Sign me up for the Jeff Jarvis amen corner on his assessment of the whole “Imus” thing. I’ve been wondering when Jeff would post on this topic as he was one of Howard Stern’s most articulate defenders from the regulators who were constantly beating down his doors when his show was on “terrestrial” radio. While arguing that Imus should have been fired years ago — because he is boring — Jarvis is alarmed about the piranha pool that forms whenever someone has a “macaca moment,” named for the video clip that eventually sunk George Allen’s hopes of being reelected U.S. Senator, and possibly President one day. Jeff says good riddance to Allen, Lott and Imus — because he’s not a fan of theirs — however, he shares my concern: Is this what we really want?
“Just because someone offends someone, that is not cause to fire them make them resign from a show or a campaign. It means you can disagree with them. In fact, today, you have more means to state that disagreement and be heard than ever before. But we canâ€™t fire everyone somene wants fired; we’ll be left with no more stars and no more politicians. And as tempting as that may sounds, itâ€™s no way to run the world. The reason to fire Don Imus in my book is because he was boring. If you think heâ€™s a racist for what he says today, then he said things in the past that should have told you the same thing. A channel has every right to hire and fire whom it pleases. It should do that for good reason â€” and racism and stupidity are good reasons â€” but not because someone somewhere played the offended card and called for a scalp.
I confess: On this blog, I’ve been guilty of calling for people’s scalps. Or, I’m at least guilty of fanning the fires, at times, when other people are picking up rocks for a stoning they’re planning.
In the future, I’ll try my best to keep from being such a fish in a piranha pond.
And in the future, when I see mobs forming after macaca moments, I’ll tag those posts “piranha pool.”