I have never listened to Imus in my life, and have managed to ignore the whole "nappy-headed ho" imbroglio -- to the degree that it is possible, given the saturation media coverage. Yet there has been a bright spot because I have heard much less about someone named Sanjaya in the interim.
Vaguely annoying though the media circus has been, yet another bright spot has been the focus on bigoted language in public discourse, and the clarification of the bounds of what is acceptable. There are a whole host of right-wing hate-mongers to whom the standards should be applied and from whom accountability should be required. Just to start, I refer you to Media Matter's compilation of just a few of the more egregious comments of Messers Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly, Savage, Bortz, and Coulter. Selected highlights:
- Boortz: Rep. McKinney "looks like a ghetto slut"
- Boortz also declared Islam a religion of "violent, bloodthirsty cretins" and called Prophet Muhammad a "phony rag-picker"
- Boortz suggested that Katrina victim turn to prostitution
- CNN's Beck to first-ever Muslim congressman: "[W]hat I feel like saying is, 'Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies' "
- CNN's, ABC's Beck on Clinton: "[S]he's the stereotypical bitch"
- Beck has a warning for Muslims "who have sat on [their] frickin' hands" and have not "lin[ed] up to shoot the bad Muslims in the head"
- Coulter refers to Edwards as "faggot," has smeared Dems in similar fashion many times before
- Savage: CNN's Blitzer and King "would have pushed Jewish children into the oven"; "curry favor with the turbanned hoodlums"
- Limbaugh handicapped races in new Survivor series, suggested "African-American tribe" worst swimmers, Hispanics "will do things other people won't do"
- O'Reilly to Jewish caller: "[I]f you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel"
Conservatives who fail to denounce these vile human beings are at the least complicit.
PS: Just for the record, if anyone would like to bring to my attention comparable slanders by liberals, I will be happy to add their names to the list of shame.
PPS: And, no, anonymous commenters on blogs, vacuous celebrities, and obscure university professors don't count. I am referring to major media figures and respected pundits.