“so it goes”

This isn’t going to go over very well, but here goes. Shock jock Imus has been fired from the MSNBC simulcast so this is somewhat after the fact. Imus has been on radio for like 276 years, he did his first radio show with Ben Franklin and didn’t think much of the whole lightning rod theory and thought the Continental Congress was a bunch of whining twits. He has been a repugnant pile of worthless crap ever since – his endorsement of Senator Kerry in 2004 probably did more to hurt then help. It was perfectly justified to be angry at him, to call for an apology, but calling for him to loose his job crossed the line into censorship. ABC hired Rush Limbaugh to be a commentator on the old Monday Night football and then when he was true to form and made a racist remark people were shocked, just shocked. That Limbaugh and Imus have a history of racism and misogyny is well known – where was the outrage years ago. The advertisers keep pouring money into the coffers of the likes of Imus and Limbaugh because they have listeners or fans who in between snickering at lame repugnant humor buy their products. Imus is just the part of the malignant growth that you can see. He wouldn’t have survived on radio for decades without a base of support and advertisers to go along – firing Imus is like cutting off a dandelion head, you haven’t killed the root. And calling for the termination of his employment, especially after a public apology doesn’t give people like Imus much incentive to change their ways it just pushes the racism and misogyny under the rug. I’ve heard some good arguments against Imus especially from the coach and members of the Rutgers University basketball team. That is how you win against the thinly and not so thinly veiled hate of the Imuses and Limbaughs, you hold them up for ridicule against enlightened thought and better ideas. The for those that are more New Testament centered there is always forgiveness, Edwards On Imus Spat: ‘I Believe In Forgiveness’

“I believe in redemption, I believe in forgiveness,” Edwards said of Imus, who was suspended earlier in the week after calling the Rutgers women’s basketball team “nappy headed hos.” Since then, Imus has repeatedly apologized for his comments and met with Rev. Al Sharpton, who called for the outspoken radio host’s firing. Imus has also agreed to meet with the Rutgers team, who would not comment on whether or not they believed he should be fired.

[ ]…”What he said is wrong because it’s wrong. It has to be condemned, we have to speak out when people use this kind of language,” Edwards said. “This is a very serious matter, it should be taken very seriously.”

Speaking out is the way. If liberals or moderate Republicans, independents or whoever insists everyone be fired for practicing free speech, even repugnant free speech we’re going to have streets full of jobless people. Condemn the Imuses, the Limbaughs, the Coulters, the Pat Robertsons, the O’Reilly’s and Malkins, but we need to stop short of being an angry mob that decides who works and who doesn’t – if their audience eventually gets a clue and sees how deeply stupid and morally vacant these pundits are, demands for their termination won’t be necessary they’ll just become obsolete. This free speech issue is going to inevitably come back to bite those that have pushed for Imus’s firing. Kevin Drum has some thoughts along similar lines from Condeleezza Rice’s cousin(strange world), HOS AND BITCHES

On the Imus insult meter, “nappy-headed hos” wouldn’t rate above a 3. It doesn’t even come close to one of his meaner riffs. Regular listeners of the show expect racist and sexist banter. As Imus explained to Mike Wallace on “60 Minutes” in 1998, his show has someone specially assigned to do “nigger jokes.” But rest assured, the Imus crew has plenty of kike, wetback, mick, spick, dago, Jap, Chink, redneck and unprintable Catholic priest jokes too. Not to mention the rabid homophobia and occasional Islamophobia.

….But there’s also no basis for firing him or ending his show. Firing Imus for racist riffs would be like firing Liberace for flamboyance. It’s what he does.

More to the point, Imus should only be fired when the black artists who make millions of dollars rapping about black bitches and hos lose their recording contracts. Black leaders should denounce Imus and boycott him and call for his head only after they do the same for the misogynist artists with whom they have shared stages, magazine covers and awards shows.

I don’t know that consistency is such a great virtue, but as much as it pains me to defend the first amendment rights of hate radio it has to be done. Be outraged at what they say, write stations and demand better – more insight, genuine humor and overall better programming would work for me, but no demands about punish people for exercising their rights while at the same time looking the other way when at least a small portion of pop culture is saying the same thing with bad music layered on top.

Bush aides’ use of GOP e-mail probed

The White House said Wednesday it had mishandled Republican Party-sponsored e-mail accounts used by nearly two dozen presidential aides, resulting in the loss of an undetermined number of e-mails concerning official White House business.

Congressional investigators looking into the administration’s firing of eight federal prosecutors already had the nongovernmental e-mail accounts in their sights because some White House aides used them to help plan the U.S. attorneys’ ouster. Democrats were questioning whether the use of the GOP-provided e-mail accounts was proof that the firings were political.

Democrats also have been asking if White House officials are purposely conducting sensitive official presidential business via nongovernmental accounts to get around a law requiring preservation – and eventual disclosure – of presidential records.

Those e-mail accounts are not like The Republican National Committee e-mail accounts, they are RNC accounts. As Josh Marshall notes this might be a fortuitous opportunity for the NSA or the FBI is show their stuff and let the computer forensics experts loose on those mail servers.

Dammit, this pisses me off. There are never enough good people in the world and to lose one is heart breaking, Kurt Vonnegut, Novelist Who Caught the Imagination of His Age, Is Dead at 84

His last book, in 2005, was a collection of biographical essays, “A Man Without a Country.” It, too, was a best seller.

In concludes with a poem written by Mr. Vonnegut called “Requiem,” which has these closing lines:

When the last living thing

has died on account of us,

how poetical it would be

if Earth could say,

in a voice floating up

perhaps

from the floor

of the Grand Canyon,

“It is done.”

People did not like it here.