I found a video of Newsweek writer Howard Fineman at some sort of Q&A dinner deal. He talks about Imus. If you have eaten anything in the past 24 hours, do not watch this video. If you suffer from bulimia, then maybe you can see it.
Fineman was of course horribly shocked and offended by the scandal, and he felt remorse for all the times he participated in such horrible evils. When the moderator mentioned that Fineman was one of the few guests who didn't "run for the hills," Fineman said smugly, "In the interest of full disclosure, I was already booked and committed." Howard, get off my Youtube.
He also says that if the show changes to his standards, then maybe he'll accept the invitation back. When the hell did Howard Fineman start calling the shots? He's talking like the popular jock at school who knows that every homely girl is madly in love with him, or the overly obnoxious student who knows everybody in the class wants to hear his opinion.
But then Fineman says something really scary:
1) He keeps in email contact with Imus.
2) He might be a new guest. Which, if he works with Newsweek, implies that the Imus ban over there could be lifted, and that those people could go on too.
If anyone remotely connected to the Imus show is reading this - I don’t care if you’re the janitor or the vegan food cook or whatever - then I have one message for you to pass on to the powers that be.
DO NOT BRING ON ANY NEWSWEEK GUESTS.
Please. For the love of all things sacred, do not bring these people on. It has nothing to do with loyalty, although that‘s certainly a factor. My real problem is that every single person at Newsweek sounds exactly the same. Now, this would be OK, if they all sounded like "a vaguely interesting person who didn't talk in monotone." But that was not the case.
I'm trying to differentiate them in my mind, and I'm probably forgetting someone, but here goes:
-There was Evan Thomas, who I don’t remember anything off the top of my head, though I think he swam nude in the Atlantic Ocean or something;
-And there was Howard Fineman, who I perpetually confuse with Jeff Greenfield.
I couldn’t tell you what Jonathan Alter brought to the table as opposed to Evan Thomas. Everyone had the same opinions; everyone blended together. For me, “Newsweek guest” always equaled “homework time.”
There was only one exception. One of my favorite I-guests was Jon Meacham, partially because I admired him - because who becomes the editor of Newsweek in their mid-thirties? - and also because he talked about current events from a unique, engaging perspective. He also had a fascinating take on religion in America, which is a subject that’s always interested me.
But when the scandal broke, Meacham was one of the first people to backstab Imus - he banned all his reporters from the show on the Monday following the remarks. Imus used to go on about Meacham being a staunch Episcopalian, and sometimes he would ask Meacham to interpret Scripture. And I'm sorry, but being Christian and behaving in that manner is like being a vegan and editing Field and Stream.
So hopefully we've learned our lesson here with Newsweek. And if Fineman calls Imus to be on the show, Imus will hopefully do exactly what the guests at the Q&A do - turn his back, ignore Fineman, and eat.