I haven’t blogged on the Imus affair, because I just didn’t think it was that big a deal, but now that it has become front page news in the New York Times and Washington Post, and it has become a political issue, with Obama calling for Imus’s scalp and Hillary asking her fans to send a message of support via her website, I feel compelled to comment. And the main question I have is: why is this such a big deal?
I guess part of the reason why I don’t find it that noteworthy is that growing up in the NY area, I always thought of Imus as a competitor to Howard Stern, and I was never a big fan of the whole shock jock phenomenon. Also, I never found him funny, and I remember that his show used these sound effects such as quacking ducks and BOING! noises at random points, and that was like nails on the blackboard to me in the morning. The fact that he tries to present himself as more sophisticated than Stern, and attracts major political figures as guests, I suppose, explains why it’s more of a general news story than if another shock jock had made an offensive comment. But I still don’t quite get why, with everything going on in the world, this is the top story of the week. What Imus said may have been innapropriate, but given the amount of news coverage it has generated, you’d think he advocated raping women, said Martin Luther King Jr. got what was coming to him, or praised Adolf Hitler.