Don Imus is an idiot. Woo-hoo, that’s funny!
Don Imus is a wrinkled-faced racist. Haaaaaa, stop it! Too funny!
Don Imus is a drunk. Waaaaaaaaaaaa…!!! Help me! Help me! You too funny, Roy.
Much of America loves his mean-edged, sophomoric brand of so-called humor, which is why politicians, journalists and anyone with something to pitch falls over themselves to get on his syndicated radio show, ‘Imus in the Morning.” I am not among them.
At times his act can be fulfilling – usually when smart people are discussing important issues. On those occasions, it can even be illuminating. But when the tone turns and Imus and his equally insipid crew try to get funny, well, it just ain’t funny. Especially when Imus lets his racist side run amuk and picks on people who have little to do with him and who are powerless to defend themselves.
Then there are those other times:
On Wednesday, Imus took on the Rutgers women’s basketball team, which lost to heavy-favorite Tennessee in the NCAA tournament title game. The team, coached by the legendary and respected C. Vivian Stringer, comprises two white players and ten African-American women.
During the show, Imus’s executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, called the team “hard-core hos” Imus immediately responded, saying they were “nappy-headed hos.”
But that wasn’t all. A few minutes later, sports announcer Sid Rosenberg, who was filling in for talented sportscaster Chris Carlin (who also calls Rutgers games, btw), said: “The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the [National Basketball Association’s] Toronto Raptors.”
It gets even better: McGuirk later tried to reference the Spike Lee film, School Daze, by describing the championship game as “The Jigaboos vs. The Wannabees — that movie that he had.” Although later, co-host Charles McCord misidentified the movie as “Do the Right Thing” (Criterion, June 1989).
Hey, Imus, we’re proud of our nappy hair (at least those of us who have hair). It’s part of our heritage and who we are. But the “ho” thing, uh-uh. And don’t blame hip-hop culture and its misogynistic lyrics for your own stupidity.
The comments have created a Michael Richards-like firestorm among blacks. This morning, the National Association on Black Journalists has issued a statement – Click here -calling for an apology and demanded that all journalists, including the likes of Tim Russert, refuse to appear on the show until Imus apologizes.
He did, kinda. On this morning show, he said: “Want to take a moment to apologize for an insensitive and ill-conceived remark we made the other morning regarding the Rutgers women’s basketball team. It was completely inappropriate, and we can understand why people were offended. Our characterization was thoughtless and stupid, and we are sorry.”
Watch the “apology:
That is a start. But it is not enough.
Where was the media outrage? Or at least the coverage? Michael Richards was given more time than Oprah to explain his racist tirade. Just recently, the sports media widely covered the suspension of former NBA star Michael Ray Richardson after comments that were described as anti-Semitic.
MSNBC, which simulcasts Imus’ show, issued this statement: “While simulcast by MSNBC, ‘Imus in the Morning’ is not a production of the cable network and is produced by WFAN Radio. As Imus makes clear every day, his views are not those of MSNBC. We regret that his remarks were aired on MSNBC and apologize for these offensive comments.”
Imus, McGuirk and Rosenberg should all be suspended for an appropriate period of time
And they should be required to go to the Rutgers campus and apologize to the young women on that team – all of them – their coaches and staff, in front of the student body – some of whom are no doubt Imus devotees and think that crap is funny.
I stopped listening to Imus a long time ago. On Wednesday, he reminded me why.
Uh, exactly who’s nappy-headed???
Since the original post:
* The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has spoken up in support of NABJ. Click here.
* New York Daily News columnist Bob Raismann, with whom I often share the forum on SportsnetNY’s “Daily News Live,” writes about the business implications of CBS conundrum. Click here.
* Rev. DeForest “Buster” Soaries Jr., the former New Jersey Secretary of State, adds his voice to calls for firing Imus. Click here.
* CNN’s Roland S. Martin asks, Where are Martha Burke and the women’s groups in this attack on young women? Click here.