Imus to appear on Sharpton's show
The Associated Press
NEW YORK - Don Imus will appear on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s radio show on Monday, five days after Imus made racially charged comments his own show about the Rutgers women’s basketball team, Sharpton and MSNBC announced Sunday.
Despite Imus’ scheduled appearance, Sharpton said his position was unchanged: He wants Imus fired and intends to write the Federal Communications Commission about the matter.
“Somewhere we must draw the line in what is tolerable in mainstream media,” Sharpton said Sunday. “We cannot keep going through offending us and then apologizing and then acting like it never happened. Somewhere we’ve got to stop this.”
The Rev. Jesse Jackson said his RainbowPUSH Coalition plans to protest Monday in Chicago outside the offices of NBC, which owns MSNBC, over the remark Imus made last Wednesday during his show.
Imus said members of the mostly black Rutgers University women’s basketball team were “nappy-headed hos.”
The team, which includes eight black women, had lost the day before in the NCAA women’s championship game. Imus was speaking with producer Bernard McGuirk about the game when the exchange began on the show, which is broadcast to millions of people on more than 70 stations and the MSNBC television network.
“That’s some rough girls from Rutgers,” Imus said. “Man, they got tattoos ... .”
“Some hardcore hos,” McGuirk said.
“That’s some nappy-headed hos there, I’m going to tell you that,” Imus said.
Jackson said protests are being planned across the country.
“If he has a right to use that platform to insult and degrade then we have a moral obligation to picket NBC and to protest,” Jackson said. “If he can violate us in that platform in the name of free speech we’ll be picketing NBC in the name of free speech.”
James E. Harris, president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, demanded Sunday that Imus “resign or be terminated immediately.”
Allison Gollust, a spokeswoman for MSNBC, which simulcasts “Imus in the Morning,” said the network considers Imus’ comments “deplorable” and is reviewing the matter.
Karen Mateo, a spokeswoman for CBS Radio, Imus’ employer and the owner of WFAN-AM, said the company was “disappointed” in Imus’ actions and characterized his comments as “completely inappropriate.”
Imus, who has not been publicly disciplined, apologized on the air Friday.
“It was completely inappropriate, and we can understand why people were offended. Our characterization was thoughtless and stupid, and we are sorry,” Imus said, according to a transcript on MSNBC’s Web site.