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The Christian Thing

by Mark Adams

Taegan's Quote of the Day:

"I believe in redemption, I believe in forgiveness."

-- John Edwards, quoted by WCBS-TV, on the racially-charged comments made by radio talk show host Don Imus. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were less forgiving.

Don Imus has been pissing me off for years. But, as Digby points out, not only is there a certain fascination, the show also exposed the unseemly underbelly of just how internecine the D.C. punditry was.

This strange relationship between the beltway punitocracy and elected officials first came to my attention when Imus dubbed Bill Clinton, "Bubba." Since then, a virtual parade of media elite and candidates seeking their approval have been a regular staple of the program. It all came to a head for me during the Libby trial. Nowhere else was Timmeh! Russert spouting off as much about the case than on Imus (just between friends), nor juicy tidbits like Andrea Mitchell's kidding around about being too drunk to really know what she said she knew about her involvement in the case.

Lately, the show would inevitably return to a "comedy" skit featuring their resident skin-head, Bernard McGuirk, doing an intentionally unflattering impression of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin as more of a Stepin Fetchit character than anything else. This recurring bit, more than anything, made me switch to see what was on CNN.

The list of indiscretions is long and well documented for an "edgy" program that far too often went over the edge. I lose no sleep over the end, if this is indeed the end, of Don Imus's show. I won't jump for joy that a blight on our public airwaves has been erased as long as Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savidge and Sean Hannity continue to pollute our national discourse with impunity -- or that Ann Coulter is given a forum to purvey her filth.

But I have to admire John Edwards keeping true to himself and his professed faith. I don't know that I am so forgiving, at least not enough to want to hear Imus again or believe that CBS Radio or MSNBC TV were wrong to fire him. Christianity, after all, is a faith of redemption from sin.

I believe in a benevolent and merciful God. That when things seem at their worst and their lowest, he will always be there for you. That no matter what you do, he will forgive you. And it is important to ask for his forgiveness. It's important in my case to have a personal relationship with the Lord, so that I pray daily and I feel that relationship all the time. And when I'm faced with difficult decisions, which I regularly am, I very often go to him in prayer.
There are some that criticize Edwards for missing an opportunity to pander to women or African-Americans who are indignant about Imus' behavior, to kick him while he's down in order to score some political points.

Cheap shots are easy, especially when the target is wounded. Again, John Edwards proves that he's something special, because he's just such a nice guy.


OK, let's get one thing straight: John Edwards has nothing to forgive because John Edwards was not hurt by Imus in any way. If anything, Edwards has benefited (for years) from the positive media exposure that Imus gave him...and continues to give, albeit now indirectly.

So -- John McCain and John Edwards and all you others -- lighten up, OK?

The only ones who can forgive Imus (this time) are the Rutgers womens' basketball team.

I don't think he was taking it upon himself to grant absolution or anything, just that Imus is forgivable.

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