Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
When you've lost Al Roker...
NBC's goofball weather man brings down the hammer on Don Imus for picking on those Rutgers girls.

I, for one, am really tired of the diatribes, the “humor” at others’ expense, the cruelty that passes for “funny”. Don Imus isn’t the only one doing this, but today he’s the one in the hot seat.

What he said was vile and disgusting. It denigrated an entire team and by extension, a community and its pride in a group that had excelled.

...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.
Roker makes the very valid point that if Imus must go, so should the continually offensive Bernard McGuirk, his executive producer and sidekick, who egged Imus on and participated in the conversation. In fact, a transcript of the now infamous broadcast makes it clear that there were three -- not one -- people involved in insulting the Rutgers women (in my opinion, as a slap against their looks with clarly racial undertones):
IMUS: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and --

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.

IMUS: Yeah.

McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes -- that movie that he had.

IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough --

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.

IMUS: Well, I guess, yeah.

RUFFINO: Only tougher.

McGUIRK: The [Memphis] Grizzlies would be more appropriate.
McGuirk was the instigator of the "hos" line, and Rosenberg, true to form, took it to new depths. So where are the calls for McGuirk's job, and for the head of the eternally racist Rosenberg (famous for calling the tennis phenom Williams sisters "animals," who would stand a better chance of posing on the cover of National Geographic than Playboy, and then joking about his past slurs when Serena was called a nigger at a recent match in Florida) to be thrown off his show on South Florida's 790 The Ticket?) Fair is fair. If Imus should be canned, so should they.

That said, let me go on record as saying that I agree with all of those who are calling Imus' comments stupid and offensive. This was a crochety old geezer and serial bully attempting, and failing, to be funny by picking on a bunch of young girls who are doing what we, as a society, have admonished them to do: go to school, get good grades, and pursue positive activites. It was also symptomatic of the out of control insult culture we have developed in the popular media. Not to mention the equally out of control vogue of degrading women and demeaning Blacks as so many niggers, hos and gangstas... (a vogue Black folk created ourselves...) We should take steps to change those things if we don't like them, but I seriously doubt Imus will get the axe. Getting driven onto XM? Perhaps. Marginalized by some mainstream pols? Very likely. But finished as a radio host? I doubt it.

What is clear is that Imus owes those young woman a serious apology. They should get it, and then we should move on. There are bigger battles to fight...


Meanwhile, the Rutgers team got their chance to speak out today, for about an hour long presser. They've also agreed to meet with Imus and consider accepting his apology, although some of them are preemptively raising doubts that such acceptance is at hand. And, probably to Imus' chagrin, the story has gone global.

Sidebar: I think that while folks are on a roll, they should also demand the resignations of other racist radio and television personalities, including Bill "kill all the Black babies" Bennett, Rush the "ho" Limbaugh, Neil "ghetto slut" Boortz, Glenn "prove to me you're not a terrorist" Beck, psychotic Michael Savage and others... why stop with Imus?

Update: Gwen Ifill weighs in and slams the I-man.
Update: Imus slaps back...
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