Thursday, August 02, 2007

What is the easiest thing you can do to help the environment?

... not only is it easy, but it will save you money.

The victory of expensive tap water in disposable bottles delivered by trucks and labelled by Coke ("dasani") and Pepsi ("aquafina") over inexpensive tap water delivered through (emission-free) pipes is a victory of expensive advertising and scare tactics over common sense and the common good. But it may, with just a little help like this editorial in today's New York Times, be just a temporary victory.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Impeach Cheney First

There's no way to impeach Bush unless we get rid of Lewis Libby's boss (and the next man in line for the presidency) first:

Sign the petition at

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Loyalty is a Vice

Now, with his statement yesterday, Mr. Bush -- never known to coddle criminals or consider even the most excessive sentence "excessive" -- shows that loyalty is now a vice, maybe Dubya's key vice.

I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive. Therefore, I am commuting the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison.
The Constitution gives the President the power of clemency to be used when he deems it to be warranted. It is my judgment that a commutation of the prison term in Mr. Libby's case is an appropriate exercise of this power.

--G.W. Bush (from, 2 July 2007)

The simplistic code of loyalty that drives him can be seen on every level. He knows his family is nice, and good. He knows his friends are nice, and good. He knows his America is nice, and good, and blessed by God. If he doesn't know you? Watch out. You may very well be mean, and evil. And it may be his duty to ignore your pleas for gubernatorial clemency from death row. It may be his Presidential duty to lock you up on a island prison camp with no recourse to the American legal system, or to bomb you and your family and your godforsaken desert home.

I have nothing against Lewis Libby. He's a stooge. He was only following Dick Cheney's orders, and of course George knows that. But don't commute Lewis Libby's sentence unless you're willing to throw the real criminals behind bars, or until you're willing to give the same compassionate consideration to the MILLIONS of Americans who are behind bars -- many with longer sentences for lesser crimes than Scooter's.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Election Fraud? Or an unexpected groundswell for Joe Biden?

I wish I had made a screenshot a few days ago, because the last time I looked at the summer sidebar poll, the only votes were for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Dennis Kucinich, with the Democratic hopefuls running in that order. Now, as a commenter to the previous blog entry pointed out, Joe Biden has jumped from last to first, showing either a great groundswell of support for the Senator from Delaware, or the work of one dedicated fan who knows how to vote more than once on Pollhost.
Here's a screenshot from June 2.
Is it time to reset the results and start from scratch, or should we just live with the fact that, in this electronic age, election fraud is going to be as common on meaningless internet Presidential preference polls as it is in Florida and Ohio elections, and American Idol phone-in contests?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Vote early in the new True Blue Liberal sidebar poll

In France this week, published opinion polls are illegal [see update below]. If we lived in Avignon or Tours, we would have to spend this week reading about something other than the constant tracking polls during the final days of the presidential horse race. We would have to wait until Sunday to cast our vote for Ségolène Royal, and to see whether our countrymen had agreed with us or chosen Nicolas Sarkozy to occupy the Élysée Palace for the next five years.

Unfortunately, we can't include Ségolène in our sidebar poll. Being born in Senegal somehow disqualifies her from occupying our Oval Office. You'll have to choose between one of the seven alphabetically-arranged also-rans to your right.

Fortunately for us, there is never a shortage of meaningless horse-race polls in the U. S. of A.!
UPDATE 4 May 2007: The law changed, or I was mistaken, because the French press is full of polls like these today showing Sarko in the lead in advance of Sunday's voting.

No More Wars on Abstract Nouns, or John Edwards takes the lead in the True Blue Liberal primary

Here's the quote of the day from an online Time article, "Edwards Rejects the 'War on Terror'" :

"This political language has created a frame that is not accurate and that Bush and his gang have used to justify anything they want to do," Edwards said in a phone interview from Everett, Wash. "It's been used to justify a whole series of things that are not justifiable, ranging from the war in Iraq, to torture, to violation of the civil liberties of Americans, to illegal spying on Americans. Anyone who speaks out against these things is treated as unpatriotic. I also think it suggests that there's a fixed enemy that we can defeat with just a military campaign. I just don't think that's true."

Even when the British Government officially rejected the use of "War on Terror" last month, I held out no hope that any leading American politician would have the courage to do the same.
Since Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton raised their hands when Brian Williams asked all the Dem hopefuls, "Show of hands question: Do you believe there is such a thing as a global war on terror?", John Edwards has taken a momentary lead in the early True Blue Liberal presidential primary. He is making the world safe from US attacks on abstract nouns in particular, and the English language in general.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Bill Moyers, Iraq, a complacent & bullied press, and the WHIG

Look, I know it's TV Turnoff Week, but how could I resist watching a show on Channel 13 last night that started off with these opening paragraphs from Bill Moyers?

BILL MOYERS: Four years ago this spring the Bush administration took leave of reality and plunged our country into a war so poorly planned it soon turned into a disaster. The story of how high officials misled the country has been told. But they couldn't have done it on their own; they needed a compliant press, to pass on their propaganda as news and cheer them on.

Since then thousands of people have died, and many are dying to this day. Yet the story of how the media bought what the White House was selling has not been told in depth on television. As the war rages into its fifth year, we look back at those months leading up to the invasion, when our press largely surrendered its independence and skepticism to join with our government in marching to war.

This 90-minute special edition of Bill Moyers' Journal from April 25, 2007 "Buying the War", which has a full transcript online here, was a good introduction or review for anyone interested in how and why the leading lights of the mainstream press were either dupes or collaborators in the march to invade Iraq. He did not (like the New York Times) ignore the group that gave WHIGgate Update its raison d'être.

BILL MOYERS: As the WASHINGTON POST'S veteran reporter Walter Pincus would later report, the propaganda machine was run by the president's inner circle — officials who called themselves the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG..... You wrote that WHIG included Karl Rove, the chief of staff, Andrew Card, Mary Matalin, Condi Rice, Steven Hadley, Lewis Libby and they were in charge of
selling the war.

WALTER PINCUS: Selling the war. Yeah.

PRESIDENT BUSH (9/11/02): Good evening. A long year has passed since enemies attacked our country.

BILL MOYERS: Their chief salesman had the best props at his disposal [spoken over a clip of Bush with the Statue of Liberty behind him on the 1st anniversary of 9/11/01]

PRESIDENT BUSH (9/11/02): …and we will not allow any terrorist or tyrant to threaten civilization with weapons of mass murder.

WALTER PINCUS: They created that link.

BILL MOYERS: The marketing group?

WALTER PINCUS: The marketing group. And the link was a twofold link. One, he had weapons of mass destruction. And two, he supported terrorists. And they repeated it everyday. anybody who watches-- television these days knows you sell a product, not just by saying it once, by saying it over and over again with new spokesmen two, three times a day and it sinks into the public.

BILL MOYERS: But is there anything unusual about an administration marketing its policy?

WALTER PINCUS: It's, I think each administration has learned from the other, and with this group is just the cleverest I've ever seen-- and took it to new heights.

NORM SOLOMON: The TV, radio, print, other media outlets are as crucial to going to war as the bombs and the bullets and the planes. They're part of the arsenal, the propaganda weaponry, if you will. And that's totally understood across the board, at the Pentagon, the White House, the State Department.

COLIN POWELL (9/26/02): A proven menace like Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction

PRESIDENT BUSH (Discussion with Congressional Leaders, 9/26/02): The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons

DONALD RUMSFELD (DOD Press Briefing 9/26/02): We do have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members.

PRESIDENT BUSH: The regime has long standing and continuing ties to terrorist organizations.

BOB SIMON: Just repeat it and repeat it and repeat it. Repeat Al Qaeda, Iraq. Al Qaeda, Iraq. Al Qaeda, Iraq. Just keep it going. Keep that drum beat going. And it was effective because long after it was well established that there was no link between Al Qaeda and the government of Iraq and the Saddam regime, the polls showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans believed that Al Qaeda-- that Iraq was responsible for September 11th.

The Times, the Washington Post, and the major broadcast networks all come under fire in this show (as do the easy targets of the flag-waving cable news networks and saber-rattling pundits). The only heroes are two reporters for Knight Ridder (Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay) who saw the holes in the government's stories with basic fact checking rather than high-level cocktail party access to the lies of Scooter Libby and Karl Rove.
The New York Times STILL has not mentioned "WHIG" or the "White House Iraq Group" in its news pages even though one of their reporters, Judith Miller, has been exposed as their chief tool (or maybe even an honorary member of the Group). When the White House Iran Group starts feeding their reporters information from "Important High Level Administration Sources" (i.e., Liars), maybe the Times editors should think about the following quotation from a Knight Ridder editor before uncritically printing government "information" about Iranian WMDs on their influential front page.

BILL MOYERS: Knight Ridder's early skepticism was a rarity inside the beltway bubble…..

JOHN WALCOTT: A decision to go to war, even against an eighth-rate power such as Iraq, is the most serious decision that a government can ever make. And it deserves the most serious kind of scrutiny that we in the media can give it. Is this really necessary? Is it necessary to send our young men and women to go kill somebody else's young men and women?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

My First BlackBerry Sighting

The little BlackBerry breakdown yesterday, which substantially slowed the moving and shaking of movers and shakers all across this great continent of ours, reminded me of my first sighting of one of these devices in use. I wish I had noted the date of this incident, but I didn't think at the time that this little gizmo would take quite the prominent place in our culture that it has in the past few years. So the date is inexact, but here's the scene:

Time: Around 2001, during the evening rush hour.
The Place: A New Jersey Transit train leaving New York's Penn Station
The Characters: Middle-Aged White Man in a Dark Suit #1 &
Middle-Aged White Man in a Dark Suit #2

Man#1 is watching Man#2 type on a tiny keyboard with his thumbs.
Man #1: What's that thing?
Man #2: A "Black Berry".
Man #1: What are you doing?
Man #2: I'm talking to my boss right now!
Man #1: Why the fuck would you want to do that?

Why indeed? thought the man sitting across the aisle from them who was trying to read a book.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Isn't it great to have Paul Wolfowitz back in the news?

wolf blue
It gives us another chance to post this!

Where was the fire?

Governor Jon Corzine's piece-of-shit full-size SUV was traveling at 91 mph on a 65-mph highway before his crash last Thursday according to the Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police today. It also seems to have been scaring other hard-to-control trucks out of their lanes with its hectic approach. At least this "accident" didn't claim any innocent victims.

Is anyone else pissed about this? I voted for Jon Corzine and I probably will again, but I also drive on the Garden State Parkway in a Volkswagen, and I have a son with a fresh driver's license. What am I supposed to say to him about speeding when the New Jersey State Police not only do NOTHING to stop an average speed of 75-85 mph on a crowded 65-mph highway, but they treat this busy highway as their own personal racetrack. It's bad enough when they do it in their cruisers, but these top-heavy oversized trucks are potential murder weapons when driven at that speed.

I have this naive belief that nobody is important enough to speed unless they're responding to an emergency. The Governor of New Jersey is not a fireman, and he was not on his way to the scene of a crime. I know that most people in his position probably do it routinely, but I think they need to explain why (though the obvious answer, I'm afraid, is "because I can").

New drivers are also told that they are responsible for making sure that their passengers are belted. Why didn't this State Trooper/Chauffeur insist that his front seat passenger wear his seatbelt?

Jon Corzine needs to answer a lot of questions about this "accident" when he heals enough to resume his duties.
UPDATE on 4/18/07: This morning's New York Times article on this news says:
"...the trooper driving the vehicle, Robert J. Rasinski, had told investigators that he did not know how fast he was traveling as he led Mr. Corzine’s two-car caravan, emergency lights flashing, from an Atlantic City speech to a meeting at the governor’s mansion in Princeton."
Funny, but "I don't know how fast I was driving" is never an acceptable answer for a civilian to give a trooper.
The article is also very good on describing how the official SUV caused the crash, and also how it was breaking the rules of engagement for non-emergency government vehicles.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spread the Word -- Next Week is TV Turnoff Week -- April 23-29, 2007

You won't see an ad for TV Turnoff Week on the tube, so spread the word any way you can in the next week; click on the link to get more information and ideas from, and think about reading and signing their Media Carta.

But the most important thing is simply to turn it off.
"The idea is simple: take your TV, your DVD player, your video iPod, your XBOX 360, your laptop, your PSP, and say goodbye to them all for seven days. Simple, but not at all easy. Like millions of others before you, you’ll be shocked at just how difficult – yet also how life-changing – a week spent unplugged can really be."
Enjoy a book.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

This should be the last entry about that guy with the cowboy hat and the mean-spirited banter who used to be on the radio

The name of the man in the picture to the right will be forgotten before long. This is the first and last entry that will confront the readers of this blog with a picture of Don Imus, but the crawl at the bottom of the screen as he was uttering the slur heard round the world is telling. It shows something about the speed of news cycles; "..H RICHARDS SAID HE ONCE SNORTED..." of course refers to the big scandal that was breaking right before Imus created his own scandal, that Keith Richards said he had snorted his father's ashes in a cocaine mix. That story had legs about one inch long.

Now that CBS has followed NBC's lead by firing the original shock jock, he will quickly be replaced by another scandal on the front pages. But his story will be remembered and taught for years by those who work in the mass media. The uttering of casually sexist and racist "jokes" on the public airwaves (or basic cable) is now as clearly taboo as accidentally flashing a female breast during the Super Bowl halftime show or dropping an f-bomb. There's no gray area here. The next Imus who says something similar on the air will have his microphone pulled during the next commercial break.

And Don Imus will remember that it's not nice to fool with the Scarlet Knights. He started the conversation that ended his career by saying, "That's some rough girls from Rutgers." He had no idea. He had no idea that the real strength of these talented young women was in their intelligence and their quiet dignity. While others (including this blogger) immediately jumped into the fray, they showed how vile Don Imus's comments were just by being themselves (and making all of us with connections to Rutgers even prouder to be Scarlet Knights than we already were!).

crossposted from the Rutgers football fan blog

Kurt Vonnegut (11 November 1922 -- 11 April 2007)

When I think about my own death, I don't console myself with the idea that my descendants and my books and all that will live on. Anybody with any sense knows that the whole solar system will go up like a celluloid collar by-and-by. I honestly believe, though, that we are wrong to think that moments go away, never to be seen again. This moment and every moment lasts forever.
-- Kurt Vonnegut, "Reflections on My Own Death"
in Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons (Opinions),
page 184 of the yellowed 1976 Dell first paperback printing

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

MSNBC does the right thing (for the obvious reason); all pressure now shifts to CBS


It may turn out to seem like a Pyrrhic victory when some right-wing pressure group leans on sponsors to get rid of something we like on the radio (though we only listen to NPR, which doesn't have sponsors), but for now it's just a victory. It was for the money (or fear of losing it) that major American corporations, afraid of being tarred as sponsors of racism, caused another major American corporation, NBC Universal (a subsidiary of General Electric), to pull the plug on the cameras this evening.

It would have been nice if NBC has made the decision immediately, a week ago, for less mercenary reasons, but it still feels good to know that this insult against the Scarlet Knights, women, and African Americans, has finally been appropriately addressed. The online announcement included the key lines here:
The network’s decision came after a growing list of sponsors — including American Express Co., Staples Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., and General Motors Corp. — said they were pulling ads from Imus’ show for the indefinite future.

But it did not end calls for Imus to be fired from the radio portion of his program. The show originates from WFAN-AM in New York City and is syndicated nationally by Westwood One, both of which are managed by CBS Corp. For its part, CBS has not announced plans to discontinue the show.

If the sponsors don't get to WFAN to pull the plug on his microphone, then the pressure has to be put on athletes to follow Cal Ripken's example and refuse to deal with Imus or his sports-talk station. I don't think it will take even that much though. CBS will not want to look more racist than NBC. It's as simple as that, or it should be.


Later in the MSNBC announcement was this bit about Barack Obama's statement today on Imus and the young women of Rutgers:

Before the announcement was made, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) had appeared on the MSNBC program "Hardball," where host David Gregory asked the senator and presidential candidate if he thought Imus should be fired.

"I don't think MSNBC should be carrying the kinds of hateful remarks that Imus uttered the other day," Obama said.

He went on to note that he and his wife have "two daughters who are African-American, gorgeous, tall, and I hope, at some point, are interested enough in sports that they get athletic scholarships. ... I don't want them to be getting a bunch of information that, somehow, they're less than anybody else. And I don't think MSNBC should want to promote that kind of language."

Obama went on to say that he would not be a guest on Imus' show in the future.

So, based on the statement I made in my last entry, both Obama and Clinton gained a point today in my early calculations to see who I'm voting for in the New Jersey primary next year.

crossposted from (a Rutgers football blog)

Hillary Clinton's Respect for Rutgers

The Rutgers Women are starring on the front page of this afternoon with a call to "Join Hillary in sending the young women of Rutgers a message of respect and support."

We here at haven't yet made our decision about who we're voting for in the primary of 2008, but we have to say that putting the women of our favorite university on your splash page certainly earns you a brownie point (we should also warn candidates that any appearance on Imus in the Morning that we hear about will earn a candidate a minimum of 10 demerits -- yes, we are keeping very careful score!)

Now go send your message of Respect for Rutgers.
Then give to the charity Don Imus should be supporting (and the place where the bulk of True Blue Liberal's charitable donations go): The Rutgers University Foundation

It was great seeing this front page of the New York Daily News . . .

... being held by my fellow commuters on the way to work this morning.

Every article about this scandal from now until the name "Don Imus" is long forgotten, should include at least as many pictures or profiles of these dedicated, talented, and intelligent young women as it does of the cowboy-hatted one (and has anyone else noticed how the cowboy hat suddenly disappeared when he stared The Apology Tour -- was that the work of a style consultant trying to tone down his swagger?).

And CBS radio and MSNBC should give C. Vivian Stringer a show of her own, but only in the off season, of course. Her contract is up at Rutgers this year, but it's just as important for the university to reward her appropriately as it is for us to retain Greg Schiano.

I'll say it again. I've never been prouder of my school since I started at Rutgers College in the fall of 1973!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Where Our Focus Belongs: Essence Carson & Heather Zurich

It's time to accentuate the positive.

It's definitely time for us to start focusing on the direct victims of this attack, and not their soon-to-be-ex-shockjock attacker.

Read these New York Times transcripts of today's remarks from Heather Zurich:
And Essence Carson:

The difference between the poise of these well-spoken students and the slime of Mr. Imus could not be greater. They make me so proud of my alma mater on the banks of the Raritan!

Go Knights!!

Al Roker proves me wrong, but where are his colleagues?

Yesterday I asked: "Where are the high profile CBS and NBC personalities? Are they working behind the scenes to cleanse the racism from their organization? Do any of them have the guts to actually speak out about this stain on the network that feeds them? "

Well, here's one, as far as I know the first one, Al Roker, and he does so with logic and without pulling his punches:

The “I’m a good person who said a bad thing” apology doesn’t cut it. At least he didn’t try to weasel out of this by hiding behind alcohol or drug abuse. Still, he said it and a two-week suspension doesn’t cut it. It is, at best, a slap on the wrist. A vacation. Nothing.

The general manager of Cartoon Network resigned after a publicity stunt went wrong and caused a panic in Boston. He did the right thing. Don Imus should do the right thing and resign. Not talk about taking a two-week suspension with dignity. I don’t think Don Imus gets it.

After watching and listening to him this morning during an interview with Matt Lauer, Don Imus doesn’t get it. Maybe it’s being stuck in a studio for 35 years or being stuck in the 1980’s. Either way, it’s obvious that he needs to move on. Citing “context within a comedy show” is not an excuse.

He has to take his punishment and start over. Guess what? He’ll get re-hired and we’ll go on like nothing happened. CBS Radio and NBC News needs to remove Don Imus from the airwaves. That is what needs to happen. Otherwise, it just looks like profits and ratings rule over decency and justice.

THANK YOU AL, but where are your white colleagues? Without a broad multi-hued opposition, we'll continue to see comments like those at the bottom of your blog entry -- the typical boilerplate racist defenses of Imus and non-sequiturial and nonsensical attacks on Al Sharpton and gangster rappers (I didn't read them all, but you just know that some "wit" has already decided to call you "Reverend Al Roker").

crossposted from

UPDATE 11 April 07:

Monday, April 09, 2007

This Is No Longer About "Don Imus", It's About the Racism of CBS and NBC

When Don Imus said to Al Sharpton this afternoon, "I can't get anyplace with you people," it became more obvious than ever that he lives in a world that is sharply divided between black and white. "You people" can only be taken one way. The other key statement from his interview with Reverend Sharpton is that he has no intention of resigning. It's also clear, after 40 years in the business, that he's not changing his stripes. He is who he is, and he's not leaving on his own.

The FCC (according to reports on CBS News tonight) will take no action because no nipples or f-words were involved.

So, with neither resignation nor government action imminent, the ball is now totally in the court of CBS (owner of his radio outlet) and NBC (owner of his television simulcaster). They either need to pull the plug on his microphone, or they are officially condoning racist slurs and the ability of old men to comment on the appearance and sexual habits of very young women.

This evening MSNBC administered its first wrist slap, but a two-week hiatus in the simulcast cannot be considered a punishment

And by the way, "You People" does not just include the "You People" of whom Al Sharpton is a member. There is also the sexist component of the term "nappy-headed hos" that has millions of women understandably upset. Here is an easy to follow campaign organized by the National Organization for Women that will help you send letters to the appropriate people at CBS and NBC.

Where are the high profile CBS and NBC personalities? Are they working behind the scenes to cleanse the racism from their organization? Do any of them have the guts to actually speak out about this stain on the network that feeds them? THAT probably would lead to a firing. This is America in 2007, where you can say anything you want about people younger and darker and weaker than you, but leave your bosses alone.

Where are the high profile professional athletes? How quickly would WFAN-AM in New York drop Imus if Derek Jeter and Eli Manning and David Wright refused to interact with that sports radio station until the I-man was gone? I'm pleased to see that Cal Ripken is the first guest to cancel a scheduled Imus appearance, so maybe that wall is breaking too, but it is amazing to see, over and over again, how people get more cowardly when they have more to lose.

If the NBCBS overlords don't drop him soon the Rutgers football Scarlet-White Game on April 21 will become the "April 21 Anti-Imus Rutgers Stadium Rally."

UPDATE: Now CBS Radio has suspended Imus for two weeks "due to the events of the past week." (i.e., the protests, not the hateful comments about Rutgers women made on April 4). If he comes back onto CBS radio and MSNBC simulcasting in 2 weeks, it means that NBCBS is knowingly rehiring a racist, and the protest, at least on this site, will be twice as loud.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

This Picture Should Destroy a Few Stereotypes . . .

... and destroying stereotypes seems to have become the raison d'être of this blog all of a sudden.

There's a real danger that with the entry of Al Sharpton into the debate about Don Imus's right to use the public airwaves to call young women of Rutgers by hateful sexist and racist names, Imus's defenders will now try to turn this into the Don vs. Al Show, a show that goes back at least a decade. So I looked for instances where these men have interacted in the past. Along with the expected finds about Rev. Sharpton's voice being imitated on the show in an Amos'n'Andy show manner, I found the following coincidental juxtaposition of articles in a Media Life Magazine news page from March 28, 2005. It was worth a screen capture; just click the picture to enlarge to full screen or click here to see it in its original setting (just scroll to the bottom).
  • The Imus article at the top of the screen is an answer to the Imus fans who say, "Don't attack Don. He does more for charity than anybody!" (It also says a little something about his legendary thin skin)
  • The Sharpton article is an interesting answer to the other point made by those fans: "Don't attack Don for calling people 'nappy-headed ho's' unless you attack the rappers who use that language too." (not that too many of those rappers are simultaneously broadcast by CBS & NBC every morning)
I hope that this issue -- this important debate about the acceptability of casual racism and sexism on the air -- doesn't boil down to the Don vs. Al Show, but if it does, I'm 100% on Rev. Sharpton's side!

Cross posted at the Rutgers football blog,

Filing a Complaint with the FCC is Easy

The real question is not a question of free speech, though Imus's apologists would have you believe it is.

The real issue is why CBS (owners of WFAN-AM) and NBC (his Cable TV simulcasters) are not RACING to fire Imus to see which is more anxious to remove its corporate imprimatur from the racist and sexist "jokes" being broadcast during family listening and viewing hours.

Since neither CBS nor NBC feels the need to respond to nor acknowledge correspondence from the public, our only recourse is to directly contact the government agency charged with protecting the public airways against indecency.

They make it very easy to register your complaint at

Friday, April 06, 2007

and in Sports news . . .

Is there ANY reason that Don Imus and his two stooges haven't been fired yet for their recent racist remarks on the radio and on MSNBC??
Another inevitable empty Imus apology ("Sorry, we were all drunk and senile again") should not be enough.

This is from the April 4 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning (I've copied this transcript from the Media Matters for America site where there's also a video record of this racist outrage):

IMUS: So, I watched the basketball game last night between -- a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women's final.

ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night -- seventh championship for Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.

IMUS: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and --

McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.

IMUS: That's some nappy-headed hos there. I'm gonna tell you that now, man, that's some -- woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like -- kinda like -- I don't know.

McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.

IMUS: Yeah.

McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes -- that movie that he had.

IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough --

McCORD: Do The Right Thing.

McGUIRK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

IMUS: I don't know if I'd have wanted to beat Rutgers or not, but they did, right?

ROSENBERG: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.

IMUS: Well, I guess, yeah.

RUFFINO: Only tougher.

McGUIRK: The Grizzlies would be more appropriate.

More contact information on their Contact Page. I don't have cable TV, so I'm telling them why I'm boycotting all other NBC outlets. What you want to tell them is up to you.

I posted this same transcript late last night on, but the more I think about it, the more angry I get, and the more I want to get the message out that this is totally unacceptable in the mainstream American media. It is certainly more offensive than any imaginable televised wardrobe malfunction, but this morning WNBC (New York) has a poll on their article about this incident in which only 27% of the respondents say that what Imus said deserves punishment.

Imagine that we were talking about Rutgers football instead of women's basketball.

Imagine we run across a newspaper from 1917 in which the great Paul Robeson of Rutgers is being described as ugly and "nappy-headed"and being compared to the "cute" Princeton backfield of Mitt Buffington, Peter "Pippi" Longstocking, and P.T. Boatwright the Fourth. Of course we'd call it a sad remnant of America's shameful racist past.


Just asking, True Blue Liberal (Rutgers College Class of 1978)

Congratulations to the beautiful Rutgers Women for making it to the NCAA Championship Game. Next year the title is theirs!

ADDED CONTACT INFORMATION, 6 April 07 @ 8:30 pm: Because MSNBC keeps on disclaiming responsibility for anything broadcast by Imus, here's the contact information for his radio station
WFAN (A CBS Company)
Email: (use a catchy subject line)
Main Phone Number: 718-706-7690
On-Air hotline to talk with our hosts: 718-937-6666Contest Line: 800-821-6611
Mailing Address:
34-12 36th Street
Astoria, NY 11106

So he's simulateously appearing on a CBS outlet and an NBC outlet? Is this racist somewhere on ABC too?

ADDED CONTACT INFORMATION, 7 April 07 @ 9:30 am: Here's a list of the 96 radio stations on which he appears around the country (ZERO in the proud state of New Jersey!) in case you want to write to your local Imus outlet.
In the Boston Herald this morning, the response to the local station is noted:

Phil Redo, vice president and market manager for Greater Media Boston, which owns WTKK (96.9 FM), said the Boston station hadn’t received any complaints.
“I can’t defend it because it’s indefensible,” Redo said of the remarks. “I’m glad that he apologized and he should have. It was a stupid comment. It was a terrible thing to say.” [emphasis added]

Even just one email or phone call to these local stations (cc'd to local sponsors) should have some ripples. If you hear a response to any of your complaints, please let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Happy Poetry Month 2007

Musée des Beaux Arts
by W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Brueghel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Happy Poetry Month from True Blue Liberal.