This just in: Gloria Allred, Oprah Winfrey, Al Gore, Sen. Barack Obama, Nancy Grace, George Carlin, Stuart Scott, Anna Quindlen, Bob Knight, Angelina Jolie, Oral Roberts and Wolf Blitzer all are offended by Don Imus.

OK, I made up most of those names, but don’t be surprised if they weighed in and shoveled dirt on Imus’ rabble-rousing radio career by the time this newspaper went to press.

Yet again, the 24-hour news cycle steps up in the clutch and proves that America has lost its mind. Did you hear what happened in Iraq today? No, you didn’t, because everyone was busy trying to figure out what “nappy-headed” means and decide if “ho” could ever, maybe, possibly refer to a white woman.

ESPN even pre-empted the 15th rebroadcast of its 2 a.m. “SportsCenter” on Tuesday morning to air a press conference featuring the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. Hey, at least the media found the one entity whose opinion on this subject actually matters.

Let’s get a few things straight: Don Imus is a buffoon. His stereotyping of the NCAA women’s basketball finalists was sexist, sophomoric, out of bounds, over the top, etc. Racist, if you prefer. Choose whatever adjective or metaphor makes you comfortable and won’t get either one of us branded as a hate monger.

But you should have known that about Imus already. The guy’s an angry, bitter curmudgeon whose humor routinely jostles left, right, black, white, Christian, Jew, Muslim, male, female, straight and gay with equal opportunity. Think Beavis, all grown up, with a slightly enhanced vocabulary.

Parts of this story are scary and dubious. I’m waiting for the official list of words all Americans are forbidden to use unless they fancy a public demise. And yes, in the interest of true equality, those restrictions will apply to black rappers as much as white talk-show hosts.

Also, why is it that whenever there is a discussion about hate speech in this country, the only people the political left trots out are the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Oh, the duplicity.

The clergymen have been famously anti-Semitic. Jackson once described New York City as “Hymietown” and declared that he was “sick and tired of hearing about the Holocaust.” Sharpton incited a riot by challenging a group of Hasidic Jews to “pin (their) yarmulkes back and come over to my house.”

I don’t remember anyone clamoring for them to be fired. Then again, I’m not sure anyone can fire you from being a professional lobbyist.

There are two bottom lines about this broadcast bottom feeder.

The more time we taste wringing our hands over Don Imus, we miss another opportunity to have a real discussion about the racial divide in our country. And if you don’t like Imus, don’t listen. Don’t watch. Don’t support his advertisers. And for heaven’s sake, don’t make fun of anyone’s tattoos.


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