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04/14/2007 {update} I posted this without having noticed Richard Champlin's recent diary on this same topic. - Arthur

Imus' cowboy image over a long career based out of New York City.
The younger "cowboy" pictured above on the right looks more like a tall Dudley Mooore than he does the Marlboro Man.

Don's a long time city slicker despite the wardrobe suggestion of cow poop and saddle sore background with its implied folksy trail-hand wisdom.

The Bill Dulmage Radio & TV Archive

Don Imus lost his job because what he thought would be cute, funny or acceptable ... wasn't.

Imus has had his radio show for years, inviting an impressive array of public celebrities comparable to the same celebrities who routinely appear on the Tonight Show and David Letterman ... movers and shakers 

I read somewhere yesterday that broadcast personalities have considered an appearance on Imus' show a definite boost to their careers. 

 Imus' on-air personality and style has been a tavern version of Leno or Letterman - complete with foil companion, McGuirk, with whom Imus could carry on his cool-guys repartee.

You know ... the sort of thing we saw or did in high school when insiders made fun and private jokes about all the outsiders. 

Imus for the most part focused his personal comedic or mocking jabs at public celebrities more deserving of satire, parody and mockery. 

This time, however, his cool-weather-beaten leathered-face mode uttered highly offensive remarks at a group of innocent ladies who - if you remove the momentary fame of an NCAA Basketball Tournament success - in no way deserved, merited or even needed to be dragged into anybody's shock jock good-ole-boy routine.

We've all laughed at this sort of humor for years ... stand up comics, Late Nite Carson, Leno, Letterman and Maher types with their double entendre humor and enough shock-spice to make us laugh ... right?

For years I've told others that I know I'm not supposed to laugh at the belittling of another person, but it's so damn funny.

... for years.

But then, without wanting to wander into some group tent of political correctness, 1st amendment suppression or sanctimony, I still have to say that Imus' statements and the ensuing outrage does suggest that we ought to ask ourselves why that kind of humor is supposed to be funny?

... especially if we or someone we cherish gets treated that way.

 ... or why we even laugh when smirkers smirk ... as if smirking and belittling innocence is  something a decent society tolerates.

It isn't about suppressing 1st amendment rights or creating a world of public "gotchas" where public voices have to walk on egg shells.

It's about awakened social awareness and the silly notion that we don't always have to be crude just because our right to do so is guaranteed. 

News Sources for this story:

Boston Herald 

Chicago Tribune 

St Louis Post Dispatch 

Arthur Ruger 2007

Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.