Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Side Bar, Defend Your Motherfucking Boy. Again.

Here's what Don Imus said yesterday while talking to Warner Wolf about Adam "Pacman" Jones.
"He's been arrested six times since being drafted by Tennessee in 2005," Wolf said.
"What color is he?" Imus asked.
"He's African-American," Wolf responded.
"Well, there you go," Imus said. "Now we know."
Side Bar is going to tell us that he believes his explanation/apology, which is that he meant to imply that cops like to arrest black people (though not many other NFL players have been arrested 6 times in the last 3 years), and not that black people like to get themselves arrested.

I don't really care if Imus is a racist or not, I just wish he would keep his fucking mouth shut so we don't have to hear from Al Sharpton.


Joe Grossberg said...

Nah, the rationalization is that he was making fun of racial stereotypes.

What's really outlandish is Imus's follow-up, "There's no reason to arrest this kid six times, maybe he did something once, but I mean everybody does something once."

No reason? WTF?

Side Bar said...

I am not sure you can pass judgment on what he said unless you listen to the show. I listen every single morning (just about), and while I have no desire to be an Imus apologist (I am not friends with him or anything), it cannot be denied that he (a) said he was going to make race a central topic of discussion on his show when he came back on the air in December and (b) has done just that for the last six months, long after people were happy to forget it.

My point is only that if he is going to be criticized for one single comment that can be interpreted as either pro-black or anti-black (or just a random comment that was neither helpful nor hurtful in terms of race, but just more of a general riff with no real significance, which is what I think it was), then it seems only fair that he get some modicum of credit for having an in depth dialogue about race on his show for the last half year with a variety of academics, politicians, and other celebrities.

Either way, this stuff is going to continue. I think he is completely serious about maintaining a dialogue about race on the show, so when he goes too far - or is misunderstood, depending upon your perspective I guess - it seems clear people are watching him and are going to pounce on it. Whether they are too sensitive, he is too insensitive, or both, remains to be seen.

In the context of the last six months of his show, though, this most recent comment really doesn't seem that out of line to me. But maybe I need to check myself as much as Imus needs to check himself.

As for Al Sharpton, I said a long time ago (http://bplog1.blogspot.com/2005/05/face-of-race-in-america.html) that the media is at least partly to blame for his continued relevance - they are just too lazy to get someone else's views when they know Sharpton is a sound bite waiting to happen. And now Sharpton gets to be Imus's vicar of penitence? F that.