Friday, April 4, 2008

Story of the Week - March 31-April 4

I'm back. Thanks for waiting.

Read about my trip and how it's going to turn into an amazing book:

Time for story of the week, back and better than ever. Or maybe just back.

The Nappy Headed Hos: Where are they Now?

Friday marked the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. It also marked the one year anniversary (a coincidence few in the news media picked up on a year ago, strangely enough) of the day Don Imus made his infamous racially charged insensitive comments about the Rutgers Women's Basketball team. So what's happened to all the players from the overblown media circus? Let's take a look:

The Rutgers Women: The Lady Scarlett Knights fell short of duplicating or surpassing their '07 success this season. They were eliminated by Connecticut in the Regional Finals. However, the school remains one of the elite teams in Women's Basketball, and they have developed a staunch rivalry with UConn.

Rutgers coach, Vivien Stringer, used the incident to put her team and herself into the national consciousness. She has written a book out called "Standing Tall" that will no doubt be a best seller because she'll be promoting it on Oprah later this week.

Don Imus: Imus is proof of the axiom "no publicity is bad publicity." After about six months of sitting in the corner with his head down, Imus inked a deal with ABC Radio. Imus returned to the air in December of '07 and ABC got an instant and pronounced boost in its ratings. In February his ratings were more than double what they were at the old show, proving that people who listen to ABC's other personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity had plenty of time left to tune in to another narrow minded old white man and don't give a shit about women's basketball (and they probably agreed with Imus' original description of the Rutgers players). The one key difference between the CBS Radio Imus and the ABC Radio Imus is the addition of 2 black cast members. I guess now any further controversy can be avoided because Imus has black friends and he was just kidding around with them or something.

Governor Jon Corzine: the NJ Governor provided a bizarre twist during Imus week a year ago when he was speeding to Princeton to facilitate a meeting between Imus and the Rutgers women. Corzine wasn't wearing a seat belt when his car crashed and broke seemingly every bone in his body. Corzine recovered, apologized, even taped a morbid public service announcement, and has had a much better 2008, especially when compared to either governor of New York.

MSNBC TV and CBS Radio: The network fills its morning time slot now with "Morning Joe", hosted by former Florida congressman Joe Scarborough, who has about as much charisma as a pair of khaki pants, and brings in about half as many viewers as Imus did. WFAN NY, the Imus flagship, replaced the highly rated morning show with Boomer Esiason and newcomer Craig Carlton, and it has fallen far short (just like most of Boomer's passes! Zing!). Both nets are probably wishing the Imus controversy never happened, or at least, never escalated the way it did.

Al Sharpton: The Reverend was outspoken about getting Imus fired, but, as he so often does, failed to continue the conversation and turn the controversy into a constructive discussion about race in America. Maybe that's one reason he's become an afterthought in the first serious African American campaign for the Presidency.

America: As a nation, we might have been better off if everyone had let the Nappy Headed Ho's thing go the way of Imus' dozens of other offensive over-the-top comments. It didn't bring about any intelligent discussions on race and it made Imus richer. In other words: he got away with it.

And all we as Americans have to show for all that trouble is "Standing Tall: The Vivian Stringer Story."

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