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Tilting at Windmills

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April 10, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

IMUS?....Is there anything we can talk about this morning other than Don Imus? No? That leaves me....um....without much to say.

About Imus himself, I've only heard him a few times and he's always struck me as just a standard issue shock jock. In other words, pretty uninteresting to anyone over the age of 18 or with an IQ in triple digits. Still there are plenty of juvenile radio hosts around, so whatever. The part I've never gotten is how his show became such a magnet for celebrities and serious politicians of all stripes. What's the story behind that? I've always gotten the impression that Imus's show is treated like some kind of extra-dimensional zone where you're allowed to say anything you want and it doesn't really count as having been said in the real world. Weird.

Anyway, I read God's Other Son about a decade or two ago and it was painfully unfunny. That pretty much exhausts my knowledge of the guy, so I guess I'll go scan the headlines to see if anything else is going on today. In the meantime, feel free to deconstruct the Imus phenomenon in comments.

Kevin Drum 12:02 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (139)

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Comments

Imus moves product. End of story.

Posted by: Hoyt Pollard on April 10, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

What Hoyt said. And to narrow it down, he moves Book-type products specifically.

Posted by: Charles on April 10, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

What does politics and pop culture have to do with this Tennis blog?

Posted by: anonymous on April 10, 2007 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

They talk about "jigaboos" on Imus. All you need to know.

Posted by: The Fool on April 10, 2007 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

[Comments by a previously banned commenter have been deleted]

Posted by: Redplague on April 10, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

He reflects the Dubya dry-drunk constituency. Mean, spiteful and contemptuous from under a rock. Hate, with a hat on pretending civility.

Listen to the tone of voice in which he says "nappy headed ho's". Exactly the voice of a redneck hayseed getting drunk at lunch.

Posted by: cld on April 10, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin - I'm with you 100%. As far as I'm concerned Imus and Howard Stern are the same boorish, BORING egotists that like to talk about nothing but themselves. With regard to the current controversy, the best punishment I can recommend is to come to our senses and stop listening/watching him. But alas, I fear I'm talking to a wall. I just don't get it. Yes Hoyt and Charles, I heard you - HE MOVES PRODUCT. But why?

Posted by: lamonte on April 10, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

I know nothing about this man, except he looks like the living dead.

Posted by: Brojo on April 10, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone cares to read it, One of our writers on Highbrid Nation actually worked wit Imus over the last few years at WFAN and had some really interesting things to say about the whole situation with Imus and he also has some inside info that the media hasn't mentioned about the whole story.

Posted by: Evorgleb on April 10, 2007 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

What kind of human being launches a shot at the core of a group of 19-year-olds at their moment of greatest achievement? Turns the taste of their hard-earned 2nd place acid for the rest of their lives?

And what kind of person defends the (person?)(thing?) who does that?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on April 10, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

His market-NYC/NJ/Conn/MSNBC, of course. That's why. People watch/listen to him. Like it or not. I'm in the "not like it" category.

Posted by: FPN on April 10, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Back when I was under 18 I bought an Imus Lp (early 70's) in those days he did prank phone calls, which had a Beavis and Butthead quality about it (much like the Jerky Boys). I guess that's what qualifies him as a political commentator. Or maybe his stint as a VJ in the early years of VH1. He then at least had the self awareness to refer to it as the boring network.

IMUS, the radio personality, is a pig. That's his schtick and it is just a well paid professionalized version of all the radio pigs populating local talk radio around the country. Nothing he says is anymore shocking than what I hear on local talk radio in the south (and I'm sure other parts of the country).

That said, no, the FCC shouldn't do anything (I don't think they should have done anything about Janet Jackson, either). Just everyone over 18 with an IQ in triple digits should ignore him.

Posted by: Martin on April 10, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

The fool,

The Jigaboo comment was a reference to a Spike Lee move School Daze (1988). If you look at the team pictures of Rutgers and Tennesse, you could easily get the idea that the differences in appearance and it should remind people of that movie.

I find it odd how the idea of race and class in women's sports is being overlooked in the Imus controversy. Wemen athletes of all kinds have had their appearance evaluated from the beginning. Several women athletes have been more successful from looking good than being good.

In college athletics there is also the underlying topics of class along with race. Women's athletic in college is much more suburban and upper middle class than it is in men's sports like football and basketball. It is not unusual to see a team in the women's final four with three or more white starters (something you would never see in the men's game). The NCAA has reported that black female athletes particpate at the same level that they are students. Hispanic and Asian females are almost nonexistent in college sports. this leaves the field to suburban whites.

If you look at college teams outside of basketball (and track) you will generally find suburban upper middle class whites who have been taking lessons since elementary school. To watch a women's soccer, field hockey, or lacrosse game is to watch a field of white, pony tailed, blonde from a bottle suburbanites.

Posted by: superdestroyer on April 10, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK
In other words, pretty uninteresting to anyone over the age of 18 or with an IQ in triple digits.

About Imus himself, I've only heard him a few times and he's always struck me as just a standard issue shock jock. Manifestly, there are plenty of people over 18 that listen to shock jocks. IME, plenty of people with triple-digit IQs, too. Intelligence does not equate to particular tastes in entertainment, as much as some people would like to dismiss different tastes as simply unintelligent.

The part I've never gotten is how his show became such a magnet for celebrities and serious politicians of all stripes.

Because he reaches a not-insignificant audience, and that's what celebrities of all stripes and politicians depend on.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

I used to listen to Imus 35 years ago (yikes!) driving to high school in Connecticut. He had some funny radio characters back then, like the Right Reverend Dr. Billy Jo Hargus, pastor of The First Church of the Gooey Death and Discount House of Worship, located right here in Del Rio, Texas, the Gold Buckle of the Bible Belt --

Everyone knew the song that followed --

"I don't care if it rains or freezes,
'Long as I got my plastic Jesus,
riding on the dashboard of my car, (Yes, yes, yes)
I can go a hundred miles an hour
'Long as I got the Almighty Power
Glued up there by my pair of fuzzy dice -- (One more time for Him . . .)"

Then we'd all put our hands on the radio, as instructed, as Dr. Hargus issued his daily "prayer." It all seemed so innocently irreverent, along with Monty Python, Cheech and Chong and Saturday Night Live in their early days.

I lost track of him after high school. But somewhere along the way Imus became unfunny, which I attribute in large part to the coarsening of society generally. As pointed out above, these radio guys are primarily flakkers for the music industry and for their sponsors. But they have a personal following as well, based on who their individual personalities appeal to. They vie for attention by saying crude and outrageous things.

But last week Imus crossed the line -- racism and misogyny are not civic values. That's the real lesson here -- America still has civic values that deserve to be upheld.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on April 10, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Er, major cut-and-paste errors in my earlier comment. I meant the following:

About Imus himself, I've only heard him a few times and he's always struck me as just a standard issue shock jock. In other words, pretty uninteresting to anyone over the age of 18 or with an IQ in triple digits.

Manifestly, there are plenty of people over 18 that listen to shock jocks. IME, plenty of people with triple-digit IQs, too. Intelligence does not equate to particular tastes in entertainment, as much as some people would like to dismiss different tastes as simply unintelligent.

The part I've never gotten is how his show became such a magnet for celebrities and serious politicians of all stripes.

Because he reaches a not-insignificant audience, and that's what celebrities of all stripes and politicians depend on.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Agree with Kevin. The Imus story is profoundly uninteresting. The man in an embarrassment, and if there was any justice he'd receive the same treatment meted out to other shock jocks who cross the line. But he's too powerful, so he will be given yet another change.

They were flogging the story so hard on NBC's morning program today that I assumed that network executives were using the controversy to spike up Imus's ratings when he comes back on the air. But, sadly, CNN was selling the story just as hard.

Posted by: Frances on April 10, 2007 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK
Is there anything we can talk about this morning other than Don Imus?

Yes. Skimming the top stories on Google News, I see at least a dozen that you haven't addressed recently that are more worthy of discussion.

So, unless your superiors at the Monthly have directed you to address Imus...

Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

...Redplague, again proving yet again that right-whingers are sorely deficient in the humor department...Not only is his Sharpton-to-Hitler comparison flawed, but it just doesn't make sense.

However, if he threw in a looong-past-worn-out Clinton or Ted Kennedy joke, Redplague would be more than ready for a writing gig at Fox News Channel...

Posted by: grape_crush on April 10, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

My experience with Imus listeners is that they are typically middle aged white men.

Posted by: Tyro on April 10, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

"If you look at college teams outside of basketball (and track) you will generally find suburban upper middle class whites who have been taking lessons since elementary school. To watch a women's soccer, field hockey, or lacrosse game is to watch a field of white, pony tailed, blonde from a bottle suburbanites."

Actually, if you look at traditional four-year college students, in general, pretty much all you'll see is middle-class & upper middle class kids. The real minorities on campus these days aren't racial minorities, so much as class-based minorities. Andrew Delbanco had an interesting article about this in the NYRB couple of weeks ago:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/20011

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 10, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK
…That leaves me....um....without much to say…
Wishy-washy remark. I think Imus' statement is blatantly racist, reprehensible and have said so to his employers and enablers.

wfan:
customerservice@lawndoctor.com
mediarelations@lawndoctor.com

MSNBC:
daniel.abrams@msnbc.com
viewerservices@msnbc.com
imus@msnbc.com
kevin.reilly@nbcuni.com
Steve.Capus@nbcuni.com

Enablers:
howard.fineman@newsweek.com
oliphant@globe.com
james@carville.info

Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

The Imus story is profoundly uninteresting--unless you care how your politics works. Imus is an integral part of the NBC in-crowd (Matthews, Russert, and the Newsweek/Post affiliate families) who have done so much about shaping the standard themes of mainstream press coverage in the past 15 years. This is profoundly uninteresting--if you think that President Gore would have been just like President Bush. Oh, almost forgot! Frank Rich, who pushed that line so hard, is part of this inane in-crowd too.

Much too dull for us smarties, though. Let's go back to reworking the footnotes on health care plans that won't pass.

Posted by: bob somerby on April 10, 2007 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

It's obvious from your statements Kevin ("shock jock" and "pretty uninteresting to anyone over the age of 18 or with an IQ in triple digits") that you really don't have a clue as to what Imus' appeal may be or who he might be appealling to (his target audience is in fact, just the opposite of what you said - over 35, newsie-types who are unabashedly neither red nor blue but prefer their news spin with a bit of an edge to it.) He tends to cross the line way more than just single incident may perpetuate but it is never in the same vane as Limbaugh attacking the left or Franken always against the right; to the contrary, he attacks anyone and everyone who, in his opinion, is either arrogant or stupid enough to believe they are untouchable. IN other words, he himself would be a target of his own acid-tongue if he could turn his own klieg lights on himself.

Now as to those Rutgers basketball players he was referring to ... have any of you guys actually seen these girls play and the style of b-ball they brandish? They are nappy-haired, they are thugs, and they are a poor example of female athletics. Imagine the late 80's Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys" and yo have this year's Rutgers' women basketball team.

The only sin Imus made - and it was a big one at that - is that he said publicly what many of us say privately in our homes watching the games.

Posted by: ny patriot on April 10, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Imus' comments were racist and sexist. He should be fired, not given what amounts to a two-week vacation. Sometimes I forget that "Talk Show Radio Host" and "Complete Jerk" are synonymous.

Posted by: Rhea on April 10, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Once again, a big scandal misses the entire point. Imus's schtick is being obnoxious and rude - so why is everybody so shocked that he's being obnoxious and rude? It's like the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. We are daily surrounded by cheap, tawdry sexuality. We swim in it whether we want to or not. And then a nipple appears on the Super Bowl halftime show - which is itself the very definition of cheap and tawdry - and everybody goes ballistic.

The reaction says more about our phony public morality than it does about Imus himself.

Posted by: wally on April 10, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Just think Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter et al. Wacked out controversy makes them rich. They are laughing all the way to the bank because self righteous a-holes keep the controversy going. If anyone thinks Imus' comments are over the top, they need to walk down a street where us common folk live.

Posted by: nonheroicvet on April 10, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Imus problem: You may wish to go into a High School Principles office and tape the high school kids that come through with the foulest mouths I have ever heard. Then go to the colleges and tape these girls in the locker room! You will be surprised at the language they use. Are the only ones allowed to have foul mouths are minority groups? If you hear a specific word enough you start saying that word without even thinking about it. These slurs are constantly said in our Music and our Movies. Stop them at the source. Quit picking on the Honkies. The biggest bigots are the Blacks. They have Black their caucus's, and every other kind of black groups. Other nationalities need not attend.

Posted by: Kathryn Ramsdell on April 10, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I used to be an Imus fan until he became too full of himself and started kissing Bush's rear end after 9-11. I certainly do not defend his remarks, and think the suspension is appropriate.

HOWEVER, notorious race-baiters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson should not be allowed to be part of the discussion. I find past actions and statements of theirs (Tawana Brawley, "Hymietown") to be at LEAST as offensive as Imus's remarks.

Why are they allowed to have radio shows?

Posted by: bdrube on April 10, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

"The only sin Imus made - and it was a big one at that - is that he said publicly what many of us say privately in our homes watching the games."

Always interesting to see someone used the first person plural on this stuff, because, you know, we all think the same thing & feel the same way about it, but some of us are just hypocrites.

Well, no. Your issues with their hair & their style of play are just that -- your issues. Don't drag the rest of us into the sewer that is your mind.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 10, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

I loathe political correctness, but even so, Imus' remarks went over the line of decency. Making insulting comments about a particular ethnic group may be borderline acceptable in the context of his show. Making insulting comments about specific, easily identifiable people is much harder to justify no matter how joking the context.

If you look at college teams outside of basketball (and track) you will generally find suburban upper middle class whites who have been taking lessons since elementary school.

If you look at college teams outside of football and basketball you'll be the only one looking :)

Posted by: Peter on April 10, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Last year Imus had a controversy with a news reader on MSNBC named Contessa Brewer. Imus and his sidekicks made a lot of sexual remarks about her to her face and on the air, and she complained and was reassigned. Imus kept attacking her on air, calling her a "pig" and a "skank." And this women was one of his NBC co-workers.

And guests like Joe Lieberman, John Kerry, Andrea Mitchell, Maureen Dowd, and many other kept appearing.

So the real impact of Imus is that he reflects the genuinely clueless nature of our most famous journalists and politicians. As if Bush being president and the US being mired in Iraq wasn't proof of that already.

Posted by: RJMac on April 10, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

ny patriot said, "...he attacks anyone and everyone who, in his opinion, is either arrogant or stupid enough to believe they are untouchable."

And how does this relate to the Rutger's team? I've seen the team play and while they may be agressive (imagine that in a basketball team!) they certainly don't deserve the description you give them. If you've never known an athlete who is ferocious on the floor or the court but kind and compasionate in the real world, then you haven't known many athletes.

Posted by: lamonte on April 10, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Get off your high horse chauncey. Let he without sin cast the first stone.

Posted by: ny patriot on April 10, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Imus is the guy with the hat & the hair, right? Stern is the guy with the black woman, the fat white drunk guy and the gay asian from Star Trek, right?

Posted by: Nathan64 on April 10, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

OK, nypatrior, so maybe they play like thugs. Then say that. Say they play like bullies. Say they play rough on the court. Say their behavior isn't sports(wo)manlike. Criticism of their actual playing or skills seems reasonable. (I disagree with chaunceyatrest here.)

It's not acceptable, however, to comment on their hair (intended as a shorthand for race) and to lob a sexual slur, which can only be wholly imagined here seeing as how they play sports has literally nothing to do with their sexual status or habits.

Posted by: filosofickle on April 10, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a middle-aged, liberal white guy with an IQ comfortably in the triple digits.

I've listened to Imus for years, because it's a relief from political correctness, because he's sometimes pretty funny, and because his guests have interesting things to say.

Most of all, I listen because it's topical, and it's not NPR.

Posted by: NotNPR on April 10, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Can him. The comment was sufficiently egregious as to render any discussion superfluous.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on April 10, 2007 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

NY Patriot:
They are nappy-haired, they are thugs, and they are a poor example of female athletics. Imagine the late 80's Detroit Pistons "Bad Boys" and yo have this year's Rutgers' women basketball team.

Tell me who called the Pistons' players "ho's," and I'll buy the rest of your line. This Imus crap is so deep in race, class, and sexual prejudices I don't know where to start. An aggressive, tough male is admirable out there in the adolescent ManLand where Imus, Stern, and their fans dwell, but an aggressive, tough female is a Bitch or worse. A tough white woman is a Bitch but a tough black woman is a Thug, and the nappier her hair is the more Thug she is. And probably a Ho. And I don't mean a famous Vietnamese pastry chef, either.

Picking on celebrities and pols is one thing but as someone observed upthread, putting down these young women in their proudest mement is something else again. If you can't see what was offensive in Imus' remarks you're fucking blind and deaf.

Posted by: thersites on April 10, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

How can he sell books to an audience that seems to be mostly cretins? One part of this statement has to be false.

Posted by: Mimikatz on April 10, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

and if you had known that over the past 5 years more than several players from the Rutgers Women's Basketball team have either been suspended from the team or expelled from school for conduct that would be unfitting for a prison let alone a state univeristy. Your opinion of the team might be different than mine, as is well your right. But please - don't preach to me about competitiveness, aggressiveness and ferociousness on the court. Those same 'attributes' outside the court are called combative, belligerent, and violent. If you saw those girls on the streets in Newark or Patterson or Jersey City you would quickly cross the steet.

Posted by: ny patriot on April 10, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

ny patriot:

Everything you say is perfectly apopriate criticism. And as you reveal, there's no need to make gender and race salient to do that criticising.

I hate Joe Lieberman. If someone wants to call him a soulless, lying, duplicitous, phony, sociopathically selfish bastard, that's fine with me. If they call him a hook-nosed moneylender, though, that's not okay.

This is pretty simple stuff.

Posted by: gus on April 10, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Wow we got to Hitler on the fifth comment! Patience people. You got to let the discussion come to you.

The old dudes at the coffee shop were talking about it this morning. They weren't too understanding of the racial angle of this discusion. But they were more willing to see another side when I mentioned that the part of it that really burned me was that he was picking on 19-22 year old young women that just want to play basketball really well. It's not like picking on Hillary, or Rosie, or Condy, who seek popular attention and have money and power of their own. Cranky wrote about this above.

Posted by: Swinty on April 10, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

As distasteful as Imus' comments may have been, if I were some self-proclaimed "leader" like Sharpton and really cared about the well-being and future of my community, I'd be far less concerned about the rantings of some over-the-hill shock jock and far more concerned about this. Ignore Imus, and do something about those numbers.

Posted by: Peter on April 10, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

As distasteful as Imus' comments may have been, if I were some self-proclaimed "leader" like Sharpton and really cared about the well-being and future of my community, I'd be far less concerned about the rantings of some over-the-hill shock jock and far more concerned about this. Ignore Imus, and do something about those numbers.

Posted by: Peter on April 10, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing interesting about the Imus story is about how it points out the hypocrisy of our culture. I saw some of the Rutgers Basketball Team news conference and the team members spoke well. They responded well to soft ball questions.

However, the interesting questions would be:

"How many of you players who feel so insulted by what Imus said have an album by Nappy Roots or any album on which black women are referred to as "hos"?

"If these terms are so insulting, how come you castigate Imus, but you support "50 cent" and P. Diddy?

Posted by: John Hansen on April 10, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK
The Imus story is profoundly uninteresting…bob somerby at 1:01 PM
Others have been fired or less or similar remarks. Just because this guy is part of the power elite should not be a free pass.
Hypocrisy, anyone? mhr at 1:01 PM
Nope, just racism pure and simple. Jackson was made to grovel for his remark, apologized and never repeated it. Brawley lied and many believed her. Imus has apologized and made promises to stop making racist remarks yet continued to do so. Enough is enough.
… he said publicly what many of us say privately in our homes... ny patriot at 1:02 PM
I don't and didn't.
Let he without sin cast the first stone. ny patriot at 1:13 PM
Be happy to. Just stand still for a moment.
If you saw those girls on the streets... you would quickly cross the steet. ny patriot at 1:32 PM
Because they got game or because you're afraid of African-American women? Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the racist Inmus meant "nappy" = "diaper" = "do-rag", not short curly hair.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on April 10, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

In about a week from now most Americans will have already forgotten about the whole ordeal as they are more interested in the Anna Nicole saga or what celebrity will make a complete arse of themself.

Posted by: n0rd1x on April 10, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Imus moves product. End of story. Posted by: Hoyt Pollard

Do we know this for sure? I don't think I've ever seen anything that convinces me that there is a direct correlation between ratings, advertising and product/services sales.

Other that, Imus is an asshole.

Posted by: JeffII on April 10, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Imus is the last person on earth who should be criticizing anyone else's hairstyle.

That loser needs a haircut.

Posted by: NSA Mole on April 10, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

What Somerby said (and Mike, you're missing his point--read past the phrase you quoted).

And I keep forgetting to compliment grape crush on "right-whinger."

Posted by: shortstop on April 10, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

ny patriot: "Get off your high horse chauncey. Let he without sin cast the first stone."

No high horse required. I have no idea what you hold up as an example of female athleticism, but the fact that Rutgers made it into the championship tells you pretty much about their athletic ability. What their hairstyles have to do with anything -- other than providing a window into your bigotry -- is beyond me.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 10, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

See a tongue-in-cheek visual of Imus and his newfound buddy, Michael Richards, hanging out and counting sheep...here:

www.thoughttheater.com

Posted by: Daniel DiRito on April 10, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

"If you saw those girls on the streets in Newark or Patterson or Jersey City you would quickly cross the steet."

Indeed, I might. If I were bigoted & jumped to unwarranted conclusions.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 10, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I think Imus, Savage, Beck, Rush, Coulter, et. al are all there to bring solace to the class of white males who think that they do not have the privileges that their color and gender are supposed to bring to them. Since this is a very large segment of the population, such entertainers will always exist.

Posted by: gregor on April 10, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

I will tell you an interesting story about the Rutgers women's basketball team. When I was attending Princeton in the early 1960s, I was a student athelete but I had no sport to play in the winter months. I was not interested in Men's basketball but I was friendly with the coach of the women's basketball team. To wit, we were drinking buddies.

We decided that I would travel with the team as an observer from the Junior class and the road games offered me a chance to get out of town and go elsewhere with my drinking buddy. We could, in theory, raise a ruckus in another city and it wouldn't affect us where we went to school. (I had been banned from several watering holes by this point.)

After a game in which, I believe there was a grand total of 46 points scored--that's both teams for the two halves and even one overtime--we waited for the team to finish showering, got them to their hotel, and we went for drinks at a place called the Pelican Bar & Lounge, not far from the campus.

Suffice it to say, this was the watering hole used by the Rutgers women's basketball team. Not only did they drink us under the table and throw a bartender into a snowbank, they took my clothes and left me chained to a parking meter. Fortunately, a police sergeant found me, gave me a ride to the bus station, got me a change of clothes, and I was on a bus home in a matter of hours.

My friend? I have never heard from him nor seen him sense. I believe they either still have him, trussed up as a human love slave or he may be--over forty years later--still waiting for me at the hotel.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone notice in the transcript of the offending comments that it was his sycophantic sidekick who first used the word "ho's"? How come he gets to skate?

Imus appeals to the frat-boy mentality that advertisers salivate over; that's why he's still on the air. I think most of his listeners probably secretly -- or even publicly -- loved those offensive remarks. So he'll apologize because his corporate masters tell him so -- they don't want to fire him, because of the bucks he brings in -- and everybody will move on. Disgusting, but true.

Posted by: sullijan on April 10, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

you ever been on a subway late at night chauncey? or for that matter in the afternoon just after schools let out? you ever been north of 96 street after 10pm chauncey? hell, for that matter Times Square. Or have you ever made a wrong turn and found yourself in downtown Newark Chauncey?

and yet I'm still referring to women.

i think you might not be as brave as you think you are.

Posted by: ny patriot on April 10, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Imus news - his meet with Rutgers BB team is to be in front of live audience, on pay-per-view. Katie Couric is fighting like a "nappy headed ho" to be moderator.

Posted by: lk on April 10, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

"To watch a women's soccer, field hockey, or lacrosse game is to watch a field of white, pony tailed, blonde from a bottle suburbanites."

Might just be a moment in time. A colleague's daughter got a big scholarship to a US college (we're Canucks), and I asked how. She said something about Title VII (?) and equal gender opportunity in athletics in universities. Her daughter played soccer around Toronto. It turns out there weren't enough soccer programs in the US at the time to meet the demand for high-calibre females in universities, so they turned northward.

But you have to expect that programs will build up in the States, or have long since done so. Now why they don't get established in innner-city areas, that's a whole different question.

Posted by: Bob M on April 10, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, everybody's favorite "lawyer," is now signing himself "ny patriot" because he wants to make comments like the above without standing behind them? And I didn't think it was possible to respect him less...

Posted by: shortstop on April 10, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK
Mike, you're missing his point….shortstop at 2:02 PM
Bob was speaking ironically, but I don't think this is an issue that should be glided over with snark nor one that has reverberates to election coverage. Granted most Imus defenders are certainly part of good ol' boy network but this is a different issue.

Here's some more Imus and his Cardinal Egan @ work.

No doubt it's funny if you wear a sheet down the street at night.

Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Is Imus even on the air in Chicago?

He seems to be an East Coast phenomenon, or something.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on April 10, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

OK guys, I am going to wade in in support of Imus. NOT of his comments on the Rutgers womens basketball team -- they were asinine and cruel and he deserves to apologize.

BUT Imus is not all about tearing others down. He conducts some very interesting and extended interviews, usually genuinely listens to his guests' views, and makes some very intelligent observations on occasion. Also some curmudgeonly comments and the very occasional downright awful statement. (He can be an equal opportunity jerk, not specifically a racist.)

He also provides an edgy, challenging morning show on MSNBC that is a welcome alternative to the fluff on Today and the other networks. This morning he spent about 10+ minutes with Bill Maher discussing Bush administration (worst president ever -- which virtually no other news-oriented program will let you state on the record) and current politics.

Imus needs to apologize -- and did so, and the suspension is appropriate. And he needs to NEVER make any similar comments.

Last: being lectured by Al Sharpton about slandering others has to be its own punishment from hell.

(Also, the Rutgers team was awesome at the press conference. Talk about a team that's going to find a lot more fans following it next season.)


Posted by: Grace on April 10, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Bob M -
Title IX is a federal law in the United States that's a perfect example of how good intentions can turn disastrous. Among much else, it requires in effect that colleges offer equal numbers of athletic scholarships to males and females. The problem is that at a typical college which plays the sport, the football team may have over 100 (male) students on scholarship. Finding enough female sports scholarships to offset this number, while keeping the total number of scholarships reasonable, is very difficult. What happens all too often is that many so-called minor men's sports such as wrestling and track have to be dropped.

Posted by: Peter on April 10, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

"you ever been on a subway late at night chauncey? or for that matter in the afternoon just after schools let out? you ever been north of 96 street after 10pm chauncey? hell, for that matter Times Square. Or have you ever made a wrong turn and found yourself in downtown Newark Chauncey?"

Nice. How far do you want to stretch your context in order to erase your prejudices from the conversation?

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 10, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Peter,

I do not believe that Title IX requires equal number of scholarships as much as it requires participation in athletics to reflect the makeup of the student body. The NCAA limits football to 85 scholarships spread over five years. the NCAA allows the women's basketball team to be bigger than the men's team.

One of the more interesting effects of Title IX is that every walk-on football player creates the need for for a matching varsity female athlete. Thus, college had to create teams such as crew that has over 40 members to offset the football team. Oklahoma tried to count its competative cheerleading team as a sports team but the Clinton Justice Department rule that cheerleading is not a sport.

Title IX has been a boom for the suburban white female athlete because schools all over the contry now have women's field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, crew, volleyball, and softball teams.

Posted by: superdestroyer on April 10, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Oklahoma tried to count its competative cheerleading team as a sports team but the Clinton Justice Department rule that cheerleading is not a sport.

I had a great joke about "contact sport" and "pep talk" and "Clinton refused to wear pants" but I lost the plot...

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Oklahoma tried to count its competative cheerleading team as a sports team but the Clinton Justice Department rule that cheerleading is not a sport."

The Bush administration, however, waived tuition, room, & board for Senator Inhofe.

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on April 10, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

The Imus show says a lot about the degradation of the news business. Russert and Matthews and the rest of the crew yukking it up on a show like Imus is really undignified. These are the same people who talk and write about how juvenile bloggers are. Go figure.

Posted by: Chrissy on April 10, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Kevin. I have never understand the Imus phenom, or why he is constantly courted by the powerful. "Selling product" isn't a sufficient explanation -- what you gain in book sales you lose in reputation being seen with a bigot.

It's quite interesting though how this story brings out all the racists in the comments. It's good to know which idiots to add to my filter.

Posted by: Disputo on April 10, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, everybody's favorite "lawyer," is now signing himself "ny patriot" because he wants to make comments like the above without standing behind them?

With moderation comes sock-puppetry. They're like roaches.

Posted by: Disputo on April 10, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Having been in a few law firms with senior elite lawyers, I found the sentiments of Imus about Blacks tracked closely the opinions prevailing inside the firms, but in the latter case expressed in euphemisms with care, with the exception of a few of the most senior attorneys, who would let loose with the "N" bomb in close company. We need to be reminded that racism is not all that far from the surface in some polite quarters as well as among the double-digit IQs.

Posted by: biosparite on April 10, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm, I agree with Kevin on so much, but not here. I don't find the Imus controversy interesting, I find it enraging. Gwen Ifill has really hit it on the head on how disgusting and revolt his comments are. This is an intersection of racial bias and sexist baggage. I didn't see the women's NCAA final, but I just glimpsed the Rutgers' team press conference: only an individual with a racist and sexist predisposition could have come up with that description for the team. They are a polished group of women with a class act coach and they recognize the racist and sexist underpinnings of Imus' comment. I am grateful that they are taking umbrage on behalf of all women who are -- or should be -- offended by Imus' "joke."

Posted by: BEmama on April 10, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Selling product" isn't a sufficient explanation -- what you gain in book sales you lose in reputation being seen with a bigot. Posted by: Disputo

Apparently not, as a lot of big names in infotainment appear on his show, Scarborough, Hannity & Colmes, etc., etc. time and again.

"Nappy-headed hos," as was made clear on an NPR segment last night, is just the latest example of Imus making bigoted/racist remarks on his program.

Posted by: JeffII on April 10, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

I will tell you an interesting story about the Rutgers women's basketball team. When I was attending Princeton in the early 1960s, I was a student athelete but I had no sport to play in the winter months. I was not interested in Men's basketball but I was friendly with the coach of the women's basketball team. To wit, we were drinking buddies.

Norman Mitty - when attempting to regale us with your "stories," please do a modicum of fact-checking before making them up.

Fact is, Princeton didn't have a women's basketball team in the early 1960s. Or mid 1960s. Or late 1960s.

The Princeton women's basketball team didn't start until the 1971-1972 season.

Nice try, loser.

Seriously, if you're going to be a witty troll, get your facts straight.

Posted by: NSA Mole on April 10, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Princeton didn't have a women's basketball team in the early 1960s

Nor, for that matter, did Rutgers have a team until 1974.

http://www.scarletknights.com/basketball-women/history/history.asp

Posted by: aretino on April 10, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

"Title IX has been a boom for the suburban white female athlete because schools all over the contry now have women's field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, crew, volleyball, and softball teams."

Couldn't happen to nicer people. But it would be great if other people, like urban parents, developed programs for their kids, so that scholarships could flow to them, too.

It's easily doable. Probably being done, even. I know nothing of the area, but I do think that living dead guy would probably just sneer at it.

Posted by: Bob M on April 10, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop on April 10, 2007 at 2:02 PM:

And I keep forgetting...

Thanks, but I can't take credit for the phrase; apparently it's slAnglo-speak for 'having a good, whiny cry'...later adopted as an identifier for conservatives everywhere...

Posted by: grape_crush on April 10, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

and if you had known that over the past 5 years more than several players from the Rutgers Women's Basketball team have either been suspended from the team or expelled from school for conduct that would be unfitting for a prison let alone a state univeristy.

That's a harsh accusation to throw out casually. You have a responsibility to be more specific and substantiate what you say.

Posted by: aretino on April 10, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

If baseball is any indication, sports other than basketball will become more white, not less. The Washington Post had a article about how many of the baseball teams at HBCU's are not majority white with the infielders and pitchers being white while the outfielders are black.

If you look at what it takes to be a college cheerleader, it is definitely the domain of the upper middle clas white female. Who else takes 12 years of dance classes?

Posted by: superdestroyer on April 10, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

I am stunned how little the posters--including Mr. Drum--actually know about what occurs on the Imus show. He is frequented by many members of the elite media because his show is a place where they can often have lengthy, substantive discussions about the subjects they report on. Imus conducts some of the best interviews on TV.

On the other hand, his show ALSO partakes in often crude, adolescent humor in which he routinely denigrates people. I haven't noticed his viciousness focusing upon any particular group. I agree with one poster concerning his treatment of Contessa Brewer. I thought it was disgraceful, and I'm a fan of the show.

So, the show is a really weird hybrid of "Meet the Press" and "Animal House."

Finally, one post provides a link to someone who claims he worked on the show and offers inside info. This guy is an idiot. Anyone who refers to the Imus Ranch as Imus's personal "crib", as though it were some penthouse apartment he visits to chill out in disqualifies himself from offering serious commentary on this subject. Imus suffers from emphysema and yet spends several weeks a year at the 5000 ft+ elevation ranch helping kids with cancer. The thin air often requires him to use an oxygen mask. Criticize the guy if you like--there are certainly grounds. But on this issue Imus is one of the good guys.

Posted by: Tom on April 10, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

So, the show is a really weird hybrid of "Meet the Press" and "Animal House." Posted by: Tom

As Meet The Press is none too substantive any more, what's your point?

Posted by: JeffII on April 10, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

If baseball is any indication, sports other than basketball will become more white, not less. The Washington Post had a article about how many of the baseball teams at HBCU's are now majority white with the infielders and pitchers being white while the outfielders are black.

On the other hand, you have football, which over the past few decades has become a largely black sport. The NFL is about 70% black, almost as high a percentage as the stereotypically black NBA. Some major college football programs aren't far behind. Many people might not realize that the NFL is as heavily black as it is because the highest-profile position, quarterback, is still predominately white.

MLB's declining percentage of blacks is largely counterbalanced by the influx of Latin American players. It's somewhat misleading because a good percentage of the Latin players are themselves black, in biological if not cultural terms.

The only major sport in which the percentage of black athletes has declined appears to be boxing, in the heavier weight divisions, what with the influx of Russian and Eastern European fighters. Boxing's slumping popularity in the United States is undoubtedly a factor too. There also are fewer blacks on the PGA Tour than in the past generation, but the numbers are too small to draw any real conclusions.

Posted by: Peter on April 10, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is that at a typical college which plays the sport, the football team may have over 100 (male) students on scholarship.

You're right. That is a problem.

Posted by: thersites on April 10, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

biosparite on April 10, 2007 at 3:29 PM

I find a lot of the same in many places.

However, isn't the language that Imus actually used really common in pop culture now? Doesn't it sell CDs? Doesn't equivalent language about white males help draw advertising to web pages? What used to be locker room language has become public discourse in the cheap media.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 10, 2007 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Don Imus is talking like he and the rest of MSNBC staff talk at their country clubs, golf courses and Klan meetings.
MSNBC has been trying to introduce Klanspeak for years.
It is the normalization of racism that is the goal.
After the symbolic two week suspension, Imus will return and MSNBC will still refuse to hire any "Nappy Headed" people.
That is their policy with no hint of changing

Posted by: Turd Furguson on April 10, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

So this "Norman Rodgers" has just completely MADE SHIT UP? Talking about the thuggery of the early 60s Rutgers womens hoops team when said team did not EXIST til 1974...Presumably Kevin will ban this guy forever, after he's so conclusively demonstrated that he has no interest in good-faith debate, right?

Posted by: nick on April 10, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

As offensive as Imus may be, such comments should come as no surprise to viewers of MSNBC. In fact, one need only to tune into Chris Matthews to get their daily dose of misogyny.
And while Chris Matthew’s personal pre-historic view of women is so well-documented and offered as “fact” (”uppity”, “militant”, etc.) it is furthered echoed by his guests like Mike Barnicle and Andrew Sullivan (”Hillary gives me cooties!”). Further, whenever a guest dares to point out Matthew’s prejudice, the guest usually finds him/her self attacked by Matthews (”I don’t like hearing this pro-woman chivalry from you!”). And Carlson? Well, what can you say about Carlson that hasn’t been said already.
Scarborough and Olbermann are the only two at MSNBC who treat women in an egalitarian manner.
The Three Stooges and their He-Man-Women-Haters-Club are alive and well at MSNBC. And it ain’t only Imus who’s a member.

Posted by: JoeCHI on April 10, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

The only major sport in which the percentage of black athletes has declined appears to be boxing, in the heavier weight divisions

Some sportwriter somewhere (no link, no quote, maybe ESPN or SI?) recently said that the black youths who would aspire to be heavyweight fighters a generation or two ago are now all becoming middle linebackers. Sounds pretty on the beam to me, for what little I know about demographic trends in participatory sports for kids.

Posted by: ThresherK on April 10, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

About Imus himself, I've only heard him a few times and he's always struck me as just a standard issue shock jock. In other words, pretty uninteresting to anyone over the age of 18 or with an IQ in triple digits.

Standard issue shock jock? Maybe in 1975.

The stable of regular Imus guests today includes a Who's Who of American political, journalistic and literary glitterati. Regular guests include Jeff Greenfield, John Meecham, Chris Dodd, Harold Ford, Jr., John McCain, John Kerry, Doris Kearns-Goodwin, Mike Wallace, Michael Beschloss, Bill Richardson, Tom Brokaw, James Carville, Howard Freeman, Howard Kurtz, Mary Matalin, Jonathan Alter, Andrea Mitchell, Tim Russert, Dan Rather, Chris Matthews...

In other words, the show's focus is a discussion of books, current events and politics. In its conspicuous avoidance of lesbian midget wrestlers and flatulence contests, Imus in the Morning very definitely targets the over eighteen crowd.

I don't think all of Imus's schtick is that funny, although some of it is. I love the way he brings the high and mighty down to size ("Senator, what are you, drunk?!"). This country's powerful figures rarely face the withering criticism or the "in your face" harsh skepticism that Don Imus, bless him, brings to the table.

I think one his problems is that it's simply a lot more difficult to shock any more, and so the humor on the show (to the extent that humor is sometimes still a focus) tends to reach for forbidden fruit: that which in most venues in the US is politically incorrect, and therefore verboten; hence the show's reliance on "naughty" labeling and stereotyping of blacks, Catholics, Jews, gays, Hispanics, conservatives, liberals, and just about everything else under the sun.

Do I think Imus is a racist in the sense that he personally possesses racial animus in his heart? No, I genuinely do not. Do I think he's incredibly insensitive in the sense that he doesn't give a damn whether the show's words sometimes give great offense or even deeply hurt innocent people? You betcha. Without a doubt this is not one of Imus's most endearing qualities.

My guess is he'll survive this latest episode, but it's a close call, and his show will definitely have to change. That's too bad, really, because although some targets who don't deserve the show's stupid, neanderthalesque jokes will benefit, others who most definitely deserve everything they get -- the aforementioned "high and mighty" -- will become a little bit higher and mightier as Imus tones down his act.

Posted by: Jasper on April 10, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

In her work "Misogynies," Joan Smith alleges that "misogyny wears many guises, reveals itself in different forms which are dictated by class, wealth, education, race, religion and other factors, but its chief characteristic is its pervasiveness."

How true. It is pervasive, and, sadly, reflects values. There's Don Imus, egged on by Bernard McGuirk, saying the unforgiveable... I was horrified, and saw it the day it occurred as I channel-surfed, awaiting the 7 A.M. Washington Journal on Cspan.

Another thing I have noticed is that Imus has had noticeable and significant word-finding difficulties, and at times can barely put together a coherent sentence.
That outfit on Imus in the Morning has had a lengthy history of insulting and degrading people.
It is undignified and intolerable-- the whole bunch of them must go.
Recall Howard Cosell was fired after saying , "Look at that monkey go," as an African American punt returner ran to the goal line. And that was years ago. I can think of other examples but don't want to post selfishly and make this long.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 10, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is that at a typical college which plays the sport, the football team may have over 100 (male) students on scholarship.

You're right. That is a problem. Posted by: thersites

Why is it a problem? You don't think the scholarship money comes from the university? Football, at least at major schools, funds itself and typically funds the entire women's athletic program, as none of their sports come close to drawing enough paying spectators to break even, as well as funding a lot of third-tier men's sports like cross-country running.

While there's lots to be said about the evils of the sports programs at large universities, that they are a financial drain on the university isn't one of them.

Posted by: JeffII on April 10, 2007 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers is a genius! You all just don't know great art when you see it.

Posted by: kc on April 10, 2007 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Imus is a neanderthal and well-worth ignoring. That said, he usually picks on people in power, people who have agreed to be a target of public discussion. As the press conference today, those Rutgers players looked like the hard working young women they are. Imus picked on basically powerless college students because they were young, female and they were African American. That's unforgivable in my view.

Full disclosure: I take my 7 year old son to Rutgers women's basketball games and he thinks those girls are heroes. He's right. I'll take my kid's view over Imus any day.

Posted by: Stacy on April 10, 2007 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

"Presumably Kevin will ban this guy forever"

Oh, no Nick. Don't ban Mrs. Rogers little boy Norman. It is a side hobby of mine to track the stats of his star-spangled life but only the ones he himself has typed. Excuse me while I add a new Norman Fact to my Fat Chic Diary....

"When I was attending Princeton in the early 1960s...."

The list to date: Norman is a self-proclaimed wealthy thin generous Paula-shagging finance playa’ from Princeton in deck shoes who sails.

Posted by: Zit on April 10, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

His remarks and nasty presentation really had the feel of white supremacist woman hater. Imus is always very rude with the rotund sportscaster, and makes fun of his weight and the size of his head. Awful. They showed highlights and foul shots by Rutgers, then the shit hit the fan.
Part of me thought later that Imus would not have recalled the words "nappy headed hoes" if Bernard McGuirk had not prompted him. McGuirk is the worst of the bunch--I have frequently heard him use racially charged insults, especially about Arabs. And yes, I too have heard "jigaboo" --- which is shocking. It is like they run this plantation courtesy of MSNBC.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 10, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Imus in the Morning has a long history of racist, sexist smears. Take the show off the air.

Jus a few snips from Media Matters... you can find more.

March 16:

...MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, executive producer Bernard McGuirk, performing as his character "Cardinal Egan," said that "the whole nation is talking about" reports of a "young colored fellah pretty much deckin' the old bag from New York and takin' away some of her money." McGuirk continued: "I'm speaking, of course, about [Sens.] Barack Obama [D-IL] and Hillary Clinton [D-NY]."....
As Media Matters for America has noted, McGuirk has previously referred to Obama as having a "Jew-hating name" and has called Clinton a "bitch" and said, in reference to her March 4 speech in Selma, Alabama, that she "will have cornrows and gold teeth before this fight with Obama is over."
March 27:
MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, former Imus sports announcer Sid Rosenberg appeared on the program and referenced a story in the New York Daily News headlined "Serena Shocked by Racist Heckler." ...
Rosenberg's joke appeared to be a reference to racially insensitive remarks he made in June 2001 about Williams and her sister, Venus, both of whom are African-American. According to a November 20, 2001, Newsday article, Rosenberg said on the air: "One time, a friend, he says to me, 'Listen, one of these days you're gonna see Venus and Serena Williams in Playboy.' I said, 'You've got a better shot at National Geographic.'" Rosenberg also referred to Venus Williams as an "animal." A June 18, 2001, New York Times article (subscription required) on Rosenberg's remarks noted that host Don Imus subsequently "fired him, but he reversed himself and rehired Mr. Rosenberg after the sports commentator apologized on the air."
Nonetheless, on the November 12, 2004, edition of Imus in the Morning, Rosenberg referred to Palestinians as "stinking animals" and said, "They ought to drop the bomb right there, kill 'em all right now," as Media Matters for America documented. On November 29, 2004, MSNBC offered an apology for those remarks....
In May 2005, Rosenberg was once again fired from Imus in the Morning, this time for comments about singer Kylie Minogue, who had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. According to a May 25, 2005, New York Post article, Rosenberg said: "She won't look so pretty when she's bald with one [breast]." ...
Offend and apologize, offend and apologize appears to be a regular enabling pattern for Imus in the Morning. No one is exempt from their racial insults including CBS:
As the Forward newspaper reported in a December 8 online article, Don Imus referred to the "Jewish management" of CBS Radio as "money-grubbing bastards" on the November 30 broadcast of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning. Imus was discussing a past conflict with his bosses about hosting the musical group the Blind Boys of Alabama. Executive producer Bernard McGuirk asked, "Even if you wear a beanie, how can you not love the Blind Boys?" Imus continued, "I said, 'They're handicapped, they're black, and they're blind. How do we lose here?' And then a light bulb just went off over [the managers'] scummy little heads." CBS Radio owns WFAN, the New York station that is the flagship for Imus' radio show.
I doubt that moderators here at PA would let the kinda racial, sexist puke that Imus in the Morning regurgitates remain undeleted.

Where are the apologies for all the other racial, sexist tripe the show has produced for years? Oh, apologies will be issued and then, if history is any indicator, Imus will fall off the wagon again.

Suspension for two weeks is ridiculous. Imus pollutes the air waves -- air waves owned by the American public -- and the show deserves to have its sponsors disappear to hopefully hasten its demise.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 10, 2007 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Fabulous job, Apollo 13.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 10, 2007 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Suspension for two weeks is ridiculous. Imus pollutes the air waves -- air waves owned by the American public...

Apollo 13: Ten million people apparently disagree with you every morning. Why are you so eager to tell them what they can and cannot listen to? If Imus violates any FCC regulations -- if he, say, utters expletives or exposes himself (heaven forbid!) on MSNBC, he ought to be fined just like anybody else. But subject matter and content, thank God, are still not the purview of the FCC. Let all those who don't want to listen to Imus simply change the fucking station, and let the rest of us enjoy him in peace. We really don't need censorship.

Posted by: Saturn 5 on April 10, 2007 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ten million people apparently disagree with you every morning. Posted by: Saturn 5

Fucking sad, innit? And we wonder why we have the government we do. America - land of the dumb, fat and happy.

Posted by: JeffII on April 10, 2007 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Hubby and I switch channels as we get ready for work in the morning, our daily routine. We both noticed that Imus seems most interested in not ending his career on this note. As someone in the psychiatric field, I understand this: The agony of regret, what will wake him in the middle of the night...how rumination may ultimately promote depression--especially in the geriatric adult.
MSNBC can no longer host this type of program.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 10, 2007 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Why are you so eager to tell them what they can and cannot listen to?

I'm not. You assumed as much. Freedom of speech also includes freedom to protest including the right to boycott sponsors for the stations they support. Not only can we switch the channel but we can inform the network why we are switching the channel. You don't like what I'm saying, then scroll on by.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 10, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

from Saturn 13: Ten million people apparently disagree with you every morning

I think that is irrelevant.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 10, 2007 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not. You assumed as much. Freedom of speech also includes freedom to protest including the right to boycott sponsors for the stations they support.

It is absolutely your right to boycott, and to urge advertisers to stop spending ad dollars -- fair enough. But surely you would admit such activity -- just like every such effort -- indeed constitutes an attempt to prevent customers who like a given product not to be able to listen to it. If you're not an Imus fan, wouldn't changing the station be a lot easier, and, in the bargain, include the benefit of not forcing your tastes on your fellow citizens?

Fucking sad, innit? And we wonder why we have the government we do. America - land of the dumb, fat and happy.

Not sure what you mean by this. If Imus had had his way John Kerry would have defeated George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney would now be on trial for war crimes. Oh, and Harold Ford would now be a United States senator.

Posted by: Saturn 5 on April 10, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

I think that is irrelevant.

I think your taste in morning radio is irrelevant. Just as, by the way, you (I hope) think mine. The difference of course, is that I'm not trying to tell you what you can and can't listen to.

Posted by: Saturn 5 on April 10, 2007 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Staples and Bigelow Tea pulled their advertisements. This is a quite a significant development.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 10, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

But surely you would admit such activity -- just like every such effort -- indeed constitutes an attempt to prevent customers who like a given product not to be able to listen to it.

No, other venues are possible such as the Internet. Pornography has no problem reaching its customers. Neither would Imus.

If you're not an Imus fan, wouldn't changing the station be a lot easier, and, in the bargain, include the benefit of not forcing your tastes on your fellow citizens?

When other venues are available, I am not forcing my taste on to my fellow citizens. By your reasoning -- that it would be easier to just change stations -- I suppose it would have been a lot easier for Rosa Parks to sit at the back of the bus than to take a stand against racism.

Where are you on taking a stand against racism and sexism? Do you condone Imus' history of sexist and racist remarks? And why is that?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 10, 2007 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Watch the faces of the Rutgers women and see what is relevant.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 10, 2007 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

I like how wingnuts are now relegated to arguing that racism is just another lifestyle choice.

Posted by: Disputo on April 10, 2007 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, regarding this... the benefit of not forcing your tastes on your fellow citizens...

What kind of taste do these citizens have? Define their taste for me. Hmmm?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 10, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Methinks that Imus will be shown the door. Olbermann was just on, bashing him on having issues with NBC's coverage, and talking about how companies are pulling advertising.

Posted by: Tony Shifflett on April 10, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Saturn, you can allege that this is about free speech. That is your right, kind of a cop out, but your perogative.
These are student athletes.
Very young women. Just out of high school. And victimized.
The people on Imus in the Morning are all middle aged Causasian men. And now Imus is acting like a victim. Follow the story and see for yourself.
The comments were over the top, racially disparaging, and derogatory towards females.. It was like plantation row. Putting new meaning to white supremacy and degradation.
Sorry, that is the truth. I saw the segment myself. I happened to see it on television, waiting for Cspan. It is tough watching reruns of Bush, or book tv on Cspan, as I await Cspan's Washington Journal. So what.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 10, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

In the words of the immortal Woody Guthrie:

I'm gonna tell all you fascists you may be surprised
The people in this world are getting organized
You're bound to lose, you fascists are bound to lose

Race hatred cannot stop us this one thing I know
Your poll tax and Jim Crow and greed have got to go
You're bound to lose, you fascists bound to lose

All of you fascists bound to lose
You fascists bound to lose
All of you fascists bound to lose
You fascists bound to lose
You're bound to lose! You fascists!
Bound to lose

People of every colour marching side by side
Marching 'cross these fields where a million fascists died
You're bound to lose, you fascists bound to lose

I'm going into this battle, and take my union gun
We'll end this world of slavery before this battle's won
You're bound to lose, you fascists bound to lose

Posted by: Disputo on April 10, 2007 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK
It is absolutely your right to boycott, and to urge advertisers to stop spending ad dollars -- fair enough. But surely you would admit such activity -- just like every such effort -- indeed constitutes an attempt to prevent customers who like a given product not to be able to listen to it.

No, it doesn't. The audience of a free-to-listen broadcast outlet aren't customers, and the broadcast isn't a product.

The advertisers are the customers, and the audience is the product that is being sold. The content of the broadcast is simply the means of gathering the product and delivering it to the customer.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 10, 2007 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

The part I've never gotten is how his show became such a magnet for celebrities and serious politicians of all stripes. What's the story behind that? I

Try harder

Posted by: Horatio Parker on April 10, 2007 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Fact is, Princeton didn't have a women's basketball team in the early 1960s. Or mid 1960s. Or late 1960s.

The Princeton women's basketball team didn't start until the 1971-1972 season.

Oh, indeed they did. I want to introduce you sleuths to a word that should have resonance with anyone who has ever gone to a college or university:

Intramural.

A snippet from a description of Title IX:

Nonetheless, the existence of active women's competitions in a variety of sports supported the growth of a women's athletic association in the AIAW. This association emerged from the development of women's collegiate programs in the 1950s and 1960s, and it provided a structure for competition and standardized rules for women. The NCAA, however, showed little interest in women's sports until the late 1970s.

Women, did indeed play basketball in those days--the fact that the NCAA did not begin to recognize and serve as the governing body of those sports is irrelevant.

It's as if you people think the Internet has all of the answers when those of us, ummmmm, who actually have done something with our lives know damned well how foolish you look.

Thank you and good night.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK
…what they can and cannot listen to?…Saturn 5 at 7:26 PM
There is no First Amendment right to racist hate speech. People like Imus, Glen Beck, Savage, Hannity, O'Reilly, Coulter, and hundreds of others indulge in personal attacks, hate speech and smear&lies on a daily basis and the public has no recourse as long as they don't use FCC banned language. All of these people are serial offenders. It's about time one pays the price.
language that Imus actually used really common in pop culture now?…MatthewRMarler at 4:58 PM
Is pop culture your standard? Are general references the same as calling a specific group young women whores?

It was announced on Olbermann today that Imus is losing advertisers: Staples and Bigelow Tea are withdrawing their sponsorship and supposedly some others are shakey.
Imus has complained about an interview on NBC trying to claim victimhood. Yeah, right.

As for his charity, it serves 100 kids at a cost of 2.6 Mil per year.

The Rutgers Basketball team was on TV. They look like typical group of attractive young American women.

Posted by: Mike on April 10, 2007 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Some sportwriter somewhere (no link, no quote, maybe ESPN or SI?) recently said that the black youths who would aspire to be heavyweight fighters a generation or two ago are now all becoming middle linebackers. Sounds pretty on the beam to me, for what little I know about demographic trends in participatory sports for kids.

Makes sense. While it's certainly not easy to make it to the NFL, it's probably easier than making serious money as a boxer. And playing football can at least get you a college scholarship if you're fairly good. There's of course no equivalent in boxing.

Interestingly, although one of the factors cited as drawing interest away from boxing is the growth of mixed martial arts fighting such as the UFC, there aren't many blacks in MMA. Especially at the top levels it's basically a white sport, with some Japanese and Brazilians.

Posted by: Peter on April 10, 2007 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Interestingly, although one of the factors cited as drawing interest away from boxing is the growth of mixed martial arts fighting such as the UFC, there aren't many blacks in MMA. Especially at the top levels it's basically a white sport, with some Japanese and Brazilians.

We used to call this entering "The Octagon" and those were heady days. You would go overseas, somewhere like Singapore, Hong Kong, basically any dive in the Phillipines or Indonesia and an Octagon tournament would be organized. We'd fight for weeks at a time and then it took roughly a year to recover from the competition. I was not a bad fighter in those days--I never won, but I never died, let's put it that way. I did take a Filipino man and accidentally impale him on a broom handle in one of the seedier tournaments, but he lived. I think this type of fighting has come into the mainstream now--with the kicks and the leaps and the devastating throat punches.

Wait, no, that never happened--apparently, the Internet just told me we didn't ever do that in the early 1970s. My mistake.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2007 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

The audience of a free-to-listen broadcast outlet aren't customers, and the broadcast isn't a product.

Of course they're customers. They're consuming a product -- entertainment and news content -- being produced by a media company. They're just paying for it indirectly -- via the purchase of advertised goods and services -- instead of directly.

The comments were over the top, racially disparaging, and derogatory towards females.

I agree. But I also agree with millions of other listeners that most of the show is entertaining and informative. I also agree with millions of other listeners that Imus isn't a racist. He (or, more usually, Bernie McGerk) just on occasion uses language offensive to African Americans. Just like he on occasion uses language that's offensive to gays, or Republicans, or Hispanics, or Catholics (or lots of groups). I for one am glad we live in a country where offending people isn't illegal, nor is turning the dial to a more palatable station.

Posted by: Saturn 5 on April 10, 2007 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

The heavyweight to linebacker transition is exemplified by Ken Norton Sr, who beat Ali, and Ken Norton Jr., a Pro Bowler. Football is a hard game, but it's not as bad for you as heavyweight boxing. So, as African-Americans get better off economically, they are leaving boxing for football, and leaving the heavyweight ranks to really poor ex-Soviets.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on April 10, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

The heavyweight to linebacker transition is exemplified by Ken Norton Sr, who beat Ali, and Ken Norton Jr., a Pro Bowler. Football is a hard game, but it's not as bad for you as heavyweight boxing. So, as African-Americans get better off economically, they are leaving boxing for football, and leaving the heavyweight ranks to really poor ex-Soviets.

Sounds like a whole lot of nonsense, designed to further a bit of that whole eugenics/racism/white power point of view I enjoy decrying on these liberal blogs.

A word to you sir--there are members of the conservative establishment like myself who see you for what you are--race baiter, charlatan and fraud. Peddle these wares with care because you will not find common cause with a Republican like myself.

And--please, children. I will now explain something to you: the most dangerous sport in America is cheerleading.

Think of that the next time you denigrate President Bush.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2007 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

I say they fire Imus and replace him with Norman Rogers.

Posted by: Dan S. on April 10, 2007 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

I say they fire Imus and replace him with Norman Rogers.

Well, I wouldn't be a racist, I will tell you that.

The problem with the "radio" industry is that it has been killed by a man named Randy Michaels and a company called Clear Channel. Throughout this great nation, hundreds of radio stations now rebroadcast satellite and syndicated programming and where there used to be personalities, announcers, news readers, sports reporting and programming based on a localized situation there is now a single show being fed to stations and nothing is being served. This is where I wish liberals would get involved in the business world--their pathetic Air America notwithstanding--and I wish the FCC would ban what Michaels and Clear Channel have done to a once proud industry.

And, I'll tell you one more thing for free--radio is the ass end of the entertainment industry, not too far removed from puppet shows and giving cops hand jobs on hidden cameras.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 10, 2007 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

The transition from AIAW to NCAA governance has no bearing on when the Princeton and Rutgers women's basketball problems were founded. The NCAA didn't begin to run championships for women's sports until the 1981-1982 season. Both programs had existed for many years before then. This is simply an attempt to create confusion when the facts are quite clear. Princeton had no women's basketball program before 1971 under either the AIAW or the NCAA, and likewise Rutgers had no program before 1974.

Moreover, intramural does not mean "intercollegiate, but not prestigious." It means the competition takes place between teams from the same school.


Posted by: aretino on April 11, 2007 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

The saddest part of all of this is it attacked some very fine young women. I really thought they handled themselves well on and off the court. They were great at their press conference too. Hard not to cheer them on. Imus had no idea. He said a vapid and racist thing, rather than simply a vapid thing. He should have been fired for being vapid long ago, before he could insult good people specifically rather than just generally insult our intellect. Norm: agree with you on radio--one of your better posts. NPR is Clear Channel like too, unfortunately, but still has some redeeming qualities.

Posted by: Sparko on April 11, 2007 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

yeah, good point re "intramural", aretino--which leads us to a little advice for Norman:
When you get caught making stuff up, using a big word that you don't understand might not be the best strategy, you dipshit.

Posted by: nick on April 11, 2007 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

Princeton had no women's basketball program before 1971 under either the AIAW or the NCAA, and likewise Rutgers had no program before 1974.

Right. And women didn't play basketball at all at the college level? For your information, women started playing basketball in the late 19th century; every college had women who played and who organized and formed informal teams and leagues. If you can't find it on the Internet, though, I guess it never happened.

Moreover, intramural does not mean "intercollegiate, but not prestigious." It means the competition takes place between teams from the same school.

But I thought it meant an informal sports league or team not sanctioned by the University. Do you have any idea how much travel we did while playing sports in the Ivy League?

"Making stuff up" is the province of you losers. And I really did fight in the Octagon.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 7:55 AM | PERMALINK

NR -

Look, your dignity depends upon denying the plain facts at this point, so I'm not hopeful of making any progress. Still, there are other people here who may be interested to know that women's intercollegiate sports have not followed a straight and ever-ascending path. Schools that started sponsoring sports for women early in the 20th century largely stopped doing so over the next twenty years. Women's sports at the college level only began making a serious comeback in the 1960s.

As far as the Princeton women's basketball team is concerned, if the official schools records of the program will not suffice for you, then there is surely another consideration which will be decisive: I would like you explain how Princeton could have a women's basketball team in the early 1960s when they had no female undergraduates until 1969.

And please reflect upon the Latin roots in "intramural." Get back to us when you have the concept down.

Posted by: aretino on April 11, 2007 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

As far as the Princeton women's basketball team is concerned, if the official schools records of the program will not suffice for you, then there is surely another consideration which will be decisive: I would like you explain how Princeton could have a women's basketball team in the early 1960s when they had no female undergraduates until 1969.

Oh my good Lord, you're right! I must have been blacking out from the liquor...

I would wake up with the DTs in those days--the only exercise I ever got was the shakes--and I would hallucinate and scream numbers at the floor.

But I did fight in the Octagon--I have the carbuncle ear to prove it.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

snorting coffee again

Posted by: shortstop on April 11, 2007 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

JeffII; Football, at least at major schools, funds itself

Ummm...no, it doesn't in fact.

Unless you somehow think that all those compulsory fees collected are an example of self-funding.

There are subsidies from the general operating funds to the football programs to found at every level but most particularly at the the 'major schools'.

Rutger's recently partially de-funded its library's operating budget (cut staffing and hours of operation) to transfer that money to it's football program. Other examples abound.

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 11, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

OT:

bbc.com
Water detected on distant planet

Water has been detected for the first time in the atmosphere of a planet outside our Solar System.

The planet, known as HD 209458b, is a Jupiter-like gas giant located 150 light-years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus.

Okay, Mike Cook, that's


186,000 miles/second * 60 seconds/minute * 60 minutes/hour * 24 hours/day * 365 days/year = 5,865,696,000,000 miles/year X 150 = 879,854,400,000,000 miles

so you'd better get a move on with the FTL
drive...

We've just about used up this planet, time to go find another one. - Robert Heinlein

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 11, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks ny patriot.
Imus is a white man and in this phase of attack, he's toast.
The attack against him is malicious.
I heard the show last Wednesday. The attackers don't mention the Spike Lee movie. There was no spewing hatred, but don't worry, it's still safe to say anything about Muslims.
I want to know who manipulated the women on the Rutgers team. No one at that age can possibly come up with that type of rhetoric.
What saddened me was that these women were playing victim. That gets one nowhere.
The Imus Ranch operated during the summer for three months plus one spring go around.
The kids live in the house with them. The kids are normal for ten days.
About 700 kids have gone to the ranch. Not all are alive today.
We have to stop picking on each other. Next comes the violence.
By the way, Imus was yelling about the lack of research and attention paid to sickle cell anemia. He got no response. He is certainly getting a "response" from 3 words in the midst of a comedy routine.
When one person is shut up, none of us is free to speak.
I don't think this is about black and white. I think that Imus made a mistake that he has apologized for and that the attacks are about hatred.
We all live in a glass house.
I bet that someone else will be on the hot seat within a couple of months.
Oh, all the santimonious holier than thou folks have gotten on their soap boxes. They are having a field day.
For the rest of us, the warning is clear: don't EVER make a mistake.

Posted by: Maude on April 11, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, Maude.

Give it a rest. The man has spent the last thirty-odd years being a twit and an asshole for money. Not a bad gig if you can get it, but he's about as noble as a coked-up stooge can be.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry to rain on the party, but I am a faithful Imus viewer---and disagree with pretty much of what is said here.
Yes, his comments on the Rutgers players were highly inappropriate, but they were NOT typical.
I have seen no one yet make that case, other than through innuendo.
Taking on the "white" folks he takes on regularly--on veterans health, autism research, etc. is something we "liberals" ought to appreciate.
But we are too dumb to do that!.

Posted by: PaulD on April 11, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, his comments on the Rutgers players were highly inappropriate, but they were NOT typical.

You can read this article and then you can suck eggs, fool.

Sick Relationship: Media Stars, Racist Imus

By Philip Nobile

It is not David Remnick's style to play ball with bigots.

Remnick is the editor of The New Yorker, a biographer of boxer Muhammad Ali, a friend of the legendary writer Ralph Ellison and a race writer of deserved renown. You would not catch him accepting a book award from a lug like John Rocker, even if it carried a large cash prize. Hypothetically again, he would refuse to plug the 75th anniversary of his magazine on Rocker's radio show, despite an audience of millions.

But high-end media create unexpected bedfellows--including Remnick and Don Imus, the Rocker of morning radio and MSNBC, who makes routine sport of race, sex and physical minorities, while buying off powerful, straight white journalists with lavish national air time to sell themselves and their products.

Among the cream of the press who regularly beat a path to Imus' golden door are Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert, Dan Rather, Cokie Roberts, Howard Fineman, Frank Rich, Jonathan Alter and Jeff Greenfield.

Since Imus paid Remnick $50,000 last year under the cover of the Imus Book Award, Remnick is compromised more than his peers. Still, it behooves one to wonder why he stooped to appear on Imus' show last week. Surely he knows that Imus is a lowbrow smear artist--far closer to Roy Cohn than H.L. Mencken--who revels in speech that would be banned from The New Yorker.

Remnick would never print a David Denby review comparing "the gorilla special effects in Instinct" to "the starting line-up of the Knicks." Nor would he permit his tennis correspondent to call Amelie Mauresmo a "a big old lesbo"* or the Williams sisters "two booma-chucka, big-butted women" or an Indian men's doubles team "Gunga Din and Sambo." If Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker's press critic, handed in copy scorning sports columnist Bill Rhoden as a "New York Times quota hire,"* PBS anchor Gwen Ifill as a "cleaning lady,"* and Talk as a magazine for "liberal homosexuals,"* Remnick would suspend him on the spot and maybe recommend therapy. Yet all the vile words quoted above were broadcast via Imus in the Morning (the asterisks indicate emanations from the host himself).

Remnick may believe that his hands are clean because Imus was polite to him.

Wisely, Imus knocks off calling the Knicks "chest-bumping pimps" with C-SPAM's Brian Lamb and stifles lesbian references to Hillary Rodham Clinton with Doris Kearns Goodwin. But when the respectables are out of the room, the hoods are donned.

For example, within minutes of Remnick's guest shot, Imus ridiculed a cable commentator at the Westminster dog show as a homosexual, not once but twice, and kidded his producer's propensity to mock blacks, as in the jibe, go "make fun of more Negroes." But the latter remark was no mere jibe. In 1997, Imus carelessly told a 60 Minutes staffer off-mike that Bernard McGuirk, his program producer, was tapped to do "nigger jokes." Mike Wallace exposed this incriminating usage in his 60 Minutes profile. Trapped in a Mark Fuhrman moment, what did Imus do? He lied, that is, he denied the staffer's word. When Wallace redoubtably called Imus' bluff on camera, Imus partially relented, insisting that his remark was off the record but nonetheless failing to apologize.

Regrettably, last Tuesday in these pages Noel Rubinton missed the real story behind Imus' red-hot role in presidential politics, which is: How does a shock jock who says "nigger" in private and analogizes blacks to apes in public, get White House aspirants like Bill Bradley, John McCain, Al Gore and Alan Keyes eating from his unclean hands?

In fact, each of the above moral leaders were faxed transcripts of Imus' un-American utterances before recent appearances on the show. Yet none was deterred, not even Bradley who is running on his puffed-up race and gay-rights record. All politicians are reputed to be scoundrels. So they have found their scoundrel time on Imus in the Morning. Coincidentally, Newsday employs the only clear-eyed Imus critic in the press.

Les Payne, columnist and assistant managing editor, has consistently accused Imus of slinging night soil on the least of the brethren. After lampooning Rubinton's valentine last week, along with previous softcore tributes in The New Yorker and Newsweek, Imus rendered Payne a backdoor compliment. "Who's the racist guy out at Newsday who always is attacking me?" he said. "Les Payne. I much prefer his columns because he's a flat-out racist. The guy accuses me, of course, of being one.... The guy retains some dignity, even though they're essentially racist columns, not essentially, they are racist."

Being labeled a racist by the I-Man--how sweet the sound! Too bad Payne is the only journalist in America to hear it.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 11, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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