Saturday, April 14, 2007

Imus Reactions

Don Imus

Colbert I. King, WaPo: Standing Up to Imus

Still, Don Imus's media friends find ways to keep him in their good graces.

Those colleagues proved to be more devoted to Imus than to the people he has slandered. They silently averted their gaze from his record to go on his popular show and sell themselves.

LATimes: A talk powerhouse is shut down
The firing of Don Imus by CBS brings an abrupt end to a radio forum that attracted media and political heavies.

This article contains Don Imus's final shot at women (which CLANKS OFF THE BACKBOARD, like all the rest of shots):

But Imus made it clear elsewhere that he didn't intend to fade out quietly. He called the "Conway & Whitman" show on Los Angeles radio station KLSX (97.1 FM) Thursday and complained that he had been fired while he was doing a charity show. He vowed: "I plan to be on the radio. I plan to work again. I'm not going to sit around like an old woman."

Responding to racism with dignity
The Rutgers women's basketball team shows class.

Independent (uk): The sacking of Don Imus: The rise (and fall) of the shock jock
The right-wing US broadcasters who fill the air with invective operate way beyond the conventions of good taste. But now one of them has gone too far

Times (uk) Online: The ‘perfect storm’ that brought a shocking radio career to an end
Don Imus was a renowned shock jock — then he insulted a black girls' sports team

In England, they're still girls.

Anderson (IN) Herald-Bulletin: EDITORIAL: Imus should have been fired long ago
Out there in the heartland, they get it.

Patriot-Ledger: OPINION
OUR VIEW: It was always about the green

Their final analysis: Blame the audience. (Right! We made him say those things. Sheesh.)

Rich Lowry, NYPost:

Still thinks the corporate media is liberal. Not. Go Right Ahead And Filet Don Imus, Just Be Sure To Skin His Corporate Bosses, Too
Excellent suggestion: Make Imus advertisers give to the United Negro College Fund!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Apology Accepted

Don Imus, at left on steps, leaves the governor's mansion in Princeton Township, N.J., Thursday, April 12, 2007, after meeting with the Rutgers University women's basketball team. Imus was fired Thursday from his CBS radio show over remarks he made on the air about the team. Imus left without commenting to reporters, but C. Vivian Stringer, the team's coach, spoke briefly on the mansion's steps. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

MSNBC: Rutgers coach, players accept Imus’s apology
Deidre Imus says fired radio host told team ‘I feel awful’ about comments

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - The Rutgers women’s basketball team accepted radio host Don Imus’ apology Friday for insulting them on the air, saying that he deserves a chance to move on but that they hope the furor his words caused will be a catalyst for change.

“We, the Rutgers University Scarlet Knight basketball team, accept — accept — Mr. Imus’ apology, and we are in the process of forgiving,” coach C. Vivian Stringer read from a team statement a day after the women met personally with Imus and his wife.

“We still find his statements to be unacceptable, and this is an experience that we will never forget,” the statement read.

Get Well Soon, Jon Corzine

Jon Corzine was in a bad car accident last night, while he was on the way to monitor the meeting between Don Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team.

Post-Chronicle: Gov. Jon Corzine "Critical", May Be Months Before He Walks Again

Jon Corzine was a very visible supporter of the Rutgers women's basketball team long before the Imus remarks. He was courtside at several of their games, in his red Rutgers hat. It sounds much worse than what was originally reported, that he had a broken leg; now they're talking about three to six months to walk normally.

NYTimes: New Jersey Governor Is Injured in Car Crash Surgeon Talks About Corzine's Operation

Things I Shout At The TV

Armstrong Williams says, Al Sharpton has never apologized for Tawana Brawley.

I Shout: "Some people take payola from the Bush Administration for paid opinions, yet they're back on TV as if they're serious journalists! Some people are stone hypocrites!"

David Gregory says, People are upset that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson brought Don Imus down.

I Shout: "PEOPLE! You're upset, Imus-buddy. Don Imus CHOSE to go on the Al Sharpton radio show! Don Imus conferred this credibility on Al Sharpton and now all Don Imus's friends are mad about it! Why didn't Don Imus call all his black female guests! Because he didn't have any! Why didn't Don Imus go on a woman's radio show? Because there isn't a woman's radio show!"

MSNBC host says, Why should black rappers be allowed to use the word ho.

I Shout: "Don Imus is 67 fucking years old, for Christ's sake! Is his conduct guided by stupid guys in their 20s? Didn't your mother teach you what my mother taught me? If everyone else jumped off the cliff, would you have to, too? I don't care what everyone else does. I care what you do!"

Craig Crawford says, These women at Rutgers didn't even know who Don Imus was before he said this. They never even heard it.

I Shout: "You moron, YOU didn't know who the Rutgers women's basketball team were until your buddy Don Imus was losing his job! You didn't care who Don Imus hurt until he got caught! I don't care who you are, either! Get off my TV!"

Rutgers Women Getting Hate Mail

Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer, center left, accompanied by university President Richard McCormick, left, athletic director Robert Mulcahy, right, and members of her team, talks on the steps of the governor's mansion in Princeton Township, N.J., Thursday, April 12, 2007. They had just met with radio personality Don Imus who was fired from his radio program Thursday following controversy surrounding his remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

I've gotten a lot of angry comments on this blog while blogging about Imus's racist and sexist comments, and you may notice, I've had to delete a few.

Anger is at the heart of racism and sexism. People who attack others on the basis of their immutable characteristics are angry. Angry that things aren't like they used to be, angry that 'we' (the other) don't know our place, etc. Racists are angry at blacks. Sexists are angry at women. That's why we call what Imus said 'hate speech'. It brings out crazies like the ones who are now sending hate mail to the young women on the Rutgers basketball team. Hating them for saying, this hurt me. Wow.

Newark Star Ledger: Deidre Imus: Stop hate mail to Rutgers team

Deidre Imus, co-hosting the WFAN Radiothon this morning on 660 AM substitute for her husband, called the women of the Rutgers basketball team "courageous and beautiful," just hours after she and her husband met with them last night at the governor's mansion in Princeton.

She expressed horror that team members have received hate mail in the aftermath of the controversy created nine days ago when her husband called them "nappy-headed hos" on his "Imus in the Morning" radio show.

"The hate mail being sent to them (the Rutgers team members) must stop," Deidre Imus said. "If you want to send hate mail, send it to my husband."

WABC-NY: Imus off the air completely

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wear No. 42 For Jackie Robinson (Updated, below)

Barton Silverman/The New York Times

Willie Randolph said he once borrowed a biography on Robinson from a library and “I saw how one life can make such a tremendous impact.”

I wonder what Jackie Robinson would have thought of seeing America in 2007, 60 years after he broke the color barrier in baseball, debating whether it was OK for a white man to call a team of female, mostly black athletes "nappy-headed hos"? I bet he rolled over in his grave.

I want one of the No. 42 shirts.

NYTimes: A Gesture of Respect Grows Into a Movement

Published: April 13, 2007

Sixty years after Jackie Robinson shook the baseball establishment and broke the sport’s color barrier, an unforeseen grassroots movement by today’s players has suddenly shaped the way Major League Baseball will commemorate the anniversary. Hundreds of players will wear Robinson’s No. 42 retired by baseball 10 years ago in ballparks across the country on Sunday, the anniversary of Robinson’s first appearance with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

While the tribute has received baseball’s approval, it grew spontaneously from a request by the Cincinnati Reds’ Ken Griffey Jr., who asked earlier this month if he could wear the number on April 15. What has evolved since is surprisingly organic for a group of famous, feted athletes with multimillion-dollar contracts.

As word of Griffey’s gesture spread, small groups of players decided to also wear 42 that day. Soon, there was a representative from every team. The Los Angeles Dodgers then decided to have their entire roster wear 42.

Now, there are six major league teams that plan to have everyone in uniform wearing No. 42 — players, coaches, manager and bat boys. Those teams are the Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros.

And the number of jerseys having a new 42 sewn onto the back remains fluid, but seems to be increasing by the day.

Jackie Robinson and his son David being interviewed at the "March on Washington"
August 28, 1963
From the National Archives

Update: Did you know that Bill Russell was a pallbearer at Jackie Robinson's funeral? And that he was Jackie Robinson's favorite athlete? Robinson was a revolutionary.

Kudos to Larry King

I've been pretty critical of Larry King in the past. While we were in Germany last summer, the Larry King reruns on CNN International were mostly embarrassing tabloid gossip -- Anna Nicole Smith type of stuff.

Tonight I'm channel surfing and Larry King has Serena Williams and Ashley Banfield on. Serena Williams describes how she felt when the Imus show referred to her as an animal when she was an 18 year old teenager. Ashley Banfield tells of Michael Savage calling her a slut on NBC, which she watched, in shock, live from her office at NBC. She went down the hall to complain to the former NBC president and was told, basically, to let it go. Very powerful stuff.

Wow. I can't believe I'm watching this on cable television.

I have to call this "The Imus Effect". Racism and sexism being discussed on national TV.


Time to get ALL the sexist, racist crap off the airwaves. Media Matters compiles some of the filth of Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Michael Smerconish, and John Gibson, and gives the contact information for each network.

Media Matters for America: It's not just Imus

Harry Kewell On the Comeback Trail

Here's the video evidence; film of a Liverpool practice before the PSV match, from dailymotion.

Weird Things I Learned This Week

Tom Oliphant had a brain aneuryism in 2005 and took voluntary retirement from the Globe. I'm still PO'd about his "solidarity" comment, though.

Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr once sued Don Imus. Imus said horrible things about Carr's wife on the air because Mike Barnicle told Imus that Carr said Imus would die before his kid graduated from high school. Carr hired Alan Dershowitz and sued: "[].... under the terms of the settlement, I’m not allowed to reveal what happened.... [] And now she owns a condo in Florida. Is this a great country or what?"

Don Imus Ousted By CBS Radio

Don Imus

CNN reporting that Don Imus has been fired by CBS Radio.

Bye bye.

Can't Get Enough Imus

Can you? That's why you searched for more. Here are some interesting articles.

The American Prospect, TAPPED: MSNBC had panels and panels of white men discussing the firing of Imus last night. Hmmm.

Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins thinks Imus should buy a season ticket to Rutgers women's basketball and sit in the front row for every game next year. I think Sally Jenkins, who appeared on Imus's show in the past and never made a peep about his racist or sexist remarks before the Rutgers comment, should go to those Rutgers games. Why should those kids have to be reminded of what Imus said about them at every game? Why shouldn't ol' Sally herself do a little penance? She also thinks he should have kept his job so he could keep the 'conversation' going. I'm a little sick of white people saying Imus should be teaching the nation about race. Just stop that. Now.

NAYABA ARINDE at the Amsterdam News
says Don Imus fumbled his mea culpa; that's what doomed him.

Bob Hebert in the New York Times (TimesSelect wall, also here and here) says it was the outrage of women within NBC who forced the cancellation of the Imus show.

Slate: Imus in the Twilight: How the DJ found his niche—and lost it.

Newark Star-Ledger: It's the other 'N' word that's still hair-raising
'Nappy' retains its harsh sting in the black community

North Jersey Record: RU gives Imus a lesson in class

North Jersey Record: Carson is a leader speaking up for 'what's right'

I Should Do This

1. Mid-century modern Diamond Chairs designed by Harry Bertoia for Knoll in 1952. Harry Bertoia was an artist, sculptor, jewelry maker, and designer and worked with Charles and Ray Eames at the Evans Products Company. He is best known for his work with metal -- specifically, wire. Designed in 1952, Bertoia's wire group for Knoll has been in continuous production ever since, made entirely by hand in a wooden wire-bending frame.
Welded steel with rods in bonded rilsan, a very durable adhesive-fused nylon-dipped finish. White pleather seat, original to chair. Scratch, chip, and chemical resistant. Some chips on arm as seen in pictures

A lawyer has put everything she owns up on ebay in one giant auction.

LATimes: All her stuff gets the heave-ho into EBay
A lawyer/pack rat is moving and plans to travel real light. Everything Perry Owns!!*

News Round-Up, Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thick smoke rises from the site of an explosion at Baghdad's Al-Sarafiyah bridge where a suicide bomber blew up a truck, 12 April, 2007. A suicide bomber has blown himself up in the Iraqi parliament canteen in Baghdad's Green Zone, killing three people in a major breach of security at the country's most heavily guarded site.(AFP/Ali Yussef)

A suicide/homicide bomber blew himself up in the Iraqi parliament cafeteria this morning. That would be in Baghdad, which the surge is supposed to be making safe, and within the heavily fortified U.S. Green Zone. George Bush's disaster continues.

The real story behind the US Attorney Purge, from Talking Points Memo. It's a giant Karl Rove operation designed to keep poor and black and Democratic voters from exercising their right to vote:

Republican party officials and elected officials use bogus claims of vote fraud to do three things: 1) to stymie voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote efforts in poor and minority neighborhoods, 2) purge voter rolls of legitimate voters and 3) institute voter ID laws aimed at making it harder for low-income and minority voters to vote.
The White House claims that all those off-the-books emails on the RNC/GWB43 servers have just disappeared. How convenient. Jesselyn Radack, a Justice Department lawyer who was hounded out of the department for challenging the prosecution of John Walker Lindh, has a dailykos diary on how emails are forever. (She found emails the Justice Dept. had erased in order to keep from producing them in response to a federal discovery order; when she revealed this, she was fired! Justice, Bush style.) 50 White House officials have used the RNC accounts; of course Karl Rove is one of them.

George Bush's Pentagon announced yesterday that EVERY U.S. Army soldier's tour will be extended from 12 to 15 months. George Bush is breaking the Army.

George Bush is looking for a 'war czar', but three generals he's approached have turned him down. As many bloggers have pointed out, isn't that his job? Or the Secretary of Defense? For a guy who complains about the bureaucracy all the time, Dubya sure does love to create it.

Media Matters for America has a timeline of the decline and fall of Don Imus. It took seven days. I think the timeline shortchanges the impact of the Rutgers women's basketball press conference. They made a powerful statement.

has some good links to audio and video of the late Kurt Vonnegut.

Basketball News

Nothing Imus-related here. Really!

Harvard hires a new men's basketball coach, less than two weeks after the Boston Globe reported that Harvard has no black coaches for their 41 varsity sports. The new hire: Tommy Amaker, the former Duke All-American and coach of Seton Hall and Michigan. Yes, he's black. Good for them.

LSU has hired Pokey Chatman's replacement: It is Van Chancellor, the former Olympic, Houston Comets of the WNBA, and Ole Miss coach. Chancellor has announced that he will keep Bob Starkey, the white male assistant who took over after Chatman left, and would consider keeping the other female assistants including Carla Berry, the coach who blew the whistle on Chatman.

My sister predicted to me a month ago that Pokey Chatman's replacement would be a white male, and that a lot of the southern schools with coaching vacancies would hire white males. On this one she was right. But Texas hired Gail Goestenkors (away from Duke) and Duke offered their job to former Duke player Joanne Boyle (who turned down the job and is staying at Cal.) It will be interesting to see what happens at Kentucky, where longtime Pat Summit assistant Micki DeMoss unexpectedly resigned after four years. She put Kentucky on the women's basketball map; hope she enjoys retirement.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

RIP Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut was the first author that after I read a book (Cat's Cradle, I think) I bought all his other books and read them, too. He hated assholes. Of course, that means he hated Bush.

NYTimes: Kurt Vonnegut, Writer of Classics of the American Counterculture, Dies at 84

In These Times: Kurt Vonnegut vs. the !&#*!@ (2003 interview)

Q: Based on what you’ve read and seen in the media, what is not being said in the mainstream press about President Bush’s policies and the impending war in Iraq?

A: That they are nonsense.

Q: My feeling from talking to readers and friends is that many people are beginning to despair. Do you think that we’ve lost reason to hope?

A: I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d’etat imaginable. And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka “Christians,” and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or “PPs.”

To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable medical diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete’s foot. The classic medical text on PPs is The Mask of Sanity by Dr. Hervey Cleckley. Read it! PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose!

And what syndrome better describes so many executives at Enron and WorldCom and on and on, who have enriched themselves while ruining their employees and investors and country, and who still feel as pure as the driven snow, no matter what anybody may say to or about them? And so many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick.

What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next. Simply can’t. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody’s telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass!

The Salon Interview: Kurt Vonnegut (1999)

Bye Bye Slime Man

Don Imus

MSNBC drops Imus. CBS Radio and WFAN still on the fence. (Steve Capus, NBC News President, on Hardball tonight says, C. Vivian Stringer's speech at the press conference yesterday really affected everyone. Viv! Rutgers women's basketball!)

I hope every stupid white man who went on TV in the past week and defended Imus now thinks long and hard. Why are so many of the rest of us so offended? Why were they so quick to let Imus off the hook? How could they let years of racist, sexist, crude and cruel jokes go by? I hope they look into their hearts and really think about that. Tom Oliphant, Howard Fineman, Jonathan Alter, Craig Crawford, David Gregory, James Carville, Paul Begala. (Look at that group. What do they have in common? Hmmm.)

At heart, I am an idealist.

NYTimes: NBC News Drops Imus Show Over Racial Remark

NBC News dropped Don Imus yesterday, canceling his talk show on its MSNBC cable news channel a week after Mr. Imus made a racially disparaging remark about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.

WaPo: MSNBC Drops Imus's Morning Program

Mewark Star-Ledger: MSNBC says it will drop Imus show

This may have had as much to do with the decision as anything:

Reuters: Don Imus show loses more advertisers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors and drug maker GlaxoSmithKline pulled their advertising from shows hosted by Don Imus on Wednesday, striking a blow to the shock-jock and broadcasters who carry him.

American Express and Home loans Web site also said they would withdraw their ads.

They joined companies including household products maker Procter & Gamble Co. and office supplies retailer Staples Inc. in pulling their support amid an outcry over an on-air racial slur by Imus about the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

'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.''

'These Women Are Human Beings'

Jesus' General: Oliphant's Children

These young women didn't need to be degraded in that way by Imus, especially on the day following their greatest achievement thus far, taking second place in the National Woman's College Basketball Championship. They were terribly wronged. Not only were they insulted in one of the most vile and despicable ways possible, but it may have very well ruined one of the greatest moments of their lives.

I doubt Russert, Fineman, or Oliphant give a damn about these women's feelings. The Rutgers players can't help them sell their books or promote their projects like Imus does. But god damn it Tim, Howie, and Tom, these women are human beings. Really. They're actual people with the same feelings the rest of us have.

Take a look at these beautiful, accomplished young women and think about the violence Imus and his toadies committed against them:

Go look at all of them.

Here's the captain:

Music Major
A gifted musician who plays the piano, bass guitar, drums and saxophone
Gold Medal winner With Team USA
Daughter of Stacey Robinson and the late Joseph Carson and second of three children.

Free Speech

I keep reading and hearing people defending Don Imus's right to free speech. Why are we attacking his right to free speech? We're not. We're attacking what he said, not his right to say it. He can say it all he wants. But I don't want to support it, and I don't want it spewing into my home every day. So I'm speaking out.

This dispute over Imus's remarks is the epitome of free speech. Free speech is about the marketplace of ideas. Everyone gets the right to speak. But then that speech is evaluated by the community.

Imus spoke and expressed his opinion. He placed his speech out there into the marketplace, and we are exercising our right to free speech by complaining about what he said. He can say as much sexist and racist crap as he wants. And WE have every right to say to his employer, We won't watch your programs any more if you continue to employ this hater. And WE have every right to say to his sponsors, We won't buy your products any more if you continue to place your ads on this hater's program. And we can say to the FCC, This speech has no place on the public airwaves, because it does not respect all people.

Don Imus can say all he wants to. And we as a community, we as a people, we get to speak out about what he said. And if that means that he doesn't get paid millions of dollars to speak, so be it. In the marketplace of ideas, I think his opinions are worth about two cents. He can say all he wants to. And I'll continue to exercise my right to free speech to say his speech is hateful.

Or to quote Coach Stringer: "racist and sexist remarks [] are deplorable, despicable, abominable and unconscionable."

Imus's Long, Sad History

Courts often use the phrase "long, sad history" in talking about our country's history of racial discrimination.

Timothy Noah of Slate Magazine has compiled some of Imus's long, sad history. This latest incident is just the culmination of decades of hate speech. He must be fired.

Timothy Noah, Slate: The Wit and Wisdom of Don Imus
A guide for Washington's power crowd.
(go to the article for links to citations)

On blacks:

"William Cohen, the Mandingo deal."
(Former Defense Secretary Cohen's wife is African-American.)

"Wasn't in a woodpile, was he?"
(Responding to news that former black militant H. Rap Brown, subsequently known as Abdullah Al-Amin, was found hiding in a shed in Alabama after exchanging gunfire with police. Imus is here alluding to the expression "nigger in the woodpile.")

"Knuckle-dragging moron."
(Description of basketball player Patrick Ewing.)

"We all have 12-inch penises."
(After being asked what he has in common with Nat Turner, Malcolm X, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Latrell Sprewell from the New York Knicks, and Al Sharpton.)

"Chest-thumping pimps."
(Description of the New York Knicks.)

"A cleaning lady."
(Reference to journalist Gwen Ifill, possibly out of pique that she wouldn't appear on his show. "I certainly don't know any black journalists who will," she wrote in the April 10 New York Times. The Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page used to appear, but after he made Imus pledge not to make offensive comments in the future, he was never asked back.)

On Jews:

"I remember when I first had [the Blind Boys of Alabama] on a few years ago, how the Jewish management at whatever, whoever we work for, CBS, or whatever it is, were bitching at me about it. […] I tried to put it in terms that these money-grubbing bastards could understand."

"Boner-nosed … beanie-wearing Jewboy."
(Description of Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, a frequent guest.)

On women:

"That buck-tooth witch Satan, Hillary Clinton." […] "I never admitted it when I went down there and got in all that big jam, insulting Bill Clinton and his fat ugly wife, Satan. Did I? Did I ever say I was sorry for that?"

On Native Americans:

"The guy from F-Troop, Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell."
(This is a reference to the zany Indian characters on the 1960s TV sitcom F-Troop. They had names like "Roaring Chicken," "Crazy Cat," and "Chief Wild Eagle.")

On Japanese:

"Old Kabuki's in a coma and the market's going up. […] How old is the boy? The battery's running down on that boy."
(Reference to Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, who died the following week.)

On gays:

"I didn't know that Allan Bloom was coming in from the back end."
(The homosexuality of the author of The Closing of the American Mind became widely known when Saul Bellow published Ravelstein, a novel whose protagonist was based on Bloom, who by then was deceased.)

"The enormously attractive [NBC political correspondent] Chip Reid, I can say without being accused of being some limp-wristed 'mo."

On the handicapped:

"Janet Reno's having a press conference. Ms. Reno, of course, has Parkinson's disease, has a noticeable tremor. […] I don't know how she gets that lipstick on (laughter) looking like a rodeo clown."

Every one of these statements came directly out of Imus' mouth on his program. That's striking because Imus usually leaves it to other show regulars (especially McGuirk, the aforementioned point man on "nigger" jokes) to say the most offensive stuff, with Imus feeding them straight lines. It's safer that way.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tick Tock, Tick Tock

Reuters: Some advertisers yank ads from Imus show
Staples and Procter & Gamble have pulled ads after racial slur

LOS ANGELES - Companies including Procter & Gamble Co. and Staples Inc. are pulling advertisements from Don Imus’ show due to the shock jock’s on-air racial slur about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.

His Buds Are Desperate To Save Imus

I am thoroughly disgusted as I watch Hardball tonight. David Gregory (Bush's pal 'Stretch') tells Rev. Al Sharpton that given Don Imus's history of doing good work, couldn't he keep the promise he made on the Today show this morning and have a black person on the show every day, to change how America talks about race.

So ridiculous. Why does America need a moron who doesn't realize that the phrase "nappy-headed hos" is offensive in 2007 to be given a bully pulpit to teach the country about race? What does he know about it? Is he going to teach us as he learns? Sheesh.

They see a 'teachable moment' and they want Imus, the racist, to be the teacher. Completely absurd.

It reminds me of Mark McGwire's testimony before the Congressional committee investigating steroids in baseball, where (besides telling us he was not there to talk about the past) he kept offering to be a national spokesperson against steroids.

Like McGwire on steroids, Imus has proven himself uniquely unsuited to be a spokesperson against racism. But that's the job all his white male friends think he should be given.

None of these jamokes have ever counted the people in the room to find out how many looked like them. Never. Clueless.

A Few More Perspectives on Imus

Members of the Rutgers women's basketball team are shown during a news conference held on campus in Piscataway, N.J., Tuesday, April 10, 2007, to react to derogatory remarks directed at their team made on air by radio personality Don Imus. The team said they would meet privately with Imus. (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

Lisa Olson, NYDailyNews: Two weeks? He needs at least a summer vacation

-- Lisa Olson is famous herself; as a reporter for the Boston Herald in 1990, she was graphically sexually harassed by a group of naked players while trying to do interviews in the New England Patriots dressing room. Enough Is Enough
[NBA Washington] Wizards center and SLAMonline columnist Etan Thomas calls for the firing of radio host Don Imus.

NYDailyNews: WNBA's prez blasts Imus

Steve Politi, Newark Star-Ledger (NJ): Imus should get to know these young stars

Paul Franklin, Home News Tribune (central NJ): This team towers over Don Imus
Great 'meet the team' article.

Tim Keown, ESPN Page2: Congratulations, Don Imus

Jemele Hill, ESPN Page 2: Take a stand against indecency and cruelty

NYDailyNews: No suspending a mother's anger
Vaughn's mom wants Imus off air for good

No wonder Kia Vaughn kept saying 'No. Comment.' during the press conference when she was asked whether Imus should be fired.

Essence Carson Rocks The House

Rutgers junior guard Essence Carson beams during a news conference Monday, April 2, 2007 in Cleveland. Rutgers plays Tennessee for the women's college basketball national championship Tuesday night.
(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Essence Carson is answering most of the questions for the Rutgers women's basketball team press conference today.

If MSNBC needs someone to fill in the two weeks of Imus's absence, why not give Essence Carson the gig? She's smart, has thought a lot about the issues of sexism and racism, and thinks before she speaks. Far more interesting than some newsreader. I bet some prof at Rutgers would give her three credits for that, not that she needs them.

NCAA: The Essence of Being a Student-Athlete

Thank You C. Vivian Stringer

Don Imus

She just stuck a fork in Don Imus. But good. See why everyone in women's college basketball loves and respects her?

There was a fantastic program on PBS about her three years ago called "This Is A Game, Ladies." And despite the title PBS gave their documentary, Stringer removed "Ladies" from the team title. They're the Scarlet Knights, not the Lady Scarlet Knights.

When Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer arrived in New Jersey 12 years ago, she immediately removed the "Lady" from Scarlet Knights.

"I understand that that's something more regional or southern," Stringer said. "And with all due respect, I just believe that basketball is basketball and you don't need to make a distinction…I think that it's time to just drop the 'lady' thing, let's play basketball."

You can listen to Tavis Smiley's interview with C. Vivian Stringer here.

Rutgers Press Conference On Now

Cable channels only. NBC does not deign to carry it live.

More Perspectives on Imus

Philadelphia Daily News: Elmer Smith | Imus is a stone-cold racist - & don't you forget it!

Eugene Robinson, WaPo: Misogyny in the Morning

Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Get rid of Imus -- and sexist rap, too

Al Roker, Today's Family Blog: 'it is time for him to go.'

Gwen Knapp, San Francisco Chronicle: Women need to raise voices on Imus insult

Editorial, Milwaukee Journal: Vile remark was racist

Mike Kelly, Slime us in the morning

Dayton Daily News: Mary McCarty: Don Imus' 'joke' is ugly, hurtful and not funny

Don Imus has the freedom to say whatever he wants, and MSNBC has the freedom to say, "We no longer want your product."

If they keep him on, they're sending a very different message:

"Racism sells."

Gwen Ifill Speaks

Imus has been running around claiming he never called Gwen Ifill a cleaning lady. I'm sure that's technically true. Imus' schtick works like this: one of his crew, usually his producer, Bernard Mcuirk, makes an offensive statement. There's a brief moment of silence, then they all begin laughing like hyenas. Imus pretends to be outraged, and they all begin repeating the offensive statement, in the guise of remonstrating with Bernard. But actually, they're all enjoying the joke. Ha ha. Frat boy humor. Snap that towel, laugh at the pain that follows. Ha ha.

I don't think Gwen Ifill has ever spoken publicly about the cleaning lady incident before. She has a column in today's New York Times.

Gwen Ifill, NYTimes: Trash Talk Radio

I was covering the White House for this newspaper in 1993, when Mr. Imus’s producer began calling to invite me on his radio program. I didn’t return his calls. I had my hands plenty full covering Bill Clinton.

Soon enough, the phone calls stopped. Then quizzical colleagues began asking me why Don Imus seemed to have a problem with me. I had no idea what they were talking about because I never listened to the program.

It was not until five years later, when Mr. Imus and I were both working under the NBC News umbrella — his show was being simulcast on MSNBC; I was a Capitol Hill correspondent for the network — that I discovered why people were asking those questions. It took Lars-Erik Nelson, a columnist for The New York Daily News, to finally explain what no one else had wanted to repeat.

“Isn’t The Times wonderful,” Mr. Nelson quoted Mr. Imus as saying on the radio. “It lets the cleaning lady cover the White House.”

I was taken aback but not outraged. I’d certainly been called worse and indeed jumped at the chance to use the old insult to explain to my NBC bosses why I did not want to appear on the Imus show.

I haven’t talked about this much. I’m a big girl. I have a platform. I have a voice. I’ve been working in journalism long enough that there is little danger that a radio D.J.’s juvenile slap will define or scar me. Yesterday, he began telling people he never actually called me a cleaning lady. Whatever. This is not about me.

It is about the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. That game had to be the biggest moment of their lives, and the outcome the biggest disappointment. They are not old enough, or established enough, to have built up the sort of carapace many women I know — black women in particular — develop to guard themselves against casual insult.

Why do my journalistic colleagues appear on Mr. Imus’s program? That’s for them to defend, and others to argue about. I certainly don’t know any black journalists who will.
To his credit, Mr. Imus told the Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday he realizes that, this time, he went way too far.

Yes, he did. Every time a young black girl shyly approaches me for an autograph or writes or calls or stops me on the street to ask how she can become a journalist, I feel an enormous responsibility. It’s more than simply being a role model. I know I have to be a voice for them as well.

So here’s what this voice has to say for people who cannot grasp the notion of picking on people their own size: This country will only flourish once we consistently learn to applaud and encourage the young people who have to work harder just to achieve balance on the unequal playing field.

Let’s see if we can manage to build them up and reward them, rather than opting for the cheapest, easiest, most despicable shots.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Profits Over Principles -- Imus Suspended -- For Just Two Weeks

Proving once again that it's all about the Benjamins, MSNBC and CBS Radio (who syndicate the WFAN broadcast) have suspended Don Imus's show. For two weeks. Oh, that'll really teach him. He can go on the two-week apology tour and bullshit people all over America about how really sorry he is. Which he isn't. He's pissed that he's being called out. Listen to the audio of his appearance on Al Sharpton's radio show today. Listen to the rage underneath his weasel words.

[] IMUS gets into it with a caller who from Ebony magazine, (thanks to Duncan for clarifying)": audio_mp3 Download (1665) | Play (2300) 4 minutes long…

IMUS: "Don't talk about me doing used car commercials. I'll bet you I've slept in a house with more black children who were not related to me than you have. Do not get into my face about this…why don't you show up here in person."

They'll probably shitcan his producer, even though "nappy-headed hos" came out of Imus's mouth, not McGuirk's. {Not that I'm defending Bernard. He should be fired, too.}

And the guests will come crawling back. Media first (for sheer amusement, you must check out the embarrassing turn by Howard Fineman of Newsweek on Imus this morning, and even worse, the disgraceful simpering "riff" by Thomas Oliphant, who also appeared on the show this morning to declare: "Good morning, Mr. Imus, and solidarity forever, by the way."), followed by politicians. They all are so used to bowing to Imus that they'll never be able to break the habit.

Did you listen to Imus back in the days when he was establishing his "charity" ranch for kids with cancer. (I put it in quotes because money counted as charitable deductions went to extravagant accommodations:

Dubbed the "Cowboy Taj Mahal" by locals, the complex has a 14,000-square-foot adobe mansion, swimming pool, billiard hall, herds of longhorn cattle, buffalo and sheep, and a replica of an 1880s mining town.

and, they have been investigated by the states of New York and New Mexico, and by the feds). He would mock the people who gave money, but nothing like the rants where he'd go on and on for days about people who he felt could afford to donate but hadn't. And still they came, reviled or not.

I hope I'm wrong and the next two weeks prove his undoing.

MediaMattersForAmerica: MSNBC's Imus Double Standard
Network Quickly Fired Michael Savage for Homophobic Rant in 2003, Imus Goes Unpunished Despite Long History of Inflammatory Language

Ron Allen, The Daily Nightly (MSNBC Blog): Imus' comments hit close to home

Digby: It's Hard Out Here Fo A Pimp

NYTimes: Don Imus Suspended Over Racial Remarks

WaPo: Don Imus Is Punished With Two Weeks of Radio Silence

WaPo Editorial: Shocked Jock
Don Imus takes his lumps. He deserves every one of them.

Cal Ripken Does The Right Thing

Cancels appearance on Imus. I love Cal Ripken.

Washington Times: Imus' comments lead Ripken to back out

Express Yourself 3.0

Now has a poll up.

Express Yourself 2.0

You can file a complaint with the FCC here. Use FCC Form 475B: Obscene, Profane, and/or Indecent Material Complaint Form. (The other forms let you complain about your phone service.)

The offending show was broadcast on MSNBC and WFAN. (WFAN-AM)

The date was Wednesday April 4, 2007.

It ran between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.

Express Yourself

CNN has a poll on whether or not Don Imus should be fired.

It's on the left-hand column. Scroll down and vote.

Nice hairdo. (yes, that's an ironic statement based on what Imus said.)

The Corporate Media Slimes Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) shakes hands with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem at her arrival to Damascus airport April 3, 2007. REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

There was nothing wrong or unprecedented about Nancy Pelosi's bipartisan delegation's visit to Syria. The corporate media was happy to carry the Bush Administrations's slurs about it, though. Paul Krugman deconstructs the media dance. One step, Bushco; two step, Fox; three step, CNN; four step, Washington Post. Do-si-so with your partner, round and round.

Paul Krugman, NYTimes: Sweet Little Lies (TimesSelect wall; also here and here).

Et Tu, Omar?

Where are the New York Mets? Shouldn't they have something to say when a shock jock on the radio station that carries their games makes racist remarks?

WFAN Homepage

There he is, Don Imus, "UP NEXT" on the home of the Mets, WFAN.

Or would they only be pissed if Don Imus called Willie Randolph a nappy-headed ho.

Or Carlos Beltran:

Or Julio Franco:

Need I say more, Omar Minaya? Do the Mets take a position here?

Omar Minaya, Mets GM

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Too Dumb To Get His Lies Straight

MSNBC: Gonzales Crams for a Senate Grilling

At a recent "prep" for a prospective Sunday talk-show interview, Gonzales's performance was so poor that top aides scrapped any live appearances. During the March 23 session in the A.G.'s conference room, Gonzales was grilled by a team of top aides and advisers—including former Republican National Committee chair Ed Gillespie and former White House lawyer Tim Flanigan—about what he knew about the plan to fire seven U.S. attorneys last fall. But Gonzales kept contradicting himself and "getting his timeline confused," said one participant who asked not to be identified (So Easter.)talking about a private meeting. His advisers finally got "exasperated" with him, the source added.

And this guy is the highest law enforcement officer in the land? His holding such a high office is just a further humiliation of the United States in the eyes of the world. But at least George W. Bush could snap his towel at Abu and call him names (nickname Fredo). He's so dumb he made Georgie feel smart.

I saw this on TalkingPointsMemo, the source for all things Purgative.

Speaking of how dumb the guy who appointed DummyGonzales is, did you see this story?

The CEO of Ford Motor Company stopped George The Lesser from plugging a live extension cord into the hydrogen tank of a hybrid vehicle (which would have a caused an explosion and immolated Curious George). He grabbed the commander in chief's arm and directed him to the front of the vehicle so this photograph could be taken:

Our President. What a maroon.