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I-man

Wednesday, 11 April, 2007

I could give two shits about Don Imus. Despite the fact his only innovation was adding cynicism to the obnoxiousness coming into music-radio presenting around 1967, he is a legend for no other reason than he has been on the air consistently and prominently for over forty years. Imus has been a national figure since the early 70s when he did a poorly received nationally syndicated Metromedia talk show, and occasionally popped up on The Midnight Special. Still, today he is known as that old guy on MSNBC in the morning and the titular host of an extremely typical syndicated morning show. Because of his prominence in The market as the edgy guy on the radio when most of the old men of media were starting out, Imus consistently garners attention for no reason in particular.

I can only imagine television is pushing this story. Television is the one medium I don’t follow anymore. I can’t imagine why a guy on a typical morning show saying something which serves primarily to expose how old and stupid he is becomes newsworthy. All the xenophobic, racist, “classist”, pro and anti religious crap … why is this one getting so much attention?

His wife’s book tour (she just wrote another southwestern vegan or something cookbook) has been canceled. MSNBC announced they’re pulling his morning simulcast. All the usual suspects are dressing him down. Sometimes he’s there to take it personally. It’s not quite like the attempted Howard Dean career assassination, but it’s close. Precious few notables are not jumping on the bandwagon. Don Imus hasn’t gotten this much press since his show got picked up by television in 1996.

Barring death, (Imus is a recovering alcoholic and cocaine user aged 67.) he will return. Radio attracts one demographic; people who cannot access or have not learned to access more recent technologies. This is the fault of those in control of the medium who have been chasing their potential audiences away for decades, except for that brief respite with talk on AM in the 90s. The demo of the poor and naive can be further subdivided into people who are very proud of their race and miserable circumstances. Some of those people are black, and they can be readily compelled to hate Imus which was easy enough before this mess. Some of those people are white and Imus could become their hero. Some of those people are other and will either hate hos with Imus or hate him but I don’t think any particular analysis is worthwhile.

With all the rinky dink syndicators out there, many desperate for a name and Imus wanting to leave New York for his quasi-native Southwest for decades (that’s why he wears all that western gear) he may relocate to his ranch in New Mexico and do some show for somebody from there. This assumes CBS lets him go in the first place, which seems inevitable.

If Don Imus could stand to not be on the air, he would have retired by now. Everybody piled on for no particular reason but to prove how “equal opportunity” they are. He’s become a hot property for all the wrong reasons, all around …

No wonder we’re losing the war.

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