Monday, April 09, 2007

Imus Takes His Medicine, While Sharpton Keeps It Real

The Reverend Says Being Contrite Doesn't Make It Right; Imus Not So Snappy As "Nappy-Headed Hos" Backlash Continues To Slap Him Silly
Now being Don Imus means always having to say you're sorry.

When you're the ringmaster of a national radio show that's also simulcast on MSNBC, , you like to think you can say what you want when you want. Imus has been finding out otherwise since Wednesday, when he called the Rutgers' women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos."
Which is how the I-Man found himself dragging his tail this afternoon to the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio program syndicated by Radio One. Sharpton called the comments "racist and diabolical" and made it clear that an apology just wouldn't cut it.
"For him to mainstream this kind of racial hate is something that we must send a message that enough is enough."
Sharpton wants Imus gone. Curiously, so does Bryan Monroe, head of the National Association of Black Journalists, who before Imus appeared, told Sharpton free speech does come at a price.
"I cannot see another way that this saga to end and send this message to America that this thing is OK. It’s not OK to use these words to hurt young ladies just for a laugh," Monroe said.

Sharpton can be just as much of rabble-rouser as Imus, and knows the only reason anyone is fretting over this is because it’s Imus, not some generic morning-zoo loudmouth who thinks bathroom humor is the only way to goose the Arbitrons. That kind of yaboo would have been out on his ass as soon as the words left his mouth. Imus has merely been scolded by his bosses. Sharpton was looking to do more than rap knuckles.

"I will give you credit for showing up," was the nicest comment he could think to utter. And then the knives were sharpened.

Imus admitted what he said was bad, just not bad enough to get him fired. "I think it can be forgiven. But I don't think it should be overlooked," later adding his only agenda was to preside over a comedy show that sometimes runs amok. "Sometimes we go too far. Sometimes we go way too far."
While admitting that what he said was "repugnant and repulsive," Imus insisted that "what makes a difference in this context is what was my intent," which he said was not to make a racist comment.
That argument didn't wash with Sharpton or one of his other guests, Rev. Buster Sawyers, pastor for the Rutgers women's basketball team. "Regardless of whether you’ve been slapped with your left hand or right hand, you’ve been slapped," Sawyers said.

Sharpton was also unimpressed by Imus' recitation of his good works, including the ranch he runs in New Mexico for seriously ill children, saying that doesn't mean he should escape this incident unscathed.
"Unscathed?" Imus shot back. "Don’t you think I’m humiliated? Don’t you think I’m embarrassed?"

Things got even more testy when Sharpton piled on Imus with Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, who called herself a "woman with naturally curly, coarse hair" (which some white radio hosts might call nappy-headed).

Imus grew annoyed as he attempted to agree with Kilpatrick's comments. Still, she continued to rip into him as Sharpton chimed in.

"I can't get anyplace with you people," Imus complained.

"What do you mean by 'you people'?" Sharpton asked disingenuously.

Imus, who by the minute appeared to be regretting coming on the show -- was on the verge of accusing Sharpton of race-baiting before they cut for a break.

Which may be what everybody involved in this controversy should take right about now.
UPDATE, 7:30 p.m: CBS Radio and MSNBC have suspended Imus for two weeks starting on Monday, which may give everyone just enough time to calm down . And if you missed Imus on the Sharpton show, but want to hear him spewing sorrow, check out this clip:
And exactly why does MSNBC use the AP to report this news on its own Web site?


Anonymous said...

In my opinion Imus is just digging the hole deeper. Keeping it real may not work for Imus in this case.

El Mundo de Largo said...

I am really annoyed with Imus comments, I can not believe we have to deal with people like him.