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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Three stooges: Don, Bill, and Rush

Don Imus called female students nappy headed hoes. Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a dumb twat. Rush Limbaugh called a student a slut. All three comments are deplorably misogynistic.

It's true that entertainers get carried away and cross the line -- particularly entertainers who inflate their own importance. It's true that as a national leader, Sarah Palin is ridiculous. It's true that stereotyped references to gender, race, religion, or national origin can be situationally funny; we did laugh at the carefully crafted satire of All in the Family and Married With Children.

But that's not what Imus, Maher, and Limbaugh have done, nor are their comments mere mistakes. There is a mean-spirited intentionality in their remarks that conveys an underlying attitude. Women, and not merely those of strong feminist views, have a right to be upset by that. Worse, Imus and Limbaugh targeted persons who are "civilians" not politicians.

I disliked Maher and Limbaugh from the first times I heard them. They are self-promoting, self-loving blowhards. However, there was a time when I listened to Imus regularly. I don't anymore.

Maher and Imus remain on the air with reduced prominence. Odds are that Limbaugh will survive similarly. All three will eventually disappear, as did Andrew Dice Clay, because of their own hostility and arrogance. Even if they are transient, however, our rejection of their misdeeds must be firm -- regardless of one's politics.

Edgy is not synonymous with good or cool. Careful, Sarah Silverman.