I was about to go shower this morning, but I heard the people on the Today Show mention that Don Imus was coming back to the radio and I was sufficiently distracted from everything. Unfortunately, I’m sure this news will distract many others from more important things in their lives, as well. For more information, here’s the story: http://www.forbes.com/business/2007/10/15/radio-imus-wabc-biz-media-cx_tvr_1015imus.html
In my opinion, Imus should never be allowed near a microphone again. Why? Because he had a very privileged position that he valued less than he should have. Had he valued his privileged position in society, he would have respected its power and intentionally avoided statements like the one that got him fired from CBS in the first place. The point many people made on the Today show was that people should be allowed second chances and redemption. I agree, but I think that the position that Imus had in the media was so privileged and prominent that even just one mistake should be enough to make a person have to start back at the beginning if s/he wants to remain in that field. Here’s the thing: there are so many people that would work harder than Imus ever has for anything just to get a radio show for a week that his blunder should make him completely irrelevant. Media is a highly competitive industry and should remain that way. When people make highly visible mistakes, they should not necessarily be “punished”, but room should be made for their successors to show them how to appreciate their (former) careers.
By never being in the media again, Imus would not be denied any second chances by any means. There’s no reason he couldn’t change careers – that’s an automatic second chance. If, for some reason, he thinks he’s so special he needs to remain in radio, he should start over. He should have to get a menial job working for the people that were his support staff. And then he should have to prove himself worthy of each pay raise and promotion that he wants. Just like everybody else. No one should be special enough to screw up like he did and, just months later, enter into a new position so similar to the one in which he screwed up.
But what does it matter what I think? I think that we should pay people what they’re worth to society. Teachers should get paid a lot. Football and baseball players should get paid competitively for actual time on the field. So a high paid football/baseball player could get $0.83 per minute of field play. But that’s another story altogether. Maybe some other time!