Daily Revolt

April 10, 2007

Don Imus' History of Racist Remarks

It's not the first time he made a remark about black basketball players. This article was from 2004:
Similarly, Mr. Nobile claims, Mr. Imus and one of his producers constantly referred to Patrick Ewing this spring as a "knuckle-dragging moron" and "knuckle-dragging dope."

Mr. Nobile has been contacting journalist friends of "The I-man" in hopes that he can find someone willing to take Mr. Imus to task. But the writer thinks Mr. Imus is protected from criticism by a "white posse of major media players" who crave the publicity they can generate by going on his show.

This article in AlterNet appeared in 2000:
Donella H. Meadows heard Don Imus' radio show for the first time in her own back yard. As painters were working on her house, the radio blared for their entertainment. From out of the speakers came a catchy folksy tune, spewing anti-Semitism. She writes, "My jaw dropped. They can't really broadcast stuff like this, can they? Apparently they can," and she's none too happy about it.

MSNBC has a history of apologizing for Imus:
On November 23 [2004], the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced that MSNBC had apologized for racist commentary delivered on radio host Don Imus's Imus in the Morning. In its apology, MSNBC stated: "The views expressed on the program are not those of MSNBC. Having said that, it was unfortunate that these remarks were telecast on MSNBC. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by these remarks."

And it isn't just Imus. His sidekick, Sid Rosenberg, follows Don's example:
Rosenberg's joke appeared to be a reference to racially insensitive remarks he made in June 2001 about Williams and her sister, Venus, both of whom are African-American. According to a November 20, 2001, Newsday article, Rosenberg said on the air: "One time, a friend, he says to me, 'Listen, one of these days you're gonna see Venus and Serena Williams in Playboy.' I said, 'You've got a better shot at National Geographic.'" Rosenberg also referred to Venus Williams as an "animal." A June 18, 2001, New York Times article (subscription required) on Rosenberg's remarks noted that host Don Imus subsequently "fired him, but he reversed himself and rehired Mr. Rosenberg after the sports commentator apologized on the air."

Nonetheless, on the November 12, 2004, edition of Imus in the Morning, Rosenberg referred to Palestinians as "stinking animals" and said, "They ought to drop the bomb right there, kill 'em all right now," as Media Matters for America documented. On November 29, 2004, MSNBC offered an apology for those remarks: "The views expressed on the program are not those of MSNBC. Having said that, it was unfortunate that these remarks were telecast on MSNBC. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by these remarks."

This article from 2000 asks why do major media personalities appear on the Imus show:
If you're concerned about bigotry on the syndicated radio show Imus in the Morning, you should just "get over it."

That's what the show's star, Don Imus, told journalist Jeff Greenfield on CNN's Larry King Live last week (2/24/00). Greenfield was questioning Imus about recent columns in two prominent newspapers that documented a pattern of slurs by Imus and his on-air sidekicks against people of color, gay men and lesbians (Boston Globe, 2/23/00; Newsday, 2/22/00--see below).

Imus himself has referred to one African-American journalist as "a cleaning lady," another as a "quota hire," and tennis player Amelie Mauresmo as "a big old lesbo." Imus taunted another reporter as a "beanie-wearing little Jewboy," called a disabled colleague "the cripple," and has said that he picked one of his producers to do "nigger jokes" (60 Minutes, 7/19/98).

This nugget appeared in Time Magazine, October 2004:
YOU'VE BEEN CALLED THE BIGGEST BIGOT IN AMERICAN MEDIA. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THOSE CHARGES? I don't have any comment about it. It's absurd. You know, ask the kids who have sickle cell that come to the ranch [a New Mexico facility that he built for children who have cancer or blood disorders] whether I'm a bigot or not. Have we made fun of African Americans or Asians or Caucasians? Yeah, sure. But people have to calm down.
I have personally noticed that Don Imus has few people of color on his program. It will be interesting to see whether MSNBC will give in to the demands of fellow racists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Will that network forego profits gained from a program that clearly panders to bigots.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home