With the exception of Keith Olbermann, the MSM has again missed the point on the Imus issue. Imus, as I pointed out in my last post, is not the heart of the problem in racist hate radio. The entire Fox News Channel along with the Limbaugh genre has done the most damage to public discourse and news dissemination in this country. I am perplexed that a vast majority of the outrage reported by the MSM has related to Imus in particular and the rappers who sell this kind of material and either tag it as comedy or music. In spite of the distasteful language in those forums, the rationalization for marketing this material is that is entertainment only. In a sense it is the "pornography" of the comedy/music culture.
In 1964, Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain "hard-core" pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . but I know it when I see it . . ."
That is what is probably the best explanation of the topic and it equally applies to music and comedy. Since that time the pornogrphy business has thrived. The affect on our culture concerning pornography is still being debated by many without any reliable meaningful empirical data to my knowledge. I suggest that the "rapper" language by both comedians and radio pundets probably falls into the same category as pornography in that "you know it when you hear it."
I am sure that Imus and the rappers believe that this form of entertainment has a certain audience and as it is with pornography, if you do not like it you do not have to watch it or listen to it. I understand that Imus was making fun of the Rutgers basketball players and his comments were hurtful to them in particular. And because he used obscene anti-woman racist language, there was a tangible incident to point to as a reason for demanding his firing. The loss of advertisers was the real reason for his demise. And I think the same mass outrage against Fox, Limbaugh, and the rest of these haters should be next on the agenda.
While Imus, Stern, and the rappers are what I call pornography audio style, they have not had anywhere near the affect on the political discourse in this country as the hate mongers on right wing political media. They have managed to create enough credibility for themselves in the MSM to be used as commentators for traditional news media outlets. I cannot imagine that 40 years ago the likes of Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter, Fallwell, Robertson, Ingram, Savage, Beck, etc., would ever be allowed on the airwaves. Today they are considered main stream and have managed to move the "4th estate" much further to the right. This has all happened organically somewhat like the Nazis filled the airwaves with hate propaganda to turn a civilized nation into a barbaric medieval country. Accordingly, the oversight of these media haters has been severely restrained by both the press and Congress.
We must make a distinction between what is clearly pornography and what passes for political discourse and news. While I am not advocating pornography, I do believe that it is a personal choice that most adults understand as perhaps offensive, but not a serious threat to our culture. The subtle political hate mongers are far more dangerous and have managed to escape the category of obscenity. The reality is that it is far more obscene and damaging to our society and a massive grass roots campaign should be done to go after the advertisers and media outlets who have done so much damage to our country. Please go to our website at www.novamradio.com to sign a petition to make this happen. We need grass roots support on this.