Don Imus And A Life of Forgiveness Before Permission

Don Imus And A Life of Forgiveness Before Permission

Don Imus And A Life of Forgiveness Before Permission

The world lost another radio personality yesterday, Don Imus. To some, he was just a shock jock. To others, he was a racist, sexist pig.

Don Imus was born into a wealthy family, moved from job to job until he stumbled upon radio. He even had a brief stint in the Marine Corps. Imus began his career as a disc jockey and embarked on a career in talk radio soon afterward. Imus has won Billboard Awards, four Marconi Awards and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.

Don Imus was known for his ability to pull pranks under the premise of “better to get forgiveness than permission” and for his quick-witted (and sometimes insulting) banter. In 2007, Imus took things a little too far when talking about the Rutgers’s women’s basketball team-causing MSNBC to distance themselves.This was not the first time Don Imus talked disparagingly about another race. This was all part of his shtick.

There are a fair amount of tributes circulating this morning about Don Imus. There is also a fair amount of venom. Take this from HuffPo:

To understand Don Imus is to really dive deep into the roots of radio culture. I can speak of this because in a past lifetime (pre-marriage and child), I had a career in the radio industry. Are some old-school “jocks” racist? You had better believe it. Is the industry as a whole a bit sexist? Absolutely. I’ve had to cut through the “good ol’ boy” mentality being a female in the industry back in the mid 90s. Some of it was quite the cliche. My pay sucked and I watched and heard of other women sleep their way up to get the attention of executives. I exited the radio industry after the birth of my son. The climate has changed a bit now, I am sure but the lifestyle of a radio personality was too much to take. This is another aspect of this industry that plays a big part in the dynamics of what we see when we look at a personality such as Don Imus. The constant instability. The roller-coaster rides of ratings. And the fear that once those ratings dropped, those advertisers were gone…and, by the way, so were you. I’ve witnessed divorces and knew of people and their families living out of their cars after being fired and hauling themselves into the next town that could possibly be their next “big break” in the industry.

Imus said himself that he was a reserved, shy person off-mic. Yet, to his listeners, he was larger than life. He admitted to being an insecure individual. Fame does strange things to the insecure. It can wreck relationships. It can make a person turn to substances like drugs and alcohol. It burns bridges faster than you can imagine. It stunts maturity and social awareness at times. I was once an insecure young woman and as a result, can sense an insecure person a mile away. There are tons of these people on-mic in every town across the United States every single day because you know what? The feeling of having the wattage of a major-market powerhouse station and nationwide syndication-or even the hopes of this coming to fruition-gives that insecure individual power and validity. All of a sudden, these insecure individuals are somebody. And, if success comes to them, they are invincible. Forget questioning and editing yourself before you spit it out for all of your affiliates to hear. In an effort to cut through the boring and the mundane, we jocks had a motto to push the envelope for some of our more questionable phoners or risky material.

Better to get forgiveness than permission.

Don Imus certainly lived by this motto. He did get permission to be as edgy as he wanted to be with his commentary. But forgiveness is not something individuals are doling out a lot of these days-especially liberal media outlets like HuffPo who offer a left slant on all material. Honoring the deceased is not an option.

I will never say anything in my lifetime that will make any of these young women at Rutgers regret or feel foolish that they accepted my apology and forgave me.”-Don Imus

But amidst this controversy, this image of being a “known racist”, (as HuffPo points out in their headline), what Don Imus, an insecure hothead who was given a radio platform, did on his own accord (without permission) was set up a ranch for children battling cancer. He and his wife, Deidre, adopted one of these children. Imus also helped raise almost $60 million to assist wounded veterans returning home from Iraq and raised about $30 million in radio-thons for the Tomorrows Children’s Fund in Hackensack, New Jersey. We think we can stand to offer a bit of forgiveness here.

Image by Jorge Guillen from Pixabay

Written by

  • CaptDMO says:

    “To some, he was just a shock jock. To others, he was a racist, sexist pig.”
    And to yet others ….self included…HE ran a “special” ranch retreat with his wife.

  • Old NFO says:

    Personally, I think he ‘paid’ his debt for his comments. And his good definitely outweighed the bad.

  • njc says:

    I have never known what to make of Imus or his success. His on-air personna was that of a brilliant *sshole polishing that craft. It turned me off completely; we have enough of that ilk without someone aspiring to be the biggest one of all.

    But then our elections should tell us there is no accounting for tastes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Become a Victory Girl!

Are you interested in writing for Victory Girls? If you’d like to blog about politics and current events from a conservative POV, send us a writing sample here.
Ava Gardner