Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Using The Imus Factor As A Political Weapon

Sorry to report that the media has saturated itself with this story. What's a blogger to do when looking for inspiration to put up an intelligent thought-provoking post that people will want to read, when the lead-in yesterday (and from the looks of things today) was (is) the Imus situation. And I mean to tell you it was everywhere.

There are other things going on in the world, but the media seems to remain content to put this front and center. All of this is despite the fact, there are certainly more pressing things to consider. But, really now. Who wants to think about anything that could seriously effect people's lives, when you can have one of your own peers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

But that's not all there is to it. It's going to get old fast, if we keep re-inventing the wheel. So naturally, there will be a need to have this ripple out into other stories, just to keep this thing alive. It's going to need a little help.

The Boston Globe being the fine beacon of truth and responsibility it is, has chosen to sow more discord by making this a political issue.

With the Rev. Al Sharpton leading calls Monday for radio host Don Imus to be fired over racially insensitive remarks, Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign avoided the controversy throughout the day.


See? Nice lead-in.

Not until Monday evening, five days after Imus's comments were uttered and hours after CBS Radio and MSNBC announced a two-week suspension for the radio host, did Obama weigh in, saying in a statement: "The comments of Don Imus were divisive, hurtful, and offensive to Americans of all backgrounds." Obama did not address whether he thought Imus should be taken off the air.


Just guessing here, but Obama may have had other things to do? He is a Senator and he is running for President, so it may stand to reason that he has more important things to do than to get involved with a highly controversial figure with severe credibility problems, like Al Sharpton.

The episode is the first test of how Obama -- who is of mixed-race background -- is handling the contentious issue of race in his presidential campaign. Even as polls have shown other Democrats attracting a large share of the black vote, Obama has steered clear of the kind of activism symbolized by Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who were both highly visible in the Imus episode but whose aggressiveness on race issues has alienated some white voters in the past.


Here's what it looks like to me.

Al Sharpton wants to drive the train in the black community. He's clearly said in the past that he is withholding support for Obama, until he sees how Obama is going to act. Al is based in NY, Hillary is based in NY, the NYT (which owns the Boston Globe) is based in NY, Obama hasn't got a chance with this publication to start with. Al wants to be the kingmaker, plain and simple.

But from the looks of things, Obama realizes that it's not in his best interests to get overly worked up over this thing. Sharpton is well recognized by many, as a divider. And Obama wants to see himself as a uniter. His remarks are going to be measured and professional, not easily given over to a mere moment of emotional appeal.

But the big thing in all of this to note is, this is an implicit attempt to plant the question in the minds of those in the black community: Is Obama black enough? Sharpton appears to be headed that way. There's a good chance, he's already made his mind up to support Hillary and believe me, Hillary doesn't like Imus either. He's called her everything in the world, including Satan. For her, it would be a good time to shore up support from Al and stick it to Imus at the same time.

But to do so, would drastically affect credibility. Sharpton is a power-hungry race-baiting troublemaker. And if either candidate is smart, they will rightly condemn the statements made by Imus and move on. After that, the market will decide whether or not to fire Imus. CBS, MSNBC, and the radio station he originates from will make that determination. The last thing any candidate should do, is get in bed with Al. That's for sure.

7 comments:

Greg said...

You mean Obama didn't immediately organize a march down the streets of Harlem demanding Imus' head or else? Obviously, he is not fit to be President! And he hates black people. Or at least supports the KKK.

Puleeeeze! LAS - don't read the Boston Globe. It'll rot your brain.

Speaking of race-baiting, the remaining false charges against the Duke lacrosse players are likely to be dismissed today. What would you pay to see Nifong in an orange jumpsuit and leg irons?

LASunsett said...

Greg,

//What would you pay to see Nifong in an orange jumpsuit and leg irons?//

I'll wait for the DVD.

LASunsett said...

As for the BG, it serves as a good "bad example".

Greg said...

There's an interesting video on CNN.com about the word "ho." They talk to women at Spellman College about it. Seems blacks use the word "ho" a lot, without any controversy. Every woman in this particular class had used the word before, but they don't see a double standard in attacking Imus (not that I feel sorry for Imus, or that I would care if he got fired).

I was wondering, can anyone think of words that caucasians can use, but blacks can't? I can't think of any...

xformed said...

Speaking of the dust up...I did a little bit of blogging on another racially charged story which popped up in the news this morning once more.

"I'm Waiting for Al Sharpton's Next Show Guests"

Greg said...

xformed: I had completely forgotten that Sharpton had made comments about the innocent Duke students when the false allegations were first made. Thanks for that article. O'Reilly should have him back on the factor to react to the revelation that the real criminal is the person Sharpton stuck up for.

LASunsett said...

Hi xformed,

Welcome to PYY.

This is a sad case, in that, there will be little accountability for the many that rushed to judgment, to include many in the academic community at Duke University. It's not the least bit likely that Brothers Al or Jesse will retract anything they said, nor is it likely that the hate-mongers (AKA Black Panther Militia) will ever apologize. Instead they'll target the NC AG for defeat in the next election.

Gee, that makes me wonder. Will Jesse rescind his offer of a scholarship to the woman that instigated this whole charade? I doubt it. How's that for moral values and ethical principles?

But not to worry. The man that allowed himself to fall prey to the hate-filled race baiters will soon be liquidating his assets, maybe with a little luck, he'll be in that orange jumpsuit, Greg spoke of.