Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Free For All

Random thoughts with absolutely no connective tissue.

Imus gets canned by both MSNBC and CBS Radio. By now, everyone has heard of this and rehashed it a million times. I could go on and on, but it probably wouldn't add anything new to the debate. The salient points for me:
  • It irks me to no end that people characterize this a "free speech"/First Amendment debate. It's not. The government is not censoring or firing Imus. Private corporations are. It's all pretty simple. If Imus and his crew wanted to get in a public square and insult the Rutgers women's hoops team, and the police shut him down, that's one thing, and related to the Bill of Rights. If the company that pays your checks thinks your behavior is inappropriate, not funny, not entertaining or even tiresome, that's another. Imus was fired because his comments offended fellow associates withing the two monolithic corporations, because association with him tarnished their public image, and most importantly, because advertisers were withdrawing funds.
  • Al Sharpton has no credibility and is the height of hypocrisy to get on a pulpit about race-baiting.
  • The uproar has as much to do with the targets as it does the words themselves. If instead of comment about the players -- relative "innocents" in the grand scheme who did nothing to engender the invective -- Imus has focused his epithets on the cast of "Flavor of Love," I think he'd still have one job, if not two.
  • "Should" he have been fired? It's a moot point. It's not like his schtick was new to anyone, and this has been going on for years. Unpopular and offensive opinions are not "illegal." But companies have the right to fire people who aren't making money for them.
  • As usual, Jason Whitlock has a cogent take on matters of race and sports.

Speaking of race-baiting, wonder if Jesse Jackson is going to hold a big press conference at Duke and apologize? Say what you will about Imus, at least he recognized the impact of his words and made attempts to apologize to those he offended. I'm sure the good reverend (as well as Sharpton) won't have a thing to say the true "victims" in the Duke Lacrosse case, those maliciously and fallaciously accused. Moral here? Never, ever believe a stripper.

On this week's Idol results show, JLo performed her new Spanish language song, and surprisingly, she showed a good voice and I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed Michael Buble's performance last week, though the lyrics were just as intelligible as La Lopez's new tune. And I don't speak Spanish.

Just a reminder: watch Drive on Sunday, with a new episode on its regular night the following Monday. Nathan Fillion, Tim Minear. It has to be good. And of course, quickly cancelled by Fox. Good "preview/review" from Maureen Ryan here.

Speaking of Fillion, I finally watched Slither last weekend, and enjoyed the hell out of it. A great homage to the sci-fi/horror silliness of the 50s, complete with thrills, chills, icks and laughs. Fillion is solid as always, but Gregg Henry as the mayor completely steals the show. Any movie with the line "If I wasn't shittin' my pants right now, I'd be fuckin' fascinated." is worth a rental. B+

How to tell if you're a geek. As for me? Yes. Not in drinks, but I know what it is. And went to it in Vegas. Nope. Nope, I hate Ewoks. Yes. Nope. Nope. Yep, I knew all the acronyms off the top of my head.

Not only is Rosario Dawson in Kevin Smith and Tarantino movies. Not only is she hot. Not only is she a comic book fan. But she's a Trekkie. God love her.

It's baseball season. That's enough reason to enjoy Earl Weaver losing his shit. "You're here for one goddamn specific reason: to fuck up!" Good Stuff.


  1. You don’t see what Imus said as Freedom of Speech?
    Well then what the heck is Freedom of Speech? It’s not only Freedom to say what’s popular . It’s Freedom to say what you want to.

    what’s wrong with the world today. In my opinion, Blacks are the ones who are keeping the racism generating. If they would just let everyone have there FREEDOM OF SPEECH, the world would be fine. Frankly, I DON’T OWE ANY OF THEM SHIT! IMUS is a GOOD MAN. He DIDN’T DESERVE THIS. This is a man who is just trying to make an HONEST living for his family. As far as Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson goes, they will get their judgement from a far more higher power. THE LAST LAUGH WILL BE ON THEM .IT’S CALLED KARMA! I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THAT BASTARD TO GET HIS PAY BACK.
    I also, think that rap should be banned from the air ways. It’s teaching our kids BAD THINGS!!
    Boy they get ofs offended over the “N” word and they use it in almost every sentence.
    And so much worse!

    Thanks for your blog,

  2. The point I was making is that the debate over his comments is NOT one of "freedom of speech" guaranteed under the Bill of Rights. Of course, he's "free" to say anything he wants, just as his employers are "free" to fire him if they lose money or don't want to be associated with his opinions. The "freedom of speech" debate is one more rooted in the GOVERNMENT censoring speech, which is clearly not applicable to this situation. See:

    The FCC took no action, and rightly so.

    And no, I'm not a fan of rap music, but it should not be banned. It's a commercial enterprise, and the ultimate "judge" should be the marketplace. If it's a "corrupting influence" then it should be "shunned" not censored. Check out the link to Jason Whitlock's column for an intelligent take on the matter.

    And you're welcome for the blog.