Don Imus: ”I Thought It Was An Opportunity To Diversify The Cast”

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Don Imus grants Barbara Walters his first interview. Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2007 airs December 6, three days after the Imus debut. This is the 15th annual edition of the hour-long ABC News special. From ABCNews.com:

”When asked by Walters whether this decision was made out of guilt, Imus replied, ‘No, I thought it was an opportunity to diversify the cast.’

”’Anybody who is on our program is there because they are funny or smart,’ he added. ‘I suddenly find myself now in this unique position to present a better program to never ever say anything that would ever make these young women or anybody else regret that they forgave me, and that they accepted my apology.’

”’Most programs are so ratings driven, people are so cowardly and terrified,’ Imus said. ‘And people don’t want to have this conversation about race relations, so, out of this idiotic thing that I said, a lot of good can come, because I’ll have a huge audience and an enormously influential audience.”’

Page Six, we cannot fail to note, not only was out ahead of the pack in reporting that Imus was looking for an African-American comic foil (June 16), but also predicted that the sidekick would be a woman.

(image via Donna Svennevik/ABC)