Imus: Shakespearian Tragedy
At any rate, his show Imus in the Morning became the go to show for those in power, wanting more power, or access to power and could handle themselves – or at least thought they could – in a live situation. In an age of reality TV, Imus offered reality politics and everyone who was anyone tuned in, and I did because I knew they did.
I'm a late arrival to the Imus phenomena and he did not discover Wonkette or MoDo, or any of the other NYTimes columnists or the TV or newsmagazine reporters and editors – I came to Imus already familiar with them – but it was interesting to see them and hear them speak in what Frank Rich call the most conversational interview on the air, anywhere.
Either he or the format of his show was way better than the spin that occurs on Sunday morning. I pay as much attention to that as the constantly displayed footage on cable news. Tell me your political position and I can tell you what you're going to say. Some how, Imus had one of the most interesting perspectives in the coverage of the Plame name leak and the Walter Reed neglect stories.
Perhaps the embarrassing situation of new reporters being news makers in the Trials of Scooter like Tim Russert and the behind the news clubhouse or Andrea Mitchell outright caught carrying the Republicans' water or John Dickerson's sitting in the courtroom crowd and suddenly his mug is flashed up on a the big screen during the prosecution's case was a harbinger of Imus own embarrassing moment to come. A good Shakespearian tragedy needs a harbinger.
Oh, and Imus is a hero. He could trash Rep. Joe Barton all he wants for shelving a bill to help autistic kids. Imus fought in support of troops coming home not just going over to Iraq. His ranch for kids with cancer, and his reputation as a fund raiser all punch his hero requirement ticket for a Shakespearian tragedy.
Imus gets kicked off TV and radio while Limbaugh clowns someone's Parkinson's and Glen Beck questions the patriotism of a recently elected U.S. Representative for no other reason than he is a Muslim and they are still on the air. Perhaps if Imus had been trumpeting the conservative cause instead of a bunch of kids with cancer, he'd still be on the air too.
Why does street talk win Grammies but is taboo for white guys. Is black rap like the n-word and only blacks can use it with immunity? What is the exact number of kids with cancer Imus has to run through him camp as penance for his racial, gender slur?
The two supposedly spokesmen for the black community have not apologies for their misuse of their public influential powers and yet they hold Imus to a higher standard than they themselves could pass. Rich opened up early in his Sunday column the thought that the women players at Rutgers where the only non-hypocrites in this drama, and that would be true if none of them had rap on their ipods trashing and demeaning women in the same tones as Imus. They probably don't. Rap is more a male thing -- but do any of their boyfriends have it on their ipods? If the glove do fit, you can't commit.
I will miss the Imus show more than I will miss Imus.