Said Richardson: "My record is the strongest among the presidential candidates on gay rights issues and I'm puzzled by the timing of this. When it happened a year ago, nobody seemed to think it was terribly important. Now it surfaces. It's probably a sign from other campaigns that they are little worried about me. It was a playful exchange between me and Don Imus that was not intended to demean anybody, but if I offended anybody, I apologize."
Deposed radio host Don Imus says he's suing CBS for the $40 million remaining in his contract: " Imus has hired one of the nation's premiere First Amendment attorneys, and the two sides are gearing up for a legal showdown that could turn on how language in his contract that encouraged the radio host to be irreverent and engage in character attacks is interpreted, according to one person who has read the contract. The language, according to this source, was part of a five-year contract that went into effect in 2006 and that paid Imus close to $10 million a year. It stipulates that Imus be given a warning before being fired for doing what he made a career out of - making off-color jokes."
Bette Midler, setting up shop in Las Vegas, says she's a bit intimidated by the scope of it: "The stage is so enormous there's a terror that you might not be able to fill it all by your lonesome, you know, a little person in high heels. And it's got the biggest (video wall) in the world, and you say, 'What the heck am I going to put on that? My baby pictures?"
Seattle's The Stranger takes a look at the mess that is Seattle Gay Pride: "The annual paroxysms of doubt about whether the event will even happen at all. The ensuing existential crises within the gay community "leadership." The announcement, this year, of a bankruptcy filing by parade organizers—and then the subsequent announcement, just hours later, that the bankruptcy filing would not be happening. And of course, the all-out war between gay factions over the parade's location, with the supporters of a downtown parade in one camp and the supporters of a Capitol Hill parade in the other. Angry words and recriminations fly back and forth between them, in private and in public. It's enough to make a homo want to stay home on parade day."
The Washington Posttells the tale of Soulforce: "Even on American highways crowded with giant family cars, buses are still big enough to make a point. For his acid tour in 1964, Ken Kesey had his Merry Pranksters repaint a 1939 school bus in psychedelic colors with brooms. These days buses are plastic-wrapped with their messages, like giant Twinkies on a mission. The one driving down Route 7 in Virginia yesterday was purplish on one side and orange sunset on the other. In huge letters it said "Social Justice for Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People." On the highway, fellow drivers either honked and waved or threw Coke cans. In Sioux City, Iowa, someone spray-painted the bus with 'Fag, God doesn't love you.'"
Fallen American Idol contestant Frenchie Davis shows that there's room for both God and the gays: "When I'm singing, that is when I feel closest to God. I feel like I'm fulfilling his purpose for my life. Sometimes I get goose bumps, and sometimes my bottom lip quivers. I know it is God, because this business is insane and I want to give up on it every day. It's my belief that keeps me going....I used to sing at the gay clubs in D.C., and the boys would come up onstage and give me tips. They still do! There was a gay Stanford law student who started a Save Frenchie Web site and Save Frenchie T-shirts. All the important men in my life have been gay. Even though I'm not gay, I've always been a member of the gay community.
Village People celebrate 30 years in show business: "David Hodo, the construction worker, remembers it well. 'The (casting) ad said, 'Must have mustache.' Back in 1977, the producers envisioned a gay disco group that would be "a very dark, very heavy Marlboro Man experience,' says Hodo, who immediately took another approach. 'There was absolutely no way I could do this seriously, so I started to spoof on the stuff. We realized it was more fun to have fun with it. That's what the group is, tongue in cheek.'"
Said CBS chairman Les Moonves: "From the outset, I believe all of us have been deeply upset and revulsed by the statements that were made on our air about the young women who represented Rutgers University in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship with such class, energy and talent. Those who have spoken with us the last few days represent people of goodwill from all segments of our society - all races, economic groups, men and women alike. In our meetings with concerned groups, there has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society. That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision, as have the many emails, phone calls and personal discussions we have had with our colleagues across the CBS Corporation and our many other constituencies."
After several advertisers (General Motors, American Express, Sprint Nextel, GlaxoSmithKline, TD Ameritrade and Ditech.com.) said they were pulling ads from MSNBC due to Don Imus' racist remarks, the network announced that it would no longer be airing Imus' talk show (see video). CBS radio, another of the show's broadcasters, announced they would monitor the situation closely but stick to the two-week suspension they had put in place. Imus' comments, that memebers of the Rutger's women's basketball team were "nappy-headed hos", has set off a national debate on racism, political correctness, freedom of speech, and tangentially, homophobia and sexism.
Al Sharpton, who has been a vocal leader in efforts to get Imus off the air, said, "This has never been about Don Imus. I have no idea whether his is a good man or not. This is about the use of public airwaves for bigoted, racist speech."
Imus' comments inspired statements from many of the presidential candidates as well.
Barack Obama, who said he would never again appear on Imus' show, told ABC News: "I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus, but I would also say that there's nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude...He didn’t just cross the line. He fed into some of the worst stereotypes that my two young daughters are having to deal with today in America."
On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton said, "I've never wanted to go on his show and I certainly don't ever intend to go on his show, and I felt that way before his latest outrageous, hateful, hurtful comments."
John Edwards made his intentions less specific: "I believe in redemption, I believe in forgiveness...What he said is wrong because it's wrong. It has to be condemned, we have to speak out when people use this kind of language. This is a very serious matter, it should be taken very seriously."
According to CBS, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani have both said they would continue to appear on Imus' show.
And at Rutgers, students rallied to protest Imus' remarks, and Mary S. Hartman, university professor and director of the Institute for Women's Leadership, explained to the Home News Tribune why she thought Imus' remarks had touched a national nerve: "I think what (Imus') remark did was to expose the latent anger that we all feel. We are awakened anew to things that we just never paid attention to. I think people are just saying, 'Enough! We're not going to take it anymore!' There is a lot of hope here. Today is the beginning. A celebration of these young women was critically important for us, and to tell the world that this kind of trash radio needs to stop."