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Imus in the mourning

By Doug Thompson
April 9, 2007

In February 1999 Washington shock jock Doug Tracht brought his radio career crashing down when he commented about a song by black singer Lauryn Hill by saying “no wonder they drag them behind trucks,” a reference to the brutal murder of James Byrd by two white supremacists who killed the black man by dragging him behind a pickup.

Within 48 hours, Tracht – known as The Greaseman – found himself off the air, fired from endorsement gigs and an relieved of his duties as a voluntary deputy sheriff in Falls Church, VA.

It took years for Tracht to find another radio gig. He finally resurfaced on AM radio in Washington – a far cry from the days when Infinity radio broadcast him nationwide and paid him more than a million dollars a year.

Tracht went on what cynics called “an apology tour,” appearing with black leaders and ministers.” The apologies didn’t work.

It wasn’t the first time Tracht got into trouble for letting his mouth outrun his brain. On Martin Luther King’s birthday a few years earlier he wondered on air about “how many black civil rights leaders do we have to kill to get the whole week off.” That “slip of the tongue” cost him a suspension.

Tracht’s fast-talking repartee is part of his on air persona. Out of the studio the soft-spoken Tracht is nothing like The Greaseman. Close friends say he isn’t racist but does have a tendency to go over the top and says things for shock value – the modus operandi for a “shock jock.”

I don’t care for shock jocks and don’t waste my time listening to them. But I felt Tracht’s punishment went over the top just like his radio style.

040807imus.jpgI thought about Doug Tracht this weekend while reading and watching the uproar over another shock-jock — Don Imus (right) – and his poorly-chosen comments that the girls’ Rutgers basketball team was a collection of “nappy haired hos.”

The comments brought quick condemnations from black leaders and calls for his firing from the morning talk show he has hosted for 30 years.

“We were kidding around, but that doesn’t change it. That doesn’t make it any less repugnant,” Imus said Monday on his radio program, which is also simulcast on MSNBC. “I’m not a bad person. I’m a good person, but I said a bad thing. But these young women deserve to know it was not said with malice.”

Imus planned to appear later today on The Rev. Al Sharpton’s radio program today even though Sharpton is not backing down from his demand that CBS, which owns the radio station that hosts Imus’s program, and MSNBC fire him.

“Somewhere we must draw the line in what is tolerable in mainstream media,” Sharpton said Sunday. “We cannot keep going through offending us and then apologizing and then acting like it never happened. Somewhere we’ve got to stop this.”

Other black leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, have joined the chorus of calls for Imus’s ouster.

Imus has also asked to meet with the Rutgers players, their parents and the coaches.

“This is not going to be easy,” he said on his show Monday. “I’m not looking for it to be easy.”

When Doug Tracht was fired in 1999, some of his defenders wanted to know why he lost his job when other shock jocks like Howard Stern and Imus also have a history of uttering racist comments.

Stern has been suspended and fined for his comments, mostly those along sexual lines, but he left commercial radio for the censor-free haven of satellite broadcasting.

Imus has faced criticism before but escaped punishment. Some say it is because of his ratings and his powerful friends in political and broadcast circles – most of whom are regular guests.

But it is more than that. Imus can be crude and rude but he is that way with everybody. His gig is insulting people. He calls guests “idiots” and makes fun of religion, minorities and pompous politicians. No one escapes his wrath when he’s on a roll.

Like Tracht, Imus’s on air persona is just that – a persona. Off the air he devotes countless hours to helping raise money for children battling cancer, research in Sudden Death Infant Syndrome and other causes. His ranch in New Mexico, built largely through contributions from major corporations and promoted constantly on his radio show, provides a recreational environment for children with cancer.

This doesn’t excuse what he said and he admits that his comments were “stupid, disgusting and wrong.” He pledged Monday to make changes in his show’s format to reduce the level of insults.

He made a mistake, but so did Jesse Jackson when he called a area where Jews lived “hymietown.” Al Sharpton has called whites “honkies” and once said that most Southerners are “just a bunch of red-neck crackers who get drunk and kill black people.”

Racism is not limited to whites. Bigotry crosses ethnic boundaries.

Stupidity is universal. Forgiveness should be as well.

Let’s hope Don Imus learns from his mistakes and those who want his head on a platter give him a chance to prove he does.

52 Responses to Imus in the mourning

  1. Bruce

    April 9, 2007 at 11:12 am

    I’ve never listened to Imus and his ilk because of their negativity. These folks do not live in a vacuum, if there was not a vast audience out there that feeds on their crap, then they simply would not exist. Sadly, I see this as symptomatic of our culture, and something that makes us uncomfortable when it surfaces.

    My personal take is that moments like this, wisely used, allow each of us to reflect upon ourselves, and those that are in our lives. Only through reflection, insight, and resolve can we change this cancer within ourselves.

  2. Nigel

    April 9, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Say what you will but do you seen the Reichwingers making any apologies? Ann can make comments about gays. Rush can take trips that require lots of aid for his manhood. Why wasn’t Al demanding a full GPS track of Rush’s movements? McCain bounces more than a yo-yo and is a bubblegum machine.

    “This is not going to be easy,” he said on his show Monday. “I’m not looking for it to be easy.” Don Imus was honest and faced the music.

    Yes, the comments weren’t appropriate especially the other n word. But is there a web site listing what is the latest politically correct or incorrect words are? Watch Mississippi Marsala to see other culture’s cultural insensitivities.

  3. Darl Sabraw

    April 9, 2007 at 11:53 am

    My advice to the leaders of the black community is first clean the windows of your own glass house before throwing stones at mine. I lived in Compton, Ca. during my High School years through the 70’s and 80’s. The racial slurs were rampant. I’ve heard things growing up as a poor white boy in southern California’s black and hispanic neighborhoods (where I was most definately the minority) that I’ve never heard as an adult in predominantly white neighborhoods. Today, even quoting the lyrics of a Hip Hop song can get you branded as a white racist and fired. If you don’t like the names, don’t use them. The vast majority of people do not refer to themselves by the racial epithets that they decry the use of by others. I have never seen to white men refer to each other a Cracker or Honkie outside of a comedy club routine. And even that has ocassionally been called racist by the black community.

  4. Jim H.

    April 9, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Imus has always struck me as a weirdo, and one who flirts with the racism that his buddy McGurk gets into on a regular basis. He flirts with racist and sexist remarks, most of which he gets to slough off, because his political friends give him protection. Or at least, the fact that they appear on his show gives him some protection. If he stays, if he goes, I won’t cry for him. Next: Limbaugh! Oh, wait a minute, now there’s a shock jock with political friends.

    I’ve listened a lot to a guy like Chris Matthews, and as long as he doesn’t get into one of his crazy spots, he’s okay. But the subject of Hillary, for instance, makes him a blithering, sexist idiot. He doesn’t criticize what she runs on, he gets weirdly personal. One would almost think he has mommy issues, the way he goes on.

  5. california rick

    April 9, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    About six weeks ago, “Late Night TV’s Craig Fergeson” pledged never to say another mean “Britney” joke after the episode in went off the deep-end cutting her own hair and later getting a tatoo.

    Craig realized that the subject of his humor was not a well person and simply made a public statement that he WILL NOT be doing Britney jokes ever again (…or atleast until she gets healthier).

    Like Craig, Don Imus now must realize that his show must take a new direction. I hope that Mr. Imus is sincere in his show’s new direction.

    Only time will tell…

  6. AustinRanter

    April 9, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    I’ve watched Imus for years. I even consider myself somewhat of a fan of the show. I guess that I’m attracted to the program format more than Imus himself. Imus does have a lot of high profile politicians, entertainers, journalist, and etc. on the show.

    I don’t particularly like or condone a lot of Imus’ off-the-wall temper outburst, blatant disrespectful comments, his high-horse – my way or the highway attitude, and below-the-belt-punches he often perpetrates on his staff and guest …calling these punches “jokes”, puns, or some form of comedic act.

    HOWEVER…as much as I like the program format, I look at this infraction against the Rutgers’ basketball team not as an ordinary racial slur or an entertainment gimmick…but rather I see this as a growing ego and sense of personal power problem for Imus. I’ve seen him become more and more abrasive and throwing below-the-belt-punches with each passing year.

    Up until now…Imus saw himself as invincible, all-powerful, untouchable, and unstoppable. If one failed to believe that about Imus…all one would need to do is simply ask him. Howard Stern thought the same thing…but it cost him a bunch of money in fines and moving to a subscription radio format. Does he get big bucks…YOU BET, but does he have anywhere near the same size audience? Will satellite radio be able to afford Stern in the long-run?

    Is Imus a Good Man?

    It’s obvious that Imus does good things. He has a ranch for children with cancer. He often launches public and political interest in things like Autism that might not have otherwise been genuinely noticed. He was probably the single most influence in the money being raised for a much needed military rehab in San Antonio.

    Image for A Moment, If You Will….

    If I, during a conversation with someone who I consider to be a son-of-a-bitch, and I want to verbalize that and most likely get away with it…I call that person the name, then quickly follow-up with a hardy laugh and say, “Ohhhhhhhh, you know I was just kidding!” Not only did I get to call that person an SOB…but I got to commit a bald-face lie to them as well. My point is…Imus does exactly that on a daily basis…over and over and over again during the course of any given show. Why? Because he can…if there’s no consequence, why stop it?

    If Imus gets called on his insensitive and inappropriate behavior he often says, “Hey, I don’t discriminate, I attack everybody.” Unfortunately…as much as Imus claims that he is often hit with off-colored comments and remarks about him…he doesn’t allow equal time, if you will. He very quickly cuts his guest or staff off…in a blink of the eye if they play back too rough.

    Hmmmm, great…does that make his bitter and hard blows softer? Does his claims of making pun…really mean that he is? Does he have the right to say anything he wants about another person’s character, physical attributes, or beliefs without consequence? Imus has become a powerful money maker so his insults, disrespect, and his lack of civility is acceptable.

    Can you imagine going to a party where you know all who attends (friends, family, and acquaintances) and on a continuous basis during that party call the women “Ho” or “Stupid Bitch”…or men “Idiot Pussy” or “Ball-less Scumbag”. How about “Lazy Fat Pig”, or …your spouse is a Complete Moron Ass-Wipe, …yadda, yadda, yadda…the list goes on and on. Then when your friends had had enough of your insults…they asked you to stop or leave and you replied, “Hey, don’t get pissed, I say that to everybody! I was just kidding, being the life of the party.” Ohhhhhhhh, you say that to everybody, all the time…all day long to anybody you want to without repercussion or consequence?

    Better yet…go to your place of work…carry on like I framed your behavior at a party…see how long you’re employed.

    Hey…we live in a country with free speech, right?

    Think the First Amendment applies to this website? Ask Doug Thompson if Freedom of Speech is a given Reader Right on CHB? I think not.

  7. dougthompson

    April 9, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    AustinRanter writes:

    Think the First Amendment applies to this website? Ask Doug Thompson if Freedom of Speech is a given Reader Right on CHB? I think not.

    Freedom of speech is a right that a government can or cannot grant to its citizens. A web site is not a government. I do reserve, and sometimes exercise, the right to edit or delete posts and I have, in fact, deleted two posts on this thread that crossed the line by calling other posters names.

    –Doug

  8. AustinRanter

    April 9, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Doug,

    I agree with “your right” to do so…I personally won’t want it any other way.

    I just wanted to make the point that the freedom to say anything, anyplace, anytime…isn’t a luxury in every environment. Imus is disovering that point.

  9. Sandy Price

    April 9, 2007 at 2:31 pm

    You cannot label any of us here or on the radio as many have different definitions than you are accustomed to hearing. Kerry did some heavy work on several of Imus’s projects and he backed him for President. Imus is no neoconservative and has taken them to task many times.

    I wonder if many of you even watch or listen to him in the morning. Imus has two people that he throws barbs at; one is Dick Cheney and the other is Hillary Clinton. There is no need for labels on Imus as he is impossible to define.

  10. Joseph Jones

    April 9, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    I listen to Imus every day and have been doing so for some years now. I do not have any problem with Imus himself, and I do not think that he is racist. I get the distinct impression that his is primarily an act.

    I cannot say the same for the Bernard Mcguirk guy on the show. I find him digusting and a racist. He is also quite mean spirited and it shows. A review of the transcrip from this most recent incident shows that McGuirk was the first person to call the womwn “hos” Imus should have picked up on that and reprimanded McGuirk but he minlessly followed Mcguirk down the slippery slope. I do think that the person aho should be fired is McGuirk. I am black, and I have for some time now considered McGuirk to be an open racist and as I have previously stated an extremely mean person. He should have been kicked off the show a long time ago.

  11. Sandy Price

    April 9, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    I agree with you that Bernie is a racist woman hater. It is often annoying to me as I have enough Indian blood to make my skin color “mocha” and of course I am an ignorant female. I find Bernie annoying as hell but I can put up with it because of the great guests that Imus has on his program. I look forward to the I-man’s take on the news of the previous day. Like Don, I’m an ex Republican wondering where America goes from here. I’m glad to see you speaking up on Bernie’s racist comments. I did not get home in time to hear the interview on Sharpton’s radio program. I hope somebody did so we will know how it went.

    I imagine it will be mentioned tomorrow morning on MSNBC.

  12. Heinrich Moltke

    April 9, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    This post by Doug has everything going for it. As I read it, I wondered at each paragraph whether he’d clear the high bar he set for himself early on. At each paragraph, he maintained the consistently high standard. The article is beyond reproach. It’d be nice if the American public felt enough disgust at political theater to no longer desire actors like Imus, along with 99% of their politicians. Until that time comes, when it comes to these second- or third-level political actors like Imus, the only authentic attitude is forgiveness.

  13. Jeffery Haas

    April 9, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Doug,
    To quote Bill Maher, “political correctness is the elevation of sensitivity over truth”, and in this case your logic doesn’t apply no matter how well thought out it happens to be.

    Racially diverse groups have attained a level of sensitivity that knows no bounds and are milking the PC card as their own, and will continue to do so as long as the media continues to play its willing role as their mouthpiece.

  14. Hal Brown

    April 9, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    I heard him for the first hour he was on.

    First for those who didn’t listen, Imus was at Sharpton’s sudio in person.

    Sharpton pulled no punches, and clearly Imus knew what he was going to be subjecting himself to. Imus answered every question with humility and as far as I could tell honesty.

    I don’t know how anyone can measure genuine sincerity, but I’ve seen lots of false sincerety and this sure seemed like real remorse for hurting feelings, not for being in hot water himself.

    I’ve never heard any public figure submit himself to such a grueling raking over the coals as Imus did this afternoon.

    Imus wants to meet with the college team members, their parents and coach.

    I didn’t hear the end but last I heard was Sharpton still wanted him to resign or be fired.

  15. Boots

    April 9, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Old Jessie and the Rev. Al do more to keep racism on the front burner than the KKK does.

    Maybe they should be down in Texas yelling about how three African American’s were held in jail for over 25 years on trumped up changes and another is about to be set free down in Dallas County for the same BS. Racism is running rampant in Bush country. But no Jessie or Rev. Al howling about that. I ask, WHY???

    The Imus deal is just another case of “some people” trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. Imus & Co. are continuously making absurd, rude and crude remarks about just about everyone or anything. The intent is not mean spirited, it is just that they have a perverted sense of humor. One has to take them with a grain of salt. Imus regularly apologizes for the things he says almost immediately after he says them, on many occasions.

    It’s a sorry commentary when (almost) every time someone says anything these days, someone or some group is offended and wants to annihilate the person or persons involved. Except when they should be making a stink they don’t.

    Prime example is the White House. The corruption, lies and stupid comments flowing from that source greatly outweigh and have a greater effect on this country than anything Imus & crew might say.

    If anyone should be fired, my pick would be Bush & Cheney.

  16. Judy Bodnar

    April 9, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    I have been for 18 yrs, am now, and will continue to be an ardent listener/viewer of Don Imus. I live in Los Angeles County and we cannot get him via radio so I tape his show EVERY DAY AT 3am so as not to miss it. I have never liked the fact that he abases people on a regular basis for no apparent reason and I never will. Over the past 7 or 8 yrs, his program has evolved into a true source of information and one of the ways I have become a more knowledgeable person. This morning when I tuned into the show, I immediately noticed something very ominous in his voice and within seconds I realized that I was hearing shame, sorrow, embarassment..something I have not ever heard before coming from him. I must admit, that when I heard him make the comment “nappy haired hos” refering the Rutgers womens basketball team last Weds. I thought it was just another one of his disgusting raunchy cheap comments that I despise…but NEVER did I think it would lead to the uproar that it has led to. Well, I am glad that it has caused the uproar, because I think what he used to do to get ratings are no longer necessary and its long over do that he puts a stop to all of it. I have thought for years that MOST of his tasteless remarks are more of an echoing of Bernard McGuirk who is the well read & informed producer of the Imus In the Morning show but, also happens to be one of the raunchiest and most insulting people I have ever heard ANYWHERE and by far the worst offender on Imus’ show. I truely believe we will be hearing anymore racial slurs from McGurk or Imus, not because Imus’ show will be taken off the air but because I believed Don Imus when he appologized and though I think he’s a pompus whiney jerk much of the time but I also believe he is basically a good intelligent man and a man of his word who will no longer allow it on his show .

    Howard Fineman of NewsWeek was on the phone with Imus on this mornings show and said to him… “Don, its a different time now, different than it was even a few years ago politically and you can’t use the same humor you use to”

    I agree with what Doug wrote, and also for Sandys comments but, but I find it sheer nonsense for those who have compares Imus with O’Reilly or Limbaugh because they insult my admittedly limited intelligence.

    Imus must change his off the cuff and distaseful remarks because, he and his show as well as his life in my opinion, has become much more than the “shock Jock” he once was and these types of remarks are not only offensive and unecessary but they take away from what the show has come to be. I believe if Imus does not put a stop to these types of comments and put a choke hold on McGuirk, he will may soon find it hard to garner the support for the many good things he has managed to get done..and that would be a real shame.

  17. Kevin Lynch

    April 9, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    Al Sharpton is being overly outspoken on this issue. I say this because he is quieter than a church mouse when it comes to black artist and rappers who have set the advancement for black women back thousands of years. The words Immuss spoke have been said over and over obn every radio station,T.v show and alike. His comments are only a reflection of how black women have been portrait as a young black women try to point out to Al Sharpton today on his radio show. Al Sharpton combatted this young black women as she was trying to point out the real underlying issue here. This is the real problem, Al Sharpton is not hearing these young black women and what they are trying to tell him. Black artist that spue the type of direa that Immus spued the other day are being welcomed with open arms from Al Sharpton, Black reverands, and black politicians. This fact can no longer be hidden, it is an epidemic of alarming proportions and must be addfressed by these leaderrs. Immus has addressed this issue more today than Al Sharpton, the black senators and the black reverands have . The black young women today wasw saying to Sharpton be half as loud towards these rappers as you are today towards Immus and we will not call you hypercritical. He is losing his support because he is being loud about 2-3 words spoken by Immus during an Immus broadcast that he has acknowleged and appologized for sincerly at the samee time he is quiet as a church mouse when it comes to these overwhelming deplorable rappers who should be labled as terrorist towards the advancement of the black woman.

  18. Sandy Price

    April 9, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Imus gets his dialog straight from black musicians and comics who use words in the same way Imus did. If one has ever fallen asleep on the Comedy Channel one wakes up with some of the most vulgar dialog possible. We who listen and love Imus because we know who he is mimicking.

    I also find it disgusting when others from MSNBC refuse to support him. When MSNBC got new management Imus was right there promoting the shows with lower ratings. Tucker Carlson is tearing Imus apart as we speak. That little ickpray would have no show without Imus’s support.

    I’m also disappointed in the Reader Rant here at CHB who are slurring Imus without even knowing who he is or what he does. I doubt if there is even one American here who does as much for people as the I-man.

  19. Sandy Price

    April 9, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    But what has upset me is that the MSNBC hosts are not supporting him. To hell with MSNBC, I will just have to go back to CNN. If I were Imus, I would tell Dan Abrams of NBC to stick it! We can only wait and see what happens.
    …grumble, grumble, grumble…

  20. Stop The Racism

    April 9, 2007 at 7:24 pm

    If Imus gets fired or resign for this, I want to see Miss Jones in the Morning get fired for her roles in playing the rap with racial remarks about Asians dying in the tsunami 2 years ago. What Imus said could be considered a slip of tongue, but Miss Jones and crew made a whole rap out of it, laughing, etc.

  21. AustinRanter

    April 9, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Sandy…

    I’ve been a fan of the show for years. It comes on at 4:30 AM here and that’s great for me as my insomnia often picks odd times of the night to allow me to sleep and kick me out of bed.

    You and I agree on so many things. While I agree with a lot that you say about Imus, I do have to say that Imus is a bit ego and power-struck. He is sometime like a kid that can’t stop tickling a sibling and plays way too hard. He has a short temper, he does believe that because of his 35 years in radio broadcasting and near 11 years on TV…he is a money maker, big time for the networks that he is affilated with, that he believes himself to be a bit invincible, untouchable…and at times he has stated that he a condition of contract says that he has complete control and reign over his program substance. He often exercises his priviledge to the max. He walks the line a lot, and crosses the line more times than he should.

    As far as a humanitarian…he is one of the greatest. He has given millions and millions of dollars, not to mention probably thousands of hours of his person time…I totally agree with you on that.

    Imus Does Have His Naughty Moments

    Frequently Imus calls his wife the “Green Ho”…sure everybody that watches Imus knows what that means…and so many other off-the-wall things he says…is sometimes shocking, but overall benign. I wouldn’t venture to do that…nor would many men I know.

    Imus pounds, relentlessly, Chris, his sports announce to death with fat jokes….however as of late, he’s hit Chris with many inappropriate things about his new wife, his wedding, which Imus didn’t attend.

    The bottom line is that while Imus can, will, and does say pretty much what he wants…he can’t have an open ended ability to say ANYTHING, ANYTIME, ABOUT ANYBODY he chooses…he just can’t without consequence.

    Your right about the some of the comedy acts on HBO or other channels…and many by black comedians that say far worse than Imus…but Sandy, he’s not black…and I’m with Bill Cosby and Harry Belafonte, who both say…the language blacks use toward each other is dispicable..terrible, horrible. But, Imus isn’t black and it’s a double standard it seems when it comes to making racial slurs. We can’t change it.

    I think that Imus has allow the voices of so many politicians, journalist, etc. be heard in a way we can’t her them otherwise…but Imus can’t say anything, anytime, to anybody he wants…it’s shows a lack of civility and integrity if he thinks otherwise.

    All of the great things Imus has done for so many people and children in particlar…will quickly slide down the slimmy media drain.

    During his interview with Sharpton…Imus was asked if this incident could be overlooked and forgiven. Imus said, I know it can’t be overlooked, but forgiven, yes. I think that’s a fair response…but it wasn’t for Sharpton who he himself has called whites …”Crackers”…etc. But, that’s okay, he was forgiven. Sharpton and Jackson both have been publicized as making racial slurs..and forgiven. So it should be…there men of God. Imus…well, he’s a man among men. He makes mistakes…and will pay dearly for this one.

    The one think I didn’t like Imus telling Sharpton about his show was that he considers it to be a comedy…tsk, tsk, tsk, …while he has the cast like Rob and Greg to help that part of it to be true…overall, it’s not a comedy.

    Happy Monday Ms. Sandy, We all dig your chili :)

    AR

  22. sherry

    April 9, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    I believe Imus kept his show despite his referring to Hillary’s menstral cycles at a Grid Iron dinner during the Clinton administration.
    The USSC can’t seem to decide what obscenity is. Sandra Day O’Connor said she knew what it was when she saw/heard it.
    Gangsta rap refers to bitches and hos and that’s ok. They use the N word (had I used that growing up I would have been picking up teeth). They still sell their music. Our children still buy their junk.
    What hypocrisy. I never heard of Imus until the Grid Iron dinner incident. I have seen his show. Didn’t do anything for me. Just another grumpy old man with no class.
    His acid tongue has made him millions. MCNBC is suspending Imus. Big whoop. Howard Stern is still on the air. Shock jocks exist because people listen to them. Gentlemen’s club and porn exist because people BUY it.
    Imus gets thrown under the bus. He is getting a ton of bad press, not that he doesn’t deserve his suspension, but YAWN in two weeks he is back on the air, and the world is just as smutty as ever.

  23. S. Johnson

    April 10, 2007 at 6:09 am

    Surprise, surprise. Here comes the calvery, protecting Imus in his time of need. Talking heads discussing how much the Black rappers are like Imus, how Al Sharpton has said things in the past, how unfair it is that Black people have their way because of the racist past that was afforded them by whites……ad nauseum.

    People, it all boils down to this: Imus made a comment that wasn’t only a affront to those women on the basketball team; he made a comment that just about any Black person over the age of 30 would recognize–after all, most of the whites in this country used (and some are STILL using) those very same terms to describe Black people, and before the Civil Rights came of age, they got away with it, and didn’t really give a damn about that person nor his/her race, but, that was then–nowdays, Imus’s comment took the Black population back to those troubled and problematical times….and they deserve to be angry about it. For some of you on this board, you could NEVER understand having to live day to day with those comments, racist actions leveled at you; having to pertty much fight your way thru the attitudes and the looks you got from whites, the doors closing in your face, and still there were the comments–as racist as ever– (which by the way, Imus proved is still prevelent in this country TODAY), and why those who defend Imus’s right to say such vile and hateful things don’t understand just how much those words cause major anger in the Black community. But, you wouldn’t care about that–it’s only insulting to a race that you don’t respect anyway, so what’s the harm? To Mr. Thompson, who wrote the article, I would say that racisim DOESN’T know color, and it DOES cross the color line in either direction; there, you are perfectly correct…. but, I don’t hear any Black radio personalities (few that there are) giving diatribes on how whites should be shot on sight, which is about the level of Imus’s comment to the Black community. He went over the line here.
    Forgiveness is only for those who deserve it; and Imus deserves to be fired for his actions.

  24. John Johnson

    April 10, 2007 at 9:04 am

    As I stated in my earlier comment, I am a Black male who has listened to Imus for many, many years. I have heard many things on there that have made me cringe, and I do firmly believe that the Bernard McGurk guy is both racist and mean spirited. I do not,think that Imus himself is racist. I also find his show refreshing in that it is one of the few places on either radion or TV where the host is supportive of people and positions only if they past his/her litmus test of Liberal or Conservative(Limbaugh, Hannity, and the Air America people). Here again the only person on the Imus show who comes close to this kind of Myopia, openly is Mcgurk.
    I would also like to address the matter of how often black people use loaded words to each other but object to them being used by a white person to address them. I absolutely do not understand why any person would not be able to understand why it is that the meaning, impact, and effect of a word can be affected by who is using it, and the context in which it is used. It is for this reason that one must not be careless with the spoken word.
    What I have found really facinating is the number of people and commentators who are rabid supporters of George Bush and Dick Cheney who are calling for Imus’ head. Yesterday afternoon I heard one radio guy(Michael Savage I think is his name)comlaining that Imus was getting off too easy. Now Imus has said a hurtfull and unfortunate thing but the Rutgers players are all safe and sound in their homes or at school. Imus’s words are not causing death and destruction. The same cannot be said about the conduct the current administration leading this nation.
    I think that the suspension is more than enough and Imus needs to rein in that McGurk guy. I look forward eagerly to his return in two weeks and do hope that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would move on to some of the really huge problems in our community. I will definitely miss Imus.
    I should also say that I do agree almost completely with everything Doug has written to date about this incident.

  25. John Hanks

    April 9, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Censorship just hides the gaff so we can pretend it never happened. Equal time counters the credibility of the bozos directly. (That is why it is never mentioned.) The media has taken the place of religion. It is America’s secret police.

  26. Sarah Mulcahy

    April 9, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    I learned something new, I didn’t have any idea Imus was supposed to be a shock jock. All this time he struck me as nothing but a boring man trying to pump up his ratings with sexist comments.

  27. Kevin Lynch

    April 9, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Al Sharpton today has made it clear how lost you have become from those calls for equal justice. Black women have been calling for Black rappers to stop degrading women; they have not only not stoped but they have degraded women beyond the point of return. You kept stating on your show that it was beyond what immus had stated; we callers were trying to remind you that yes it is beyond Mr.Immus; this is an issue that is stronger than Immus, stronger than you, stronger than those reverands who today where asking if an apology is enough they should be answering that question not asking it. You have lost focus on those you preach for; we as a public have seen everyone accept these black rappers and uplift them. P-Diddy should be bared openly on your show from any and all black advancement projects as he is a main contributor towards the negative labeling of black women.
    There was that blacvk caller who was stating to you that Immus statement is a REFLECTION of the central issue. Those words have been spoken by almost every black actor, comedian, and has become a acceptable language behavior towards black women. If Immus was to be fired today it would hurt the black cause; he has appologized from his heart, look into Immus he is a shock jock who has been realizing what is really going on in this corrupt political world.
    Al Sharpton, I am a white male who as a kid grew up in a segragated neighborhood in Dorchester. As I have grown I am less ignorant. I have watcvhed those marchers “Stop black on black crime”, I have taken that as saying it is okay for black on white crime. The cause would go further if you stated stop crime in our neighborhoods. As with the police situations involving black victims of assault by police officers; you always stress “stop police brutality on black people” instead of stop police brutality; if you stated stop police brutality your cause will grow and get the attention it deserves.
    I am for equal rights. There is an epidemic today of a strong deep seeded disrespect towards women, the elderly, and citizens in general by black rappers that will destroy any just causes brought by black rappers.
    I can tell you if you continue to face these central black issues by making so much noise over dom immusses statements as apposed to the central issue then you will lose a great number of respectible, upstanding black and white supporters. In other words you dont make any noise even comparable to the noise you are making now towards these disrespectful,disgraceful,down right deplorable behaviors of black rappers that are destroying the fabric of the black women. This is alarming to respectful black women just ask them honestly. These rappers have gone beyond any defense of free speech. Immus will come and go but these rappers aere promoting ignorance. They all should be barred from radio, television, record stores and alike. Instead there promoters like the well dressed P-Diddy are promoting there records.
    I believe the message that black women are trying to tell you is that people like the reverands are overlooking the central issue and problem at hand as well as telling that black senator that we black and white want to send a message to the overwhelming voice of black artist that they are destroying the black cause .
    If you are to press as loud as you are for the firing of Immus then you will ultimately hurt Obamas chances as well as other black politicians because we as black and white see beyond Immus and wee see this outfront assault by black rappers that has become an epidemic and will soon totally destroy any accomplishments by people like Martin Luther King, jesse jackson and even yourself. People see the fact that yourself and prominant black reverands are being loud over Immus 1 statement but like church mice when addressing the core issue that is widespread and in the forfront.
    Immus , I dont like some of his comments and I dont think that guy that depicts people is funny, but I watch him and I find that he is slowly supporting agendas for the advancement of people in general. It was unfortunate that he allowed himself to go on a spuing of that verbal diarea but I see it as like he stated a rapping that he just let flow, he does it at other5 times that I dont like but he is just rambling. This time he was called on it and he has stood up tall and took his whacks and accepted his responsibility. His apology has come from his heart. These rappers have never apologized, have an open mind an look at the central issue.You are stating that you will not let this go and at the same time you are not openly ,loudly totaly condeming these black rappers and people are seeing thaat from you and Senators like the one you had on your show.And bhy the black reverands that were on your show.
    This is a problem that you , the senator,the reverands have not been loud about at all. You want to be loud towards Immus but quiet as church mice on the core issue of total disrepect and untimately downgerading of the black women by black artist. These artist have the funds and are destroying the black fabric. I have never seen it this baed. Immu8s has just brought this most important topic to the forfront and if you were to polll black women on whether4 they want to see Immus fired of the black artist, senators and reverands to be fired for thweir inept attention towards the integrity and respect of black women ; you would be surprised at the results. It almost seems that you have become out of touch.

  28. WENDY

    April 9, 2007 at 9:00 am

    I agree – no ethnicity is immune to racism or racist remarks. But, when will others be reprimanded or held as accountable as whites are regularly? Why don’t we hear demands for retractions and dismissals when the likes of Jackson, Sharpton or, previously, Farrakhan spout unquestionably racist remarks about whites? Wrong is wrong, and no one side should be more accountable than the other. To not call everyone to task for such remarks only displays a different form of racism (or a fear of being thought racist).

  29. Cicciuzzu

    April 9, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    We’re all racists and making crude comments about someone outside the group is a form of healthy catharsis and increasing group solidarity. I’m in my eighties and have heard comments such as Imus is accused of uttering all my life from all sorts of individuals. To this day as a Sicilian, the Mafia is constantly brought up when my ethnic background is brought up. I try to get over it and so should everyone else. Sticks and stones…

  30. anthony salvatore

    April 9, 2007 at 9:07 am

    Imus belongs on the Dung Heap along with the rest of his kind. They always say they do it for ratings. They like to hurt people then think an apology is enough to cover there remarks.
    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH take these elite rich shock jocks and put them in there place. We as a community have enough problems without people like IMUS putting more strain on race relations.
    I agree with Al Sharpton and I never agree with Sharpton.
    Imus can take himself to his little paridise with his white Rolls Royce and get out of our live’s forever.
    They the shock jock’s sound like children when they compare there affront with others who make these same racist remarks. Jesse Jackson said it and so did so and so. GROW UP IMUS you have a lot of people who listen to you and do as you say not as you do. Imus is beyond forgiveness………………………..

  31. Kevin Lynch

    April 9, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    I say grow up Al Sharpton, Senators, And black Reverands and stop being quieter than church mice when it comes to the deplorable behaviors of black artist and rappers towards black women. Immus statement is commonly and openly stated by many black artist today and much much worse. It is time for Al Sharpton to stand up and openly and loudly confront these disrespectful lyrics and launguage that stem and send down the advancemebnt of black women.

  32. Fritz

    April 9, 2007 at 9:10 am

    It must be time for Imus to go into rehab.

  33. Nicholas

    April 9, 2007 at 9:49 am

    Imus, Stern, Tracht, Limbaugh, they’re all just highly paid neo-con tools. I haven’t listened to them, don’t listen to them, and don’t plan to listen to them.

  34. Ross

    April 9, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    If you don’t listen to them, why should you be commenting on them? Calling Howard Stern a racist or a neocon is just ignorant. His cohost of twenty plus years, Robin Quivers, who is black, participates in the delivery and creation of the jokes on that show, and there is a point to them.

    I have never heard of Tracht, but unless Doug is lying, this man said it is ok to brutally murder black people. Neither Imus’ comment nor anything Howard Stern has ever said compares to this.

    And lumping either in with Limbaugh simply makes no sense. Limbaugh is not a “shock jock”, he is a political operative who will say anything to get his political party into office. Whether you find it tasteful or not, Stern and Imus are actually in the entertainment business, and at least Stern (I do not listen to Imus) does not take an active role in politics or elections. He states his opinin (including saying for years that we should have put Saddam back in power to stabilize the region-sound like a neocon?), and usually turns everything into an obvious joke.

    I didn’t write this to defend these guys, though. I wanted to point out that it is always the ignorant that want to censor people, the ones who say reading certain books implies criminal behavior, who say that things they don’t agree with, but not things they do, should be taken out of the media.

    I notice I rarely hear people complaining about the pervasive advertisements of “girls gone wild” pornos in the middle of television programming, bombarding the unsuspecting viewer with intense sexual imagery which makes it hard to concentrate. I have enough sense to turn the set off when one of these monstrosities infiltrates my living room, but people who confess to never having listened to a radio program want the hosts taken off the air, when everybody knows what they are in for when they turn to that station.

    If Imus’s employers strongly feel that they do not want racial comments on their broadcasts, they, and only they, have the right to take them off. Why do we always become senseless mobs trying to control people through intimidation. If you want to control your media, fight corporate ownership and democratically decide what will be on the air-but don’t complain at the results.

  35. Teleri

    April 9, 2007 at 6:34 pm

    ?????
    Howard Stern is a lot of things, but a NeoCon he is most certainly NOT!@!!
    I totally agree that Sharpton needs to watch his own mouth before going off on others. Those black gangsta rappers badmouthing women are actually serious part of the time – which is much worse than anything Imus does.
    BB
    Teleri

  36. Sandy Price

    April 9, 2007 at 10:13 am

    I’m a fan of his due to his book reviews and his talking about them to the authors. I don’t like it when he uses bad language but he has yet to get as gross as many of you on the internet. His value to America is enormous as his emotions come out against the bad treatment of our children and his ability to expose corruption in our government is very apparent. Some one here called him a neocon! You obviously do not listen to or watch in the morning.

    The closer we get to any election the loss of our funny bones start to surface. Imus stands up for all minorities and the disenfranchised of which there are many in America.

    His comments reflect a trend started by the rappers to call all women “hos” and many men “bitches” He realized his mistake almost immediately but did not expect to take the blame for many American musicians, black or white.

    His apology was genuine this morning and I can guarantee he will never use another “rap” insult against anyone again.

    The choice is to watch him or turn him off. Is this possible for all you CHB readers or will you make it an on-going issue to tear him down? I had no idea this site was so unstable with our American freedoms to react so dramatically against a fine American. I’m not certain how to react to the readers and posters at Reader Rant.

  37. Ernestine Bush

    April 9, 2007 at 11:22 am

    This is for Sandy Price. You missed the point on Imus. I did not so much take offense of his use of the word “hos”, it was the “Nappy headed” comment that caused me the most anger. “Nappy headed” was what the slaves were called by their masters. If he had only said “hos”, that would have referred to the entire team. “Nappy headed” refers to the black players only. Read up on your Black History!!

  38. G. Chell

    April 9, 2007 at 10:26 am

    No!!! Sounds more like An_imus (animus) in the morning!!

  39. Brian

    April 9, 2007 at 10:31 am

    I have a hard time believing the old line “It’s just my shtick – that’s not the way I am – I’m a good person.” The slurs and insults come way too easy, way too fast. I believe that if it comes that fast, without premeditation, it is something from way down inside. I don’t think that “his ratings and his powerful friends in political and broadcast circles – most of whom are regular guests” makes him a better person. Some of these people probably come on the show for the free exposure – some are probably friends like Oliphant this morning. But all these “shock-jock” types, in which I include the Lymbaughs and O’Reillys should all find some other way to spread their divisive verbal sewage – not on national broadcasts. They can join Stern on sat where those that want ot listen to them can pay for the right to hear them say whatever they feel. But, that’s just this old curmudgeon’s opinion.

  40. Calico Jack

    April 9, 2007 at 11:47 am

    It’s ok to call women hos then, as long as we’re making fun of the entire team huh? Glad we got that straight.

    In the meantime as we bicker over this thousands of Americans have died in Iraq, thousands of mentally ill are living on the streets, millions of Americans have cancer/Heart Disease/HIV, and of course our planet is going to continue to slowly cook until most of the world’s coastal cities turn into a fine saltwater saute.

    But at least Imus won’t be on the radio anymore.

  41. Kevin Lynch

    April 9, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Al Sharpton is quieter than a church mouse when it comes to the total disgraceful,downgrading, disrepspect that black artist openly display towards black women.Black rappers have just about destroyed any recognizeable respect towards women that it is affecting the whole fabric of our society. Immuses statement is just a reflection of the results of the black rappers disrespectful behaviors towards women. Immus is sincere in his apology as he has apologized for his verbal diarea honestly and truthfully. When P-Diddy is fired and shunned by therse outspoken Blacvk reverands and black senators as being deplorable and unaccepted only then will they ever aagain re4ceive support from me again>

  42. Pique

    April 10, 2007 at 9:49 am

    I couldn’t have said it more eloquently!! You are RIGHT ON, Calico Jack! It is really telling in our society that Imus’ comment has generated more animus than global warming, the Iraq war, homelessness, HIV and gay marriage! God, what a travesty. When are the citizens of this country going to get onto what is important?

  43. Pique

    April 10, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Sorry. I should have said “the banning of” gay marriage.

  44. John

    April 9, 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Cicciuzzu’s comments are noted but I find flaws with his logic. First and foremost, Imus’ comments are not “alleged” they have forever been captured on audio as well as video.

    Finally, the terms used to describe this group of young women are totally unacceptabe. It is so easy for some people to say that these are just words but the racial overtones attributed to these comments cannot be disregarded. We still live in a society where being a person of color causes a higher possibility of prosecution, murder and with the law enforcement agencies, “accidental deaths”.

  45. Roy Murtishaw

    April 10, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Imus is a grossly overpaid bully who is truly repugnant. However he surrounds himself with cretins even more odious;Senator Norm Coleman’s racist, zionist crack head cousin, Sid Rosen, the Autistic ‘ Yes Man’, Charles McCord and especially the skinhead racist, homophobe,aryan; Bernard McQuirk! His support crew minus Rob Bartlett and Chris Carlin need the heave ho! This is Imus’ only road to salvation and repentence in my opinion.

  46. Hal Brown

    April 10, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Well, here’ s some duh-huh questions:

    Why won’t Imus go off the air for two weeks on both CBS radio and MSNBC televison until April 16th? Is it possible that the week-long wait has absolutely nothing to do with punishment, and instead they want to make their decision based on how much this will hurt the popularity (read profitability) of the show?

    Hmmmm? Am I being too cynical?

      Could it be that both stations knew that this week the ratings would be very high and they could rake in extra advertising revenue?
      Could they be letting him stay on this week to determine how many, if any sponsors bail out?
      Could they be trying to get an indication as to how many of his popular guests will refuse to appear on the show in the future?
  47. Sarah

    April 10, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Although Imus cannot be excused from his horrible remarks, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and others, who , in the past, have made terribly racist remarks, are arguing that Imus should not be forgiven for his racist remarks. If they believe this, should they also not be forgiven for their remarks against whites and Jewish. No one should be excused for this behavior, no matter the ethnicity. Racism cannot be tolerated by anyone. Although what Imus said was horrible, by precedence, he should be forgiven, as others have been for equally hateful remarks.

  48. Sandy Price

    April 11, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    starting tomorrow on radio KFAN and MSNBC, the I-man is doing a two-day fundraiser for several of his charities. The NBC, CBS and radio program need the coverage given to Imus as their ratings go off the charts when he does this. It also raises millions of dollars for the various recipients of the money collected.

    For your information, both Staples and Proctor and Gamble have pull their commercials from MSNBC. It will be their loss.

    Apparently most Americans are outraged that Imus was quoting comments he heard on the much promoted rap music. It gave Sharpton and Jackson coverage that they needed to destroy any successful white commentator. This problem will continue unless people start laughing at people like Sharpton and Jackson who have histories of living off of lies that they even they are not the truth but gives them the exposure to rile up most Americans.

    America is on the verge of outrage so we take it out on Don Imus. He is not the enemy but we are afraid to take a stand against the real enemy of America that sits firmly in the White House. The White House is sitting around delighted that a racial problem has risen to take the focus off of Bush’s comments made over the same time period that tells all Americas he will continue to run the show on his own terms.

    If I were Imus, I would give the finger to all his critics and see if they support the same minorities who are tearing him down. Let the outrage take him down and let him relax and work on the many bills he has helped get promoted in the Congress. He does not deserve many of our responses and should walk away from the negative and hateful American audiences.

    We have taken political correctness to such a point that only the black community will be allowed free speech. It is another attempt at division among Americans.

    Where is the outrage when American Idol is the greatest insult to American talent ever put on television? Where is the outrage for the Jerry Springer Show? The outrage for me was the other talk show hosts on MSNBC who couldn’t wait to add to the insults thrown at Don Imus. If I were he, I would have walked out permanently after the 2-day fund raiser that he took on using his celebrity on the radio and television. He may yet decide not to return. He has millions of fans who will follow him on any channel and the whimps at NBC and fan radio can kiss his ass!

  49. Vikar25

    April 13, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    People who do not know Don Imus as a shock jock did not hear him “back in the day”. I was listening to Don Imus back in 1979 and let me tell you, “nappy headed ho” was mild. Don’t believe me? Get yourself a copy of “God’s Other Son” or go on ebay and get a copy of Don’s stand up. It will make you blanche.

    You should have heard him during the entire Bernard Goetz incident, shocking… and, yes, funny.

    Whether Don Imus is a racist or not is not the point, the point is, is that he’s a shock jock. This means he skates the very line between what is censored and what is not. For those of us who had read the transcript of the infamous show, we know that Imus was taking the lead from someone else and simply carried the line. What’s more, what he said was not birthed in malice.

    Had Dave Chappelle said the same thing, nothing would have happened. I guarentee it.

  50. Walt

    April 13, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    The Bush admistration has just had a critical voice shut down (CENSORED). Imus has been calling for the impeachemnt of Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld (so it’s a little late now). Maybe they manipulated enough deals to get him off the air so they can continue their outlaw administration.

  51. Ted Remington

    April 15, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    I have it on good authority that he and Andrew Young are in negotiations for a talk show to be called the Imus and Andy Show.

    Ted

  52. Sandy Price

    April 16, 2007 at 8:04 am

    This morning which would be normally the 3 hours that Imus did his show, has been packed with every African American who ever worked for NBC making outrageous comments on the evil Imus. Newsweek did an issue with Imus on the cover slamming him without even approaching a balanced reporting. We must never overlook the fact that Newsweek is the voice of the Pope. I point this out only to say that “true forgiveness” is never a point of view when revenue is lost due to some silly comments made by Don Imus.

    I am not a racist but NBC is using their racism to destroy one of their own who stepped out of line. David Gregory is doing the morning Imus show and I have never heard such a rant against anyone in my life. They are searching for sponsors and they will not quit until Imus is listed with Hitler in the top ten of enemies of the world.

    Before Imus was on MSNBC I never went to an NBC channel as I found them the epitome of hypocrisy. I was right! Imus did a very bad thing but the piling on from NBC has been so out of control that I figure only money would be the reason.

    The only shows that MSNBC aired that I watched besides Imus was Hardball and Countdown. Countdown lost me after Keith Olbermann was one of the first to demand Imus be fired. I will watch Chris Matthews this afternoon/evening and if he piles on, that does it for me and NBC.

    Enough is enough!