I’ll admit to having this love/hate thing for Don Imus. I enjoy this canterkerous old cowboy most of the time, even though the collection of misfits he surrounds himself with for his morning broadcasts (except for the sports guy) couldn’t get work parking cars. But this morning, my God he railed on about his corporate bosses, and I just sat there, mesmorized, at how gutsy (and accurate) his rant was. Apparently, yesterday Imus broadcast his show for the new Center for the Intrepid, an amazing facility that aims to help Veterans learn to overcome their injuries and participate in activities that one would assume they can no longer enjoy. The Center itself, and everything it offers, is an incredible story. To me, though, what is really worth examining is how it was funded, and built. My understanding is that it was completely funded through private donations, some 600,000 Americans donated upwards of 50 million dollars. When I first heard that figure, I thought to myself there was no way to design, build and staff a facility of that caliber with a paltry 50 million. Let me put that into perspective for a minute, the Titans play in a stadium that cost 292 million dollars to build 8 years ago! It occured to me that the architects and contractors involved in this endeavor must have made the most of every dollar. I doubt that anyone involved tried to enrich themselves by padding the budget. This whole project, to me, represents what America can do, given the right circumstances. So ok, thats a story as well. With a budget for the Iraq war of 300 billion, I’m a little ashamed that we couldn’t find the money to build a center like this in every state. At the risk of getting off track here, (perhaps another thread is in order) I have to say that we indeed could have done so, and built 100 or so state of the art schools, if more people didn’t feel that it’s ok to milk every dollar out of a govt contract.
Back to Imus. So yesterday, while I was cooking for the kids, I had the television tuned to MSNBC. I had already endured Nora O’Donnel(sp?) asking a Clinton spokesperson over and over again what Hillary meant by her “evil men” remark. I mean, she wouldn’t let it go. I was irritated by it, but chalked it up to a slow news day. Then at 3:00 pm, Tucker convened an entire panel to dissect Clinton’s remarks. I think Tucker is a moron anyway, so though my irritation level raised a notch or two, I still managed to keep from yelling at the kids. I always look forward to 4:00 pm, because Chris Matthews, for all his faults, gets a better caliber of guests on his show. To my horror, he had three talking heads droning on about, yup, what the hell Hillary Clinton “meant”. I lost it. The kids were forced to tie me up in a chair to keep me from kicking the dog(or them), and duct-taped my mouth in an effort to curb the obscenities I was spewing at the TV. Around 10:00 pm they turned me loose, and I went to bed muttering about MSNBC. (I have to watch MSNBC, since CNN sold out long ago, and well, Fox is Fox, and I have a brain cell left.) I always watch Imus while I get the kids breakfast. Like I said, it’s a love/hate thing. He is a remarkable man, who does some great work outside of a TV studio. I hate it when he is dismissive of some people unfairly. But today, he went after his masters with a vengeance. He called Matthews an idiot. He essentially called Abramson a whore, and an idiot. He railed on about the fact that the coverage of the Center for the Intrepid was perfunctory, and half-hearted. He referred to his own network as a sorry excuse for a news organization. In short, he nailed it. I suppose he is wealthy enough that he doesn’t need this gig, but it was refreshing to hear someone in the biz taking their own network to task. My hat is off this morning to Mr. Imus.