CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{April 16, 2007}   Freedom of Speech

don-imus.jpgLast week on the Porkopolis Blog, Kevin Osborne wrote an interesting piece on the Don Imus firing and wondered if the public outrage over this type of thing is even-handed (click here to read his story).

In his post, Osborne talks about rappers who routinely say offensive words about women – much worse than “nappy-headed hos.” But really – isn’t this whole thing about freedom of speech? Can’t the rappers and Imus say what they want?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fan of Imus. I find him more than a little creepy. Know who else I find creepy? Ann Coulter. Rush Limbaugh. Michelle Malkin. Bill O’Reilly. Howard Stern.

Those five people listed above have certainly said outrageous things insulting to many people – just like Imus has. How come these people haven’t had their radio shows or newspaper columns canned? Why are they still around while Imus gets the boot?

Larry Gross

(Photo from


Phil says:

The Imus firing was a way over reaction. Your right. Limbaugh, Coulter and the rest have said horrible things – some much worse than what Imus said.

Polly says:

There simply was no point in saying what he did. He crossed a line and his firing was a good call.

hard as nails says:

hey! where’s his hat?

Sally says:

I agree with you totally. Freedom of speech should never be taken for granted. Ann Coulter is one of the most vile people on this planet and gets away with saying horrible things. Don makes a slip of the tongue and gets the boot. Not fair at all.

Rita says:

Why did Imus ulitimately get pulled off the air – P&G and the major sponsors pulled their money.

Did he need to be terminated. I don’t believe so. I feel he would have used this experience to make a positive statement upon his return.

I am much more offended by the music industry then I am by anything Imus said. Plus, if Imus is gone, the disgusting rap is gone, then I guess eventually this blog will also be terminated. Freedom of speech – priceless.

Bill says:

Bottom line: He’s been an ass for several years now. Time for him to go.

Mary says:

I listened to Imus for many years every morning. He is the best and it’s not right to have him off the air. All the folks on Fox news have said much worse.

charles says:

When will the lawsuits start?

dooly says:

imus sucked. this is no big loss.

Marilyn says:

Money talks louder than free speech.

Tim says:

“Money talks louder than free speech.”

Not really true in this case. CBS radio stands to lose millions of dollars by canning Imus.

Donald says:

Imus is my hero. Dumbass CBS first loses Stern and now fires Imus. I am no longer a listener.

Marilyn says:

Tim, what I was cryptically stating is that the only reason they fired Imus is because the advertising pulled their dollars from his show.

Donald, I am a big Imus fan. I know he is obnoxious and all that (he chronically condemned fat men and women, smokers, you name it). But I still love him.

Rita says:

Most likely if Imus had not publicize the Veteran Hospitals incompetencies, the tragedy would not have received the attention it got.

Imus is an ass. However, at the same time – he was provocative and made you think. His interviewing style brought much to light.

This ugly situation could have been a win-win situation if he had the opportunity to change the show’s format and develop sensitivity. Now it is simply lose-lose.

Biscuit says:

So are we not allowed to use the term “nappy headed hos”? I’ve always felt that Larry was nappy headed and while he isn’t a “ho” he is ho-ish

Larry Gross says:

Thanks, Biscuit. I think.

Gus_J says:

This isn’t really a constitutionality debate. Imus’ freedom was never in question, he, you, me, can say whatever we wish without fear of incarceration. However, if you go to work tomorrow and say a bunch of offensive or insensitive shit you’re probably going to get written up or fired, or in some cases beaten up. I once got written up for telling someone to watch their ass. They really asked for it too. Even got to do “sensitivity training.” Why should Imus not have to deal with petty bullshit like the rest of us when he says stupid things? especially at work?? Sharpton and Jackson have both said worse and proved themselves less than honorable in the past so they are the last people that need to be vocal about this, but Imus messed up and there was a mic in front of him. At least put your hand over the mic when you call Becky in accounting a stupid whore. Plus, there are more important things that need our attention right now, don’t get too distracted.

Adam says:

Advertising people were bolting from Imus and that sort of killed his show. Probably if the network had been a little patient, many would have come back. I mean Imus had a big following. You know he’s going to show up someplace else.

j says:

just to add to what gus said– freedom of speech applies to governmental action. NBC, CBS and any other private institution are free to censor whomever they want, whenever they want. the first amendment would be implicated if the FCC, Congress or some other governmental actor took some sort of action here, but they didn’t, so this debate doesnt implicate the 1st amendment.

Ned says:

You know he’s going to show up someplace else.

Will probably be joining his buddy Howard on pay-per-listen radio.

Marilyn says:

Actually Imus and Howard Stern are not buddies in the least.

Ed says:

Imus lost his edge quite some time ago. I don’t think he could decide what he wanted me – a “Meet the Press” type of guy or a shock jock. Now he’s neither.

David Gallaher says:

There seems to be confusion here about what Free Speech means.
It should mean the freedom to say anything without fear of breaking a federal or state or local law.
Who should be fired and who not? That’s quite a different issue.

David Gallaher says:

I now see others made my point above.

Brandy says:

Imus kind of reminds me of Gross in some way. Maybe it’s that serious and/or mean look 🙂

Lisa says:

I’ll miss Don Imus. He was my morning 😦

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