Don Imus Suspensions Not Enough
It may be also that advertisers will choose not to buy time on the Imus shows, and that some participants will cancel out, as I read that baseball "iron man" Cal Ripkin has already today.
Those who appear regularly on television or, for that matter, in newspaper or magazine reporting, must be held to a high standard when it comes to making prejudiced remarks. We live at a time when bad behavior toward other ethnic groups has led to a spiraling bloodbath in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. We have to take very strong steps to be sure it does not occur here.
And these racist remarks against the outstanding Rutgers basketball team, which gallantly fought its way through memorable upsets to the No. 2 showing in the NCAA Women's basketball tournament just concluded, come at a time when. for the first time, the U.S. has a black presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, who has a real chance to be elected. We have to be extra careful not to let this period be marked by racist incidents in any form.
Jesse Jackson, the civil rights leader, pointed out on NBC this morning that MSNBC and many other news outlets these days have no black moderators or anchors. One of the few of these, Soledad O'Brien, is being removed this month as a morning anchor of CNN. Jackson's point about a need for diversity on news, and even comedy, outlets is well taken.
All of us have to be sensitive as Americans to anything that may stir ethnic or racial discord in this country. So to me, it seems that a two-week suspension of Imus, despite all his apologies, is not sufficient by any means.
Imus has received high ratings. Still, these cannot be allowed to be used as a reason to inadequately discipline him for racist remarks.
Labels: Reporters' Opinions