Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Advertisers Flee Imus

Variety says four of Don Imus's top ten sponsors are pulling their ads from his show, though they don't detail whether this refers to his radio show, his MSNBC TV show (which was beginning to challenge CNN in the ratings) or both. But let's make one thing clear: none of these advertisers are leaving Imus because of the bigoted, racist comments he and his cohorts on the show delivered about the Rutgers' basketball team. No way: bigoted, obnoxious comments like those have been Imus's stock in trade for many, many years. Some people ignore those comments and like the lengthy time he devotes to politics and substantive issues. Others like how Imus can flog a serious book and turn it into a bestseller. But all those people are kidding themselves if they think they can pick and choose what parts of Imus they find acceptable. His show traffics in typical, shock jock inflammatory comments that play on obnoxious stereotypes for cheap laughs and Imus has been doing it for years. All his advertisers knew this. They just think that now everyone else knows it too and this could damage their image. If this hadn't gained traction, they would have happily advertised on Imus's show for years to come and laughed at his nasty jokes and contributed to his charity and thought that makes it all okay. And they all advertise on shock jocks just as bad as Imus all over the radio every day. Now they'll just have to switch their ad dollars to Glenn Beck.

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