Sharpton on Imus: Post Show

Rev. Al Sharpton was on CNN's Situation Room today, discussing Don Imus's appearance on his radio show.

Interesting that John McCain and James Carville have said they will continue to go on Imus' show. As I suggested here, since corporate dollars are at stake making it unlikely Imus will be fired, the most effective way of silencing him would be for his advertisers and prominent guests to boycott him. And for those who want to help kids with cancer to give to St. Jude's instead of his ranch.

Here's the transcript (received by e-mail from CNN):

BLITZER: Saying sorry is apparently hard to do, especially when you are being grilled for racially insensitive comments. That's what Don Imus faced today over comments he made about a woman's basketball team. The person he faced, the Reverend Al Sharpton. Reverend Sharpton is joining us now from New York. Reverend Sharpton, thanks for coming in.


BLITZER: All right, so, did he reassure you, or you still want him fired?

SHARPTON: Oh, no, we want him fired.


Sharpton: I think that it is clear that we're not just talking, Wolf, about his personal beliefs or feelings, or even his being contrite. What we're talking about is public policy.

There's no way the airwaves should be used to allow people to call people nappy-headed hos. That's what he called these people. And, for him to say that, and just to walk away like, "I'm just sorry; I made a mistake," would then mean that the FCC, who regulates everything on the airways, and who sanctioned people, as far as Janet Jackson, with a wardrobe malfunction, has no purpose at all.

BLITZER: Everybody seems to think, though -- at least a lot of people are suggesting, including John McCain, who just spoke out on this matter, maybe he deserves a chance, a second chance, given the anguish. You saw him eyeball to eyeball. Did you sense how sorry he is?

SHARPTON: The question becomes whether or not we are going to have a regulatory policy that goes based on how contrite someone behaves, or whether or not they step over the line.

Again, Janet Jackson was contrite. The TV station was fined. She was fined. Everybody involved was fine. Are we going to have policy?

Are we going to say, if you say you are sorry, or even convince us you are sorry, policy is out the window?

And, then, the next guy can do the same thing, and use the precedent of Don Imus to say, I can't be punished. Those of us that believe women ought not to be called hos and that blacks ought not be called nappy cannot have that precedent live beyond this particular situation.

BLITZER: Well, did you get the impression he was sincere in his -- in his anguish? You sat just across the table from him during your radio program.

SHARPTON: I got the impression he was sincere. Whether he was sincere about keeping his job or sincere about what he did, I don't know him well enough to make that determination.

The real question is whether the stations he worked for are sincere about upholding a standard. The real question is whether the FCC is sincere about having regulations that operate the same for everyone.

And, when you see some hardworking young ladies who excelled academically to go to Rutgers University, and fight their way to the Championship, being reduced to being called nappy-headed hos, the humiliation they feel and a lot of young women -- I had my daughter in the studio today.

How do they feel? And, if nothing is done about this, if there's no punishment, what message are we sending to this country?

BLITZER: That -- that exchange you had with him, with your daughter there, I want to play -- I was listening to your radio program today. I want to play that little exchange, Reverend Sharpton.

Stand by for a moment.


SHARPTON: You see this young lady here? Where is she at? You see this young lady?

IMUS: Yes, sir.

SHARPTON: This young lady just graduated and went to Temple. She is not a nappy-headed ho. She's my daughter.


BLITZER: And what -- what was his response to you?

SHARPTON: I think he was a little taken back. And I think he understood why the impact of this is a lot more than just something that should be argued in the boardrooms of some radio station.

He hit a lot of us where we live. And a lot of us that have condemned a lot of the language in gangster rap and a lot of language on radio, and said to kids, you have got to quit using negative words, how do we go back to tell our kids to clean up their words, when you can call some exemplary young women this, and we say nothing and extract no punishment to protect their integrity and their self-esteem?

BLITZER: John McCain just said, only a few moments ago, that everyone deserves a chance at redemption. He's willing to give Imus another chance. James Carville, here in THE SITUATION ROOM, said he's been on his program for many years. He's been a friend of his. He's going to give him another chance, will continue to go on his program.

Do you think big-name celebrities, whether politicians or media stars or others, should continue to be guests on Imus' radio program?

SHARPTON: I think that, if there is no punishment, if there is no policy enforced, to continue to go there is to endorse the policy that
it doesn't matter how vile you get and who is violated, that an apology will do.

It's strange to me that none of them have stopped to talk about the offended. It is easy for people that have not been offended to forgive people that didn't offend them. I think that is arrogant and insensitive.

I would think that everyone, especially those running for president, would first say, wait a minute, has there been some punishment and acknowledgment by those who were offended here? How can I forgive somebody for something they didn't do to me?

BLITZER: What about all the good work he's done over the years? He's got a program at his ranch, as you know, out West. He brings sick children there, including a lot of minority kids. He gives them a chance to be out West. What about all the good work, the millions he's raised for these young kids?

SHARPTON: I don't -- I don't think anyone discounts that. I think that that is good. And he ought to be applauded for that. But I don't think that answers the point that he himself said, that he did a repugnant, racist act. And I think that, if someone is accused of something, sure, you weigh their background. But you still do not
say that that totally means that you have immunity from behaving in a great way -- in a way that is a great insult and a great offense to people.

I mean, if you go to all of those disc jockeys that have been fired for saying offensive things -- look at Al Campanis. He did things in his community. He was fired -- Jimmy "The Greek," fired.

Are we now going to get to the 21st century, and you have somebody say something more repugnant than Campanis, more repugnant than Jimmy "The Greek," and say, all you have got to do is say I'm sorry and have a few of your big-shot friends come out and say they forgive you, when you didn't do anything to them in the first place?

BLITZER: The Reverend Al Sharpton, thanks very much for coming in.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

BLITZER: Appreciate it.

< Imus To Sharpton: "We Can't Win With You People" | MSNBC Pulls Imus Simulcast for Two Weeks, CBS Radio Does Same >
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  • Display: Sort:
    human beings with feelings (2.00 / 1) (#5)
    by orionATL on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 09:55:57 PM EST
    with all the blather about propriety,

    what about the young women hurt by this?

    would any reader here like to be a young, competent, hard-working female athlete

    and be called,


    for commercial advantage,  

    "a nappy-headed whore"?

    and then have this "argument"

    endlessly discussed

    over the entire spectrum of american media?

    is there any conceivable reason for using this degrading language against young women who have achieved so much?

    i think not.

    imus' and his producer's cruelty toward these young people is just unforgivable.


    his comment reminds us that all of us are fodder for the corporate media.

    any time

    any place

    any reason.

    the sponsors of this commercial meanness are corporations,

    these corporations need to feel the disapproval of the american public.

    Sharpton is right on, and almost always gets it ri (none / 0) (#1)
    by lindalawyer on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 06:52:38 PM EST
    Contrite? Apologetic? Only because he's worried. The arrogance of talk show hosts like Imus is the fact that there are no consequences.  Zero tolerance. The harm has been done and the show should be off the air.  

    It's been years since I heard his show. (none / 0) (#2)
    by walt on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 07:00:13 PM EST
    The I-man has always been a tasteless, blowhard of a clod.  Perhaps he went a couple of stupid comments too far, this time.

    Sharpton on Imus (none / 0) (#3)
    by womanwarrior on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 08:20:40 PM EST
    Good job, Reverend Al.  He gets it.
    Now, how do we find out who the advertisers are?  

    That's right WW, hit them (none / 0) (#4)
    by Electa on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 08:51:13 PM EST
    where it hurts the most...in the pockets of corporations.  Smack that bottom line long and hard enough and Imus will go.  My daughter attends college in Atlanta and she's attending a organizing session right now for action against the networks.  Bug Imus it's the networks who have allowed this bigot to thrive.  Students across the country are outraged and fired up over this think it's ok slander.  

    If we allow Imus to get away with this the bigots will come out of the woodwork like cockroaches when the lights come on, spewing their racist and sexist remarks and then snotting all over the mic with I'm a good person but said bad things.  Does the leper suddenly change his spots?  Oh, yes, when he's busted.  Give us a break, we ain't all stupid...stupid.


    Equal Treatment (none / 0) (#13)
    by Get Over It on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 07:20:24 PM EST
    I am no Imus fan and never listen to his show. But if your daughter is so upset with the networks why isn't she and other students mobilizing against the record companies that promote rap and hip hop music that denigrates women and gay and lesbian people??

    Non-sequitur (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 07:34:20 PM EST
    Looks like we have a LGF theme going here. Something like:

     Poor Imus, why pick on him he is just a rich white guy. The real villians here are the self loathing slaves.


    Holy Twana Brawley, Batman (none / 0) (#6)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 05:50:59 AM EST
    Sharpton is hot.

    Showing Your Cards? (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 06:48:01 AM EST
    I can only glean from your non-sequitur that you think this is all an overblown waste of time. A coded wink and nod to Imus? Don't worry Imus we got your back?

    Imus should be (none / 0) (#8)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 10:42:55 AM EST
    fired, but Rev Al is a race warlord who makes his living ensuring racial strife continues.  

    If all of the sudden, everyone of all races here in the US hugged each other, and favoritism and quotas and mean thoughts and class envy went away, Rev Al and Jesse Jackson would be the most disappointed people.  Their paychecks just disappeared.  


    So What (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 05:49:05 PM EST
    Does that have to do with Imus' spreading the hate, insidious type of hate. Your bringing up other's comments can only be seen as a way to water down Imus by saying, hey others are just as bad. Yes, I saw the line that Imus should be fired, but it is kind of sleazy to bring up others at the same time. A qualifier to be sure. And not a remotely level palyingfield when it comes to black and white.

    So what (none / 0) (#10)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 06:28:10 PM EST
    you must love race warlords.  Imus was on Rev Al's show.  Two idiots together.  I guess we will have to disagree.  

    Disagree about what? (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 06:49:55 PM EST

    WTF! (none / 0) (#12)
    by Sailor on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 06:59:55 PM EST
    you must love race warlords.
    Gee, and you support terrorists, hate america and pi$$ in the shower ... c'mon wile we almost always disagree but that was egregious.

    You (none / 0) (#15)
    by Wile ECoyote on Wed Apr 11, 2007 at 05:44:37 AM EST
    are correct, I apologize to Squeaky.  Squeaky, sorry.

    No Problem (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Wed Apr 11, 2007 at 05:58:00 AM EST
    Wile ECoyote