Thursday, April 12, 2007

Cleaning their hands

I've been waiting for Don Imus to be fired to comment on the manufactured outrage of the MSM. Manufactured because they've adored him for years. More so than the public. In 2005, David Kiley of Business Week wrote about Imus' rating.
Book sellers, Senators, Congressmen, media personalities and even clergy are always after the same audience as Imus’s advertisers: affluent, educated and influential men, many of whom not only buy books, but count as swing voters.

Imus’s show, while politically charged, skews neither right nor left, which makes it a refreshing switch from the wing-nut harangue of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity or the Air America Crew. “I don’t know anyone in Washington who doesn’t listen to Imus or watch him on TV,” says CBS News and Face The Nation anchor Bob Schieffer, a frequent guest, who politely admitted to me the show has become a more valued outlet for many DC elite than either of his programs.
The show was big bucks.
Imus’s influence is transcending the size of his audience. Imus In The Morning, reaches about 3.25 million radio listeners a week, according to industry trade journal Talkers Magazine (plus another 335,000 an hour on TV).

His radio audience is about a quarter of Limbaugh's weekly following and less than half of Stern's. But blue-chip and family-oriented advertisers like Chrysler, Bigelow Tea and The New York Stock Exchange are prepared to pay top dollar to flog their brands on Imus; his show commands advertising rates of $1,333-$1,500 per thousand listeners versus about $1,000 for Limbaugh and Stern, according to industry sources.
What you note about the article is that Rush Limbaugh is a wing-nut but Air America is a crew and the audience size is miniscule compared to Limbaugh's.

These are your cultural elites. The people who never criticize the filth of rap lyrics, or complain about the depiction of black women as "hos." These are your white collar bigots who knew Imus' rants were often dispicable and they liked to kid themselves that it was just wry humor. Just as the lyrics of rap records are authentic urban music. Well they are if you think black women are whores.

Nothing about Imus was particularly funny except to these elites. He was raunchy and rude and outright mean. His talk show was rated 20th nationally, according to Brent Baker of NewsBusters. Talkers Magazine shows him tied with Kim Komando, a computer show host. But she doesn't make an estimated $31 million a year.

Imus was a media celebrity who said what the guests wanted to say and snicker at.

So why all the outrage? It would be cynical to suggest that it's the 2008 elections and posturing for the black vote, but that's likely the reason. The Democrats and their friends in the media are starting to shed their traditional allies as they seek to redefine themselves and regain the black vote. Hence, the stories about racism in South Carolina as a white female teacher had sex with four or five black boys. Nevermind that teachers of both sexes are having sex all across the U.S. with school children.

The media and the Democrat party are cleaning their hands. The offhand 3:00 am comment by Imus was convenient excuse to close the door and cut a losing show at the same time. It helped that he had hit the rating skid before the recent ill-considered, off-the-cuff remark. If Imus referred to the women as "hos' it's because the media, his audience, and black rappers have called black women 'hos" for decades with no outcry.

His biggest sponsors, Procter & Gamble Co. General Motors. Sprint. Staples. American Express, have overlooked his crassness. That's because they have media buyers buy the time for them and care little what happens on the show.

It's like being anti-pornography when you're caught coming out of an XXX rated theatre. You can look like an avenging angel at the same time if you posture as a reformer. But you still stink of raunchy sex.

No comments: