Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Beginning of the end of broadcast bigotry?

Of course not. Not in my lifetime. But perhaps the tide is turning. Reuters reports today:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - NBC Universal said on Wednesday it would no longer simulcast Don Imus' radio program over its cable television network MSNBC amid an outcry over sexist and racist comments by the host.

NBC Universal said in a statement: "This decision comes as a result of an ongoing review process, which initially included the announcement of a suspension."

NBC Universal is 80 percent owned by General Electric and 20 percent by Vivendi.
MSNBC doesn't want to give up a major profit source, but popular pressure forced their decision. I'm sure GE received numerous letters, faxes and emails, including from their own shareholders (I did my part and sent a fax to GE's shareholder communications department, where I hope it was added to a large pile of similar complaints).

Imus' derogatory remarks in reference to the Rutgers University women's basketball team members was only the tip of the Imus iceberg. It was met by an inadequate suspension, which the public didn't buy--he was left still on the air, with his suspension timed to begin Monday and end just before network ratings are to be measured. In other words, pretty much a pro-forma action.

But the public response continued, and major advertisers pulled out from the program. Now MSNBC is driven to do the right thing also.

An awful lot changed with the November elections. Suddenly, people are no longer as passive, as willing to take the crap conservatives and conservative media still dish out. While I don't expect any miracles, I do hope that media outlets and their corporate owners will notice the change in wind direction if for no other purpose than to continue feeding their own greed.

The candidacy of Barack Obama should also give them pause. The Imus of the world, formerly a source of corporate profit, could begin to hurt the bottom line if left to do their thing as Obama moves forward in his quest.


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