Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Don Imus Controversy: The Lumberjack Match

In sourcing the links for the Imus hullabaloo i was astonished by the wealth of commentary APF pundits provided on the issue. There are so many stories in the ether that its not often that pundits will unanimously focus on one issue. There are staple topics such as Terrorism, Global Warming and Iraq but rarely one that all pundits will sink their teeth into.

The primary reason is because issues by nature will tend to favor one ideology (or political party) over the other. If an issue is advantageous to one ideology (i.e an opposition scandal or screw up), certain pundits will tout it while others will be silent. There are a few reasons why a pundit may comment on an issue they would otherwise avoid. When an issue becomes too overwhelming that a pundit is forced to make comment, there are 3 usual courses of action.
1) Blame or discredit the messenger. No hard facts are necessary, just enough misdirection to confuse the issue
2) Spin. Direct people into how they should feel.
3) Provide greater context on the issue. Commercial media tends to use broad strokes whereas talk radio allows for nuance.

The attention given by the APF pundits to the Imus story is largely because his ordeal with public relations and his advertisers has direct relevance to their careers and working landscape. Despite the fact Imus was left leaning and a critic of the current administration, liberal pundits are pleased that Imus is leaving. Imus was perceived as the embodiment of the Establishment 'Boys club', Politicians and elite pundits who viewed politics as a way of furthering their own status rather than serving the people. Red Team pundits have vested interest in the story because they feel that they are next in the crosshairs. That their speech will be muted, taken down the same way Imus was.

In wrestling terms the lumberjack match sums it up best.

A lumberjack match is when two wrestlers fight in the ring whilst they are encircled on the outside by a handful of other wrestlers. The purpose of these outside wrestlers is to throw any of the 2 combatants back in the ring when they are ejected from it. Inflicting some cheap shots in the process. The wrestlers outside may be partial to a particular combatant, but this is secondary. There main aim is to keep the action in the middle going, whilst beating up or acting as enforcers for the two ring combatants.

Enjoy the first wrestling video ever on the APF blog. While you watch it, imagine the two in-ring wrestlers being Al Sharpton and Don Imus. Now imagine the wrestlers on the outside being the APF roster. (Video contains some brutal images)