents those solely of one
1. Lady, Jennifer Philo, accreditted columist for "Faster Than the World" daily internet magazine
2. Don Imus, arguably original "shock jock" of radio broadcasting
Veteran radio personality Don Imus and his early morning team of highly opinionated coworkers wreaked havoc on the airwaves for the past forty years with his highly syndicated morning radio show "Imus in the Morning". Millions upon millions of listeners religiously turned on their radios and turned up the volume to witness the daily tirades of the aging DJ whose sarcastic wit and quick temper launched his show into radio infamy. The four hour long broadcast seemingly ridiculed everyone from public figures to celebrities alike. Mock interviews and random tangents highlighted issues of both political and popular nature, contributing to his expansive listening audience. In addition to the sardonic undertone of his broadcast, Imus played host to musical talents and journalists, senators and political hopefuls, reknowned celebrities and literary giants; bringing faces and names from the spotlight to mainstream America at 6:00am, Monday through Friday.
Though hailed in recent years for his savvy regarding current issues, his focus on charitable contributions saw as much airtime as his incessant ramblings. With his much coveted time slot for sponsors and insurmountable ratings, major corporations and wealthy tycoons found themselves repeatedly Dons' source for endless and sizeable donations. Organizations like the Imus Ranch for kids with cancer and autism awareness received impressive financial gain through his shaming tactics and on air humiliations typically directed at his major contributors. Though for Imus, this humbling status can only account for the later half of his career. The controversial DJ began his decade spanning career in the late seventies in a self described haze, largely due in part to his admitted cocaine, alcohol and prescription drug abuse. The over-medicated I-Man chose to clean up his act, thus ending his drug-induced days for a healthier approach to aging in style; insulting an unwilling list of elite while completely sober.
Once named as one of Time Magazines' twenty five most influential people, the foul-mouthed, moody host has apparently been stripped of his crown. In what I can only describe as the ultimate act of irony, Imus found himself at the receiving end of someone else's tirade. In what was less than a week, the nation watched as this once acclaimed DJ turned on his microphone for the last time. For some of us, this is a fitting conclusion for Imus. The insulted and disrespected list of people left in his wake applauded his exile, basking in the glory of justice being served. For others, his unforseen demise has constituted a laundry list of questions and demands that spans the free world as we know it. Pandoras' Box is missing its lid, but who took it off? As a die hard fan of yet another CBS program, CSI: Las Vegas, I've learned that to solve the crime, we first have to find evidence to support our accusations.
Clearly, no one is arguing that his remarks about the Rutgers' Womens' Basketball team were insensitive and ignorant. In fact, as a once avid listener, I can assure those of you who have never heard his broadcast, this is the epitome of what it is. Insult without reason, or better yet, insults with hues of immaturity and shades of bigotry. As one contributor to the millions who listened to his show, I loved it. In the land of Imus, political correctness took a backseat to humor. Funny was found in subjects that plagued the nation, inadvertently bringing awareness to issues we chose to look away from and not read about. One of my favorites was a mock interview with Mayor Ray Negan, infamous himself after a public demand for accountablility in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. While engulfed in water and tragedy, New Orleans was submerged in controversy, Mayor Negan at the helm. In the land of Imus, Mayor Negan continously spoke of the levies and his assurance that they would be fixed. This three years and one election after the 2004 catastrophe.
Another popular parody portrayed the Reverend Jerry Falwell, televangelist to the Christian Right and spiritualist extraordinaire. Aside from exploiting the "channel between him and God", the pseudo-Falwell exposed his own ignorance by insulting the gay community, women and those of Jewish heritage. Cardinal Egan, another frequent target, gave new life to bad humor with a thick Irish accent and a sharp tongue. Both spiritual interpreters typically ended each interview asking for the untimely death of Don Imus while his morning team, Charles, Bernie and Chris bowed their heads in prayer.
Yes friends, Imus had no discretion when it came to insults. From the spiritual to the political, God and President Bill Clinton could both appear on the Imus show and suffer the same fate. Equally berated for our listening pleasure. But, it's always been our choice. Just as we chose to listen to songs paying homage to the bitches and hos of the world. Just as we choose to laugh at comics, their material laced with racy content and explicit language.
In conclusion, we the people find Imus guilty as charged. Further litigation is being considered for the following people/ groups: Archie Bunker, Benny Hill, George Jefferson, Steve Harvey, 2 Live Crew, Eminem, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller, Strom Thurmond, Wanda Sykes, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, the cast and crew of South Park, Hugh Hefner, Outkast, Chris Rock, The Simpsons, Johnny Damen, Gwen Stephani and many others. For a full list, please open your eyes.