Monday, July 16, 2018

Imus Gets Two Week Vacation

by D. E. Carson (writer), , April 10, 2007

CBS Radio and MSNBC have both suspended Don Imus for what have been called “racially insensitive” comments on his morning show last week. Organizations from NOW to the NCAA have come down hard on Imus for his comments in spite of his repeated admissions to having “gone way too far” when trying to make jokes about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team last Wednesday and his repeated apologies for making the comments. Even former perennial presidential candidate Al Sharpton jumped on the bandwagon of criticism. Going so far as to suggest that Imus would probably survive this controversy and “walk away unscathed.”

Imus replied, “"Unscathed? How do you think I'm unscathed by this? Don't you think I'm humiliated?" Imus was obviously upset not only by his ill-conceived comments but also by the suggestion from Sharpton that Imus either resign or be fired. At one point during the interview, Sharpton asked Imus if he would sign a letter of resignation. “I’m not signing anything,” Imus replied.

The Imus witch-hunt was not limited only to Sharpton, but extended to Jesse Jackson who lead a small coalition of Imus-haters outside the NBC tower in Chicago to demand MSNBC’s abandonment of Imus and demand the hiring of more “black pundits.” Jackson followed his standard protocol saying, “This is a two-week cooling off period. It does not challenge the character of the show, its political impact, or the impact that these comments have had on our society.” As of the time of the writing of this column, five days after the comments were made, no reports of violence or other civil unrest has been recorded anywhere in the country, however, major metropolitan areas are being closely monitored in the event of such an outbreak. Also standing in opposition to Imus is Julian Bond, chairman of the board of directors of the NAACP who openly criticized those who employ Imus, saying, “it is past time his employers took him off the air” referring to Imus’ home station WFAN, where the show originates and the Westwood One radio network which actually carries the program in syndication. Both the station and the network are managed by CBS, a part of Viacom.

On a positive note, Arizona Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain, who has been endorsed by Imus has said, “He has said he is sorry. I am a great believer in redemption” and has kept his appointment to appear on Imus’ show. Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers believes that Imus will survive this ordeal, but cautions, “he needs to stop apologizing so much”. Imus is clearly under pressure from both NBC and CBS to kiss and make up, but the pressure may be coming from the more liberal protestors. The multiple apologies could begin alienating base fans who actually enjoy the Imus sense of humor and grumpy commentary.

About the Writer

D. E. Carson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Imus Gets Two Week Vacation

Log In To Vote   Score: 1
By Annonymous on April 11, 2007 at 08:33 pm
4/11/07 Final Score: Nappy headed hos: 1, Don Imus: 0
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