The Don "racist dumb ass" Imus debacle continues to gather steam as news arrives that advertisers are pulling sponsorship from Imus' CBS radio show. Bunker mentality is setting in at CBS and Wall Street, which both seem more concerned with keeping the media "gang" together than doing what is so obviously called for. CBS has offered a token "suspension," whereby we are expected to imagine Imus navel-gazing for two weeks, pondering the deep and gnarled roots of his racist misogyny. Or his misogynistic racism. Mostly likely, he'll simply be asking for an updated media-savvy racist code book.
Despite CBS' paltry offering, advertisers have already recognised that sponsoring the kind of "dialogue" found on The Imus Show hardly serves their larger interests. Staples spokesperson, Paul Capelli indicated his company's position:
Because of the recent comments that were made on the program it did prompt us to take a look at our decision to advertise on the program and we have decided to stop advertising.Rather than take the obvious step and can Imus, CBS has decided that the revenue hit is tolerable because, as equity analyst David Joyce tells us in ladling out the infinite wisdoms of Wall Street,
The radio division is a rather small contributor to the overall CBS company. The division will do $1.8 billion in revenue this year, which is 12.5% of total CBS revenue. It's not terribly important to CBS.In Wall Street's eyes, racist diatribes on public airwaves are perfectly acceptable as long as it doesn't impinge too greatly on the bottom line.
It is almost immaterial.
Now, I don't have a television and I don't listen to Imus, so I can't really boycott them any further. But, a few well placed calls to CBS advertisers might shake up the bottom line a little more than what Wall Street is willing tolerate. The message must be that the presence of jerk-offs like Imus on public airwaves is not acceptable, whether "immaterial" to Wall Street or not.