Don Imus is once again in the hot seat, defending comments he made during his nationally syndicated show Monday morning — comments which some are saying, were racist in nature. Imus explains that wasn’t his intent, and at least one prominent blogger takes his word for it. Imus is heard locally on 92.7 The Drive (WXUR) in the Utica-Rome market.
According to the Associated Press, Imus and longtime New York City sports anchor Warner Wolf were discussing the criminal record of Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones on-air. At one point, Imus asked what color Jones is. When told Jones was African-American, Imus said, “There you go. Now we know.”
Civil rights leader Al Sharpton says he found the comment “disturbing because it plays into stereotypes,” pledging to have his National Action Network further investigate whether further action would be taken.
Considering Imus was fired from his previous job for making racially-charged comments about the Rutgers University womens basketball team, Imus is not taking the allegations lightly. He tells the AP, he was misunderstood, explaining “I meant that he was being picked on because he’s black.”
Huffington Post blogger Stephen Kaus says he accepts Imus’ explanation. In a post filed shortly after midnight Tuesday, Kaus says Imus is being “newly and wrongly accused of a racist comment.” Kaus goes on to admit Imus had said many things “that made me cringe” near the end of his days syndicated by CBS Radio, but the newly-launched show (via Citadel/ABC) “has all the humor without the cringing.”
When Imus was fired by CBS Radio over the Rutgers comments last April, he was eventually replaced on Arjuna Broadcasting’s WXUR by longtime local morning man Bill Keeler. When Imus returned to the airwaves in December, WXUR moved Keeler to afternoons to accomodate Imus.
In Syracuse, Imus has not had a home since being fired by CBS Radio. His former affiliate Sportsradio 620 WHEN filled with Fox Sports Radio programming, which occupies the morning drive hours to this day. Even though Imus is now syndicated by Citadel Broadcasting, none of that company’s Syracuse stations have picked up the show either.