Does it matter that a talk radio host is racist? I'm serious. Howard Stern has made a good living, um, exploiting sex and weirdos and everything and everyone else. Now, Don Imus has supposedly waded into racist waters again, although it seems that his words were misinterpreted. But let's just say he did say something racist, does it matter?
Mike Nizza asks:
So what is at work here, folks? Have Americans all lost the ability to detect sarcasm (the subject of this excellent science story)? Is Don Imus guilty of racism? Was this episode the calculated controversy-stirring of a veteran shock jock, meant to split the debate in two? Or is his on-air transformation complete, from a voice that was outrageously racially insensitive to one that is quite sensitive indeed?Bah! Who cares? Don Imus is free to spout his opinions and people are free to listen--or not. That Al Sharpton get's his boxers in a bundle or that Pacman Jones even responds at all gives the talk show host a bigger platform than he deserves.
The bigger concern is that Americans have lost their humor. Every moment in time has taken on the breath-taking gravity of a near-death experience. Life is all so serious. Between the economy, oil prices, race, sex, gender, age, fatness, whales, trees, birds in nests, abuse, flu, weather and all the rest, there is no topic that is safe to laugh at anymore. The lack of laughter demonstrates a distressing loss of perspective.
People can choose to see tragedy or comedy. It's more fun to laugh. If Don Imus makes you laugh, listen. If he gets on your nerves, turn the dial. In the meantime, it would be nice if the hysteria were taken down a notch. Life is pretty good. And even when it sucks, there is something to laugh at.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News