I am sure, unless you seriously live under a rock, you have heard of the remarks made by Don Imus last week on his nationally televised (What’s with radio being on TV anyway?) and broadcast radio show. I will admit that I sometimes listen to the Imus in the Morning show. I never watch it on TV. But here is my take on the issue.
Number one, will the media quit playing the damn clip!?! Don Imus has insulted, on the air, almost every ethnic, religious and sex group in the US at some point in time. Many people, including the young ladies who were the unfortunate blunt of Imus’s comments, have said the remark was hurtful and uncalled for. So quit playing it! Let the Rutgers University Women’s Basketball team and Don Imus work it out. Should you think Imus deserves punishment, change your television or radio dial.
Number two, let the chips fall where they may. MSNBC and CBS radio have suspended Don Imus for two weeks. Bigelow Teas and someone else have pulled radio advertising. Procter & Gamble, being much smarter and feeling they can impose their opinions in an even bigger way, have pulled all daytime advertising from MSNBC. I don’t know, other than public officials, of any job/career related incident that is suppose to be played out in the public arena. Yes, Imus is on public airwaves. Yes, Imus said hateful things. Yes, advertisers have a right to pull their advertising.
What I am going to say next will not make people happy. I have not heard of a single local advertiser in my market that is pulling their advertising. The Imus in the Morning show has a strong, loyal following. I worked in radio sales for several years. While one of the stations aired Imus, it was not the flagship station. What I will say is that four hour period of air time is a huge revenue generator. Unless the local advertiser pulls advertising, the show will not suffer. It may, hopefully, go back to being just a radio show but it will not suffer for long.
Talk radio, which is what the Imus in the Morning show is, is filled with hate and comments that are not things most people want to hear. It is full of news that makes people unhappy. It is full of comments that may denegrate or may uplift people. It is just entertainment in the long run and we all have our own opinions of what entertainment is. If Don Imus is not your opinion of entertainment, don’t listen or watch the show.