In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 11, 2007 / 23 Nissan, 5767

Don Imus's Via Dolorosa

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I'm an Imus fan and often tune in for headlines, a shot of guyness and a pinch of politics. He's sometimes funny, sometimes smart, and every now and then, dumber'n a box o' rocks.

As recently, when he referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos.'' It was ridiculously unacceptable, mean and insensitive.

But was it unforgivable?

Piling on is awfully fashionable at the moment, and while tempting, it's also awfully easy. Let's try something hard. Like thinking.

The offensive remark was meant to be funny on a show that is a mix of serious and humorous commentary, both irreverent and sometimes adolescent. We all can agree it wasn't funny. As Imus has acknowledged during his stations of the cross, it was "repugnant, repulsive and horrible.''

It was also racist.

But the public scourging of Don Imus — and his "I'm a good person who said a bad thing'' mea culpa — borders on the ridiculous. Most absurd was his lashing by Al Sharpton on the latter's radio show.

Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others have called for the I-Man's' firing. A two-week suspension isn't enough, according to these self-appointed arbiters of acceptable speech, who seem to have made peace with their own racist remarks of the past.

In 1995, Sharpton organized a protest and called a Jewish landlord a "white interloper'' after the man terminated the lease on a black-owned music store. Later, the landlord's own store was burned to the ground, and eight people were killed.

Jackson called New York City "Hymietown" and Jews "hymies" in a 1984 interview with The Washington Post. When accused of anti-Semitism, he said, "Charge it to my head ... not to my heart.''

Fair enough for Jackson, but not for Imus?

What Imus said was not hateful, but it was thoughtlessly unkind to young women who are not, in fact, "hos.''

Anyone who caught the student-athletes' Tuesday news conference couldn't help being impressed by the players' maturity, integrity and poise — and feel a little bit sorry for the less-mature Imus. His chastening has been severe and his humiliation must be painful.

The strength of the country's reaction may suggest that our tolerance for gratuitous insult has reached a tipping point — and that is a welcome development. What would be even more welcome is if that news were to reach the places where the word "ho," short for "can't-be-printed-here,'' is frequently used.

Black hip-hop artists have been denigrating the women of their families and neighborhoods for years with terminology that reduces all women to receptacles for men's pleasure. Sharpton and Jackson would do well to direct some of their outrage to that neck of the woods.

Meanwhile, the broader savaging of Imus seems disproportionate to the crime. There is in the air the unmistakable scent of schadenfreude — pleasure in someone else's misery — as some in the media have turned on the radio jock like pack wolves on a wounded puppy.

Otherwise, his takedown feels like hecklers gone wild. When the star is down, the heckler gets to be the star. Celebrity comes to the one with the loudest voice, the meanest jibe or, in this case, the pithiest piety.

In such an environment, punishment doesn't have to be equal to the sin; it has to be equal to the sinner. Because Imus is rich and powerful, the only appropriate punishment is death by a million apologies.

Followed by forced retirement.

Context has been ignored, meanwhile, by all but Imus' oldest friends. Imus has said a few dumb things in a decades-long career — as have we all — but he also has raised many millions for charities.

Otherwise, his show is entertaining and informative, thanks to the many national politicians who show up. Yes, it's a little clubby at times, mutually admiring and self-absorbed, but those characteristics also create a sense of relaxed intimacy that is part of the show's attraction.

Whatever his flaws — and however careless his recent blurt — Imus deserves a shot at resurrection.

He has promised to make a better show and to become an even better person. If that means no more racist jokes, the world will be better. It would be a waste, however, to banish a reformed Imus from the airwaves — especially if an example of redemption and rehabilitation is what we seek.

But sainthood — please — is not required. In fact, a St. Imus would be a suicide bomb for sure.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2006, WPWG