The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

18 March 2008

Crusty Don Imus Schmoozes With Kerry, Goodwin


Wildly Differing Coverage Of 'Ailing' Fossil-Talker's Visit

Proving once and for all that he resides comfortably in the liberal camp, fossil- talker Don Imus schmoozed with leftist cronies in Boston yesterday, receiving wildly divergent press coverage as a result.

Beyond politics, however, a big new question has Bostonians buzzing: is Imus in poor health? The Boston Herald reports he had "oxygen on hand" during the St Patrick's Day (Evacuation Day) appearance:

Imus, who is rumored to be in poor health and reportedly had oxygen on hand yesterday, returned to the air in December with a new cast, including two black comedians.

Though your Radio Equalizer is certainly not known as an Imus fan, this site does not wish him any harm and hopes he remains well. Actually, this is the first we've heard of any significant health issue related to the I-Man.

In fact, Imus's oxygen tank only served to underscore the differences between the way his event was covered in both the Herald and Boston Globe.

While the former included mixed reactions to the state of his morning radio show, choice of words and guests, the ultra- snooty liberal competition at the Globe presented an unquestioning view of his schmoozing / phony sniping at / with Senator John Kerry (who Imus endorsed in 2004) and lefty plagiarist Doris Kearns Goodwin. The Globies also said nothing about his physical condition:

Pulitzer-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin gave it back to radio blabber Don Imus as good as she got today. "Why do I only get in trouble when I'm on your program?" Goodwin said during the annual "Kiss Me I'm Imus" show at the Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common. The four-hour show, which usually airs from New York, was hosted by WTKK-FM (96.9) and included local Irish rockers Gobshites and a parade of local politicos and WTKK hosts.

John Kerry didn't fare as well. During a soliloquy about Barack Obama's virtues, Imus shot the senator down. "You're overselling the guy," Imus said but added that he's an Obama fan. When the subject of Obama's minister came up, Imus wondered aloud how the Illinois senator could have missed some of the more controversial remarks made by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Kerry joked that maybe Obama had slept through a sermon or two.

To which Imus retorted: "How many interviews have I slept through?" If you want some more conversational stuff: after Kerry's time on the show he worked the room and was even conducting interviews in the lobby of the hotel for about 30 minutes after he was off-air.

As for Wright's comments, Kerry said, "that's not Obama." And Kerry also went on a long stretch of Obama's credentials, such as how he'd be older than Jack Kennedy if elected and that Obama has more legislative experience than Hillary Clinton.

By contrast, the more sensible Herald covered more of what actually counts- listener sentiment:

Legendary talkmeister Don Imus hosted his show in the Hub yesterday but even his most diehard fans say the cranky cowboy has gone tamer and lost some of his edge the second time around.


While Cape Cod restaurant owner Nick Nickerson said seeing Imus live was a “dream” come true, he said the show has changed. “Unfortunately, it’s tempered. It isn’t like it used to be but I guess it can’t be,” Nickerson said. “We’re living in an age of political correctness and he saw what happens when you make a mistake.”

In the past, Regina Zahran of Braintree said she’d sometimes wince when her kids overheard Imus on the air. “It’s a lot tamer now but that’s not a bad thing,” Zahran said.

Even better, Herald fotog Mike Adaskaveg caught Kerry in a truly bizarre pose, as seen top- left. The image directly above was also snapped by Adaskaveg.

Aside from the fact that it is high time for the Imus camp to admit they reside firmly on the left, the bigger issue may prove to be his possibly declining health. With faltering Citadel - ABC Radio having placed all of its eggs in Don's basket, what will the 65+ demo- pandering firm do if he is forced to leave the airwaves?

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  • So, the Globe is showing bias by not reporting an unsubstantiated health rumor reported by the Herald? Where did you get your education in journalistic practices, Brian?

    I just googled "imus health rumors oxygen" and only came up with this blog and the herald article. To me this sounds like irresponsible journalism. I'm not at all an Imus fan but starting or continuing these sorts of rumors with zero evidence is irresponsible.

    By Anonymous Bill from Somerville, at 18 March, 2008 19:45  

  • Not to bother with facts, but Imus has said over and over that he supports McCain. He likes Obama, but will not be pulling the lever for him.

    Way to not even mention that Brian.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19 March, 2008 09:43  

  • When Imus was on the Larry King show, he was asked about the oxygen he was taking.

    Imus reply: "I had a lung operation about five years ago. Then they fused my right lung to my chest, to the wall of my chest, and then when I got bucked off, I had punctured my left lung, and that went down, and they got it back up, but we're at about almost 7,000 feet here, so, it makes it easier to breath. Plus I've got -- I kind of like it now. It feels good in my nose, so."

    So even Imus has confirmed the oxygen.

    Doesn't sound like irresponsible journalism to me.

    Sounds like weak Google skills.

    By Blogger The Benson Report, at 19 March, 2008 10:07  

  • Imus has been using "supplementary oxygen" for some years, now. When he is at The Ranch in New Mexico, which is several thousand feet above sea level, he often was seen and heard (sounding somewhat like Darth Vader) taking in the extra supplementary oxygen.

    So the "oxygen" issue isn't new, but it is apparent from hearing him on the radio, and seeing recent photos, that he is definitely in declining health.

    I'm sure that his years of booze and cocaine in the 70s and 80s has nothing to do with his current health. Yeah, right...

    Ed the Radio Guy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 20 March, 2008 12:02  

  • This comment probably comes so late that nobody will see it, but our local Citadel station (KKOB, Albuquerque) runs Imus' ads hawking ranchland. Hadn't heard that he was selling out altogether, and the ad says "you could be my neighbor, just don't plan on droppin' by."
    Just FYI

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 28 March, 2008 15:02  

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