Person of the Day: Don Imus

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DON IMUS. In the furor over his ugly comments about the Rutgers basketball team emerges the dollar-and-cents reason he hasn’t been fired (something that would have happened in a nanosecond to a lesser mortal). The NY Times today reports that his broadcasting empire rakes in $50 million a year. Advertisers like AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Ditech.com do very, very well by advertising on this show, which descends to the lower depths of human sensitivity on a regular basis. Anyone who has listened in knows Imus’ good-boy/bad-boy drill. And sexism/racism is part of the package. It’s there for an important reason. He knows what certain people will guilty-pleasure-belly-laugh at. Bo Dietl, a former NYC detective, a regular on the show, says, “If you handcuff him and just take away the ‘entertainment’ [my quotes] it will just become like any other talk show.” Yep, that’s “entertainment.” So, perhaps the fault, dear Nextel, is not in our radio stars but in ourselves. His name says it all: I’m Us.

PS: Larry Gerbrandt, senior vice president and media analyst for Nielson, says, “My bet is he survives…If the notoriety pushes up his ratings, he could even come out ahead.”

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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