TCS Daily


Mises vs. Imus

By Jerry Bowyer - April 13, 2007 12:00 AM

Pretend for a moment that you are a hard-core Leftie. I tell you a story in which a wealthy and powerful middle-aged white man insults several young black girls. His fate is to be determined by the hierarchy of a large multinational conglomerate peopled with old friends of his. Oh, and by the way, he personally brings millions of dollars of profits into the business. Who, dear temporary Leftie, will the good old boy corporate network back - the wealthy white guy or working class black girls?

Surprise, they chose the girls. Why? Because of something called 'consumer sovereignty,' the doctrine preached by the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, which holds that, in the end, consumers, not corporations, control the marketplace. MSNBC and CBS did what the market told them to do. Before the FCC uttered a peep, before the (inevitably soon to come) congressional saber-rattling, sponsors decided that reputation is a more valuable asset than notoriety, and pulled the plug. McDonald's, American Express, GM and Procter & Gamble like having black customers, thank you very much, and want to keep them. Pols who have to decided whether to appear on Imus' show like to get the votes of black people. People who work for MSNBC and its parent company like to be part of something that enhances, not destroys their reputation, and the managers of these companies like the sponsors to pay their bills, the guests to appear, and the employees to show up. Hence, Imus is out. No lawsuits, no Right-to-Play-College Round-ball-without-being-slurred Act of 2007, no class-action lawsuits, just voluntary withholding of commerce.

What the Left misses is that economic matters are driven much more by assets than by income. In the short-run, Imus was a keeper. MSNBC certainly didn't mortgage the firm to put this thing on the air. They basically put a couple of TV cameras in a radio studio. The set looks like it costs tens of dollars, and the whole operation costs much less than a million dollars per year. With a little scrambling and a little damage control, they could've kept the cable show cash-flow positive. But they couldn't have stopped the hemorrhaging of reputational and human capital, which in the long-run keep a corporation running. Yes, they'd put up with his shenanigans before. He'd always been able to buy indulgences, atoning for his sins by tossing a coin in the kettle for kids with cancer. But capitalism runs on trust, and in the end the market just ceased to believe that Imus was, at heart, a good man and that all of this was just some sort of comedy-tourettes. While the opinion establishment hemmed and hawed, the evil corporations acted. I suspect that they're not done with Imus yet.


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22 Comments

v. Mises
Good story, but don't expect the leftie liberals to agree with you, even though it's true. They don't want consumers to have a say, nor the corporations, but only the parasitical government making decisions for us. I wish all these liberals would actually read guys like, von Mises, von Hayek, von Lichman, Menger, etc. instead of just moveon.org,. Austro-economics emphasizes freedom, left liberalsim emphasizes control.

Sharpton/Jackson
The race baiters will claim credit and will probably be awarded the credit by the media.

But in the end, the customers will decide.

Air America is bankrupt while Rush is going strong.

Black Diamonds
What is very disturbing is how a white man saying something off-color (no pun intended) about black athletes that was meant, in an albeit perverse and tasteless way, to be humor was immediately pounced on by the "righteous" while three white athletes who were (obviously almost from the very beginning) falsely accused of a serious crime they did NOT commit against a black stripper (oh, sorry, "exotic dancer")were put through the ringer for a year and very likely got their individual reputations unfairly tarnished for a decade to come or more while no officials came to their defense or defended their right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Racism is indeed alive and well in America...but not in the way that the media want to make you believe.

...in the rough.
My recollection is that nobody was libeled (Steven Pagones), knifed to death in the street (Crown Heights riot), or shot or burned to death (Freddie's Fashion Mart) as a result of Imus "joke". While the "Reverend Al" lost a third of a mil in a libel case, he escaped the slammer twice for inciting to riot.

Incidentally, that stripper or exotic dancer is now a possibly disturbed, unwed mother of three, college student who apparently will not be prosecuted for filing a false police report. We'll probably never know whether "Reverend Jesse" paid for the rest of her college education, as he said he would even if her story was fabricated.

Who is next?
I don't know what kind of audience Imus had, but apparently there are not enough willing to admit to listening to him to publically support him.

The TV and radio business is all about ratings.

Attempts have been made to hush Rush, yet his audience persists, he gets the ratings.

Who will be next in Sharptons/Soros's sights?

Sharpton
Anyone who denies the MSM bias only need look at Sharpton and Jackson. These race baiting hypocrits deserve to be vilified and thrown out with the trash.

No standards
This is what happens when objective standards of behaviour are rejected.

All is relative.

A WASP has no right to be critical of anything a non-WASP does.

Islam can't be judged by western standards, even by other muslims!

The rule of law, standards, must apply to all equally or they won't apply at all.

So many examples in one week: Imus, Nifong, and PBS (http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20070412-085627-8436r.htm)

Rosie
Obviously, the producers of The View believe they have a small ethnic Asian audience or they don't care about them, else they would have fired Rosie over her racist "joke". But Rosie is far-left and a *******, so she gets an automatic "Get Out of Jail Free" card, unlike Imus.

Attempts to hush Rush
Yeah, like getting him hooked on OxyContin. You're right though, nobody will admit to listening to Imus. If Rush were tossed off the air, the Dittoheads would lift their knuckles off the ground and fire up their extra chromosome and we'd all be screwed.

who was it that said liberals were kind, compassionate, and able to think for themselves?
BoscoH is walking (???) proof that such sentiments fly in the face of reality.

So far.
Being an obnoxious ******* will only get her so far.

Filters
Obnoxious l e s b i a n .

Well...
I feel sorry for Imus. I don't think he is that bad a guy. I do agree with the premis of this op ed however.

The good thing that may come out of this is that there will be more of open discussion about that carpet bagger twosome that claim the racial moral high ground, Al and Jesse.

While the market spoke, this thing did not make big news until a week went past. It appears to me that the good reverends Al and Jesse decided to start a press junket on the story and the media having not had anything else so juicy this week ran with it.

I wonder if the market would have really cared had this not been blown up is such a way.

offensive talk
Oh so hearbreaking that these girls are so offended when a white man calls them hos, but not when black guys do every day, like those flakey singers. Once a few years ago some black guy got on my case for saying the N-word, I told him I would stop calling them N...when they stopped calling me a honky-mother-f'er. And no, I wasn't afraid to say that to his face, and he just shrunk away. It's one of the benefits of being: an old man, not american, not in the US; I don't have to be PC.

More Duke
Nifong is likely to be disbarred. And now that the charges against the three boys have been completely dropped, I have a feeling there'll be some defamation lawsuits coming soon.

Yes...but that sort of confrontational behavior is not necessary...
Dietmar,

Part of self discipline is the ability not to indulge all of our visceral urges. Especially those that are hurtful. As a society, America should now be past the foolishness of any Don Imus.

You believe in the double standards that favor both of us and everyone who looks like us, don't you? So let the black rappers say anything they want about their own people or, indeed, about us if they like. I don't mind being called a White Man at all. I am, indeed, personally responsible for everything evil in the world, if that's what anyone thinks. Cripes! I am the Devil! (So don't play with me.) Say what you say. Do your worst. I love it. (Don't say anything about my mother.)

Such restraint, especially regarding our own behavior, should be part of living long enough to become old men (I was born in 1948). I let a lot of fine opportunities to act poorly go on by me now. Of course, if something falls into my lap then it would be an insult to turn down such a "gift from the gods". But I do not go looking for trouble much any more.

Similarly, Don Imus' misbehavior act was simply getting tired. It is like when I see a guy my age walking with a twenty-five-year-old, young woman. Seems a little pathetic and sad. Who could he possibly be kidding? Some things are a young man's game. But certain behaviors are inappropriate for anyone of any age.

Race baiting should be well and finally in our past as a society. The old white men at the networks and those deciding things at the (advertising) clients came to power through personal self discipline. Don Imus should seem offensive to them. His act is pathetic. And he is gone. Remember Jimmy the Greek? He shot his mouth off in 1988. And that was the end of him. Seems like only yesterday. What a moron. Still makes me smile.

Of course, you are not on the television, Dietmar, so it costs you only your own integrity to use the "N" word ever at all. For shame! You know better. (Unless, of course, there is adequate provocation and you could actually take the guy.)

von Mises' dictum
If market pressures determine what large companies do in the marketplace, then why is Ford still backing the homosexual agenda so thoroughly? Hundreds of thousands of Christians have signed boycott petitions against the company saying that they will not buy Ford products until and if Ford changes their corporate stance on the subject (and Ford has seen the petitions) but the company is still committed to the homosexual agenda. Given von Mises' statement, you would think that a company that had been in financial trouble for years and was losing money in every quarter would do what is necessary to placate the Christians. Here it might be instructive to mention that there are about 42 million people in church every Sunday, with perhaps ten to fifteen million more attending a few times per year. That is a truly enormous chunk of the automobile market. Where does this fit in with von Mises' dictum?

Double standard
The double standard is sad and unfair. Imus has always been a bore with low viewership and what he said was indefensable. It is the media that gives people like Imus, Rosie, Al, and Jesse a platform and a megaphone. The same media outlets that complain about them, have them on to show they are ballanced? I guess I will now place my hairy knuckles on the ground and turn the radio back on. End of rant.

mises vs. imus
BRAVO.
well said. MSNBC & CBS did nothing until their bottom line
began to change (with advertisers backing off).

They found their morals AFTER the fact..and tried to ruin a
perfectly moral man. He's an emotional fool at times, and almost
always swayed by a kindly liberal . Often tiresome and silly. But his program was more amusing and informative than most.

And who came thru for him? How many liberals who used to beg for an appearance on the show? Only Lieberman as far as i can see; not the unctuous fat liar who wrote the book about his father (I've forgotten the name; i'm 80 and this is typical).
This same man lied b4 congress. I heard him myself when he said that "when Libby was indiced, the whole newsroom broke into cheers".
If i could recall it why couldn't HE? THIS IS YOUR LIBERAL, people. Low profile when it's time to pay up.

As for the empty suits Sharpton and Jackson, has anybody heard Jesse apologises for vilifying the Duke students? Sharpton never did for ruining a man's life.
I despair for my country now that free speech has begun to disappear.

The guy makes being white look bad
The word seems to excite you. What, exactly, would the difference be between a racist boor, which is what Imus was, and someone who despises people because of their sexual orientation?

Imus had been doing this kind of thing for years, and he used up his last chance. So popular or not, he went down the tubes. And we should all be glad he did. He may have been popular with some, but I always thought there was something repellent about his spirit. Now I know what it was.

Local writer J Peder Zane gives this account:

"If Don Imus collected his radio program's greatest hits, "nappy-headed hos" wouldn't make the cut.

"His description of Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz as "a boner-nosed, beanie-wearing Jew boy" would be a strong contender. So would this comment about Gwen Ifill, an African-American reporter at The New York Times: "Isn't the Times wonderful? It lets the cleaning lady cover the White House."

Don't forget his characterization of Gloria Estefan as a "Chihuahua-looking ho," of New York Knicks players as "chest-thumping pimps," of Janet Reno as "that big fat *******" and of Native American Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., as "the guy from 'F Troop.' "

"Nevertheless, it was his description of the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" that got Imus fired Thursday. The obligatory mea culpas he issued weren't enough to dampen the public outcry that forced advertisers to pull support from "Imus in the Morning."

http://www.newsobserver.com/1451/story/564403.html

We'll miss him...not! I hope the next one to get the axe is Michael Savage.

I'm offended
I'm offended that it took this episode to get the advertisers to kill off his career. He has said offensive things to just about every group imaginable. So why now?

Example of white guilt
Today, race has replaced sex as the primary moral obsession. Worse yet, credibility on racial matters these days is reserved to nonwhites (unless they are liberals). Outright crooks like Sharpton and Jackson fill the vacume opened up by white guilt.

White guilt is essentially a general loss of will that extends out to even non-racial matters. This vacume emboldens blacks to be more strident about attacking whites, because they won't fight back. Imus is caught in this quandry.

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