AJR  Letters
From AJR,   June/July 2007

The Imus Brouhaha   

I saw your Don Imus piece (Online Exclusive). I guess my question would be: Did you ever listen to the program?

I'm not politically correct at all. I listen to and read everything. I think I am probably one of few people who get The Economist and Star Magazine. I flipped between Howard Stern and Imus and NPR. Yet, for nearly a decade, I kept coming back to Imus. Why? Because he spurred conversations with people that you won't find anywhere else. Some of it was in bad taste. But some of it--much of it, I would argue--was exceptional, and conversations that you would not find on any other radio program.

As a longtime listener, I simply don't believe he is racist. I'm gay, and they said harsh things on the Imus program about gay people. They said harsh things about everybody.

I think the show occasionally attempted to be funny in inappropriate ways.

I would recommend listening to Jeff Greenfield's appearance on the Imus program. I think it was remarkable radio, and very honest, and something that you wouldn't find on any other program.

For what it's worth.

Christopher J. Dorobek
Washington, D.C.

It was very interesting to sit back and listen to the firestorm of reaction regarding Don Imus' inexcusable, idiotic comments. I'm a 35-year-old who, in the last few years, has grown indifferent to talk radio (other than some sports programming). This is a generalization, but it seems like the talk radio world has morphed into two genres--the chaotic, distasteful humor (e.g. Howard Stern, Opie & Anthony, et al) and the right-wing/left-wing/preach-to-the-choir politics. So, I say what I say without loyalty to Imus or any other talking head.

What frustrates me most about the reaction to this incident is that the same garbage that came out of Imus' mouth can be seen and heard elsewhere every day. Stop at your local entertainment store, and pick up a popular rap CD. Or perhaps the latest DVD from one of the raunchier comedians. I bet you lunch that you hear Imus' sentiments and much, much worse. Where's the outrage against those artists and entertainers? Where's the chorus of calls for record labels and distribution outlets to drop them?

While it's true that Imus' schtick was subject to the scrutiny of the FCC, it sure seems like he was a selective target for a much broader, more pervasive issue. If the goal was to take out the trash, let's not discriminate against others contributing to the problem.

Scott Chaudoir
Rockford, Michigan