Thursday, 12 April 2007

Bye Bye-mus

Ken Berwitz

Well that didn't take long, did it?-

CBS fires Don Imus from radio show

After racist remar, legendary broadcaster couldn't escape growing protest

NEW YORK - CBS fired Don Imus from his radio program Thursday, the finale to a stunning fall for one of the nations most prominent broadcasters.

Imus initially was given a two-week suspension for calling the Rutgers womens basketball team nappy-headed hos on the air last week, but outrage continued to grow and advertisers bolted from his CBS radio show and its MSNBC simulcast.

There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society, CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said in announcing the decision. That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision.-

The lesson here is not that racist material is intolerable on the radio.  It can't be, because rap and hip hop music is played every day on many radio stations with dramatically worse lyrics than anything Imus ever said.

The lesson is that in this twisted, perverse climate, media will pick and choose which racism is acceptable and which isn't.  Imus, given his professional status, remarkable history in radio and his magnificent charitable work, is fair game.  A career racist and anti-semite like al sharpton not only is a protected species, but appears to be the oracle in charge of Imus' firing. 

I'll say it again:  Imus' "nappy headed ho's" comment was racist and repulsive.  But is that one comment enough to end his career?  If so, what do you do with sharpton's 20 year career of racism which I have outlined in blogs over the last two days?  Is HE being pushed off the air? 

The double standard is breathtaking. 


Ken Berwitz

What a painful interview.  On the Today show just now, co-host Meredith Viera interviewed al sharpton to get his wit and wisdom concerning the Imus firing.  Sharpton assured her that Imus should not only have been fired from MSNBC but CBS radio should pull the plug on his radio show as well.

A serial racist and anti-semite judging someone else for a single racist comment.  Wonderful.

The one question Viera asked that could even remotely be deemed problematic for sharpton was about the rap and hip hop "music" that utterly pervades Black (and more often than not White) teenagers' radio and CD listening (please refer to the "lyrics" in my previous blog).  His answer?  There's no double standard because Imus is on regulated radio and these young men are performing commercial music. 

Does that fly with you?  It sounds like a hot steamy load to me.

If Viera were serious about this interview, the next question would have been "What about the stations and DJs on those stations that PLAY this filth?  Are you demanding that THEY be fired?  They're doing exactly what Imus is doing".  It will be a cold day in hell before you ever hear that question from Viera, or any of the other suckups who have elevated this chartatan and annointed him a demigod of politics and media.

Did Viera ask about the (racist) tawana brawley fraud sharpton was the front man for?  His slurs against Chasidic Jews during the Crown Heights riots? 

Did Viera ask about sharpton's characterizing of the owner of a store in Harlem as a "White interloper", after which one of the people picketing that store decided racial and anti-semitic epithets weren't enough, he torched the place killing 7 (all non-White) employees? 

Did Viera ask sharpton about his decades-long support of the sickening anti-White, anti-Jewish louis Farrakhan?

Did Viera ask sharpton why he honored khalid muhammad by attending his funeral?  This lover of humanity separated from farrakhan because he was even MORE overtly anti-White and anti-Jewish.  Muhammad made a speech at a college campus and called Jews "bloodsuckers".  Which campus?  Kean College, just a short drive from Rutgers.  Think about that.

When WLIB was a Black oriented talk radio station, sharpton was a frequent guest.  His racial comments were disgusting enough for me to have taped him a few times.  I think I'll dig out those 15 or so year old tapes, listen to them and see how sharpton stacks up against Imus.  Yeah, I know 15 years is a long time ago.  But other than the tawana brawley fraud, everything I posted above was more recent.  So revisiting his WLIB days is just a confirmation of what has happened since. 

Stay tuned...........

NOTE:  The original version of this blog said Muhammad made his racist, anti-semitic speech at Rutgers, not Kean.  My mistake and it has now been corrected.  However, let's keep in mind that there was no mistake about WHAT he said at all. 


Ken Berwitz

It occurs to me that my reference to Freddy's Fashion Mart may be lost on many people who either are not old enough to remember the awful event or have forgotten much of what happened there. 

For you, I am posting an article that appeared in the Village Voice years afterwards and was written by Peter Noel (a writer largely sympathetic to Black activism, it should be noted).  You may or may not agree with the tone and emphasis, but the article does give you an excellent time line of the specific events leading up to Freddy's being torched and 7 people dying.  

Please note the US government inspected, prime BS sharpton used to rationalize calling Harari (who operated his business in Harlem for many years) a "White interloper".  And take particular note of the unabashed racism and anti-semitism of Morris Powell  -- then try to find any condemnation of it by sharpton.  Lot's of luck in that regard:

'Freddy's Not Dead'
A black protest leader reemerges three years after the 'massacre' at a Harlem clothing store. But why?
by Peter Noel
December 23 - 29, 1998
Morris Powell, the black activist some say was the mastermind behind the boycott that sparked the firebombing and mass murder-suicide at Freddy's Fashion Mart three years ago, has emerged at the center of a new campaign employing alleged "Nazi-type tactics" to force Fred Harari, the Jewish owner of the store, out of Harlem for good.

In fact Harari's lawyer, Robert L. Rimberg, argues in court papers that "Powell, if permitted to continue [the current protest], is setting the stage for another tragedy" at the store, which is located at 272 West 125th Street. It has been renovated and renamed Uptown Jeans.

But the Voice has learned that a secret deal is being cut between Harari and Powell, which may bring an end to the racially divisive protest.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, who apologized for calling Harari "a white interloper" during demonstrations at the height of the boycott, confirmed that Harari asked him to mediate the ongoing dispute with Powell, a street vendor who heads the Buy Black Committee at Sharpton's National Action Network. Sharpton said that he, Powell, Harari, and Rimberg met two weeks ago in the Manhattan office of attorney Michael A. Hardy, who represents Powell and Sharpton.

It was the first face-to-face meeting between Harari and Powell since the so-called "Harlem massacre." Eight people, including a gunman, died on December 8, 1995, in what Rimberg describes as "one of the worst racist attacks in New York history."

Sharpton says the two men are trying to broker an agreement in which Harari will appear at a "town hall meeting" to give his account of the tragic events, since many Harlem residents hold him partly responsible for what occurred.

"At the meeting, Morris said he felt that Freddy shouldn't just come back into the community without atoning for his past sins," says Sharpton, who added that he explained to Harari why he had used the racial code word interloper to describe him.

"I told him some of his workers had come to me complaining that he was underpaying them off the books and that they were afraid something terrible would happen with all those fire-code violations in the store," the reverend recalls. "I told him that he had a bad image in the Harlem community."

According to Sharpton, Harari "dealt forthrightly with the accusations," insisting that he no longer pays his employees off the books, and that the fire-safety violations have been corrected.

Asked about the deal with Powell, Rimberg says, "We are discussing it." But Rimberg denies Harari admitted to gouging his workers and paying their wages illegally. "He has never paid people off the books," the attorney insists.

On December 4, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Harold Tompkins issued a temporary restraining order, barring Powell from "protesting, demonstrating, picketing, congregating or otherwise gathering" within 350 feet of Uptown Jeans and Showtime, another of Harari's stores, located at 216 West 125th Street. Now protesters chant slogans from behind police barricades set up across the street near the Apollo Theater, where striking stagehands were picketing the storied showplace this summer.

"The thing is over with now," Rimberg asserts. But Michael Hardy, Powell's attorney, says that nothing has been finalized. Powell has agreed in principle to end the boycott, pending the outcome of a legal settlement with Harari. "It is still in the process of being resolved," Hardy says.

For the past three months, Morris Powell and several other black ultranationalists have been roaming 125th Street, urging bargain seekers along the historic commercial strip to "return fire" because "Freddy's not dead."

But it wasn't until Powell and members of a group called Concerned Citizens of Harlem began picketing four days before Thanksgiving that some realized he was referring to Harari.

The businessman's store allegedly was turned into a fiery tomb by Abugunde Mulocko, a reputed member of the Black Liberation Army, who believed that Harari did not employ blacks and was involved in a scheme with the landlord of a predominantly black church to evict the Record Shack, a black-owned store next door. After local officials refused to help Sikhulu Shange, who runs the Shack, Shange turned to Sharpton and Powell.

Police say Mulocko, also known as Roland J. Smith Jr., stormed into Freddy's and shot and wounded four people, all of them white, before setting the place on fire. Seven employees died of smoke inhalation. Mulocko then allegedly turned the gun on himself.

Powell maintains that Uptown Jeans is Freddy's incarnate, and urges blacks not to shop at "that store that we have unfinished business with."

Outside the store on a breezy Saturday morning last month, Powell stuffed flyers into the shopping bags of people browsing at a discount clothing rack. One included the rap "Freddy's Not Dead."

"It's a poetic situation, you know, because everybody else is dead but Freddy," lamented Powell. He then recited, "He's still alive and kicking and the black community is taking a licking/Have you heard? Freddy's where the massacre occurred."

Robert Moore, a passerby, grabbed a flyer, perused it, and confronted the activist.

"They got black people working here!" Moore protested. "I don't get that, yo."

"This is a white-owned store!" Powell shot back.

"Yo, whites been dominating us for years, yo," Moore argued. "You gotta git your own business and stop worrying about the white man. Git your own shit!"

"You don't even know the truth, you don't even know they record," Powell asserted.

But Moore insisted, "You git your own shit and don't worry about these white people!"

"Black people ain't got no businesses out here where you can make money," Powell said. "They sufferin'. They're going outta business."

An associate of Powell, an unidentified woman with dreadlocks, pleaded with him to end the argument with the stranger. "Never mind," Powell said, turning his back on Moore, "they're gonna close down!"

Continuing to denounce the boycott, Moore walked over to a reporter. "I'm against it because even though they're white, the man that owns the United Church of Prayer is black," he said. "He rented to the white people. And the white man hired black people."

The woman with dreadlocks interrupted, claiming that Moore had been planted by Harari to disrupt the boycott. "He probably work for him," she speculated.

As he departed, Moore examined one of the flyers that claimed that Mulocko, the arsonist, had "a long history of . . . protesting economic terrorism on 125th Street" and that he "demonstrated a real regard for the lives of people of color."

"I was right there when the fire happened," Moore said. "It was fucked up! But a white man didn't go in there and burn it down. A black man went up there and burn that shit down." Much of Morris Powell's "unfinished business" with Fred Harari revolves around his contention that a sloppy police investigation as well as political and media posturing may have buried "the facts we need to know" about the tragedy that occurred at the store.

He dismisses as "a cold-blooded lie" rumors that he planned the attack on Freddy's.

William Bratton, the police commissioner at the time, told reporters that nine days before the incident, a store security guard had overheard a protester say, "We're going to come back with 20 niggers and loot and burn the Jew." Police said that Mulocko had taken part in at least one demonstration, but acknowledged that he was not the one who threatened to "loot and burn."

On the day of the fire, according to police, Mulocko burst into Freddy's with a gun in one hand and a flammable liquid in the other. Declaring, "It's on now!" he allegedly shouted for all the blacks to get out, began shooting, and splashed the liquid over racks of clothes, setting them afire.

At the time, Powell and other leaders of the boycott denied knowing Mulocko. But today Mulocko is revered as a martyr.

"We can never disrespect the honor of a Black Man who struggled for his people to be free based on the hearsay of a racist press, racist police, racist mayor and sell-out politicians," Powell wrote in one of the "fact sheets" he hands out to shoppers.

In Powell's version of what happened, "Eyewitnesses have said that they saw police lay down outside the store and fire [into it] with their 9mms. Have you [seen] a ballistics report on the bullets fired?"

But if Abugunde Mulocko did not start the fire, who did?

Says Powell, "Eyewitnesses have said the police fired tear gas into the clothing store. To date, the only real witnesses reporting what happened in the store worked for Freddy's or the police."

And there are questions for which Powell believes he may never get straight answers. For example, "How did the owner and bookkeeper (who are white) escape from the basement of Freddy's?" Powell claims that they got out through "a hole in the back of their office" and "coulda saved the other seven people" but they didn't.

"It's totally ridiculous," says Rimberg, brushing aside Powell's concerns about the fairness of the investigation. "The facts of the fire were investigated by the police department and their conclusions are what their conclusions are."

In court papers stating why the temporary restraining order should be granted, Rimberg contends there is "a very real danger that a repeat of the 1995 incident could occur." He alleges that on November 30, demonstrators warned that "someone will be killed this week in Uptown Jeans"; that they "threatened to burn down" the store; and that shoppers were menaced, abused with racial slurs, and that one demonstrator spat on a shopper.

Steve Brodsky, the manager of the store, says that the current protests "came as a surprise." Harari, he claims, recognizes the black community's growing economic clout and has worked hard to win back his customers. He notes that Harari has donated scholarships to Rice High School, a Catholic school for boys, and sponsored numerous sporting events in Harlem.

He points to a framed letter prominently displayed at the checkout counter. It was written by Dante Blum to Harari, thanking him for his financial support of the Harlem Junior Tennis Program.

"I think that the community knows that we honor and respect them," Brodsky asserts."They come like family."

"Can he bring back those eight lives that was lost in there because of the crimes and violations he committed?" asks Powell. "We're gonna take our money back from the enemy," the activist vows.

the boycott of uptown jeans comes in the wake of a new survey by the Anti-Defamation League, which finds that blacks are four times as likely as whites to hold prejudiced views of Jews. Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, blames Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and others for promoting anti-Semitism.

Powell says he revived the protest partly because stores like Uptown Jeans and Showtime remained open on the day of the Million Youth March in defiance of its leader, Khallid Abdul Muhammad, who called Jews "bloodsuckers" of the black community.

"How's it that these Jews are able to come back and do business around here, come back stronger, with two or three stores?" Powell rages.

"I cannot help the fact that I am Jewish," says Brodsky. "It hurts me a little bit that some people in the community don't feel we're doing the right thing."


Ken Berwitz

From Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign website this morning:-

Hillary has spoken out about radio host Don Imus: "I've never wanted to go on his show and I certainly don't ever intend to go on his show, and I felt that way before his latest outrageous, hateful, hurtful comments."-

A point of order:  Imus has been doing similar material for many years.  Do you recall ever hearing Senator Clinton speaking out against him?  Me neither.

When Ms. Clinton knew that media icons like Tim Russert, Brian Williams, Chuck Scarborough, etc. were regular guests she was as quiet as a churchmouse about Imus.  Maybe (I doubt it, but maybe) she put out some innocuous little press release once or twice over these years designed to cover her tush without you seeing it (the press release, not her tush).  But a visible pronouncement?  Nope.

How brave she is now that Imus has been kicked to the scrap heap and there's no way he can realistically answer back.  What GUTS.  What a PACESETTER.

You have to love qualities like this for a potential commander in chief.


Ken Berwitz

Some things speak for themselves:-

The Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday that his Rainbow/Push Coalition will pay the college tuition for a black stripper who has made rape allegations against white members of Duke University's men's lacrosse team.

And the offer stands even if it turns out she fabricated her story.-

Yeah, there's this little matter of her being a liar, causing a year of unspeakable pain for the students she lied about, destroying the Duke lacrosse team and the entire school's reputation.  But there are media with cameras everywhere.  How can Jesse resist?

Further on in the article it says....

Jackson told The Associated Press Saturday that his organization is committed to making sure the 27-year-old divorced mother of two will never again "have to stoop that low to survive."

Obviously he doesn't apply that same criterion to himself.



Ken Berwitz

Don't you just love it when people apologize with strings?  It's bad enough when someone you respect does this, but an amoral imbecile like nifong?  Arrgghhh:


Nifong Issues Apology to Ex-Lacrosse Players

Mike Nifong

Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong on Thursday apologized to three Duke University lacrosse players that he had indicted on charges of attacking an exotic dancer.

"To the extent that I made judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect, I apologize to the three students that were wrongly accused," Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong said in a
statement released to the media.


"To the extent that I made judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect?"  Y'mean like fixing the deck so the lying accuser could not possibly pick anyone but a Duke lacrosse player from the pictures she was shown?  Or withholding the DNA evidence? 

Those are not incorrect judgments, those are dishonest, illegal fraudulent actions.  And they caused incalculable damage to many innocent people, very especially the three young men whose names will forever be associated with a rape that did not happen.  The spirit of tawana brawley is alive, well and living in Durham, NC.

I hope this little man gets everything he deserves.

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