Don Imus' long-standing acceptance by the political establishment is a contemporary illustration of 1940s socialite Perle Mesta's famous advice about how to draw Washington's power set to a soiree: "Hang a lamb chop in the window." Politicians like John McCain and Barack Obama, and famous TV journalists like Tim Russert and Cokie Roberts, are no more standoffish than their predecessors; the only difference is that the lamb chop has been replaced by a microphone.Digby observes that evn the microphone isn't the attraction. It's the book sales. Quoting a Vanity Fair piece on Imus,
He likes that power, enjoys going on Amazon to see just how much he can boost a book. During the week I'm there, he has Larry the Cable Guy on as a guest-Larry has just written a book called Git-r-Done. Before the show, according to Imus, the book was about 1,800 on the Amazon list. But when he checks on the Internet just after the show, it's No. 122.The only upside to the flap over Imus' spew on the Rutgers women's basketball team is that it may spark a national debate on the sorry state of discourse in this country. Noah provides a short list of Imus gems, lest any of his guests plead ignorance, which they do and will.
Noah nails it with, "If there's an outer boundary to what a famous journalist or politician will put up with, science has yet to find it."