On "The Situation Room" today, Human Events editor Terry Jeffrey said that Don Imus "represents a general decline in standards in American broadcasting" and that politicians should avoid his show because they would then have to "take a stand on the various outrageous things he says." During his high and mighty sermon of decency, Jeffrey conveniently ignores the far more toxic venom spewed on a daily basis on conservative talk radio.
Imus' statements past and present -- documented here by MediaMatters -- are deplorable and should be condemned. That goes without saying. The point, however, is the blatant double standard. Did Dick Cheney have to "take a stand" on Rush Limbaugh's myriad racist/sexist /insensitive remarks before going on his show last week? Did Secretary Gates have to condemn Laura Ingraham for advocating that her listeners jam the Democratic voter assistance lines in November before chatting it up last week?
I agree entirely with Jeffrey's point that we need to raise the standard of American broadcasting, but the most egregious violators are squarely on his side and we should apply the standard consistently. Echoing what John and Digby said earlier, this incident should provide a perfect opportunity to expose right-wing talk radio for what it really is: a bubbling cauldron of vile hate-speech.