Imus Fired: Who's Next?
There's been lots of chatter among media advocates and critics about what the do with the momentum which comes from Imus' dismissal.
Some have suggested gangsta rappers and the record companies who fund them be next on the chopping block; others prefer looking at other radio and TV pundits who may cross the line.
Media Matters for America, the liberal Web site which helped kick all this off by featuring Imus' comments on its Web site, has provided a handy list of additional bigoted comments featured on cable TV and talk radio. I'm betting if hip hop and rappers aren't the next focus of protests, the next broadcaster targeted for his or her awful hate speech comes from this list.
Examples of Bigoted Commentary Rife on the Cable Networks and Talk Radio
Limbaugh: “The government's been taking care of [young blacks] their whole lives”
On the February 1 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh responded to a Reuters report on a University of Chicago study that found that “a majority of young blacks feel alienated form today's government” by asserting: “Why would that be? The government's been taking care of them their whole lives.”
Limbaugh handicapped races in new Survivor series, suggested “African-American tribe” worst swimmers, Hispanics “will do things other people won't do”
On the August 23, 2006, broadcast of his radio program, Limbaugh suggested that the competition in the then-new season of CBS' reality TV program, Survivor, in which contestants were divided into competing “tribes” by ethnicity, “is not going to be fair if there's a lot of water events.” In support of this assertion, he cited a March 2 HealthDay article reporting that “young blacks -- especially males -- are much more likely to drown in pools than whites.”
O'Reilly said Virginia Beach mayor “should be baking pies, not running a major city”
On the April 6 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly stated that Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf “should be baking pies, not running a major city.” O'Reilly made the comment while discussing a March 30 automobile accident that resulted in the deaths of two teenage girls, reportedly at the hands of an illegal immigrant who said he had been drinking the night of the accident. O'Reilly blamed Oberndorf in part for the accident, saying that Virginia Beach's “sanctuary city policy” prevented police from detaining and deporting the driver, despite three previous alcohol-related convictions.
O'Reilly to Jewish caller: “[I]f you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel”
O'Reilly responded to a Jewish caller to his radio show who objected to “Christmas going into schools” and explained that he “grew up with a resentment because I felt that people were trying to convert me to Christianity.” O'Reilly told the caller that America is “a predominantly Christian nation” and that “if you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel.” O'Reilly labeled the caller's concerns “an affront to the majority” and insisted that “the majority can be insulted, too.” During his exchange with the caller, O'Reilly also mistakenly referred to “the seven candles“ of Hanukkah.
O'Reilly: Abducted child “liked … his circumstances,” had “a lot more fun” than usual
On the January 15 edition of his television show, O'Reilly said of Shawn Hornbeck -- who was abducted at the age of 11, held for four years, and recently found in Missouri -- that “there was an element here that this kid liked about his circumstances,” adding that he “do[esn’t] buy “the Stockholm syndrome thing.” O'Reilly also said: "The situation here for this kid looks to me to be a lot more fun than what he had under his old parents. He didn't have to go to school. He could run around and do whatever he wanted." When fellow Fox News host Greta Van Susteren pointed out that "[s]ome kids like school," O'Reilly replied: "Well, I don't believe this kid did."
Boortz: Rep. McKinney “looks like a ghetto slut”
On the March 31, 2006, broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Neal Boortz said that Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) “looks like a ghetto slut.” Boortz was commenting on a March 29 incident in which McKinney allegedly struck a police officer at a Capitol Hill security checkpoint. Boortz said that McKinney's “new hair-do” makes her look “like a ghetto slut,” like “an explosion at a Brillo pad factory,” like “Tina Turner peeing on an electric fence,” and like “a shih tzu.” McKinney is the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Georgia.