"Imus" as a verb

JAMES A. LANDAU Netscape. Just the Net You Need. JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM
Tue Feb 12 17:16:31 UTC 2008


Title of post:
MSNBC 'Imus'es Schuster For Chelsea Gaffe
By Tommy Christopher

This appears to be a little more than a casual verbing of a proper noun.  The writer is trying to make a point, so for those of you who are interested in further pursuing the matter, here is the text of the article:

Keith Olbermann reported, very gravely, that MSNBC had suspended David Shuster for what the Countdown host called "an utterly innappropriate and indefensible thing to say."

This incident has echoes of last year's Don Imus kerfuffle. In fact, there seems to be a direct corollary between Imus' dismissal from MSNBC and Shuster's suspension, a sort of "See, we're SUPER-fair."

There are several problems with this, which I'll get into after the jump, including what GOP Presidential nominee John McCain had to say about a then-18 year-old Chelsea and how decency only seems to punish the truly decent.

But first, I have a Special Comment for you, Keith Olbermann (or, to avoid trademark entanglements, a Unique Utterance): Although I have the utmost respect for your work, you are an ass for throwing Shuster under the bus to try and retain your own credibility with people who hate you. Context matters, Keith. You, of all people, should know this, as your specialty is providing context that is missing from other newscasts. Shame on you, sir, for not coming to Shuster's defense.

Here's Keith's announcement:

I'm not done with you by a damn sight, Keith. Unfortunately, it is precisely because you do such a creditable job of pointing out hypocrisy that your own lapses into it are so glaring. Shuster's remark was innappropriate, for sure, but far from indefensible or worthy of suspension. In context, the remark was meant to convey a cynical use of a personal relationship for political purposes. He was clearly not calling Chelsea a prostitute, or implying that she is equipped with spinning chrome rims and a plasma TV in her headrest. For a guy who prizes nuance, you seem to have taken a narrow view of Shuster's unfortunate word choice.

Should he have been suspended? I don't think so. A profuse and unqualified apology would, I think, have sufficed. Chelsea Clinton seems like a good sport, if this clip is any indication. Of course, that would have allowed critics of MSNBC, such as your nemesis, Bill O'Reilly, to make hay out of your firing of Don Imus, as if they were the same thing. So, you sacrificed your friend in exchange for retention of your high horse.

And what of the Imus firing? Again, his remark was far more offensive in its content and its intent, but as mild as baby shampoo compared to the bile that is SOP from other hosts and pundits. Then, there's your colleague, Chris Matthews, who was cited in detail by Media Matters for a steady stream of misogynist, anti-Hillary commentary for which he, to his slight credit, issued an apology before continuing it unabated. You tolerate misogynistic substance from Matthews, yet condemn Shuster for the distorted appearance of misogyny where there is none.

There follows some partisan material about McCain which may not be relevant.

           James A. Landau
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           Northrop-Grumman Information Technology
           8025 Black Horse Pike, Suite 300
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