Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Last (I hope) word on Imus

by Ken Houghton

The basketball team has continued to be the only classy thing about the whole episode, and it may well have cost us a governor, though that can't be blamed on Imus or Rutgers, but rather...well, let Jim MacDonald at Making Light explain.

My last word follows from Mark Cuban's:
Now for one last comment. If the Imus show was on HDNet would I have fired him ? Hell no. I would have expected him to apologize, but he would have kept his job. Firing him would just get him a job on HBO.

And I fully expect that Imus (and, unfortunately, 'The I-Man') will end up on HBO or Sirius or XM or some other non-public airwave.* Which is fine; there are enough straight white males on the public airwaves trying to make other SWMs feel superior to others as a substitute for accomplishing anything themselves.

Let's see him survive in the private sector. As with the comedians Mannion and Mahablog were discussing, there's probably a demand; the question is whether it will produce a return on capital, or is already mature and declining. I know which way I would bet.

Let's see if Mark Cuban decides to put his money where his mouth is.

Note to readers: I've deleted several comments in the thread below by mutual agreement between Gary Farber, Bill Patterson, and me. If you've arrived here via a link at, I commend Patterson's forthcoming Heinlein bio for all the information provided in the deleted comments and much, much more.

*Assuming he doesn't just decide that, at age 67, he can take some time for his charity and his second family. (He appears to have forgotten his first, a la Robert A. Heinlein.)

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"He appears to have forgotten his first, a la Robert A. Heinlein."

Having recently done an informal semi-copyedit on Bill Patterson's draft authorized bio of Heinlein, I'm curious what you mean by that.
Does Patterson discuss Heinlein's first wife at length?

For many years, there has been a conspicuous silent in the sf community about her, as if Ginny is and always has been The Only One.

(I hasten to note that she's not the only Missing Person: e.g., Asimov's son. I keep thinking about doing a Meeting of Minds burlesque of The Lost People of SF, patterned on Friedrich Durrenmatt's The Physicists or The Visit, but fortunately sanity prevails.)

(I also hasten to note that sf is hardly the only place where secrets disappear: think Kordell Stewart's sexuality in Pittsburgh, Eric Lindros's infidelity in Philadelphia, Newt Gingrich's infideilities during the run-up to impeachment [where the only place that even hinted at his hypocrisy was Gail Sheehy's article in Vanity Fair referring to his now-third-wife as his "frequent breakfast companion"] or the actual words interpolated into Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band the first couple of times "41 Shots" was performed live, in Atlanta.)
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Re: Gingrich. Yes, I did mean "at the time."

Re: Heinlein. You make me hopeful, and on balance I'm thrilled. (Roughly the same as when it became obvious, with Asimov Laughs Again that The Good Doctor had carried on a long-term affair with Janet O. Jeppson, the timing of which likely impacted his relationship with his son, if not Robin.)

I've gotten very sensitive to attempts to sanitize author bios—probably ever since Shira did a piece for one of those Reference Books on Madeleine L'Engle and all of the published biographic sources available were explicitly approved by Herself.
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All I have to say is that I'd pay whatever price need be to get the book before all those pages were edited out. Ok, not whatever price, but I would think fans would go for a thicker book rather than a thinner book.
"Ok, not whatever price, but I would think fans would go for a thicker book rather than a thinner book."

The thinner version is still in two volumes, each several hundred manuscript pages long; my understanding is that this version was produced at the request of either Eleanor Wood, or the editor considering at The Big Publishing House I can't name, but which in fact is the most obvious one you can think of, as requested by the very long term editor you know quite well.

Whether that company will do a version, I have no idea, and won't speculate upon. So far as I know, the version for the Heinlein Centenial will still be produced, either way, Real Soon Now.

I'm still wondering if Ken has any further comment.
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