I find it most incredible that there has been so much controversial commentary over the termination of Don Imus' media circus. In his three-ring world, where the norm is "walking the line between bad taste and big ratings", there has been a great deal of outrage leveled at critics such as Al Sharpton (who reported beefed up his security) and at others, such as Senator Barack Obama, for causing Imus to lose his cushy gig.
As if they had the power!
No number of African-American activists, or even Feminists such as those led by Eleanor Smeal, would be able to topple an American media "Icon" of bad taste and worse sensitivity. Not even one who had merely mediocre ratings, for he would be safe from replacement as long as the show made money for the network. Such was not the case with Imus. He was doing very well for CBS. According to Bloomberg, Imus's show charged the highest advertising rates of any CBS Radio program and accounted for a quarter of the profit at CBS affiliate WFAN in New York.
Only one group would have the power to force CBS to rid itself of such a proven money maker: The advertisers – those who paid Imus' broadcasting expenses with their advertising budgets. Imus' loose lips and loose morality brain caused many of his show's sponsors – including Staples, General Motors, Sprint Nextel, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter & Gamble, PetMed Express, American Express, Sprint Nextel, and Bigelow Tea – to decide that their promotional pelf would be better spent elsewhere. That was the only reason CBS saw fit to terminate Imus' show.
One has to wonder if such a display of financial muscle is about to be seen in a much more international venue, as a certain national sponsor is growing increasingly dissatisfied with the services being rendered by his bought-and-paid-for military minion.
Craig Read asserts that 50% of US politicians of both parties are tainted by Arab money. This is nothing new – Poppy Bush has long been "sponsored" by Saudi swag.
The bribery sins of the father were also visited upon the son, as the Emir of Bahrain in conjunction with Saudi billionaire Sheik Abdullah Bakhsh stepped in back in January of 1990 to rescue Dubya from his third straight failed drilling concern, Harken Oil. The Emir awarded a major contract for offshore drilling sought by Amoco to the Bush company which had never done that work. Investigative reporter Greg Palast reports that "real" Texas oilmen "… laugh at the idea that Bush's company Harken got the Bahrain deal because of their skill –- it was solely the Gulf Arabs way of buying their way into the son of the [then] President of the United States …"
Thus, one might make the case that the Saudis and Bahrainis "sponsored" Bush, and there is evidence that their "generosity" continues even up to the current day. Or maybe not. Only a few weeks ago, Saudi King Abdullah declared the Iraq Occupation as illegitimate. When he issued this royal ukase before a gathering of Arab leaders, he might as well have been speaking directly to Dubya in the fashion of Donald Trump's late and unlamented television show: "YOU'RE FIRED!"
O Globo of Brazil reports that King Abdullah has grown frustrated with Dubya. (This article by William Waack is an English translation by Brandi Miller. If you read Portuguese, you can see the original article here.) As Waack puts it, "King Abdullah feels that he hasn't been listened to on any vital question of recent times – especially the invasion of Iraq. And worse: not even his warnings were taken into account." It's not a good idea to piss off the guy who shovels the shekels (Sorry! Riyals!) your way, Dubya!
Neither is it a good idea to piss off a very vocal group who normally is allied against your sponsor, the Israelis. Waack reports that the Israelis are as frustrated with Dubya as is Abdullah (a good example that Dubya really can unite those who are divided when he really tries!). It's such a widespread and openly-felt disgust among Israelis that O Globo quotes a senior Israeli diplomat who recently visited São Paulo as saying, "The Iranians should build a monument in honor of Bush, due to the gifts that Iran has received due to American policy in the Middle East."
What would the mullahs call such a monument, American Idyll? But I digress.
With so much going on in the world that reveals a growing and restive discontent with George W. Bush and his policies, could it be that soon the Chinese will cease enabling the "booming" economy? That is about the only thing that Bush has any leg left to brag on. But that leg is getting as shaky as Heather Mills McCartney's prosthesis doing the two-step through holding up what remains of the Bush Legacy (pun intended) unaided.
The Federal Reserve is worried about inflation rising above Bernanke's comfort level, which would prompt countermeasures which would choke off what little improvement in the economy that hasn't only tricked down to the top 0.5% of Americans. So losing Chinese sponsorship could prove disastrous to The Deciderer, whose entire agenda is about to face the reality of review by an outraged political opposition which is backed by the majority of Americans who have decided for themselves that they want a change in the direction this nation is headed before something irreversible occurs.
At such a time, one needs all the sponsorship one can get. They need to be steady and reliable, for one isn't going to recruit stalwart replacements when under intense rebuke for incompetence!