I woke up this morning and read an article, front-paged on the Boston Herald, about Imus's racist remarks about Rutgers women's basketball team. The manager of the local radio station that carries Imus said he hadn't heard any complaints. So I fired off this missive to Greater Boston Media:
Please direct this email to Phil Redo.
Dear Mr. Redo,
I read in today's Boston Herald that you have not received any complaints about the racist remarks of Don Imus about the Rutger's women's basketball team. Here's one.
I'm sick of hearing Imus's racist and sexist bits on the radio in the morning. It's 2007. It's time for the media to enter the 21st century. Racist jokes are not funny. Sexist jokes are not funny. They are destructive and hurtful to everyone. Calling the Rutgers women's basketball team 'nappy-headed hos' is not acceptable. What, they don't have straight white hair? They're prostitutes? Calling them 'Jigaboos' is especially offensive as that is out-and-out racist slang.
Not only that, this kind of racist, sexist crap is destructive of your business. When I hear Imus going off against some group, I change the channel. That hurts your business, and your advertisers. 96.9 is one of the AM radio presets on my car radio. On Monday, it won't be any more. I'm not going to support a radio station that supports racism and sexism. That's my bottom line.
I will be sad if you take no further action to ameliorate this situation. Fire Don Imus now. Take him off the airwaves in Greater Boston.
I mean really. It's about time for this 20th century pig to get sent out to the 21st century pasture. There's just no place for this kind of crap. And he does it over. And over. And over. I guess I'm not the only one still pissed off about this asshole.
NYTimes (AP): Despite Apology, Critics Want Imus Out
NYDailyNews: Imus spews hate, should be fired
BY FILIP BONDY
DAILY NEWS SPORTS COLUMNIST
WaPo: Sorry Excuses: MSNBC's Form Apology
Among the highlights from the MSNBC We Apologize for Don Imus's Show Which Is Not Our Production Hall of Fame:
In January 2006, Imus chatted with Chris Matthews on his radio show, simulcast on MSNBC, and discussed unprintable candy metaphors by way of describing the relationship of the male leads in the flick "Brokeback Mountain." MSNBC apologized for that one, too, saying, according to a report by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation:
" 'Imus' is produced by WFAN radio and is simulcast by MSNBC. The views expressed on the program are not those of MSNBC. Having said that, it was unfortunate that these remarks were telecast on MSNBC. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by these remarks."
Traveling further back, in December '04, MSNBC apologized for comments made on "Imus in the Morning" in which Palestinians were referred to as "stinking animals" and a suggestion was made that they all be killed.
That time, MSNBC issued the following statement: "The views expressed on the program are not those of MSNBC. Having said that, it was unfortunate that these remarks were telecast on MSNBC. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by these remarks."
We called MSNBC to ask whether the network had considered putting Imus on a several-second delay so as to avoid having to trot out its tired old "We're really sorry but it's not our responsibility" form-letter apology, in much the same way cousin network NBC puts "live" trophy show broadcasts on the air with a delay to be able to kill out words and exposed body parts the Federal Communications Commission has deemed offensive.
An MSNBC rep e-mailed back the comment:
"We take this matter very seriously. We find the comments to be deplorable and are continuing to review the situation."
We asked what "continuing to review the situation" meant. The TV Column did not hear back. We also asked for an explanation as to what MSNBC suits thought was the difference in responsibility between a program it aired that it produced and a program it aired that was produced by CBS Radio. We did not hear back.
Imus is a member of the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame. His show is syndicated to more than 70 radio stations around the country. WFAN is owned by CBS. Yesterday CBS Radio issued this statement:
"We are disappointed by Imus' actions earlier this week which we find completely inappropriate. We fully agree that a sincere apology was called for and will continue to monitor the program's content going forward."
OrlandoSentinal: Public shouldn't give Imus a free pass after comment
PRNewswire: NABJ Appalled By Imus' Racist Comments, Calls for Boycott of Show
WFAN, MSNBC host calls Black student athletes 'nappy-headed ho's' during show
AOLSports: Don Imus Rutgers Controversy Not Going Away