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Author Topic: Another national-news racist gaffe (Don Imus)
Omega M.
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We don't have a thread about this yet?

quote:
Imus says he'll check his acid tongue

NEW YORK - Calling himself a good person who said a bad thing, radio host Don Imus said Monday he would check his acid tongue after being lambasted for making racially charged comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

...

Imus made the now infamous remark during his show Wednesday.

The Rutgers team, which includes eight black women, had lost the day before in the NCAA women's championship game. Imus was speaking with producer Bernard McGuirk about the game when the exchange began on "Imus in the Morning," which is broadcast to millions of people on more than 70 stations and MSNBC.

"That's some rough girls from Rutgers," Imus said. "Man, they got tattoos..."

"Some hardcore hos," McGuirk said.

"That's some nappy-headed hos there, I'm going to tell you that," Imus said.

Imus also apologized on the air Friday, but his mea culpa has not quieted the uproar.

Doesn't seem on the level of the Michael Richards incident to me; it seems that he was simply trying to pay the girls a funny compliment by "talking black." Obviously he should have known that his remarks would not fly and should be fined or suspended to make sure he gets the message not to do it again; but if he hasn't had incidents like this before I'm not sure he needs to be fired.

(Edited to add link.)

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sndrake
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Well, Michael Richards wasn't very gainfully employed as an entertainer at the time of his own troubles. Imus, OTOH, is a very successful radio and TV talkshow host.

And, according to the NY Times, this isn't the first time...

With Imus, they keep coming back

quote:
On Thursday, before his employers knew they had a growing public-relations problem on their hands, Mr. Imus suggested that everyone needed to relax and should not be offended by “some idiot comment meant to be amusing.” (Which part was supposed to be funny? The nappy-head or the ho’s?)

***

This isn’t the first time that Mr. Imus has trolled these waters: he once called Gwen Ifill, then working at The New York Times, “a cleaning lady” and described one of the paper’s sports columnists, William C. Rhoden, as a “quota hire.” Both of those journalists are black, but Mr. Imus’s defenders like to point out that he is an equal-opportunity misanthrope whose show displays 360-degree offensiveness toward all sorts of ethnicities, sexual orientations and religious affiliations.

Although the Web has been alive with calls for sanctions against Mr. Imus — the clip is available for all to see on YouTube — mainstream media have remained relatively silent. He is, after all, popular, good at his job and, perhaps more important, he generously provides oxygen — and an audience — to the kind of journalistic and political elites who would be expected to demand his head on a pike.

He is, to borrow one of the show’s metaphors, a lawn jockey to the establishment. Few politicians, big or small, pass up a chance to bump knees with Mr. Imus, in part because his show is one of the few places where they can talk seriously and at length about public issues. Senator John Kerry has stopped by. Senator John McCain is on frequently. And Senators Joseph I. Lieberman and Joseph R. Biden are part of a legion eager to sit in the guest chair.

NBC News uses “Imus in the Morning” to promote the brands of Tim Russert, Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory. Tom Brokaw was a frequent guest, and his replacement, Brian Williams, has been sanctified by the I-man, as they call him. Chris Matthews from MSNBC has appeared, as have anchors and journalists from CNN and CBS and, on the print side, by reporters and editors from Newsweek and popular opinion columnists from The New York Times.

Imus didn't apologize (and his producer said stuff on-air that hasn't been part of the discussion outside of the article I've linked) until *after* it was clear the problem wasn't going away - but was building. NBC is too invested in the guy to can him. What I want to see is which political figures still choose to appear on his show now.
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FlyingCow
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It's a big deal here in NJ. People are calling for his head.

I think his producer needs to take as much heat as he is, though.

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sndrake
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quote:
I think his producer needs to take as much heat as he is, though.
I agree. I decided not to post the quote from the producer here. Even if it didn't violate forum rules, I think it was offensive enough to leave off the thread - anyone who wants to find it can go to the link.

I'll be curious to see how Keith Olbermann handles this on his show, considering his condemnation of behavior of figures outside of his own network. I'm hoping for, but not really expecting, consistency.

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Jutsa Notha Name
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His justifications later on why he does not consider himself racist are funny, and sound like this.
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porcelain girl
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So making derogatory slurs about their hair is wrong, but referring them to as hoes is OKAY?

don't call a black girl's hair nappy unless you're her sister, but by all means demean all citizens that have a vagina.

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porcelain girl
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p.s. only the second half of that sentence was meant to be sarcastic. really don't tell someone she has nappy hair.

tattered mess? okay.

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David Bowles
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Racist in the Morning! Great show, MSNBC... keep up the amazing work :rolls eyes:

Can you imagine if Limbaugh or one of his clones said some stupid-arse nonsense like this? Gah.

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Dagonee
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CBS Radio and MSNBC both said they were suspending Don Imus' morning talk show for two weeks following his reference last week to members of the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos."
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FlyingCow
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Actually, porce, he's being called on the carpet for both the mysogonism and racism. I would just like his two cohorts to take the same heat - which they have not.

Imus has made public apology (which I don't buy for a second), but the other two knuckleheads haven't made any sort of withdrawal or apology.

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Jutsa Notha Name
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quote:
Originally posted by David Bowles:
Racist in the Morning! Great show, MSNBC... keep up the amazing work :rolls eyes:

Can you imagine if Limbaugh or one of his clones said some stupid-arse nonsense like this? Gah.

You mean like this?
Or like this?

Imus should resign just like Limbaugh did from ESPN. Limbaugh owns his own show now, so he can hide behind his 1st Amendment rights for the latter.

Oh, I missed this shining beauty. It isn't racism when it's about politicians though, right? It just gets better.

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David Bowles
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Didn't one of Imus' buddies use an even worse epithet on that same show? Not the "n" word, but something nearly as insulting?
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Tresopax
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Many are predictably making a mountain out of a molehill here. He didn't hurt anyone, he didn't break any laws, and there is no indication that Imus was doing anything other than attempting to be funny. It doesn't justify firing him or the outrage of the past few days. Now that Imus has apologized, repeatedly, it is time to for people like Al Sharpton to move on.
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Jutsa Notha Name
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quote:
Originally posted by David Bowles:
Didn't one of Imus' buddies use an even worse epithet on that same show? Not the "n" word, but something nearly as insulting?

I would not doubt it. Don Imus is a jerk and a bitter human being.
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Omega M.
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Yeah, somebody said the j-word (look it up at Don Imus's Wikipedia entry), which I thought was always way over the line for a white person to say, even if it was in reference to something from Spike Lee's "School Daze" (Imus and company's defense).

That plus Imus's past comments about black individuals (which I didn't know of when I made my original post) may warrant his firing. I, along with the rest of us, don't know all the factors in this situation, so I can't be more certain in my opinion than that.

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sndrake
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Here are a couple interesting pieces I came across today:

NY Times op-ed by Gwen Ifil, currently senior correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and moderator of "Washington Week." (requires free registration and login)

Trash Talk Radio

quote:
The serial apologies of Mr. Imus, who was suspended yesterday by both NBC News and CBS Radio for his remarks, have failed another test. The sincerity seems forced and suspect because he’s done some version of this several times before.

I know, because he apparently did it to me.

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.


Al Roker says it's time for Imus to go

quote:
Don Imus needs to be fired for what he said. And while we’re at it, his producer, Bernard McGuirk, needs to be canned as well. McGuirk is just as guilty, often egging Imus on.

The “I’m a good person who said a bad thing” apology doesn’t cut it. At least he didn’t try to weasel out of this by hiding behind alcohol or drug abuse. Still, he said it and a two-week suspension doesn’t cut it. It is, at best, a slap on the wrist. A vacation. Nothing.

The general manager of Cartoon Network resigned after a publicity stunt went wrong and caused a panic in Boston. He did the right thing. Don Imus should do the right thing and resign. Not talk about taking a two-week suspension with dignity. I don’t think Don Imus gets it.

After watching and listening to him this morning during an interview with Matt Lauer, Don Imus doesn’t get it. Maybe it’s being stuck in a studio for 35 years or being stuck in the 1980s. Either way, it’s obvious that he needs to move on. Citing “context within a comedy show” is not an excuse.

He has to take his punishment and start over. Guess what? He’ll get re-hired and we’ll go on like nothing happened. CBS Radio and NBC News needs to remove Don Imus from the airwaves. That is what needs to happen. Otherwise, it just looks like profits and ratings rule over decency and justice.


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FlyingCow
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quote:
He didn't hurt anyone, he didn't break any laws, and there is no indication that Imus was doing anything other than attempting to be funny.
He (and his producer, mind) insulted and ridiculed 9 young women on national television and radio for doing nothing other than playing themselves into their sport's pinnacle game.

And, as has been made clear in this thread, it's not the first time he's been in the spotlight for racist remarks.

Two weeks is a joke suspension. Two months would be more like it. CBS simply gave him a short vacation. I wouldn't be surprised if they filled the gap with two weeks of "best of Imus" material, anyway.

My only thought is that the two weeks has a stipulation that reads something like "if x, y, or z happens again, you're fired".

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Tresopax
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quote:
He (and his producer, mind) insulted and ridiculed 9 young women on national television and radio for doing nothing other than playing themselves into their sport's pinnacle game.
Which is acting like a jerk, clearly. But I don't think firing someone is an appropriate punishment for acting like a jerk in this case, especially in the radio industry where it seems like most personalities act like jerks on the air all the time. And I definitely don't think it justifies the giant media storm that has been whipped up.
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kmbboots
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I think it is a question of the dual idea/purpose of the media. If the media is about getting ratings and making money (which it is) then his bosses should be pleased with him. Unless this costs them listeners in which case they should fire him.

If the media is about informing, doing a public service, being credible etc. (and it is) they shouldn't have hired him in the first place.

Some of it is, of course, about what we want from media. Are more of us going to stop listening than start listening because of this? Are we going to get all outraged and keep listening?

If we are going to get outraged but keep listening then the station's response was precisely appropriate.

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FlyingCow
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Pretty much anything justifies a media storm. They're like pirahna - all they need is a little blood in the water.

And, yes, he acted like a racist, sexist &#$%!- "jerk" is a semantically kind way of putting it.

But does he deserve to be fired?

On a first offense, I would say no. In a corporate environment, if you said the same of a coworker as he said of the Rutgers basketball team, you'd have likely had a meeting with management, a note put in your record, and possibly be required to attend sensitivity training.

For repeated offenses, the consequences would be more severe, to the point where the company would let you go if you continued that behavior.

Grey's Anatomy had a similar situation, where one actor has been reprimanded for a comment made toward a costar, and his job was threatened.

Why is a radio personality so much different?

Granted, Imus didn't specifically insult a coworker directly, but are there no black women that work for his show? Are there no women that work for his show at all? Surely his comments, made in the public arena, have wider impact than 9 young women - and it wouldn't suprise me one bit if a black woman on his staff sued over a hostile work environment.

If this were a first offense, I'd understand a light punishment and reprimand. It's not a first offense, though - it's the continuation of a pattern.

So, his studio is well within its rights to tell him to cut it out or be fired. The suspension is a joke, obviously, as an umpteenth offense should call for more than two weeks, but if the threat of termination is there for any repeat behavior, that seems well within reason.

The most telling thing will be if sponsors start pulling money from the show - that will likely signal the end of his career at CBS Radio.

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James Tiberius Kirk
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quote:
From the comments in the Roker link:
It was clear Al was not himself during the broadcast this mornging...now I know why. While I do not support what Imus said, I wish there was some discussion among the panel (Sharpton, et al.) as to why African-Americans can apparently use such language in their music, movies, and "contexts of comedy", but for Don Imus it is wrong.

Heh, this is funny; the posters must not be paying attention. Despite my personal disagreements with Sharpton, I think it should be pointed out that he has condemned such speech before.

--j_k

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AvidReader
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I have to go with Flying Cow on this one. I briefly listened to Bubba the Love Sponge so I could give him a fair chance and not just buy into the hype. But he really was a vile shock jock, and I stopped listening to the radio station that hired him because his influence began to effect everything from the commercials to the other DJs.

I don't know when radio, rock in particular, will figure out that I want to hear music. Some guy running his mouth I can get anywhere. And on radio, I usually expect him to be offensive for fun and profit.

So why are we so shocked that some radio guy said something stupid and offensive? That's all they do these days. Put in a CD already and be done with it.

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Tresopax
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Here's what one the players on the Rutgers team said the other day:

quote:
"I think it kind of scars us. We grew up in a world where, of course, racism exists and there's nothing we can do to change that. I think we've come a long way from where we were, you know, dealing with slavery. . . . But I think this has scarred me for life."
Scarred for life? While it is troubling that there is some radio host out there who thinks it is okay to talk about young black women like this, I am much more concerned about America's apparent inability to get over it. Kids used to say "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me." If we have abandoned that idea, and instead adopted the notion that we should allow ourselves to get so extremely upset over the words said by a relatively minor public personality, then I think we as a society have a major problem. We are harming ourselves by letting outselves get more worked up than we need to be over something that should not matter. Imus is not really that important of a person, that his words should be able to scar someone he doesn't even know "for life".

Of course, it is the media that has magnified those words. Chances are, had the media not turned this into such a big story, the Rutgers women would have forgotten Imus by now.

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Belle
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quote:
Chances are, had the media not turned this into such a big story, the Rutgers women would have forgotten Imus by now.
I think, actually, if the media had not hyped it, none of them would ever have known about it to begin with.

quote:
We are harming ourselves by letting outselves get more worked up than we need to be over something that should not matter. Imus is not really that important of a person, that his words should be able to scar someone he doesn't even know "for life".

Could not agree more.
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FlyingCow
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I see Imus as a hangnail. Every so often, he catches on something, making a pull in a sweater, scratching the skin, or creating some other nuisance. Cut him off and be done with it.

As for Matee Ajavon's quote, it was definitely a bit over the top. Then again, I'm not sure if we can blame a 20 year old for being a bit hyperbolic after she's been insulted in front of millions of people.

(As an aside on Matee, her mother came over alone from Liberia when Matee was 3 to work as a nanny for a rich family in NJ. Matee was left with her grandmother while her mother saved enough money to bring her and her two sisters to America in 1992. In 1999, her mother had saved enough to bring Matee's grandmother over as well. Matee is majoring in African-American studies and wants to be a teacher, and has said "I want to change something about the world and Liberia". I'm sure a little overt racism and sexism directed at her from a major media figure will be a memory that stays with her - even though "scarred for life" is a strong way of saying that.)

As far as Imus being "not really that important of a person", he has a radio show in 50 markets that reaches 3.25 million listeners per week, plus a simulcast cable television show that reaches another 335k. Exactly how many viewers/listeners does he need to be "that important"?

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MrSquicky
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I sort of agree though. These are (presumably) women who are used to adversity and working hard. I think Imus is a jackass, but I'd be a whole lot happier about this story if they responded with something like "Man, we had to work our butts off to get to the National Championships. Yeah, we're kinda angry about him saying we're hos, we think the racist comments were stupid, but whatever. We're far to strong to let what some jackass says bother us. It may be important for people to realize that this is the kind of crap that black women who acheive things have to put up with though. It's time for us to get back into class and into the gym so we go all the way next season. Go Rutgers! Woo!"

They had a chance to step to be better role models in this situation. I don't blame them for not doing it - they're young and everyone around them is trying to push them as victims angle - but I'm just disappointed that they didn't.

---

edit: I thought about it a little bit and I've got to say, if the women did what I said, I don't think they'd get much in the way of attention. If they're not makign a fuss in one of our interest areas (like racism, or sex, or scandal, or whatever) society is not going to be paying attention. Is it wrong for them to want to get a little of the spotlight that people like Imus get all the time for being jackasses?

Sometimes, I despair of our society.

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David Bowles
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quote:

Sometimes, I despair of our society.

I totally hear you, but the fact that so many of us are appalled by the situation (rather than rabidly attacking those who are not part of our little tribal circle) shows just how far we've come in a few thousand years.

I'll quote from a talk Steven Pinker recently gave

quote:
Conventional history has long shown that, in many ways, we have been getting kinder and gentler. Cruelty as entertainment, human sacrifice to indulge superstition, slavery as a labor-saving device, conquest as the mission statement of government, genocide as a means of acquiring real estate, torture and mutilation as routine punishment, the death penalty for misdemeanors and differences of opinion, assassination as the mechanism of political succession, rape as the spoils of war, pogroms as outlets for frustration, homicide as the major form of conflict resolution—all were unexceptionable features of life for most of human history. But, today, they are rare to nonexistent in the West, far less common elsewhere than they used to be, concealed when they do occur, and widely condemned when they are brought to light.

At one time, these facts were widely appreciated. They were the source of notions like progress, civilization, and man's rise from savagery and barbarism. Recently, however, those ideas have come to sound corny, even dangerous. They seem to demonize people in other times and places, license colonial conquest and other foreign adventures, and conceal the crimes of our own societies. The doctrine of the noble savage—the idea that humans are peaceable by nature and corrupted by modern institutions—pops up frequently in the writing of public intellectuals like José Ortega y Gasset ("War is not an instinct but an invention"), Stephen Jay Gould ("Homo sapiens is not an evil or destructive species"), and Ashley Montagu ("Biological studies lend support to the ethic of universal brotherhood"). But, now that social scientists have started to count bodies in different historical periods, they have discovered that the romantic theory gets it backward: Far from causing us to become more violent, something in modernity and its cultural institutions has made us nobler.


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FlyingCow
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Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer, a long-time advocate of both women's and minority rights, said the following:

quote:
"I am deeply saddened and angered by Mr. Imus' statements regarding the members of the Rutgers women's basketball team. These talented, articulate young women put forth a great deal of hard work and effort this past season to reach the nation's grandest stage - the NCAA title game.

Throughout the year, these gifted young ladies set an example for the nation that through hard work and perseverance, you can accomplish anything if you believe. Without a doubt, this past season was my most rewarding in 36 years of coaching. This young team fought through immeasurable odds to reach the highest pinnacle and play for the school's first national championship in a major sport.

To serve as a joke of Mr. Imus in such an insensitive manner creates a wedge and makes light of the efforts of these classy individuals, both as women and as women of color. It is unfortunate Mr. Imus sought to tarnish Rutgers' spirit and success. Should we not, as adults, send a message of encouragement to young people to aspire to the highest levels as my team did this season?

It is of the utmost importance to be an inspiration to young people and I truly believe my team represented Rutgers University, the state of New Jersey and NCAA student-athletes across the country in the highest manner. I am proud of these young women and strongly encourage Mr. Imus to instead read the headlines and the stories that told of our triumphs the past six months.

Thousands of alumni and fans have reached out to me the past few days to share their warm wishes and congratulations on a special year, fans of not only Rutgers University but of women's basketball. I appreciate their kindness and am proud to be associated and surrounded by ten exceptional student-athletes."

Also, Tennessee coaching legend Pat Summit said the following:

quote:
"The inappropriate comments directed toward the student-athletes of Rutgers University were very disappointing," said Summitt. "Their head coach, C. Vivian Stringer, and I have been friends for a number of years, and I have tremendous respect for her and the great young women in her program. These student-athletes deserve a lot of credit for what they have accomplished, and it saddens me that they were treated with such disrespect.

"Never should there be a time when student-athletes are in a position to receive this kind of verbal abuse. I applaud Rutgers University, Coach Stringer and the Scarlet Knight student-athletes and the exemplary way they conducted themselves in their national press conference today. The University of Tennessee women's basketball program commends Rutgers' handling of this situation. It is emblematic of the outstanding caliber of student-athletes and coaches in women's collegiate basketball."

It is interesting to note, also, that Imus has lost two sponsors. Staples and Proctor & Gamble have both pulled their advertising from the show.

Here's another quote from Stringer, taken from that article:

quote:
"I've heard so many other talk show hosts speak on this, they say that's the way our society is," Stringer said Wednesday. "You know what? The society is the way it is because adults don't take leadership roles."
I think that's a very valid point.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Jutsa Notha Name:
His justifications later on why he does not consider himself racist are funny, and sound like this.

That is absolutely wonderful.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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This isn't a situation where some politico made a gaffe that's misconstrued, like the tar-baby comment or the niggardly comment or even Barbara Bush's supremely distasteful comment about the Katrina evacuees, this guy, as Flying Cow aptly put it, "He (and his producer, mind) insulted and ridiculed 9 young women on national television and radio for doing nothing other than playing themselves into their sport's pinnacle game."

Now for all you people out there who say that the stress on black Americans has nothing to do with race and everything to do with economics, Imus didn't call them poor, he called them nappy-headed hoes, which has everything to do with them being black.

I don't think he should be fired. Firing is a blunt instrument for the unimaginative. I'd rather the powers that be force him to interview a series of race scholars, once a week, for as long as he is to keep his job.

[ April 11, 2007, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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David Bowles
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I think that's an awesome idea, Irami.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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Diversity matters. It's the contribution from the black intelligentsia, ya'll. I don't have any juice, and nobody is going to listen to me, but if you don't get stuck in some Man's dichotomy of firing or not firing and resigning or not resigning, a lot of these seemingly sticky situations can get resolved for the betterment on the whole. (And yes, if Bush created some kind of HNIC position and put me on the cabinet, we wouldn't be in this Iraq mess, and we'd be off of oil. I'm just saying.)

Imus has the experience of running a political radio show, and he could show his journalistic integrity by following this timely issue, once a week, for the rest of his career. The whole world would benefit.

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Gecko
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Why are we assuming that calling someone nappy-headed is equivilant to calling them a nigger?

Are black people the only human beings on the planet who are allowed to have nappy hair?

Any why couldn't he just have been making fun of the fact they have nappy hair, like people of every other race have, instead of having people infer that by making fun of their hair he was making fun of their race

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TL
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You're kidding, surely?
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Gecko
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No, explain why no one wants to give this guy the benifit of the doubt
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Tresopax
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quote:
I don't think he should be fired. Firing is a blunt instrument for the unimaginative. I'd rather the powers that be force him to interview a series of race scholars, once a week, for as long as he is to keep his job.
That seems like an effective way to drag this out as long as possible...
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TL
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quote:
No, explain why no one wants to give this guy the benifit of the doubt
A guy with an alleged history of racism (Robin Quivers, for years, has been saying that Imus used to use the N-word in the halls of NBC on a regular basis) says "nappy-headed hos," on the air, in reference to a group of black girls. And you need an explanation as to why it's racist? I hear you saying you're serious, but I sort of can't believe it.

If you heard him on Al Sharpton, he never said it wasn't a racist remark. He only said that he himself wasn't a racist. But he made a stupid, wrong remark, and he's sorry for it.

If Imus himself isn't trying to say the remark (itself) wasn't racist... Why would you?

quote:
No, explain why no one wants to give this guy the benifit of the doubt
Because there is no doubt. There's no denial here. He made a racist remark.
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Gecko
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It's Imus's job to be a douchebag on air, that's what his listeners tune in for.

As opposed to Al Sharpton whose life is devoted to making mountains of issues like this, since his only job is being black for a living.

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TL
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"It's his job to be a douchebag" does not equal "He is not racist."
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Gecko
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So all douchebags are racist then?
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TL
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no....

(are you serious?)

I think this is the point where I realize you're not having this conversation in good faith, and I disengage.

Thanks.

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sndrake
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quote:
I don't think he should be fired. Firing is a blunt instrument for the unimaginative. I'd rather the powers that be force him to interview a series of race scholars, once a week, for as long as he is to keep his job.

That's not a bad idea, but since that pool is largely unknown to the media, I wouldn't be surprised if many of them "bombed" their first time out. That has nothing to do with race, but everything to do with academics - most of them don't know how to make concise points and come ready with stories that will engage the general public.

That's the reason only a few presidential historians make the rounds of the news shows. Kearns and Beschloss probably aren't the "best" history scholars around, but they're the best when it comes to accommodating the limited framework of a news show - including time limits.

Since the media hasn't made a point of going to race scholars, they'll kind of be starting from scratch, and some very good scholars might not come across that well on TV.

To avoid a separate post, I'd also like to say that whatever issues I do or don't have with Jackson and Sharpton, I think it's time these two black men started giving up some of their air time to black women who might have something to say on the subject.

Coach Stringer would be a good person to start with. [Smile]

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Lyrhawn
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First off, a comment on what Roker said. I think it's riduculous that the Cartoon Network head had to resign over the advertising issue. I think it was a snafu that should have been fixed by the ad agency calling the city and asking them about that kind of thing ahead of time, and that would have solved the problem, but they paid for it, literally, and I think frankly it was kind of a cool idea, it was just poorly executed. He shouldn't have needed to resign.

As far as firing Imus for what he said...I have conflicting thoughts. Frankly I think people need to get over it. This same kind of thing happens all the time. On air personality slips up and says something insulting, whether he means to or not, and then the media gloms all over it like sharks with fresh chum in the war, and you'd think someone was killed or a baby was abducted from all the press it gets. They blow it up into a HUGE spectacle, as if they've NEVER heard such a comment before in their entire lives, and said on air personality becomes both a scapegoat and posterchild for racists everywhere.

When the hell did we get so sensitive? I mean sure, it's NOT a polite thing to say, but this kind of uproar? How many steps away are we from pitchforks and torches? I don't think he should be fired, but I think as a decent human being he should make restitution for his insulting comments. If people want to stop listening to him, he'll become unpopular and they'll have to fire him because of his ratings, but I don't think that gaffe should undo his career. And I know that he serves at the pleasure of his bosses, who can fire him for any or no reason, but it still strikes me as a first amendment violation, not in law, but in spirit. The law doesn't protect his job, I know, but the spirit of the law seems trampled on when you talk about firing someone for what they say.

The one thing I'll give Imus a break for is when he called Carolyn Kilpatrick (mother of useless Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick) and Sharpton "you people." They IMMEDIATELY jumped all over it. Frankly what I think he meant when he said "you people" was people who are frenziedly blowing this thing out of proportion, people who won't let it go, and refuse to let anything short of a lynching be satisfactory in punishment. He said he was referring to just Sharpton and Kilpatrick, and I'm guessing they think he was referring to black people in general, but I think his frustration justified the comment, despite how wrong his initial comments were that started the whole thing.

PC isn't the law, it's just polite.

Edit to add: Sharpton had Carolyn Kilpatrick, the new head of the Congressional Black Caucus, on the phone when he interviewed Imus, so there's your black female air time. Not much, but a start.

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Gecko
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But Al Sharpton called for Imus to be fired!

And Jesse Jackson picketed outside CBS!

They're the president and prime minister of all black people, THEY MUST BE OBEYED.

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TL
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Edit: Nevermind.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
That seems like an effective way to drag this out as long as possible...
The question of whether to acknowledge ones place as one of the competing groups in the American pluralistic pattern isn't likely to go away soon. It's always there, especially in the political sphere, each election cycle when voters decide whether to vote for the candidate who best protects the interests of women, men, blacks, latinos, the disabled community, moneyed whites, poor whites, rural whites, unionists, groups you are a part of, groups you aren't a part of but who could use your support, etc. Group identity is enshrined in the very thought process of party politics, and it's not going to go away because you stop wanting to hear about some of its facets. Imus is a political commentator, and it shouldn't be that big of a stretch for him to take on this issue for an hour a week for the rest of his career.
_________

I don't know who appointed Jackson and Sharpton spokesmen for blacks.(I wouldn't be surprised if whites did it, as these two are impossible to take seriously.) I'd much rather hear Julian Bond weigh in on the issue. I'll be the first to admit that thoughtful, high-profile blacks who aren't too much under the sway of connected liberal whites are in short supply. It's like we lack an independent judiciary, or more pointedly, a professorial class.

[ April 11, 2007, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Gecko
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Not to mention one of them has a perm
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Morbo
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quote:
Originally posted by Gecko:
So all douchebags are racist then?

douchebags != racist

lizards != douchebags

Note that this does not imply Gecko != douchebag

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Gecko
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Do you bite your thumb at me, sir?
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Morbo
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Gecko, you say it's Imus' job to be a douchebag on-air. Perhaps, shock jocks are nothing new. Is it your job to be a jerk in this thread? You wonder why no one is willing to give Imus the benefit of the doubt?
quote:
Originally posted by Gecko:
Why are we assuming that calling someone nappy-headed is equivilant to calling them a nigger?

Are black people the only human beings on the planet who are allowed to have nappy hair?

Any why couldn't he just have been making fun of the fact they have nappy hair, like people of every other race have, instead of having people infer that by making fun of their hair he was making fun of their race

Leaving aside the "nappy-headed" insult for now, did you forget he called the players whores as well?

Your comments degenerated from there.

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