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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Why I Admire Don Imus

In case you've been living under a large rock for the last week or so, you've probably heard about Don Imus' less-than-sensitive remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team. On the off-chance you haven't seen or heard the entire exchange, here's the transcript:

DON IMUS: So, I watched the basketball game last night between -- a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women's final.

SID ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night -- seventh championship for [Tennessee coach] Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.

IMUS: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and --

BERNARD McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.

IMUS: That's some nappy-headed hos there. I'm gonna tell you that now, man, that's some -- woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like -- kinda like -- I don't know.

McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.

IMUS: Yeah.

McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes -- that movie that he had.

IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough --

CHARLES McCORD: Do The Right Thing.

McGUIRK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

IMUS: I don't know if I'd have wanted to beat Rutgers or not, but they did, right?

ROSENBERG: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.

(For the record, the Spike Lee movie they're thinking of is School Daze... but that's neither here nor there.)

I have no interest in defending the comments .

There IS no defense for the comments.

But that brings me to what I admire about Imus right now -- he hasn't offered any defense. He's been suspended by WFAN and MSNBC. He hasn't made excuses. He's made a full and detailed apology. He went on Al Sharpton's radio show for another round of mea culpas. He's meeting with the Rutgers coach and players.

When was the last time any celebrity faced the music like this?

Where has Imus been for the last year or so? Didn't he see how Mel Gibson and Isiah Washington and Michael Richards got through similar situations -- make a non-apology apology, check into rehab, schedule a tear-filled interview on Entertainment Tonight.

Will this stop people from calling for his job? Of course not. But it is worth noting.

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