Saturday, December 28, 2019

RIP You Old Cowboy

Image result for Imus show regulars Kenny Rob and charles McCord Bernard McGuirk

RIP old cowboy: Don Imus signed off for good yesterday. Love him or hate him he was pure Americana, a man who pulled himself up by his own bootstraps more than once. He fought and lost many battles with his twin demons vodka and cocaine before finally cleaning up. He was an equal opportunity offender and despite the fact that President Clinton was a regular call-in to his show, he took the opportunity of the 1996 annual White House Correspondence Dinner to make fun of Bubba’s womanizing - before the Monica shoe had ever dropped - and called him “a pot-smoking weasel” among other insults. How can you not love a guy like that?

Image result for imus clinton correspondents dinnerHe’s lucky he wasn’t Arkansided long ago

At its peak his show aired on New York’s WFAN, syndicated by CBS and simulcast on Ms.NBC television. I stumbled across his show one morning while getting ready for work and tuned into his show on the radio every morning there after on my commute to work. It was a vastly entertaining show in those days with his stable of talent including Charles McCord as the quiet sidekick, Rob Barrett and Larry Kenney as writers and impersonators who parodied entertainers and politicians from both sides of the aisle, and his crazy producer Bernard McGuirk. 

All this came screeching to a halt in 2007, the day Imus and McGuirk made fun of the Rutgers (predominantly black) basketball team. Imus, taking the bait from McGuirk, referred to the team members as “nappy-headed hos” and the media-verse went ballistic.

Most people credit the Rev Al Sharpton for getting Imus fired (for which he was rewarded with a Ms.NBC show of his own – some people might call that a bribe, or blackmail – although that seems racist – but most of us see it as a quid pro quo).

Image result for imus clintonImus on the air with the rev, in the first of many obsequious but futile apologies

In reality it was none other than Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama who did him in by calling for his head.

Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat who is running for president, called on MSNBC and CBS Radio to disassociate themselves from Mr. Imus, and said that he would never go on the show again.

Having already been deigned the Black Jesus by the media that made him, the moguls were already asking “how high” when he told them to jump.  And since the Obama 2007 campaign marked the rebirth of racism in America, Imus’ clearly racist remark could not go unpunished.

The rest is history: Imus was fired first by Ms.NBC, then CBS radio. Although he kept his show on WFAN it was no longer syndicated and therefore unavailable outside New York. RFDTV picked up the show for a brief stint and then Fox Business began to simulcast it. By that time however it stunk; the old team had fallen apart, Kenney was no longer part of the crew and then McCord mysteriously disappeared as well. Imus was no longer funny as he had become consciously and patronizingly politically correct. He had done precisely what he had once counseled people against: “never do it for the money.” Should have taken his own advice.

Image result for imus if we weren't so bad we wouldn't be good“If we weren’t so bad, we wouldn’t be so good.”

The show was no longer the least bit entertaining and I, like everyone else, stopped watching. The show slid into oblivion for obvious reasons and Imus finally retired a few years ago suffering with emphysema and prostate cancer. I shall always remember him fondly as the first and last non-PC talking head on Ms.NBC.

For the record, he was replaced by mealy mouthed Morning Joe, who will never utter gems like this: 

“That buck-tooth witch Satan, Hillary Clinton.” […] “I never admitted it when I went down there and got in all that big jam, insulting Bill Clinton and his fat ugly wife, Satan. Did I? Did I ever say I was sorry for that?” - Imus, on the Correspondents’ Dinner

For what it’s worth, I just have a feeling that PDJT enjoyed the Imus show too.