Refreshingly honest on Imus appeal
The former Wonkette-turned-Time blogger had become part of Imus‘ rotating cast of media characters, and loved the ego-stroking attention. No longer, she says. Here’s why:
I had been invited inside the circle, and to be perfectly honest, I was thrilled to be there.
As the invites kept coming, I found myself succumbing to the clubhouse mentality that Imus both inspires and cultivates. Sure, I cringed at his and his crew’s race baiting (the Ray Nagin impersonations, the Obama jokes) and at the casual locker-room misogyny (Hillary Clinton‘s a “bitch,” CNN news anchor Paula Zahn is a “wrinkled old prune”), but I told myself that going on the show meant something beyond inflating my precious ego. I wasn’t alone. As Frank Rich noted a few years ago, “It’s the only show … that I’ve been on where you can actually talk in an informed way â€” not in sound bites.” Yeah, what he said!
I’m embarrassed to admit that it took Imus’ saying something so devastatingly crass to make me realize that there just was no reason beyond ego to play along. I did the show almost solely to earn my media-elite merit badge. The sad truth is that unless you have a book to promote, there’s often no other reason any writer or columnist has to do the show.