Fred Clark points out some interesting commentary on why Don Imus got torpedoed this time, considering how often he’s said utterly obnoxious things before:
[…] he screwed up. He didn’t steal power, he used it. Used it to say just shitty things about people who, in our minds, just didn’t deserve it. He broke the power equation. And when he did, we balked, even if we don’t quite understand why this one got under our skin. The wiring goes both ways. It’s actually heartening, because it confirms one of the admirable things about American society at large:
America loves a rebel.
America loves a bad boy.
But America hates a fucking bully.
Or, as Clark puts it himself:
The gist of what he’s saying echoes something I was taught both in seminary and in the newspaper biz, the shared motto of preachers and journalists: “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” That’s what good preachers, and good journalists, do. It makes sense that comics, who sometimes preach and sometimes report the news, would follow this motto as well.
Imus “broke the power equation,” Rogers says. He afflicted the afflicted, which made him a bully instead of a comic. That’s not funny.