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No Excuses – Imus Must Go

 
 

Let’s be clear: if any professional colleague employed at Trinity used language remotely similar to what Don Imus said on a national broadcast about the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Team, that person would be looking for other employment right now. So, how can it be that this “radio personality” with a long rap sheet of racist, sexist, utterly degrading public commentary about other human beings gets off with a modest two-week suspension? MSNBC, which broadcasts “Imus in the Morning,” and CBS Radio, which syndicates the program, apparently don’t want to lose that much business. Let’s face it: public scandal is actually great for the media; even more people will tune-in once Imus returns.

What do children and young people learn from this? That there must be some kind of great reward in bad behavior. That there’s not much consequence to using derogatory language toward others. That being a “bad boy” can actually propel your fame and eventual fortune. Imus has done this before, and like other celebrities, the more egregiously offensive his conduct, the more likely it is that he will be employed for life.

Suspending Imus does very little; terminating his ability to spew hatred would send the right message.

I mentioned in my earlier blog on this topic that the Women’s Sports Foundation has taken a very strong stance on this. Following is a statement issued by WSF President Donna Lopiano:

“Don Imus has shown a continuous pattern of making racist and sexist statements on his show and then apologizing for them later. Members of the media must be held to high standards of conduct because they have been given the opportunity to influence millions of people with their words. It is time that we as a society insist on the firm application of such standards. The comments of Mr. Imus were intolerable and despicable. He should be removed from the airwaves. Those who feel similarly should join the Women’s Sports Foundation in asking that the executives of WFAN, Westwood One and MSNBC do the right thing and drop his program .”

“For those who feel similarly outraged and want to express their thoughts on his comments, listed below is the contact information for the media outlets involved:

Les Hollander
CBS Radio
1515 Broadway
NY, NY 10036

Dan Abrams
MSNBC
One MSNBC Plaza
Secaucus, NJ 07094

Chuck Bortnick
WFAN-AM
3412 36th Street
Astoria, NY 11106

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Patricia A. McGuire, President, Trinity, 125 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington, DC 20017
Phone: 202.884.9050   Email: president@trinitydc.edu