4 comments April 7th, 2007at 09:23pm Posted by Eli

It really is almost impossible to get fired, or even shunned, if you’re a Republican:

On Wednesday morning, Don Imus called the students who play for the Rutgers University women’s basketball team a bunch of “nappy-headed ho’s.”

Even for Mr. Imus, a nationally syndicated radio host who knows his way around an insult, it was a shocking remark, one that seemed to impugn both the physical and moral characteristics of a team composed mostly of black players.

What followed was a familiar dance for Mr. Imus and the media companies that profit from his ability to shock his way to big audiences: outrage, indignation and, eventually, the expression of deep regret.

And so on Thursday, Mr. Imus wondered aloud on his show what the big deal was, saying people should not be offended by “some idiot comment meant to be amusing.”


MSNBC, which simulcasts Mr. Imus’s show on cable television, issued an apology, noting that the program is not a production of the network; NBC, its parent company, called the comments “deplorable.”

CBS Radio, which syndicates the radio show, was sorry as well: “We are disappointed by Imus’s actions earlier this week which we find completely inappropriate,” the company said in a statement. “We fully agree that a sincere apology was called for and will continue to monitor the program’s content going forward.”

For his part, Mr. Imus appeared doubly sorry: for a time on Friday, the printed version of his apology, made on Friday morning’s show — he termed his remarks “thoughtless and stupid” — appeared twice on his home page at


This is hardly the first time Mr. Imus has made racially insensitive remarks during a broadcast. In a 1997 interview with “60 Minutes,” he said he chose one white staffer to tell racial jokes on his show. He once referred to the PBS anchor Gwen Ifill as “a cleaning lady.” And in 2001 he took a pledge, guided by the Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, to refrain from making further racist comments on his program.

Mr. Imus’s defenders say that he is actually an equal-opportunity offender: Jews, gays and Roman Catholics are also his frequent targets. Yesterday’s show, on Good Friday, included a song couplet that managed to rhyme the words “resurrection” and “erection.”

That’s an… interesting defense against accusations of bigotry.

Mr. Imus made his on-air apology yesterday morning amid the topical humor.

“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.”


Richard Prince, a columnist who writes a blog called Journal-isms about media and diversity, said that Mr. Imus was inoculated to some degree by his powerful relationships.

“One of the most offensive things about the whole episode is not just MSNBC playing ball with Imus,” Mr. Prince said. “Not only is the network supporting this kind of program, but think of all the prominent journalists and politicians who are also enabling him and these kinds of comments.”

Bad as Imus is, it sounds like his executive producer is even worse:

“That’s some rough girls from Rutgers,” Mr. Imus said on Wednesday. “Man, they got tattoos …” The program’s executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, agreed: “Some hardcore ho’s,” he said. Imus continued, “That’s some nappy-headed ho’s there, I’m going to tell you that.”

Later in the show, Mr. McGuirk characterized the women’s collegiate basketball championship Tuesday night, between Rutgers and the University of Tennessee, as “the Jigaboos versus the Wannabes.”

No-one will lose their job over this. Imus will suffer no damage to his reputation or popularity as a consequence of being a racist asshole. Melanie Morgan and her merry little band of KSFO freaks are not just racist but eliminationist, and they’re all still employed.

Entry Filed under: Media,Racism,Republicans,Wankers


  • 1. Interrobang  |  April 8th, 2007 at 12:06 am

    Funny how these “equal opportunity offenders” seem to be all white men, isn’t it? And they seldom go after white men in the same way as they go after everyone else.

    Don’t choke on your privilege while making your cat-ate-the-canary face, Mr. Imus.

  • 2. spocko  |  April 8th, 2007 at 12:44 am

    Yep. The KSFO people are still employed. It’s very interesting situation. Of course the people who have the power over hiring and firing are now on record as supporting them. So if there are any future atrocities, they can’t deny they didn’t know what they were capability of, and then that can be left on THEIR doorstep. “This is what you encouraged, supported, defended. This IS who you are. YOUR “BRAND” includes this as well as you as humans are supporting this dreck.

    And to management as long as they deliver the numbers they think it is fine. They figure they can convince enough advertisers that the DFHs didn’t get it right, that they are just picking on them because of the politics and they now offer an ever better greater value for their dollar.
    . But what if they don’t? What if they start COSTING them revenue and not earning them revenue? Then what? Well they are going be subsidized and supported for a while until “the unpleasantness passes.” Because of the fundamental believe (pushed by the neocons) that this is good business. They keep telling the old lies like democrats are weak on security and they are bad for the economy even though all the facts show that the opposite is true.

    9/11 happened on their watch, Katrina disaster, their watch, sup prime crisis coming up? Them. Not to mention the trillions for the war. How is that good for all American’s? It isn’t but those American’s who are on the Republican Dole it’s great.

    BTW, Did that guy actually say,”Jigaboo?” that just blows my mind.

    What I found interesting about the KSFO things was the many ways that they chose to deal with the situation. It mirrored the Bush White House in a lot of ways. Deny they ever said what they said. Say that it was out of context, give non-apologies, refuse to apologize and then also say that you already apologized.

    The same trick used by the White House.

  • 3. Eli  |  April 8th, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Of course the people who have the power over hiring and firing are now on record as supporting them. So if there are any future atrocities, they cant deny they didnt know what they were capability of, and then that can be left on THEIR doorstep. This is what you encouraged, supported, defended. This IS who you are. YOUR BRAND includes this as well as you as humans are supporting this dreck.

    Yes. The empty statements of official disapproval ring hollow when they’re never accompanied by any kind of substantive action.

    If you have the right connections, *nothing* is truly out of bounds. Maybe they’ll sacrifice the executive producer, but then they’d have to explain why his comments were firing-worthy and Imus’s weren’t.

  • 4. Resources for Ousting Imu&hellip  |  April 9th, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    […] Eli at Multi Medium assesses MediaCorp’s reaction and explanation so far. […]

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