By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Trying to remember Imus

I’m not surprised that Boston’s WTKK Radio (96.9 FM) says it’s received no complaints about Don Imus’ racist prattle on Wednesday. Who knew he was still on the air?

The Herald’s Jessica Heslam has the details. Imus’ apology has been posted on Here’s some background on Imus’ previous racist, misogynistic and homophobic outbursts.

I think it’s time — past time — for Imus to retire to the ranch. And he can take his little pal Bernard McGuirk with him.

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Who listens to Imus?


  1. amusedbutinformedobserver

    And, with apologies to George Frazier, sycophant Charles McCord makes three.Imus’ routine is old and tired. I never much understood the attraction for someone who suddenly “discovered” politics and fancied himself a kingmaker. But one-kilowatt daytimers need morning shows and that’s why Imus is still in syndication.’TTK, on the other hand, really missed an opportunity to carve out a morning show niche when Stern retired, WRKO’s mornings foundered and a big audience was in play.Believe it or not, driving the kids to school has taught me that the best commercial morning radio show locally is Siegel in WXKS-FM. I can’t abide the music, find the rapidly aging Bill Costa’s banal attempts to remain hip to 14 year old girls rather pathetic, and tune away (over my teen daughter’s protests) when the gab turns to celeb-talk, Idol-talk or reality shows.Still, Siegal is a very engaging and surprisingly well-prepared interviewer when he has adult guests, and somehow gets away with a boomer-generation perspective on a contemporary-hit station, doing some interviews during the 7:15-7:30 broadcast that surprise me. Until I reluctantly started letting the kids play with the car radio, I hadn’t paid much attention to him since the 5-all-night and WBCN days, and for decades have never gotten away from my perception of WXKS as the disco station Heftel created in 1979.

  2. Rick in Duxbury

    Imus is a very troubled man. His personal history is a train wreck that he insists on foisting upon the rest of us. Drugs, divorce, yada, yada, yada. WSJ dared to question the administration of his 501c-3 ranch. One would think they had proposed infanticide. Imus marshalled his pop culture pals from Manhattan to protect his insecurities – intellectual, financial and professional. (The same shameless hacks that use him as political junk food. Time to rescreen “A Face in the Crowd” with Andy Griffith). While his continued presence is a sad indicator of our celebrity obsession in America, no one is being forced to listen. I guess he is just another aspect of NYC I could never “get”. Say goodnight Don.

  3. Anonymous

    If you are white and make a joke about black people it’s racist. If you are black and make a joke about white people it’s just a joke. (as it should be)Grow up if we can’t joke then we are all doomed. I belive Bernard was referring to a spike lee movie with the “jigaboos and wannabees”so if you refer to a movie that a black man made then you are a racist? Rick

  4. Anonymous

    Dan, apparently you are unaware of the fact that the show is Don I’m-an-ass In The Morning.It’s amusing that any self-respecting person goes on his show. I lost all respect for Doris Kearns Goodwin (the copyright infringer), John Kerry and the other jackass blowhards when I heard that they had gone on “I’m an ass in the morning’s” show.–raj

  5. Anonymous

    Does anyone really take Don I’m-an-ass In the Morning seriousl?Quite frankly, I’d have to question the intelligence of the jackasses that go on his show. I’d give them a break if they go on the show for media exposure.–raj

  6. Cee Jay

    I wasn’t surprised that he said what he did. What surprises me is that he ever became the host for MSNBC’s morning show. Maybe this will be enough for MSNBC to put someone on the air worth listening to.

  7. A.J. Cordi

    I never liked Imus. He needs to retire before he gets himself killed!

  8. donnahalper

    This is what aggravates me. Don Imus can insult women’s sports and women athletes, no problem. Michael Savage can spew hate of all sorts, no problem. Limbaugh, Severin, Carr, the list goes on. Hey you can even be a convicted felon and have a talk show here. Yet NOBODY will take a chance on bringing progressive talk back to the airwaves despite the fact that Ed Scultz is now heard by more than 3 million listeners a week, Stepahnie Miller is bringing in 18-34 year old women, Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow are doing literate and interesting discussions of politics, and Randi Rhodes is still ranting… but not in Boston… sigh…

  9. zadig

    Rick, do you seriously not know the difference between a white person making black jokes and a black person making white jokes? Honestly, if you can’t understand why an oppressed minority can get away with mocking those in power, while the oppressing majority can’t, you’re not really thinking about it. Look up noblesse oblige, for example. Jeez.

  10. man who's an npr fan

    It’s always about the money, Donna. Either at the local level with getting ratings (thus leading to ad revenue) or at the national level with politics.Besides, here in Boston, who’d want to listen to progressive talk? Everyone who likes that kind of thing is already married to NPR. And with good reason…regardless of how “good” a lot of lib-talkers are, they’re still on stations with a 33% spot load every hour. Why listen to that crap when you have a 5% spot load on WBUR or WGBH?Now if some station…with a REAL signal…had the balls to bring in Stephanie, Ed, et al and put them on the non-commercial model (minimal interrupts, “civilized” underwriting, and occasional fundraisers) I think they’d start making inroads eventually.Speaking of following the money, Imus is still making it for his stations or else they wouldn’t carry him. So he’ll be around until his ratings completely bottom out or until he dies. I’m betting the latter will happen before the former.

  11. Rick in Duxbury

    FWIW,11:20 above is another Rick

  12. Anonymous

    Zadig I’m black and am not offended or “oppressed” Sounds like you have a case of liberal guilt syndrome. It’s a joke based on a movie that a black man made. So in your world the original movie is ok but someone repeating a joke about it is off limits (if he’s white) Not logical in my world but hey I’m just an “oppressed” black man after all and I need people with LGS to look out for me. Thanks Rick

  13. Don

    You sent me to AlterNet! Good grief, what garbage.

  14. Dan Kennedy

    Rick: Maybe that’s what McGuirk was doing, but not Imus. Besides, McGuirk’s got such a long track record at this point that he gets no sympathy from me.

  15. Anonymous

    Sal Minella (Italians), Cardinal O’Connor (Catholics), Sinatra,various Jewish charecters, the list goes on and on. Imus has been an equal opportunity ball buster. The Rutgers women’s basketball team commentwas a joke and people are too thin skinned to laugh. Get over it.

  16. Anonymous

    zadig,Look at a calendar: We’re no longer living in the mid-1950’s, and every member of the minority isn’t being malignantly “held down” by “The Man.”P.S. I can’t help but notice the trace of racism in your own comment. “Noblesse oblige”? I didn’t realize that no one within the minority’s capable of having wealth and/or power. Not all black people are poor and weak, you know.

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