04/11/2007 03:15 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Cruel "Old" Subtext to the Imus Flap

Just as the Imus flap has exposed how deeply the race issue goes in America, what you may not have noticed is the subtext for many of Imus' detractors. That is the subtext of age discrimination.

Laugh if you want. But if you're laughing at that statement, you're probably under 55. And you probably laughed at "I've fallen and I can't get up." And you laugh at all the "old" jokes, too.

Take the subtext in Nina Burleigh's post here "Don Imus and the Rage of the Viagrans." His first offense was his statement about the Rutgers women. His second offense was that he's old. He needs Viagra and is therefore a lesser person than someone who doesn't. He's just old. Push him out of the way and get on with it.

Take her last line, " They are the jokes that their wives and girlfriends share with each other, but quietly, in order to hang onto their icky diamond rings and the rights to the sweet little retirement ranch.
They have to do with what those little blue pills can't cure forever."

Perhaps she doesn't see what's in her future.

Unlike bashing ethnic groups, dissing older people is particularly stupid because while Imus will never become black, every single one of those who ridicule their elders will one day become a member of the club.

In many societies elders are respected. Not this one. The difference is that the current crop of older folks are boomers who are not about to take the guff. Present company included.

You can laugh at me but I learned everything before you did, and I'm going to know what happens after you die before you do. Top that with a Viagra joke, kid.