Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Imus Rule: Will Air America Host Be Fired for False Attack on "Right Wing Hate Machine"?

Something happened to Air America talk show personality Randi Rhodes in New York. Before the blood was even dry in her incident--as yet still undefined-- Air American host Jon Elliott issued a blistering attack on "the right wing hate machine" that he said had attacked Rhodes.

That, of course, cranked up the jackals of conspiracy and hate. Before long, the blogosphere was howling for investigations, retribution--you name it. After all, if Rhodes had gotten hurt, fallen, or even mugged in crime-ridden New York City, it had to be a grand scheme by the right wing, right?

Wrong. Elliott, too little and too late, issued an apology. Well, kind of. Here's what he said:
"I shouldn't have speculated based on hearsay that Randi Rhodes had been mugged and that it may have been an attack from a right wing hate machine. I apologize for jumping to conclusions based on an emotional reaction."

Notice how he cleverly worked in the phrase "right wing hate machine"? Nice going, Jon--you managed to package your hate-mongering agenda into a pseudo-apology. Air America did manage to put up a wimpy statement that avoided the important points.

However, Air America did manage to post a flaming attack on radio talk show and shock jock host Don Imus, fired after his infamous "nappy headed ho's" comment. In his pre-pubescent rant, host Lionel "no last name to identify me, please" declared: "NHH's Beware! The I-Man Is Back On Radio After Six Interminably Grueling Months In Exile."

Let's listen in, shall we? (Warning: vitriol ahead. Put on safety wear.)

"Let me get this straight, everyone's favorite cowpoke allegedly libels, blasphemes and intentionally inflicts emotional distress upon the Rutgers ladies' basketball team. You know, the term now forever singed and tattooed on our psyches: NHH's. (I've found parenthetically, hence the parentheses, that abbreviating racist slurs gives them additional severity.) He grovels at the feet of Rev. Al to no avail, goes on said Rev's "radio" show, increasing its listenership to 12, again to no avail. Meets with the team and yet again grovels before them and attempts to expiate his transgressions. Meanwhile unbuckled New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, whilst speeding to Drumthwackett to meet with the I-man et ux., almost loses his life in a collision."

Whew. Lionel manages to tattoo our national psyches forever (I missed that memo, sorry), drag in the Rev. Al Sharpton, and also infer blame on Imus for Corzine's traffic accident, all in one short paragraph. Let's pray this guy doesn't stop to gargle while spewing; the resulting tidal wave of spit and venom could take down an average NASCAR audience.

Lionel has declared that Imus is back on the air, apparently imperiling our entire national fabric. Last I heard, Imus was in talks with WABC in New York and the RFD-TV Network. Yea, that's the "farmer in the dell" folks.

Air America has hop-scotched over something important here: they can issue false reports of conspiracies and "right wing hate machine" crimes and the show goes on. Shock jock Imus, put in the penalty box for an offensive check, may return to the talk show brawl, and that's a show that must be stopped.

Homework assignment for Air America: Shakespeare, "Othello," Iago. Prepare a report on how and why Iago's false tales create bad results. Then write an essay on "Why We Must Not Emulate Iago."

Nah, never mind. Just write "Lying to create hate is bad" 1,000 times on the blackboard. And to show us that your sense of moral outrage is really moral, fire Jon Elliott.

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