Don Imus: Freak of the Week
HOW MANY TIMES CAN THIS GUY PISS OFF THE BLACK COMMUNITY?
Let me set things up by going back to a transcript of what went down on last week’s Imus In The Morning show…
DON IMUS: So, I watched the basketball game last night between — a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women’s final.
SID ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night — seventh championship for [Tennessee coach] Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.
IMUS: That’s some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and —
BERNARD McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.
IMUS: That’s some nappy-headed hos there. I’m gonna tell you that now, man, that’s some — woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like — kinda like — I don’t know.
McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.
McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes — that movie that he had.
IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough —
CHARLES McCORD: Do The Right Thing.
McGUIRK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
IMUS: I don’t know if I’d have wanted to beat Rutgers or not, but they did, right?
ROSENBERG: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.
Are we really supposed to be shocked by any of this? Don Imus is no stranger to controversies regarding his ability to make racially insensitive remarks. Let’s remember that this is the same man that told a 60 Minutes staffer off-mike that Bernard McGuirk, was tapped to do “nigger jokes” (his words not mine, folks) on the radio program.
This is the same program that called Venus and Serena Williams “two booma-chucka, big-butted women”, and referred to an Indian men’s doubles team as “Gunga Din and Sambo.” The show has even compared “the gorilla special effects in (the film) Instinct” to “the starting line-up of the Knicks.” Imus himself referred to PBS anchor Gwen Ifill as a “cleaning lady” and called New York Times sports columnist Bill Rhoden a “quota hire.” Now that’s what I call ‘highbrow’ comedy.
It is no wonder we now have Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton calling for Mr. Imus’ head on a silver platter. (There’s two guys who know how to milk any racial controversy for all it’s worth.) The Rev. Jackson said his RainbowPUSH Coalition plans to protest Monday outside the NBC’s Chicago offices. Apparently a plane ticket to New York is too expensive for the coalition’s travel budget. Maybe Imus should advocate cheating on your wife to win back the Reverend’s support. New York forgave Jackson after he referred to it as ‘Hymie Town’, maybe he can show a little forgiveness for Imus.
Al Sharpton says he wants Imus fired and intends to write the Federal Communications Commission about the matter. “Somewhere we must draw the line in what is tolerable in mainstream media,” he said Sunday. “We cannot keep going through offending us and then apologizing and then acting like it never happened. Somewhere we’ve got to stop this.” If anyone is an expert on acting like nothing ever happened, it’s Al Sharpton. He certainly acts like we have somehow forgotten his role in the whole Tawana Brawley mess. In an act of desperation, Imus has agreed to appear on Al’s radio program on Monday. Lord knows what will come of that exchange.
Mr. Imus made this on-air apology Friday morning:
“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,” Mr. Imus said. “It was completely inappropriate, and we can understand why people were offended. Our characterization was thoughtless and stupid, and we are sorry.”
Good luck with that.
The president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has demanded that Imus “resign or be terminated immediately.” A spokeswoman for MSNBC said the network considers Imus’ comments “deplorable” and is reviewing the matter. CBS Radio, Imus’ main employer, says it is “disappointed” in Imus’ actions and characterized his comments as “completely inappropriate.”
National Association of Black Journalists president, Bryan Monroe, says Mr. Imus’s apology was not enough and called on journalists to boycott the show. “It was stunning, insulting and unbelievable that he went there…No matter how contrite, his words hurt so many so deeply that after 40 years in the radio business, it is time for him to go.”
“The N.C.A.A. and Rutgers University are offended by the insults on MSNBC’s Don Imus program toward the 10 young women on the Rutgers basketball team,” say the president of the NCAA and the president of Rutgers in a joint statement. “It is unconscionable that anyone would use the airways to utter such disregard for the dignity of human beings who have accomplished much and deserve great credit. It is appropriate that Mr. Imus and MSNBC have apologized.”
So Don Imus, maybe I should look past your tired schtick (and the fact that you blatantly ripped off Howard Stern’s radio format) and crown you as Freak of the Week. You did raise a bunch of money for the Center for the Intrepid, and you have that ranch for kids with cancer, so you can’t be a total jerk. Plus, you completely trashed that horrible news reader, Contessa Brewer, who happens to be the most worthless thing your cable channel has to offer (that is saying a lot.) I just worry about my poor mother, who absolutely adores his MSNBC program. If they take that away from her she might have to start watching the Today show again.
Congratulations, Imus! You’ve really made the big time as my Freak of the Week.