Let me start off by stating that I am no fan of Donathan Imus. For years I have found his hair and that stupid cowboy hat he wears aesthetically offensive. Still, I have come to the conclusion that CBS has made an egregious error in firing Mr. Imus over the controversy that ensued following his references to School Daze (a Spike Lee Joint) while commenting about a NCAA ladies basketball game. I would have rather seen them fire him because his show sucks and his ratings tanked, but unfortunately he had great ratings.
Despite what CBS says, they did not fire Imus because of his comments. If that was the case, they wouldn’t have waited so long, or they would have at least waited until they heard the outcome of his scheduled meeting with the Rutgers team. The fact of the matter is that advertisers were bailing. I suggest that they probably weren’t fleeing because of his comments, directly, either. With racial controversy sharks: Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton circling, I think the advertisers pulled a NASCAR. Oh, come on! You remember that whole thing were Jackson was extorting money from NASCAR in exchange for not labeling them a racist sport.
Of course, Don Imus is not entirely faultless in his recent loss of employment. His repeated apologies chummed the waters of a page six story that should have disappeared without much ado. I mean, he was a shock jock that made a stupid joke. Apparently, he didn’t violate any FCC rules. The worst thing I could say is that the incident has brought too much attention to the awful films of director Spike Lee. However, “Don Imus Attempts, In Vain, To Placate Al Sharpton…” Now there’s a headline with some staying power.
While all of this was going on, nobody seemed to notice the real front page story that was relegated to a scrap of notebook paper stuck to the back of the newspaper with an old piece of chewed gum. Katie Couric tried to pass off a plagiarized story about the public library system as her own. The Wall Street Journal called CBS News to discuss her video essay, which a CBS spokeswoman described as, “…almost verbatim,” to the Jeffrey Zaslow article, published prior in the Journal. CBS News alleges that they have fired an unnamed producer for the misdeed.
Two things jumped out at me when I first heard about this. The first thing was the unknown identity of the mystery producer. Nothing instills confidence in the media like its flagrant lack of transparency… especially when they throw that accusation around at others.
The second thing is that Katie Couric’s video essays are read in first person. It is presumed that they are her opinions... commentaries written by her. If Katie Couric is not at fault for this act of plagiarism, then this incident lifts back the curtain of “Katie Couric’s” Notebook and reveals her to be, not the Great and Powerful Katie but, a shriveled old man, blindly parroting whatever drivel is piped through her earpiece.
At least I can say this for Don Imus, when he wasn’t trying to save his career, he said what he thought. Friend or foe, I am more comfortable if I don’t have to decode people’s stances. I think life might be a tad simpler without the PC gauntlet.