From the Post:
I was stunned to learn how many of the journalists I admire had been regular guests on the program. Many are now having a hard time explaining their association. …
Their rationalizations are lame. Some said the “jokes” were just part of his exaggerated way of speaking, so they didn’t take them seriously. Others said they found him a savvy, insightful interviewer, and they appreciated the time he gave them to express their thoughts. And some were honest enough to say that they valued his big audience, especially when they were promoting their books.
These are weak excuses for journalists’ participation in this continuing offense to civility. Jokes are not jokes when they wound and humiliate. The claim that Imus’s slanders were the price they had to pay in return for his providing a forum for their ideas doesn’t wash. Big-name newspaper, magazine and TV journalists have no trouble finding places where they can voice their thoughts.
The simple lesson, which some stubbornly are not acknowledging, is that when professional journalists lend their credibility to entertainers or others whose standards are far lower than those of the news organizations for which those journalists work, they not only damage their credibility but also diminish the standards they are supposed to embody.
Read the rest here.