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April 13, 2007

The Other Imuses

by at 2:20 pm.

(John Greenwald has been a journalist for 45 years and was Sunday editor of The Sun in the late-1990s. He’s also an exhibited local artist. I’ve invited him to post periodically about the media, culture, and politics.)

Don Imus’ DNA hadn’t been wiped off CBS’ urinals, when the The Huffington Post posted like-minded remarks by Bill O’Reilly on immigrants (”Mexican Wetbacks … Coyotes”) and Rush Limbaugh on “Survivor” cast members (”Young Blacks — Especially Males — Are Much More Likely To Drown In Pools Than Whites”).

Ouch!

Huffington blogger Bob Cesca wrote:

How can we forget this knee-slapper from Bill O’Reilly on the February 6, 2003 edition of The Factor? ‘We’d save lives because Mexican wetbacks, whatever you want to call them, the coyotes–they’re not going to do what they’re doing now, all right, so people aren’t going to die in the desert.’

Also,

Bill O’Reilly was hosting a charity event for urban school children. An African-American singing group called ‘The Best Men’ were schedule to perform, but were late. O’Reilly said to the audience: ‘Does anyone know where the Best Men are? I hope they’re not in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps.’

For Limbaugh’s fat-foot-in-mouth episodes, Huffington link to Mediamatters.org. It’s 2000 words of set-ups and transcripts about the “Survivor” teams organized by race or ethnicity. Here are a few choice items:

* Blacks can’t swim as well as whites: “When pressed by an African-American caller to identify ‘[w]hich team … would be the worst swimmers and why,’ Limbaugh stated that ‘the white tribe would be the best swimmers’ based on the performance of white athletes at the Olympics.”

* Limbaugh also based his idea that “black can’t swim” on an article in HealthDay that reported blacks were more likely to drown in swimming pools than whites.

But, the HealthDay article was based on a study that “did not address the swimming abilities of African-Americans in general.” Researchers don’t know why black youths drown more, except that most “drowned in public pools,” the article said. “People from poorer families were more likely to drown … regardless of race,” the article said. One’s tempted to says that Limbaugh ideas about blacks ability to swim is all wet. (I couldn’t resist.)

* Limbaugh also said the Asian-American tribe were “the brainiacs of the bunch [and] probably will outsmart everybody.”

There’s lots more of Limbaugh’s racial and sexual stereotyping in this post.

Finally, we shouldn’t forget broadcast radio’s King of All Controversy, Howard Stern. TMZ.com reposted its item of Dec. 15, 2005, recalling Stern’s 10 greatest, grossest hits.

Here’s just one:

Number 9: Stern was fired from WNBC radio in New York City in 1985 “for doing a stunt on his show called ‘Bestiality Dial-A-Date.’”

Who’s left to amuse America’s knuckle draggers?

3 Responses to “The Other Imuses”

  1. Ryan Says:

    Some good precedents lately - between DePetro’s firing and now Imus, there’s some hope out there for air-wave accountability.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Give me a break. If you don’t like it turn the channel.

  3. Lynne Says:

    And so goes the perpetration of the status quo of accepting racial, homophobic, and misogynistic norms in the US…

    How sad.

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