I'm sure all of you are familiar with the media hooplah surrounding "shock jock" and syndicated radio host Don Imus from earlier this year. I still believe that the guy really didn't really do anything that bad. He made a mildly racist/misogynistic comment about a group of student athletes. The comment was clearly meant as a joke, but it wasn't funny at all. So what? I say unfunny and potentially offensive things about 10 times an hour. This incident is a symptom of a much larger problem in this country. No one can take a joke, no one wants to hear anything that makes them uncomfortable, and everyone wants to sue.
Yesterday, Imus reached an agreement to settle his remaining contract with CBS Radio for a lump sum of about $20mm. He is now free to work again and is apparently negotiating TV and radio deals. Also announced yesterday was what I am calling a "Nappy-Headed Lawsuit". One of the Rutgers players, Kim Vaughn, is suing Imus, MSNBC, Viacom, CBS Radio, and others for a large sum of money for slander, libel, and defamation of character. According to the complaint and press release, "some of the money from any damages awarded in the lawsuit would be used to create a scholarship program to study the effects of bigoted and misogynistic speech on society." What a bunch of crap! A few comments:
- No one ever cared about the Rutger's women's bball team. Much of the "outrage" and media hype was about idiots like Al Sharpton trying to get extra airtime for their "cause".
- Along those lines, very few people even know who the Rutgers players even are. I couldn't pick any of them out of a police lineup, and I doubt anyone would equate these individuals as "nappy headed hoes".
- This is an obvious money grab by a greedy young woman with no sense of justice.
- As noted in the landmark legal case Hustler Magazine/Larry Flynt v. Jerry Falwell, in order to collect for damages for slander, libel, infliction of emotional distress, and defamation of character, a 'reasonable person' must be able to believe that the statements are true. I can't possibly believe that any reasonable person could possibly believe that student athletes were really "unchaste women", let alone conclude that Don Imus had intimate knowledge of this.
- I find it humorous that a young woman who is showing a severe lack of character is suing a man for defamation of character.
These kinds of lawsuits and unnecessary attention just has to stop. F-you, Kim Vaughn. I hope Don Imus lets you take this case to court, and you lose. I want you to have to pay his legal fees. That would be real justice.