Barack Obama | Don Imus | Election 2008 | News | Radio

Towleroad Guide to the Tube: #114

BARACK OBAMA: Talks running mate on David Letterman.

DON IMUS: Calls the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy headed hos" (above right) and then apologizes for the comments (below left). MSNBC suspended Imus for two weeks because of the comments.

Imus has a long history of not only racist remarks, but anti-gay and sexist ones, as well. Numerous examples can be seen in the video (below right) from 3/16. AmericaBlog has an analysis.

Check out our previous guides to the Tube here!

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  1. The YouTube Obama videos appear to have been removed. You can find some video on, however.

    Posted by: Cup of Joe | Apr 10, 2007 1:09:41 PM

  2. Maybe Imus can find a job over at Grey's Anatomy, where slurs DONT get you fired.

    Posted by: mark m | Apr 10, 2007 1:15:13 PM

  3. So, Imus is finally getting the treatment he's deserved for years. This comment is really not much different than the crap he's been saying for years and getting a free pass from the media and his politician and reporter friends. I do hope that his cronies like Joe Lieberman and Tim Rutten will think twice about going on his show again--but everyone keeps insisting that Imus is "really a good guy." Because--you know--non-racist people always think "nappy headed hos" when they're watching women's basketball.

    Posted by: Daniel | Apr 10, 2007 1:20:23 PM

  4. Sorry bout the Barack videos. If they go back up, I'll post.

    Posted by: andy | Apr 10, 2007 1:21:10 PM

  5. Wow. The Spike Lee reference was awesome. Never thought someone would tie School Daze (not Do the Right Thing) to a women's basketball game.

    Too bad doing something like that is incredibly offensive. And the "nappy headed hos" thing was beyond uncalled for. Glad he got suspended.

    Posted by: gino | Apr 10, 2007 1:30:18 PM

  6. In my opinion, Don Imus is a jackass, he always has been and he always will be one. Should he be fired for his remarks? Yes. Why? For several reasons. First, the context of his comments. He meant what he said and he dug himself deeper on Al Sharpton's radio program by calling Sharpton and another gentlemen "you people." That comment sealed it for me, Imus is a racist, sexist (and homophobic) bigot and should not be tolerated on the airwaves. Secondly, the airwaves belong to the public not CBS Radio or Don Imus. Such misuse of he public airwaves to intentionally demean and marginalize people should not be tolerated, from anyone...

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | Apr 10, 2007 1:47:20 PM

  7. I wish Obama and Clinton would consider running together. They need to realize that only one of them will be the primary Democrat candidate, so they should work together instead of against each other and realize that any of the Dems winning will be a win for them.

    Posted by: Kit | Apr 10, 2007 1:50:09 PM

  8. Nothing demonstrates the failure of our national gay organizations than the fact that while 100% of the various media coverage of the Imus meltdown reference his history of offensive, bigoted remarks, 99% of them do NOT mention that gays are probably more frequently victims of his slurs than Blacks. Oddly, the only one I could find [other than the mention of his calling NM Gov. Richardson a "fat sissy"] was by Rabbi Marc Gellman on who includes homophobic remarks among his list of Imus sins [while still defending him as a good guy who shouldn't be fired]. Why "oddly"? Because Gellman is a homophobe himself who supports a US Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. He seems to support some kind of civil unioning, but we're either full citizens or we're not—or does Gellman support barring Jews from threatening "traditional country clubs."

    SECOND: As of a few minutes ago, none of the Big Three, neither HRC, NGLTF, nor GLAAD even had a mention of the latest Imus saga on their Websites. Gee, did their Stonewall Press Release Machine break down. This started last week and already both the National Organization of Women and National Black Journalists Association have called for him to be fired. Which he should be.

    In addition to the examples in the video, he’s referred to out women tennis players as “lesbos;” mocked “Fudge Pack Mountain;” and told “Vanity Fair” harpy Maureen Orth that he worried about her having to be around “those kind of people” while researching Andrew Cunanan; hoping she didn’t “become one.” On a later show, he joked about it with Tim Russert, Orth’s husband—another mega “journalist” who thinks that he can have it both ways about gays and walk away with clean hands. [He accused Imus of being an old closet queen.]

    As for his claim in response to questions of whether he will stop it that he has a reputation for “keeping his word”—tell that to “Chicago Tribune” columnist Clarence Page who literally had Imus raise his hand and swear he’d stop the racial slurs SEVEN YEARS AGO.

    I don’t care how many sick kids cling to his bony, bowed legs. I don’t care that he’s given money to AIDS charities. That he says in this clip that he doesn’t think homosexuality is “immoral” with the same breath that he laughs at “hate crime” jokes and says “faggot.” He’s a pig who helps keep racism, homophobia, and sexism alive. He should be fired and every celebrity/politician who appears on his show if he’s not held accountable.

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 10, 2007 2:00:52 PM

  9. ...shouldn't Imus be held accountable to womens' groups as well? It's not just a *racist* comment, but an anti-woman one as well?

    Posted by: midnight lounge | Apr 10, 2007 2:01:20 PM

  10. In fairness to Imus, I think we need to draw a distinction between comedy and other speech. Racist, Sexist, Homophobic, etc jokes can be funny if they are fresh and interesting. While his stuff typically isn't, I think we should move a little more slowly in condemning it as hate-speech, and just recognise that he was unsuccessfully trying to be funny.

    Posted by: Aaron | Apr 10, 2007 2:03:26 PM

  11. I thought it was far more anti-woman than racist actually. Nappy hair is not an exclusively black thing..Im Italian and I have a nappier fro than any of the girls on that basketball team do.

    Posted by: Kit | Apr 10, 2007 2:04:00 PM

  12. KIt -

    the primary process is (in part, anyway) designed to weed out the weak candidates from the race and focus the party on the candidate that (they believe) can win.

    It's too early for us to encourage candidates with presidential aspirations and 20+ million dollars to take a second place role.

    Simply because HC has been around longer is no reason for any of us to assume or believe she is the best or better candidate. In my view, this is especially true considering that a relative newcomer has raised so much money from such a wide base (as compared to HC) so early. Let's let this play out before we assume anything. Not that you've done that.

    Posted by: hoya86 | Apr 10, 2007 2:08:04 PM

  13. Frankly, I found his original comments more idiotic than racist. His apology, however, was one of the more offensively racist, passive-aggressive butt fucks in recent memory...

    "My wife holds hands with black people, not that that makes what I said ok...

    We run a cancer ranch...and we have blacks on there..."

    (I only used quotes to distinguish the comments, I don't have the exact quotes)

    Seriously, it reeks of "But my best friend is black - I can't be racist!"

    It was so backhanded and pathetic, I'm really shocked it's not getting more airplay than his original statements.

    Posted by: stm007 | Apr 10, 2007 2:09:32 PM

  14. "Racist, Sexist, Homophobic, etc jokes can be funny"????? You're retarded, Aaron!

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 10, 2007 2:18:44 PM

  15. Please, Leland. Get over yourself. Like you have never laughed at an "offensive" joke. I think how unbelievabely politically correct this nation has become is ridiculous.

    Posted by: Aaron | Apr 10, 2007 2:22:05 PM

  16. If people truly find Imus funny it would just confirm that Americans are really stupid. It's just childish name calling. There's nothing clever or insightful about what he says. And this whole "equal opportunity offender" crap is just bull--he offends certain groups over and over and lightly ribs others.

    Posted by: Daniel | Apr 10, 2007 2:25:09 PM

  17. Please, Aaron. Go fuck yourself. "Political Correctness" is just another Right Wing scam that even many non-Troglodytes have swallowed like candy. It is a linguistic shell game meant to hide racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., under the shell of being afraid to be accused of being "overly sensitive," "absurdly restrictive," or whatever. Those with an IQ above 75 [and without a financial or political reason to hide behind it like Ann Coulter and her pal Bill Maher] know the difference.

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 10, 2007 2:32:45 PM

  18. That's bullshit and you know it Leland. If Kathy Griffin or Margaret Cho said "Fag" or said an "offensive" joke (which they both regularly do), you would be laughing in the aisles. I'm a proud ultra-progressive, but it's hypocritical shit like this that give liberals a bad name among the general public.

    Posted by: Aaron | Apr 10, 2007 2:40:52 PM

  19. Imus is NOT a comedian. He says offensive things because he can. If you ever watch his program he often pauses before he says anything offensive. He tries to come up with this stuff because he knows it brings in viewers. He always goes for the lowest common denominator.

    Frankly, I want him fired. I've had enough of him and his crew disparaging people.

    Posted by: Jack! | Apr 10, 2007 2:51:11 PM

  20. "Bullshit"? That's, as they say, your own smell blowing back in your face as you mentally defecate on the sidewalk of whatever Gay Ghetto you live in in which Griffin and Cho are idols. I don't think their or Sara Silverman's use of "fag," or that of anyone not a "fag" themselves is permissable, let alone funny. Discussion tip: begin by avoiding generalization fallacies.

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 10, 2007 2:51:25 PM

  21. How you can be offended by a single word, while completely ignoring its context, is beyond strange to me.

    I'm glad you are in charge of free speech, I think it might be a little less free.

    Posted by: Aaron | Apr 10, 2007 3:03:58 PM

  22. Obviously the last sentence should read "glad you are NOT in charge".

    Might make a touch more sense.

    Posted by: Aaron | Apr 10, 2007 3:14:02 PM

  23. Even in context Imus' comments are offensive. In what context would "nappy headed hos" not be offensive?

    Posted by: Daniel | Apr 10, 2007 4:27:45 PM

  24. Andy, u might wanna make a change to the post with regards to David Graham from Dancing with the Stars (Aust) as he was voted out last night here in Melb. What a shame. He even tried to withdraw before the announcement of result. All because of the evil judge Todd!!!

    Posted by: Alfred | Apr 10, 2007 7:09:53 PM

  25. Follow the money:

    Staples, Bigelow Tea Halt Advertising on Imus's Show (Update2)

    By Heather Burke and Mary Jane Credeur

    April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Staples Inc. and Bigelow Tea stopped advertising on radio host Don Imus's morning show to protest his racially charged remarks about the Rutgers University women's basketball team.

    Staples, the world's largest office-products retailer, ran its last ad on Imus's MSNBC simulcast yesterday, spokesman Paul Capelli said. Bigelow Tea, the closely held maker of specialty teas, suspended its advertising and future sponsorship is ``in jeopardy,'' said Cindi Bigelow, co-president of the company.

    ``Our company does not condone or support in any way the unacceptable comments made by Imus,'' Bigelow said in an e-mailed statement. ``We are deeply saddened by Imus' remarks.''

    The decision by advertisers to withdraw advertising may step up pressure on CBS Radio and MSNBC, which air the show. ...

    ``Ad buyers always try to stay away from controversy or ask for significant discounts,'' David Joyce, an analyst with Miller Tabak & Co. in New York, said in an interview. He has a ``buy'' rating on CBS shares and doesn't own them.

    `Deplorable, Despicable'

    Fairfield, Connecticut-based Bigelow has advertised on the show for nine years. Spokesman Derek Beere wouldn't say how much the company spends on the show. He said the company's most recent ad schedule on Imus has just ended.

    ``Recent comments that were made on the program about the Rutgers basketball team prompted us to revisit our decision to advertise and we decided to stop advertising on the program,'' said Staples' Capelli. He declined to say how much Framingham, Massachusetts-based Staples spent on advertising. ...

    Falling Ad Sales

    CBS Radio has struggled for more than a year with falling advertising sales, since Howard Stern defected to host a show on Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.'s subscription-radio service. Last month CBS replaced CBS Radio chief executive officer, Joel Hollander with Dan Mason.

    Imus probably drives about $12.7 million of revenue to New York radio station WFAN, or 25 percent of its sales, said Mark Fratrik, vice president of BIA Financial Network, a consultant to the broadcasting industry based in Chantilly, Virginia.

    ``It would be very disruptive if WFAN didn't have Imus in the morning,'' he said.

    Even a two-week suspension will hurt CBS, Fratrik said.

    ``It's certainly going to impact CBS for those two weeks,'' he said. ``They have contracts for Imus in the morning and you can bet they'll go to CBS and say, he's not there and we're not paying those prices.''

    Posted by: Leland | Apr 10, 2007 7:44:31 PM

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