Daily Devotional for Monday October 29, 2007
The Saga of Shock Jock Don Imus
(Mark 16:15; Psalms 101:7; Proverbs 12:22, 19:5)
I watched with the rest of the country just 6 months ago, the saga of shock jock Don Imus unfold. While on the surface it was about a man who made incredibly insensitive and hurtful racist comments about young women he didn't even know, it evolved over the days into a story that had so many of the elements that I deal with regarding the Liveprayer TV program. One fact clearly emerged from the racist comments Imus made, and that is sometimes making hateful comments gets you fired, and other times they get you millions!
Let me deal with shock jock Don Imus first. I am a bit surprised that after a 30-year career of making hurtful, insensitive, and often racist comments, his horrible comments about the women on the Rutgers University basketball team that lost to Tennessee in the championship game of this year's NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament got him fired. His program heard on CBS radio throughout the nation was cancelled as was the simulcast on MSNBC of his radio program. Because CBS breached his contract, they gave Imus a roughly $20 million settlement and he is scheduled to be back on the air on WABC radio this December.
Make no mistake, CBS and MSNBC fired Imus for one reason and one reason only, MONEY! Please don't be fooled into thinking these major corporations took some sort of principled stand. The cold hard reality is that they employed Imus for decades and his program has always been the same, using comedy as an excuse to denigrate people. While he has a political element to his program, the core of his "act" is his "shock jock humor" and "bits" that ridicule, demean, and make fun of people of all kinds. He has made tens of millions of dollars over the years from NBC and CBS radio, because they have made hundreds of millions off of his program through advertising revenues.
The comments he made about the Rutgers women's basketball team are no different than comments he has been making his entire career. It was simply not popular for advertisers to be associated with him, so they are pulled out, and thus, it was not profitable for NBC and CBS radio to continue airing the Imus program. The great hypocrisy in all of this is that General Electric, which owns MSNBC, and Viacom, which owns CBS radio, are also very heavily involved in and derive great profits from the recording industry. Included in that industry is the genre of music known as rap.
Rap music makes hundreds of millions of dollars every year with "songs" that objectify, degrade, and demean women, especially black women! I would be absolutely shocked if anyone on the Rutgers women's basketball team actually heard the racist comments Imus used to describe them, and more shocked if any of them even knew who Don Imus was before this! However, I will guarantee you that everyone of them knows who Snoop Dogg is, who 50 Cent is, who Ludacris is, who all of the popular rap artists are who put out one song after another that use the crudest and most disgusting words man can dream up to describe women.
I have been preaching against this "musical garbage" for the nearly 20 years I have been in the ministry, and in the wake of the Imus fiasco, am wondering why that filth is not being held to the same scrutiny and standards Imus is being held to? I applaud the advertisers for pulling their money out of Imus' program, and for CBS and NBC canceling his program. My question is that if these advertisers and corporations were so outraged by what Imus said, why do they sponsor, support, give a venue to, and pay hundreds of millions of dollars to these rappers who say things 1000x worse than Imus said in a cold and calculating way without apologizing to anyone?
As long as we are talking about hypocrisy, we can't leave out Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who led this campaign to rid the world of Don Imus. I refuse to dignify either of these men by calling them Reverend, since the only thing they are ministers of is race baiting, race exploitation, and using race to extort money out of major corporations and individuals. These men who led the moral charge against what Don Imus said is like Hitler leading the moral charge against people who demean Germans, or Jeffrey Dahmer being morally outraged by people who shoplift! Jackson and Sharpton have as much moral credibility as Kim Jong-Il, the dictator of North Korea who starves millions of his own people each year!
If Jackson and Sharpton were being held to the same standards of speech they are asking everyone to hold Imus to, they would have both been gone from the public scene a LONG time ago. Their careers are littered with their racist, insensitive, and hurtful comments about different people and groups over the years. No matter how Sharpton tries to position himself, he will always be known for the Tawana Brawley incident in the late '80s. Jackson has inserted himself in every racial incident in this country since the death of Martin Luther King Jr, gaining great wealth by using race to extort millions and millions of dollars from major corporations he intimidates with threats of being labeled as "racist."
*As a side note, 6 months ago the North Carolina Attorney General dropped all remaining charges against the three young men charged with rape in the Duke Lacrosse case. They were declared innocent of all charges, meaning that as they contended all along, they committed no crime. I vividly remember 18 months ago both Jackson and Sharpton running to North Carolina to insert themselves into that situation, making their typical outrageous comments, literally convicting the three young men before any real facts had come out. Now that it is clear that the District Attorney illegally trumped up the charges for which he has been severely punished for, and the woman who made the allegations was clearly lying, I wonder when we can expect to see Jackson and Sharpton on TV apologizing for the racist, insensitive, and hurtful things THEY said about the three men who were wrongfully accused. I submit to you that you never will hear them apologize!
So while Don Imus got what he has deserved for many years now, the fact is that in this country today you will be held accountable for making comments about some people, and given a free pass for making comments about others. Case in point is Rosie. As a follower of Christ I find her anti-Christian comments highly offensive, but ABC gave her a forum to espouse her anti-Christian views each day without any repercussions. In the past 4 years, I have been told point blank by numerous television executives at major networks and potential corporate sponsors that they would NEVER, EVER, air my program or advertise on it due to "my views" and the "offensive" things I say. My "views" happen to be God's views and the "offensive" things I say are right from the Bible.
So in 2007, you are not allowed to make offensive comments about African Americans, and rightly so, or the Reverends of exploitation and extortion, Jackson and Sharpton will be out to destroy you. The exception to that of course is if you are a rapper, then you can say anything you want no matter how vile, disgusting, degrading, or offensive it may be. As a matter of fact, the more demeaning it is the better your record sales will be which makes the huge corporations responsible for putting that audio sewage into the marketplace very happy. You also can't tell the truth about the false religion of Islam, or you will have Islamic extremist groups like CAIR hounding you every second.
However, one group you are allowed to make offensive comments about and never have to face any repercussions is Christians. You can say anything you want to about followers of Christ and nothing will happen to you. You can create and produce for the public consumption distasteful art, supposed documentaries that have no basis in fact (Scholars used in the recent "mocumentary" on the supposed finding of Jesus' tomb produced by Titanic's James Cameron, are now backtracking on the claims they made in the recent TV special.), write books that proffer fiction as fact, pretty much do whatever you want with the full blessings of the major media conglomerates and nothing will happen to you. Sometimes making hateful comments will get you fired, and sometimes they will get you millions !
I love you and care about you so much. I don't feel sorry for Don Imus. It is really surprising this didn't happen sooner since he has been making distasteful remarks about people for 30 years couched as "jokes." I find it funny that the same advertisers and broadcast corporations who have been profiting off of Imus for decades now want nothing to do with him, yet are still involved with others who engage in speech that is patently more offensive than anything Imus has said. In the meantime, those who attack and use hateful speech against Christians are given a free pass and allowed to use the public airways to spew their venom without anyone holding them accountable.
The roadblock I have been facing with the Liveprayer TV program is that the networks and advertisers will promote and support programming that is anti-Christian, but there is no, none, ZERO daily programming on any major secular television network that deals with life and the world's problems from a Biblical worldview. THAT is why I will not rest until we get the program back on the "i" Network, the only option left to be on a major, secular television network that reaches the entire nation. As I have stated in the past, even that window is closing very quickly which is why we must act swiftly. I still believe that once we are on, established, have 6 month of solid ratings, we will be successful in finding a few key advertisers who will not be ashamed of the Gospel and come alongside to support what we are doing.
God's Truth, Biblical Truth, the only hope there is for man, Jesus Christ, must be available to the lost and hurting masses across this nation. Now more than ever this nation needs to turn back to God and over 200 million people are going to die and go to hell for all eternity if they do not come to know Jesus Christ by faith as their personal Lord and Savior! For some, making hateful comments will get them fired. For others, making hateful comments will get them millions of dollars. For me, bringing the lost and hurting masses the Gospel of Jesus Christ will bring souls into the Kingdom!!!