NO, NOT A GOOD PERSON….Via Scott McLemee, Phil Nugent delivers the first Don Imus rant that actually kept me semi-riveted all the way to the end. Here’s a key bit:
The talk radio world, one that Imus worked hard to shape, is one where overpaid white guys who did well in the voting for the title of “Class Clown” at their respective high schools sneer at blacks, women, gays, what have you, in a dismayingly self-congratulatory tone.
….I remember that when Howard Stern began a short-lived tenure of having his show broadcast in New Orleans, he held a press conderence, and one of the local reporters asked him how he would compete with the hilarious, daring wild man talk guy who was already doing a New Orleans morning show, and whose name escapes me. Stern, who’d clearly never heard the local guy’s name, said something like, what’s he do, like a Southern guy and a black guy and a gay guy, all the while doing high-school level impersonations of a drawling hick, a Stepin Fetchit type, and a nelly dude, which did indeed sound exactly like the local guy’s repertoire of funny voices. I remember that the New Orleans reporter was stunned by this, and seemed genuinely unaware that there was some yokel doing the same basic act at some radio station in every city in America.
The whole thing is well worth reading, and deserves a spot in the New York Times, not an obscure blog. I may be almost as tired of the sanctimony of the anti-Imus forces as I am of the revolting phenomenon of Don Imus himself, but Nugent captures that revolting phenomenon, and the wider cesspool it comes from, better than anyone else I’ve read.