David Steele's blog

The Baltimore Sun

It's Easter weekend and Passover week, so why not get in the proper mood by checking out how a radio host in the world's largest market used his show, which is simulcast on a national cable news network, to acknowledge Rutgers reaching the women's national championship game.

You may already have heard or seen this. On Wednesday morning, Don Imus, host of Imus in the Morning on New York's WFAN-AM and on MSNBC, called the Rutgers players "nappy-headed hos." His producer referred to them as "hardcore hos" and described the national title game between Rutgers and Tennessee as "the jigaboos vs. the wannabes." (That, by the way, is a completely out-of-context reference to the Spike Lee movie School Daze.)

Yesterday morning, the National Association of Black Journalists (of which I am a member) demanded that Imus be fired or the show be boycotted, with the organization president adding, "Has he lost his mind?" Imus didn't get fired. He apologized. Apparently it was sincere.

WFAN has made no comment so far, probably because it's got a Mets game to do. MSNBC, which has carried his show live for several years and apparently banks heavily on it (since it means it doesn't have to come up with original morning programming of its own) acted as if he'd wandered into the station and started fiddling with knobs without their knowledge: "Imus in the Morning is not a production of the cable network and is produced by WFAN Radio. As Imus makes clear every day, his views are not those of MSNBC. We regret that his remarks were aired on MSNBC and apologize for these offensive comments."

david.steele @baltsun.com

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