Don Imus – “You’re Fired!” (EdOP/Perspective)

These last ten days I’ve watched with interest as a loose canon in broadcasting finally crossed the line.    It appears what’s true in physics can also be true in the media:

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

While it’s sad that the 18-20 year-old lady athletes from Rutgers found it so easy to outclass Don Imus I’m glad they did. I appreciate that their coach shared part of her own life story with them and coached them as well after the buzzer as before.  That is coaching of the very best kind and her girls will never forget her.  Never. 

I MUS say  (sorry, couldn’t pass that one up)  I’m relieved both MSNBC and CBS had the wherewithal to say “No more.  Not here.”  And I’m glad they took a little time to think things through.  Broadcasting exec’s, even lady-athletes and their families may say “Apology accepted.  You’re forgiven”, but forgiveness doesn’t necessarily erase the consequences one’s actions – or in this case attitudes and words.  Quite honestly, it looks like all three from here.  Didn’t Jesus say something about where words come from?   I think He said  “the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart”.  Actually He DID say that, it’s in Matthew 15.18.

One columnist for USA Today wrote that the situation was all about black, white and green — meaning money; Rutger’s color is red.  Several said Imus would never be let go, he’s worth too much in revenue.  I for one am glad both networks saw beyond principal and as a matter of principle disassociated themselves from Imus’ arrogance and inappropriate broadcasting.   I’m encouraged by what I read of networks’ desires to change our current broadcasting culture;  we’re ready. I would like to think the concerns went beyond race, gender and finance to weigh other values as well.  It sure seems arrogance had a lot to do with it, though.   It was time someone faced the results of an unbridled tongue; we were due.  People need to be held liable for libel, broadcasters included.  In a country where the media takes such delight in pinning people to the wall for the things they say, it was nice to see that what’s good for the goose is good for the peacock.

Maybe this will be good for all of us in the long run.  Maybe more of us will see the results of caustic comment and opt instead for more wholesome commentary — or at least more self restraint.   I doubt it will turn the country around or anything; not even 911 turned us spiritually right-side-up, but maybe it will help some, for a while anyway.

God resists the proud.   We talked about the proud a while back in our 30-day stroll through Proverbs and 15.25 came to mind again after this all occurred: 

The LORD will tear down the house of the proud…  

It seems He’s done that in this instance.   

God is opposed to the proud,
but gives grace to the humble
(Js. 4.6). 

Whether that’s precisely the case with all that Don Imus forfeited this week, the principle still applies.  

If we can keep our tongues in check, we’ll save ourselves a lot of trouble  (see Pr. 21.23).

While I don’t wish ill-will on anyone I have to admit it’s good to see the Word is still alive and active today (like we had reason to doubt). 

Every life has dignity. Worth. Value. Even those you don’t know and may never meet.  

Christ Jesus died for all men. Romans 5.18-19 is pretty clear about that. 

Here’s how God loved the world – He gave His only Son.  (see John 3.16)  We who name the name of Christ are here in part to share that good news with the world around us – and arrogance does us no favors.  

Don Imus gets it now –I hope.  We may hear his voice again someday; I hope it’s softer and kinder when we do, and I hope it’s because he is.  In the meantime, let’s borrow a thought from Paul’s letter to Titus, shall we?

Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities,

to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed,

to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle,

showing every consideration for all men.  

 (and he goes on to say why – it’s in Titus 2)

Be nice today.  Remember what Thumper’s mom taught him:   “If you can’t say anything nice . . . “


4 Replies to “Don Imus – “You’re Fired!” (EdOP/Perspective)”

  1. Julie

    I have to confess….I did not know who Imus was?! After all this happened, I learned that apparently he was a very popular guy, although made a habit of inappropriate talk.

    Regardless, it is encouraging to me to know that the right thing was done in this instance. If more networks and corporations would make a decision to publicly stand ethically, then it would certainly speak volumes to those who continue to think they can belittle or defame others.

    In the Christian realm, we have yet to learn this lesson as well. We have allowed the continual decline. The state of America is sadly leaning toward a Godless society. The growing lack of respect for God and the things of God just serve to remind me of the end times that are surely coming.

    It’s bitter-sweet: Bitter because so many still need Him, and yet sweet because we will see our Savior face to face!

  2. Jonell

    This entry was so serious and I was so “into it” and thinking about what we should choose to say or choose not to say. And how our words affect others as well as ourselves. And then your last sentence talked about Thumper’s Mom and what she told Thumper . . . and I got the giggles. 🙂 You make me laugh.

    When I was in sixth grade, I had a “friend” ask me questions like — “why’d you wear that blouse with those pants?” and more cut-downs. It bothered me for a long time, and then you gave me this quote to say to myself to help me my own attitude: “No matter what people say, I’m not going to let it ruin my day!” And I remember the one day I came home, smiling, and told Mom. “I did it, when my friend said something mean, I said Phil’s quote to myself, and I didn’t let it ruin my day!” What a milestone that was for me!

    I’m proud of those lady athletes from Rutgers. What maturity they showed!

    – Jonell

  3. Phil

    Don’t feel bad, Julie, I didn’t know much about him either, until they started runing MSNBC in the monitors where I work. I saw just enough of him to know he had an edge about him.

    I’m thankful the Holy Spirit does some of his restraining ministry through believers who speak up (with class, of course) in settings like these, and I know society gets tired of squeaky wheel Christians, but this is a perfect chance to say “THANK YOU” A couple of major networks make a good call – we need to be right there, encouraging and supporting them. Might be more productive than thousands of whiner-emails, ya know?

    Jonell – I remember that little saying! We’ve used it in several settings through the years, haven’t we? I remember hearing it said “I will NOT (pause) let this ruin my day!”

    The tongue is a terrible thing – or can be. I hope collectively we can learn from someone else’s doing and improve how we witness and encourage each other.

    The young women from Rutgers and their coach truly exemplified good sportsmanship and class. I’m proud of ’em too!

    Phil —

  4. annkroeker

    That pesky, powerful tongue–it’s a reminder to be careful on our blogs (and comments), as well. Regardless of how many or how few people read our words, they matter. Even if my mom is the only person reading a post, I am accountable to what comes out of my mouth (er, keyboard). A friend of mine posted something one time that had an unexpectedly huge (negative) impact. The stuff we write on the World Wide Web is out there forever. May it be seasoned with salt and rooted in Truth.

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