The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

13 April 2007

Imus Fired, NBC News, Al Roker, MSNBC, Nappy-Headed Hos


In Getting Imus Canned, Some Say He Was Key

With the career of Don Imus now in ruins, we're in a strange state of affairs, where angry fans look for scapegoats and enemies look to take credit.

Perhaps the oddest (yet quite possible) theory advanced so far is that NBC's Al Roker played a key role in getting Imus sacked from MSNBC. Could a weatherman really determine the fate of one of the network's major personalities?

Here, TV Guide's Steven Battaglio makes the case:

Imus faced a cascade of criticism for calling the Rutgers team members "nappy-headed ho's" on his Imus in the Morning radio program, which had been simulcast on MSNBC. He made a public apology, and it appeared that the outrageously irreverent host would get off with a two-week suspension.

That all changed after a meeting late on the afternoon of April 10, which NBC News president Steve Capus held with about 30 of his staffers, including Today show weatherman Al Roker, the most high-profile African-American on-air personality in the news division. According to an NBC insider, Roker told Capus, "That could have been my daughter" Imus was joking about.

After hearing the concerns, Capus knew he had to do something more. The decision to cut ties with Imus became a lot easier when a number of his program's high-profile national advertisers said they were pulling their commercials off the show. While Imus' TV ratings had been growing recently, the simulcast was considered only modestly profitable for MSNBC.

Capus acknowledged that Imus had long been making politically incorrect cracks about women and minorities on his show, which has been on MSNBC since 1996. But the circumstances with the Rutgers team were different because they were "people in everyday life who did not deserve this." He added, however, that Imus' "body of work" was also a factor in the decision.

Had Imus survived at MSNBC, he almost certainly would have remained at CBS Radio and Westwood One (his national syndicator) as well.

In the coming days, we'll likely have a clearer picture of the events that led to this strange week for broadcasting and even our nation as a whole. Until then, the idea that Al Roker got Don Imus fired somehow seems peculiar.

ELSEWHERE: Here, the Wall Street Journal seems to credit Media Matters with getting the Imus issue kick- started last week.

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  • For those claiming Imus was a right-winger, this from Howie Carr:
    " Until his idiotic flameout, Don Imus was the nearest thing the liberals ever had to a success story in talk radio. He worshipped John Kerry. He fawned over Maureen Dowd. He cursed the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. After Saddam was executed, Imus joked with a local plagiarist about how Dick Cheney would handle himself on the gallows."

    By Blogger raccoonradio, at 13 April, 2007 01:51  

  • Coon,
    For every example you can give I can give you an equal number demonstrating his conservative leanings. He supported Rick Santorum for re-election, he regularly called Hillary Clinton the devil, he voted for Bush in 2000 and regulary gushed over George Bush I, and announced on his show he was leaning to voting for Guliani or McCain in 2008.

    The point is you couldn't rigidly classify him and only a dishonest, unethical prick like Maloney with a chip on his shoulder would do so.

    There are millions of people who are not rigid partisans and many of them who voted for Bush in 2004 won't be voting Republican in 2008 because they have finally figured out what Imus figured out in 2004.

    By Blogger elmonica, at 13 April, 2007 03:12  

  • Elmo,

    You ought to have your BDS treated, and take some anger management, too.

    Imus was a Lib, just that he knew where the fantasy ended unlike most libs.

    By Blogger PCD, at 13 April, 2007 08:32  

  • PCD - I don't know which astounds me more, your arrogance or your ignorance. However, I believe that you arrogance stems from your ignorance, so it is unavoidable.

    Libs are out of touch with reality? If this is the case, how can you explain last Thursday when Dick Cheney went on Limbaugh and STILL asserted that Saddam had connections with al-Qaeda, even though, at the same moment, the Defense Department released a de-classified document saying that this claim was completely false. If you post something else on here today, I expect it to be an explanation. And don't say that the Vice President of the United States didn't already know about that formerly classified piece of intelligence.

    By Blogger liberal outlaw, at 13 April, 2007 09:14  

  • I have come to the conclusion PCD, is not a real person but rather a troll

    Elmonica just gave good exaples of Imus kissing Bushs ass in 200, trashing hillary and supporting McCain, the moron PCD still insists he is a "lib'
    PCD is hopeless
    Im starting to think he is not a real poster, maybe it's Maloney himself trying to get us angry to respond

    One can not be that braindead

    When I told my co-host that cons are claiming Imus is a "lib" he was astonished, considering we play Imus clips displaying his Republican tendencies

    and Imus is a registered Republican
    PCD is pathetic

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 13 April, 2007 11:53  

  • I wonder if Savage gets canned for his kill the transexual rhetoric, if cons will claim he is a "lib" as well

    If Imus is a lib, I guess Hanntiy and Limbaugh are as well

    PCD, your a mindless, brain dead freak of nature

    A lib who voted for Bush in 2000 and bragged how great Bush is for 2 solid years
    yep, he is a "lib"!!!!!

    He is a Republican with a 1/4 of a brain, he realized Bush is a FAILURE, does not make him a 'lib'

    See PCD, most Americans (Imus included) do not taker party over country
    you do

    Objectivity on Imus part=liberal
    to a functionally retarded dittohead

    So I guess all the liberal hosts that despise Lieberman and Zed Miller are really conservatives because they are attacking somoeone in their own party??? right???

    mmmm Randi Rhodes who attacks fellow Democrat Lieberman (still a Democrat) is a conservative??????
    Well she attacked a Dem, must make her a Republican? right?

    PCD your a fucking moron

    By Blogger Minister of Propaganda, at 13 April, 2007 11:58  

  • PCD your a fucking moron

    When calling someone a fucking moron, minister of propaganda, might I suggest you use the correct word?

    Your is a possesive as in, "Did you lose your mind?"

    You're is the contraction for You are as in, "You're a fucking moron for using your keyboard to attack someone when you do not even understand the context of the words you choose to make that attack."

    Have a nice day.

    By Blogger Real Debate, at 16 April, 2007 14:28  

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