Imus' Employers Are Shocked, SHOCKED, That He Would Utter Racist Jokes
No one tunes into Don Imus expecting happy talk and the I-Man tends not to disappoint. If you listen, you know what to expect, and those who employ him on radio and TV know that all too well.
So, when Imus, after being goaded by his producer Bernard McGuirk, called the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos," the howls of protest came from all corners. Imus finally apologized yesterday, but not before MSNBC called the remarks "deplorable" and CBS Radio, which pays most of Imus' freight, said it was "disappointed."
But not enough to fire or suspend Imus. Simple reason: lots of people listen and his corporate overlords make too much money, because people want to hear Imus and his crew insult just about anyone and everyone, not just black women.
That's what 40 years in the radio business, where you've cultivated lots of powerful friends in the media establishment allows you to do.
If a mere radio mortal -- one who wasn't syndicated on 70 stations or had his show simulcast on a national cable network -- had made that remark -- they'd be out of their ass, not long after it left their lips. Broadcast executives love to weasel out of contracts for talent by firing them "for cause."
Imus knows that, which is why his one-time sportscaster Sid Rosenberg is now his former sportscaster for telling listeners that after her breast-cancer surgery, singer Kylie Minogue wouldn't be "pretty with just one titty."
But even then, Rosenberg's ouster came after a slew of less disgusting insults. In the end, it's not that outrageous as long as the ratings are good, as Mark Starr of Newsweek notes.
Which is why we'll inevitably hear Imus apologize about something else, while his bosses just shake their head while counting their money and blessings.