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Media Matters For America: Imus Cancellation: Statement from Media Matters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2006
 8:03 AM

CONTACT: Media Matters For America

 
Imus Cancellation: Statement from Media Matters
Cancellation Sparked by Racist Comments First Posted by Media Matters
 

Washington, DC - Last evening, David Brock, President and CEO of Media Matters for America released the following statement regarding the decision of NBC News to cancel MSNBC's simulcast of Imus in the Morning.

"By canceling their simulcast of Don Imus on MSNBC, the National Broadcasting Company has finally done the right thing. We hope CBS Radio will again follow NBC's lead.

More and more Americans are coming to understand the damage done by major news organizations providing a platform for bigoted commentary and other conservative misinformation, and they are demanding change. MSNBC's decision is an important step in the right direction.

This decision sends a clear message to other networks, journalists and media personalities that bigotry and hate speech have no place on America's airwaves.

The cable networks would be well advised to think twice about their broadcasting decisions in the future. It is our hope that this will open a larger dialogue on the overall tone of the media today."

As first posted by Media Matters for America, on the April 4 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, host Don Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team, which is comprised of eight African-American and two white players, as "nappy-headed hos" immediately after the show's executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, called the team "hard-core hos." Later, former Imus sports announcer Sid Rosenberg, who was filling in for sportscaster Chris Carlin, said: "The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the [National Basketball Association's] Toronto Raptors."

More on the Don Imus Controversy from Media Matters for America

Imus called women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos"
http://mediamatters.org/items/200704040011

On the April 4 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, host Don Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team, which is comprised of eight African-American and two white players, as "nappy-headed hos" immediately after the show's executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, called the team "hard-core hos." Later, former Imus sports announcer Sid Rosenberg, who was filling in for sportscaster Chris Carlin, said: "The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the [National Basketball Association's] Toronto Raptors."

Imus apologized for "nappy-headed hos" remark
http://mediamatters.org/items/200704060003

After reportedly defending his April 4 description of the Rutgers University women's basketball team, which is comprised of eight African-American and two white players, as "nappy-headed hos," on the April 6 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, host Don Imus apologized for the remark. Imus called his comments "insensitive and ill-conceived," adding that "[i]t was completely inappropriate, and we can understand why people were offended." He further called the comments "thoughtless and stupid." Media Matters for America noted Imus' initial comments at the time.

Imus Has Long Record of Incendiary Remarks
http://mediamatters.org/items/200704090001

Though Don Imus continued to apologize this morning for calling members of the Rutgers University women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos" on his nationally syndicated radio program Imus in the Morning, which is simulcast on MSNBC, his comments are just the latest in a long history of racial slurs made on the show by Imus, his guests, and regular contributors. Below are several examples of remarks made by Imus and others on his program documented by Media Matters for America over the past few months:

Fineman to pal Imus: Racist comments aren't OK any more like they used to be
http://mediamatters.org/items/200704090002

Discussing host Don Imus' April 4 comments on MSNBC's Imus in the Morning -- in which Imus referred to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" -- and the controversy that ensued, Newsweek editor Howard Fineman, appearing on the April 9 edition of Imus in the Morning, asserted: "[I]t's a different time, Imus ... it's different than it was even a few years ago, politically," and added that "some of the stuff that you used to do, you probably can't do anymore." Fineman continued, "I mean, just looking specifically at the African-American situation. I mean, hello, [Sen.] Barack Obama's [D-IL] got twice the number of contributors as anybody else in the race," and added, "[T]hings have changed. And the kind of -- some of the kind of humor that you used to do you can't do anymore. And that's just the way it is."

Tom Oliphant to Imus on racial slur controversy: "Solidarity forever, pal"
http://mediamatters.org/items/200704090007

Referring to host Don Imus' April 4 comments on MSNBC's Imus in the Morning -- in which the radio host referred to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" -- and the controversy that ensued, Boston Globe columnist Tom Oliphant began his appearance on the April 9 edition of Imus in the Morning by stating: "Good morning, Mr. Imus, and solidarity forever, by the way." Oliphant also referred to political pundits like himself who appear on the show as Imus' "constituency."

Media Matters for America is a not-for-profit, progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Media Matters for America is the first organization to systematically monitor the media for conservative misinformation every day, in real time. For more information, visit www.mediamatters.org.

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