Why Nothing Will Happen to Don Imus

Continuing with my media theme today, Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News puts his finger on why Don Imus will go unpunished for his racist comments (video here) about the Rutgers women's basketball team: Dollars. As in money the show makes through advertising.

Which leads to the next question: Who are his show's advertisers?

I don't know, since I don't listen and haven't found a list online. But, what I did find on his MSNBC show site is that he markets his own goods. Those should be easy to boycott. Like Imus Ranch Foods. He has a foundation to help kids with cancer spend time on his ranch, and the money ostensibly goes there, but you don't need Imus to help kids with cancer. St. Jude's is a great alternative.

And what about getting guests not to go on the show? Tim Russert is scheduled for Monday morning. Why doesn't he cancel?


Rev. Al Sharpton is going to file a complaint with the FCC and launch a picket effort Monday. It's not Imus' first offense.

Imus has a history of racially-charged remarks - he called PBS journalist Gwen Ifill a "cleaning lady" and The New York Times' William Rhoden "a quota hire."

And, it's not just Imus, it's others on his show. Somehow I missed this quote by Bernard McGuirk in the Imus segment in my first post.

"That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos," he said.
Bernard McGuirk, his producer: "Some hardcore hos."
Imus: That's some nappy-headed hos there. I'm gonna tell you that now, man, that's some - woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like - kinda like - I don't know.
McGuirk: A Spike Lee thing.
Imus: Yeah.
McGuirk: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes - that movie that he had.
Imus: Yeah, it was a tough -
Charles McCord, a co-host: Do The Right Thing.
McGuirk: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

"Jigaboos?" How can this show be allowed to remain on the air?

If you see a list of show advertisers, please share it.

He shouldn't remain in the Radio Hall of Fame, either.

If you'd like to send an e-mail to his show, here you go.

< The New Goddesses of Love : All Over 50 | 10 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Iraq This Weekend >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    silly girl! (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sun Apr 08, 2007 at 03:48:03 PM EST
    nothing will happen to imus because his show brings in cash, lots of it, for his network, sponsors, et al. frankly, it isn't the shows sponsors i wonder about, it's his target audience. presumably, they must like what they hear, or they'd turn him off. same goes for rush, o'reilly, hannity, etc.

    there's a large enough segment of the disaffected in our population that supports these guys. all of them can't be listening solely for the "entertainment" value, a huge % are true believers. those are the people we really need to be looking at.

    what is it about their lives, that causes them to hate themselves, and everyone else around them? if they didn't, they'd have no interest in the rancid rantings of the imus's of the world.

    "School Daze" (none / 0) (#2)
    by Steve D on Sun Apr 08, 2007 at 04:51:15 PM EST
    FYI: The "jigaboos" / "wannabees" comment is a direct reference to dialogue in a Spike Lee movie -- not to 'Do the Right Thing' as stated, but to SCHOOL DAZE, Lee's satiric musical about intra-racial politics on a historically black college campus.  

    Not that this excuses the tenor of Imus and Co.'s comments.  But I find this controversy fascinating because it has focused exclusively on the racist notes in the commentary -- when its sexist tenor is just as troubling, or more troubling.   This starts to go off the rails when they talk about the team being "hardore hos."  But, of course, this casually sexist language is common currency in modern rap culture.  Apparently it's not worth noting when men refer to women in this dismissive and denigrating way-- whether those men are black or white.

    eh, probably pretty simple (none / 0) (#3)
    by manys on Sun Apr 08, 2007 at 05:41:49 PM EST
    Imus seems to be a little different in that he actually puts himself out there in a way that he can get pushback. None of Hannity, O'Reilly, etc. ever put anything back into the community or start up foundations that could be affected by their comments, so I figure some calls to Imus' cancer foundation asking if they help women at all are in order. "Even if they're nappy-headed hos?" one might ask if they wanted to make a point.

    What about the bigger picture? (none / 0) (#4)
    by SouthernFriedDem on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 02:15:28 AM EST
    Womyn of color, or any person for that matter should never be talked about the way these young womyn where, but I think that when we foucus our energey on fighting racist people that we lose foucuse on the bigger picture of racism that exist inside of our countrey. If people want to fight racism why not fight to have "miliken V Bradley" so that we can have true equality in schools. And as far as sexism goes Domestic Violance is out of control in america acording to NOW's 2006 report why not fight to have the civil remedey put back in the VAWA (Violance Aginst Womyn Act). Just a few thoughts of a tired colledge student

    Also I intentanaly spell womyn with a y, the other spelling errors are just the result of me being dyslixic and not being abel to spell vary well.

    Imus (none / 0) (#5)
    by MommaJ on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 07:23:03 AM EST
    Don Imus has been making fun of EVERYBODY for 30 years. If he meant it all, he'd be the worst person on the planet and would have been thrown out of the business years ago. He means NONE of it. His targets understand this (the man has been doing this forever, guys) and take it in good fun. Everybody just needs to simmer down. If I came on his show, he'd probably call me a pushy kike, and I'd laugh, not pitch an hysterical fit. He uses terms like "nappy headed ho" just BECAUSE they're so outrageous and ridiculous that they're FUNNY. Imus has done huge amounts of good in this country, helping thousands irrespective if race, gender or religion. What's really reprehensible is that a slimeball like Al Sharpton has the gall to attack him. Does no one remember the Tawana Brawley affair? Sharpton is the biggest racist of all, and has done nothing since that shameful incident but promote himself whenever there's a TV camera within a mile. It just kills me to see Imus pander to the likes of Sharpton by going on his show. Don Imus doesn't deserve any of the nonsense he's been taking. He should give a giant finger to them all, walk away to his first love, his ranch for critically ill children, and let MSNBNC and the radio stations weep over their lost revenues.

    sorry, you gave yourself away (none / 0) (#6)
    by cpinva on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 07:40:26 AM EST
    mommaj. the problem with your "logic", and i use the term in its loosest sense, is that deep down, at his core, imus truly means it. anyone who's been doing this as long as he has, and is so consistent, has gone beyond schtick, and into true believer status.

    as for sharpton, he's a rank opportunist, no more or less. i'm sure he's as racist as the next guy, but that isn't what drives him.


    His "Core"???? (none / 0) (#9)
    by MommaJ on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 06:35:47 PM EST
    Well, I'm glad you know what's deep down in Imus's "core"--that psychic ability must come in real handy. If you had listened to Imus for years and years, as I have, you would be quite convinced that he is neither racist, nor homophobic, nor sexist. As I said, like many insult comics, he takes shots at everybody, and his listeners know damn well he means none of it. Someone could have and should have explained that to the Rutgers team, and ,being intelligent and reasonable people, I'm sure they would have laughed about it. Instead, Jesse Jackson, Mr. Hymietown (and yeah, HE wasn't trying to be funny, folks), Sharpton and their disgusting ilk are having a field day. As for Sharpton, he's not "as racist as the next guy". He's proven himself over and over again to set the standard for racism in this country. The man is a pig, and shame on Imus for debasing himself before Sharpton's altar this afternoon. It was sad to see. Imus should have held his head high and told MSNBC to f**k off.

    The Imus Debacle (none / 0) (#10)
    by thewalrus on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 02:11:22 AM EST
    All of us should thank Imus & Co. for bringing the subject of racism out in the open in such a prominent way--frothing at the top of the news, for a few days.  Not that that was their intention but so what.  Racism, bigotry and, call it economic discrimination, are as American as apple pie and much more common.  It's a part of everday life for many, many people.  We need to talk about these things on the national news and everywhere else.
    That being said, Mommaj and the others: You are so close to the heart of the matter, but not quite there.  What happened falls somewhere in the middle.
    Don Imus is an aging Shock Jock, okay?  His act starts out over the top.  The humor is satire and irony--think geriactric SNL.  When Imus and Bernard (producer) start running riffs it can get very funny, not to mention stupid and boring at times.  They have a lot of time to fill.  (Catch Bernard's, Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, sometime.  Rascist, oh yeah.  Funny, very.) Does this mean I think the Rutgers quip was okay?  Not at all.  Imus and Bernard lost track of where they were.  Like, on national TV & radio!  It was as stupid as it was not funny.  So don't tune in, or don't buy the stuff he's selling.  But don't insist that Big Brother take him out behind the woodshed.  And, of course, Sharpton's playing the race card.  That's what he does!  And Jesse Jackson, but again, so what.  Just because they exploit racism for profit and notoriety doesn't mean there isn't such a thing.  As grasping and pandering as they sound, they speak for a lot of people who have no voice at all.
    Save the righteous indignation.  Let it play out.  We either respect the right of free speech, or we don't...and if you don't, why not?

    Seems like we always need one or two (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 09:58:23 AM EST
    "Jack be Nimbles" around (my husband's code for Jackass).  If we got rid of him they would eventually have to find another one to fill the Jack be Nimble slot.  Maybe it's best to stick with the Jack be Nimble we know.  He's supposed to be Cowboyish and I'm from the West but I usually have to turn his show off at some point.  Cowboys have always been overrated!

    Overly Sensitive People (none / 0) (#8)
    by SUMTHNG2SAY on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 05:06:30 PM EST
     He has appologized once and thats enough. What bugs me the most is that the same comment in the same context has two different meanings depending on which race you are. I'm not by any means saying what Imus said is ok, but lets face it the Rev. Al Sharpton gets away with this all the time only he does it in a more polite and educated manner so for some reason this seems to be exceptable. This is racism! Maybe the people that are so concerned with what Imus said should watch reruns of def comedy jam and boycott the black comedians who so brutaly attack white people in their comedy skits. Once again showing how its ok for one race but not another, and believe me their comments make what Imus said sound like kindergarden talk.