James Wolcott: The I-Man Cometh
It doesn't serve any purpose to cast nuance out the window and characterize a radio host whose daily four-hour broadcast covered everything from politics to country music to sports to the precarious state of Imus's wheezing lungs as if it were a fascist loudspeaker blaring "the most vile sort of dehumanizing hate speech." Most of the time Imus is simply bitching like a bitter old man, and genuine misanthropy has its own kind of craggy integrity in a media biosphere where the on-air talent glisten like fresh produce and need PIN codes to access their emotions. I get the feeling that most of the bloggers recapping Imus's slurs and outrages at the microphone (and those of his former producer Bernard McGuirk) never actually listened to the program, except for a few bites here and there picked up online. Instead, they avail themselves of the Media Matters files or other Googly sites and trot out the same litany of low points, without mentioning the more ennobled sentiments Imus has expressed, such as muttering "war criminal" whenever Dick Cheney was mentioned.If only there were a few dozen more who could write like Wolcott , browsing blogs might actually become enjoyable.