Wednesday, April 11, 2007

'He's crossed the line'

NYTimes (AP): CBS Director Hopes Imus Will Be Fired

NEW YORK (AP) -- Bruce Gordon, former head of the NAACP and a director of CBS Corp., said Wednesday the broadcasting company needs a ''zero tolerance policy'' on racism and hopes talk-show host Don Imus is fired for his demeaning remarks about the mostly black Rutgers women's basketball team.

''He's crossed the line, he's violated our community,'' Gordon said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. ''He needs to face the consequence of that violation.''

Gordon, a longtime telecommunications executive, stepped down in March after 19 months as head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the foremost U.S. civil rights organizations.

He said he had spoken with CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves and hoped the company, after reviewing the situation, would ''make the smart decision'' by firing Imus rather than letting him return to the air at the end of a two-week suspension beginning next Monday.

''We should have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to what I see as irresponsible, racist behavior,'' Gordon said. ''The Imus comments go beyond humor. Maybe he thought it was funny, but that's not what occurred. There has to be a consequence for that behavior.''

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