DLS Consulting

Have You Been Helping Don Imus Share His Message?

As disgusting as many of the radio and television shock jocks are in their feeble attempts at humor by making fun of people, did you ever think that you could be partnering with people like Don Imus? When you consider that the cable television network that was carrying the simulcast of his radio show is a subsidiary of General Electric who owns NBC and has controlling interest in NBC's cable affiliates, the shareholders of General Electric are the proportionate owners of this asset. If you own a mutual fund that invests in large capital growth and value companies, your fund could be a holder of General Electric. If you own an index fund that represents the S&P 500 index; or the Dow Jones Industrial Averages of 30 Industrial Companies; or the Russel 1000 index; they all own some shares of GE.

Many individuals and advisors have lost their sense of what real ownership means in our dynamic economy. By placing retirement funds and 401(k) or 403(b) in mutual funds, we believe we have passed this role of selecting the stocks inside the fund to others and also the responsiblity of ownership as well. "NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND!" We are all responsible to know if the funds we purchase in our accounts are involved in owning stocks whose activities are offensive. Do you know what programing strategies a company like Viacom is following? Do you know if Viacom is present in the mutual fund or funds you are holding?

What about this same language which is used on many of the music CD's and in the videos of hip hop artists? If Don Imus can be fired for his off handed remarks, why not start holding some other people responsible for the filth on our TV sets or the pornographic profit machine that fills the internet? This is our chance to take a stand on moral issues wherever you find them and not back off because it will be unpopular. Consider the "Heroines" in this event, the women's basketball team from Rutgers and their Head Coach. They made the difference in this because they stood up and acted like adults well beyond their years!

Scott Fehrenbacher wrote a book a few years back called Put Your Money Where Your Morals Are and he chose to attend a stockholder meeting of what is now Time Warner and read the lyrics to Cop Killer and several filthy music CD's that were produced by that company. That would be a good exercise this week to ask your kids, grandkids, or friends to sit down and write the lyrics to some of the things that are being broadcast on stations coming into your home on the cable system and see if you are not really tolerating a lot more garbage than you thought.

As you consider the plight of Mr. Imus, remember the words of Jesus when he told the people who wanted to stone the prostitute to death... "he who is without sin among you, cast the first stone".

Sent April 16, 2007

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