I don't have much of substance to add to the Imus debacle, but one thought did come to mind: When you really think about it, Imus pimped his voice for cash. He made a lot of money because he said things that attracted listeners - and thus advertisers. When he slipped up and said something stupid, he lost advertisers and thus was fired. What's the big deal?
His voice was always about one thing - cash. So long as he brought cash in, he kept his job. In a sense, he's no different from any of us working stiffs. We all live and die (economically, at least) based on what we say. Indeed, I got into a fair amount of trouble for something flip I posted on this blog.
Jim Nugent, a Connecticut lawyer and all-around slippery and manipulative fellow, forwarded a post of mine to someone I was doing some work for. That person was displeased and we went our separate ways (though we've since reconciled). [If you're curious, I called Gerry Spence a limousine liberal.]
While I think Nugent is petty and loathsome for messing with the career of someone almost 20-years his junior, and while I eagerly await the day I can return the favor, I don't view myself as any sort of victim. What we say has consequences. Opening our mouths can cost us money. It can cost us friends. Our freedom to speak should not infringe upon their freedom to hate us for what we say.
Imus is still free to speak. He can start a blog. I would even welcome him to blog here. He just can't demand the same fees he once did. But there is no ball-gag in his mouth. Likewise, I blog today with as much fervor as before. If something I say costs me money , I don't care. My soul is not for sale.
Maybe Imus needs to look at his own soul. What else has he wanted to say? I imagine Imus is wealthy enough that he no longer needs to work for the money. What's holding him back from speaking?
The answer, of course, is nothing. Which brings me back to my point: Imus is no victim of censorship. And perhaps, in being fired, Imus will set himself free.