December 28, 2019
Some people will remember this guy.
Most people probably won’t, however.
Don Imus, the radio personality whose insult humor and savage comedy catapulted him to a long-lasting and controversial career, has died at 79. His three-hour radio program, Imus in the Morning, was widely popular, especially with the over 25-male demographic.
Imus died Friday morning at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in College Station, Texas, after being hospitalized on Christmas Eve, a representative said. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Mike and the Mad Dog host Mike Francesca tweeted Friday, “Shocking news on the passing of my friend, Don Imus. He will long be remembered as one of the true giants in the history of radio.”
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough added, “Morning Joe obviously owes its format to Don Imus. No one else could have gotten away with that much talk on cable news. Thanks for everything, Don.” Morning Joe started as a fill-in for Imus in the Morning after Imus was fired from MSNBC in 2007.
Imus in the Morning, which debuted on WNBC-AM in New York in 1971, most recently reached radio listeners via Citadel Media and was simulcast on the Fox Business Network.
Imus was loved or hated for his caustic loudmouth. Outspoken in an age of political correctness, his often coarse satire offended sensibilities. Yet his listeners included those whom he often ridiculed. His call-in guests included President Clinton, Dan Rather, Tim Russert, Bill Bradley, David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani and political analyst Jeff Greenfield, who once remarked, “He’s out there talking the way most of us talk when we’re not in public.”
He sparked national outcry in 2007 when he made derogatory, racist remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. CBS Radio and MSNBC then dropped his show.
He rebounded by signing a multiyear contract with the Fox Business Network in 2009 to simulcast Imus in the Morning from 6-9 a.m., with Fox anchors appearing during the program.
His “racist” comment was calling WNBA stars – that was the female version of the NBA, with the “W” standing for “women’s” – “nappy headed hoes.”
Which – is that racist? Or is it just joke-talking like a black person?
Al Sharpton – who was still fat at the time – was not amused.
It was really weird in 2007 for him to get fired for something so benign. It hadn’t happened before. It was in many ways a test run, to see if you could completely destroy someone’s life over a single politically incorrect comment.
And it worked.
They are saying here he came back on Fox Business – I never saw him on that.
I never heard anything about the guy until right now, when I just read the announcement of his death.
It’s strange that that happened in 2007, and then we didn’t really see the process start back up again, with everyone getting fired for saying things, until like ten years later.
Here’s a 60 Minutes segment about Imus before the “hoes” comment.
As we remember that America used to be more normal, we can remember Imus.