CBS, MSNBC announce two-week suspension for Imus show By Austin
Fenner and Corky Siemaszko
N.Y Daily News (April 9, 2007) Don Imus tried Monday to put out the firestorm of
criticism that's been raging ever since he insulted the Rutgers women's
basketball team by calling them "nappy-headed hos." But he just threw more
fuel on the flames.
By nightfall, Imus' reign as the cantankerous prince of political radio
was in peril after CBS Radio ordered his radio show suspended for two
weeks starting Monday - and MSNBC also put the show's simulcast on ice.
The Rev. Al Sharpton said that wasn't good enough.
"What he did was a public, racist act," he said. "He should be fired."
was slapped with the suspension after a testy, two-hour exchange on
Sharpton's radio show during which Imus managed to infuriate his host,
antagonize African-American listeners and undermine his attempts to paint
himself as "a good man who did a bad thing."
Visibly frustrated that Sharpton would not back off his demand that he
resign for his remarks, Imus put his foot in his mouth several times in
his futile fight for forgiveness.
"I can't get anyplace with you people," he said at one point.
"What do you mean by you people," Sharpton barked back.
When the interview was over, Imus stalked off without having won
redemption - or even a handshake - from Sharpton.
"I think he made it worse," Sharpton said before CBS and MSNBC lowered the
boom on Imus.
Imus and Sharpton will tangle again when they appear on the "Today" show.
He will also find out Tuesday whether his request to personally apologize
to the Rutgers players will be granted.
Aja Ellington, the mother of Rutgers center Kia Vaughn, said Imus "can
keep his apology" and wants him fired.
"I agree with Al Sharpton," she said. "His apology really proves nothing."
Imus, who offered his first apology on Friday two days after making the
crack, began his own show Monday with another mea culpa.
"Here's what I've learned: that you can't make fun of everybody, because
some people don't deserve it," he said.
Imus also touted his involvement with the Imus Ranch in New Mexico, where
at least a tenth of the kids with cancer and blood disorders are black.
"I'm not a white man who doesn't know any African-Americans," he said.
But when Imus tried to make that same point with Sharpton, he was
immediately shot down.
"This is not about whether you're a good man," he said. "What you said was
Then Sharpton asked his daughter Dominique to come over and - while she
glared at Imus - he said, "She's not a nappy-headed ho. She's my
Imus tried to change the subject. "Why isn't there that kind of outrage in
the black community when rappers" demean black women?
Sharpton would not be deterred. And he made Imus squirm in his seat when
he asked the radio jock what he was thinking when he made the comments.
"At the time I said it, I didn't think it was racial," Imus said. "I
wasn't even thinking racial. I was thinking `West Side Story.' ... One
team is tough. One team is not so tough."
Sharpton told Imus that not firing him would set a bad precedent and that
he should not be allowed to "walk away from this unscathed."
"Unscathed?" Imus said. "Are you crazy? How am I unscathed by this? Don't
you think I'm humiliated?"
The longer the interview lasted, the testier it became, prompting Imus at
one point to object, "I didn't come here to get slapped around."
There was no small talk between the two men during the commercial breaks.
While Sharpton walked away to get some air, Imus sat and could be heard
muttering under his breath.
Others weighed in on the dispute, including Democrat presidential hopeful
Sen. Barack Obama who called Imus' comments "offensive to Americans of all
"With a public platform, comes a trust. As far as I'm concerned, he
violated that trust," Obama said.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson led a demonstration outside the Chicago
headquarters of NBC, which owns MSNBC, shouting, "Imus must go."
But industry experts said it's unlikely CBS Radio will cancel Imus'
influential show, which has long been a favorite stop for big-time
politicians, pundits and reporters.
"If I had to put down a bet, I'd say he'll survive," said Tom Taylor,
editor of the trade sheet Inside Radio. "But there will be consequences."
Don Imus' s appearance on the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio
show can be heard via the Internet by
13th Edition Now Available
New Buying Power report shows more spending by black consumers on
to economic gains in the past two years, black households across the U.S.,
especially middle-class families, are increasing their purchases of
lifestyle and leisure items.
According to the newest edition of “The Buying Power
of Black America,” there are indications that black households are feeling
more confident about making purchases that... Story continued... ________________________ The
Book Publishing Authority
in its eighth year of publication, Black Issues Book Review is
the only nationally distributed magazine devoted exclusively to covering the
latest news and reviews on black books. BIBR also provides up-to-date news on forthcoming author
signings, book fairs and book clubs.
Want this issue? Get it with your new subscription.
A TARGET MARKET NEWS