The Imus affair
"Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." That's what good preachers, and good journalists, do. It makes sense that comics, who sometimes preach and sometimes report the news, would follow this motto as well.UPDATE: Another good take from Phil Nugent here:
Imus "broke the power equation," Rogers says. He afflicted the afflicted, which made him a bully instead of a comic. That's not funny.
With Imus's career meltdown this past week, he managed to demonstrate one thing worth knowing, which is that the rules regarding racist behavior among celebrities are kind of the reverse of the ones governing politicians. We've reached the point where racism is simply an unaceptable trait in a public figure, but there are some openly bigoted celebrities, such as Mel Gibson, who are simply too rich and famous to be swept off the map--it would be too unnerving and would frighten the horses. So people like the anti-Semitic Gibson and the homophobic Isiah Washington are diagnosed as being ill, sick with intolerance--we believe they mean it, so the important thing is to decide that they're victims of their own vile thoughts. They get to stay and the keep the money, but only if they admit that they have a problem and seek help.It's a rather long rant, but pretty good, setting the Imus affair in the context of the political capitalization of bigotry that we've been tolerating for too long in our culture. (HT: Kevin Drum)