Friday, April 6

Will We Accept the IgnorIMUS Apology?


The undeniably insensitive, if not blatantly racist remarks by WFAN's syndicated radio show host Don "IgnorIMUS," have sparked a controversy that will hopefully serve as a lesson to all media. Yes, he has apologized for calling the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed ho's," but the issue isn't a done deal.

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Don Imus

MSNBC was quick to distance itself from the syndicated talk show host's comments, which were heard nationally on the radio, and simulcast on the cable network as well.

According to reports, the New York sports radio station where Imus works has acknowledged that the comments were "inappropriate," and has vowed to monitor his show from now on, but the National Association of Black Journalists says the apology is "too little, too late."

In a response to Imus' apology, NABJ president Bryan Monroe said:
"What he said has deeply hurt too many people -- black and white, male and female."

Vivian Stringer, the head coach of the Rutgers team that was the brunt of the comments was quoted by the AP as saying:
"I am deeply saddened and angered by Mr. Imus' statements... To serve as a joke of Mr. Imus in such an insensitive manner creates a wedge and makes light of these classy individuals, both as women and as women of color."

So what's going to happen to ignorIMUS? He's one of the nation's most recognized voices on radio. He's a member of the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and this is hardly the first time he's gotten publicity because controversial comments. He called award winning PBS journalist Gwen Ifill a "cleaning lady," and called New York Times columnist Willam Rhoden "a quota hire."

Those comments seem to pale in comparison to calling a top notch group of collegiate athletes "hos." Then again, Imus has the right to say whatever he feels. He is a shock jock, and making inflammatory statements keeps the people listening, and talking, which is exactly what's happened.

NABJ's president acknowledged that journalists must respect the First Amendment,
"But free speech comes with responsibility, and sometimes with consequences. His removal must be that consequence," Monroe said.

What to do? I suggest you write a letter, or call WFAN-AM and let station management know how you feel. I found this info. on the station's website:

Main Phone Number: 718-706-7690
On-Air hotline to talk with our hosts: 718-937-6666
Contest Line: 800-821-6611
Mailing Address:
34-12 36th Street
Astoria, NY 11106

If you're a blogger, share your thoughts, because the people have power.

How do I feel about all of this? I've seen the cat's show on MSNBC, and I've never been able to listen, or watch for more than five minutes. Maybe it's his cowboy hat that turns me off. Could his neck be a little sunburned?

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Then again check out the "personalities" on WFAN's site. I'm sure they're great broadcasters, and journalists, but they don't look anything like the players who make up most pro sports teams these days, except maybe hockey.

They are lacking in the diversity category big time, and that is the root of the problem. You have all these folks informing, and entertaining the public, and they don't reflect all communities in this diverse nation, and Don Imus, has little to no respect.

Just my thoughts, Peace!

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