Anyway, when I read about the latest Imus imbroglio, my first thought, practically, was of Logical Positivism--which, I should add, now joins Phenomenology on my list of Philosophical Schools Which Would Usher In A New Era Of Peace And Understanding, If Only We Could Enforce Them By Law. We are asking the wrong questions about Imus. First, the relevant transcript (we'll need it in a moment):
Warner Wolf: "Defensive back Adam 'Pacman' Jones, recently signed by the Cowboys. Here's a guy suspended all of 2007 following a shooting in a Vegas night club."
Imus: "Well, stuff happens. You're in a night club, for God's sake. What do you think's gonna happen in a night club? People are drinking and doing drugs, there are women there, and people have guns. So, there, go ahead."
Wolf: "He's also been arrested six times since being drafted by Tennessee in 2005."
Imus: "What color is he?"
Wolf: "He's African-American."
Imus: "Well, there you go. Now we know."
Well, now. Imus' defense was that he meant that Jones was being hounded because of his skin color. Grading on a curve (it is Imus, after all) we might note that he did enquire as to Jones' color, not the texture of his hair, which should at least qualify as some slight improvement. On the other hand, the explanation requires us to believe that Imus has developed some degree of sympathy for the accused miscreant, other than himself and David Shuster.
But it's the wrong question, if not technically meaningless by Ayer's lights. And I don't mean we should be asking Why He's Employed Again, or how much longer the phony rancher routine can play, but rather how it is in the United States of America a man can be paid, handsomely, and command the public airwaves, yet have to ask what color a fucking NFL defensive back is.