Barely 12 hours after being fired from MSNBC…
6:12 AM: On Imus’ radio program (no longer simulcast on MSNBC) this morning, Chris Carlin, who covers sports for the program, discussed yesterday’s dismissal of charges against the Duke lacrosse players.
DON IMUS: When will Al Sharpton be apologizing to them?
CARLIN: I’m unaware of such a press conference.
IMUS: I’ll be darned…
UPDATE 6:28 AM: After a station break, Imus came back to discuss MSNBC’s decision. He said he was recently chatted with “another big time broadcasting executive” who was “complaining that [MSNBC] had cancelle the simulcast twelve hours before we were getting ready to conduct this radio-thon for these three charities.”
Imus: “My position on all of this is not whining about the hideously hypocritical coverage from the newspapers — from everybody — or the lack of support, say, from people like Harold Ford, Jr. who I had my life threatened over supporting and all these kind of things. It all began, and it doesn’t make any difference — like [James] Carville said — stop talking about the context, it doesn’t make any difference. If I hadn’t have said it I wouldn’t be here. So let’s stop whining about it…You gotta stop complaining. I said a stupid, idiotic thing that desperately hurt these kids. I’m going to apologize but we gotta move on.”
UPDATE 7:37 am. IMUS: “The hypocrisy is absurd…Everybody knows what the deal is. And this is not over. This story does not end here.”
Imus also gave a shout-out to Opie & Anthony, who support Imus on this issue.
Imus says he spoke with MSNBC Senior VP Phil Griffin and said “some of the stuff that MSNBC has done this morning is frankly unethical and I’ve asked them to stop doing it.”
But also said, “I’m not whining about the coverage. I’m not whining about any aspect of this.”
“I’ve said 100 times: I said it and if I hadn’t said it, we wouodn’t be sitting here talking about it. And that’s the bottom line.”
Imus also said that losing television (via MSNBC) isn’t as big as losing radio. “The big part of the program is radio. There’s millions of people listening to the radio. At best a few hundred thousand are watching television.”
On MSNBC’s decision: “I understand the pressure they were under. I’m not stupid.”
UPDATE 8:15am: Speaking with an African-American woman, whose son had spent time at the Imus Ranch, Imus said, “And I want to say to you as an African-American woman, I’m sorry for what I said…I want to apologize to all African-American women.” The woman said, “Okay, I accept that.”
UPDATE 8:19AM: Imus said that one of the “sad ironies of my stupidity” is that, at his ranch, “we sent six kids home because they couldn’t stop calling girls bitches and hos.”
UPDATE 8:21AM: “I want to thank Opie & Anthony…I love them and I love what they do. I know they offend people perhaps more than I do. They’re good loyal guys…Even Howard [Stern] hasn’t been horrible.” (Although if you read this Stern show summary, seems like Stern still has his claws out against his longtime nemesis.)
UPDATE 8:28AM: Imus says that he’s had “a lot of big people in the media” calling him “whining about the hypocrsity in the coverage. We understand that. You just turn on the cable channels or read the newspaper, trying to portray me as some vicious racist or whatever and there’s not one person talking about the other things I’ve done…There’s a difference between premeditated murder and a gun going off…But you’ve got to take your medicine. I’m not whining about it.”
“Don’t tell me that context isn’t important. Context is importnat in everything we do in our lives. But it’s not an excuse.”
UPDATE 8:38AM: Despite the controversy, Imus says contributions for The Tomorrows Children Fund and the Imus Ranch are “way, way up” compared to this time in the show last year, which is significant because “the money’s more important this year than ever.”
He added: “These bastards went after me. They got me. But they didn’t catch me asleep.”
UPDATE 8:44AM: MSNBC’s Imus webpage is still up, with a statement and link to Imus’ charities.
UPDATE 8:45am: “One day you’ve got a radio and tv show and one day you don’t…Ordinarily we need to raise $3 million, this year we need to raise $100 million — just in case (Laughter).”
UPDATE 8:57AM: Tells his friends, “Don’t call me telling me that the coverage is unfair…If I hadn’t said it, there’d be no coverage…Shut up about it…I’ve been dishing it out for a long time, and now it’s my turn…I’m not going to whine about it.”
Imus also lets readers know that he’s doing today’s show in the MSNBC studio.
UPDATE 9:01AM: Charlie McCord says that they’ve raised over $400,000.
UPDATE 9:10AM: On MSNBC:I understand their decision.” “I appreciate them letting us use their studio this morning.”
To “all of my friends in the media, out of the media: You can’t whine about this…We wouldn’t have been there if I hadn’t said it.”
He again called media coverage “outrageously hypocritical.”
“Harold Ford, Jr. has been disgraceful in his lack of support. I endured death threats to endorse him…It’s unfortunate that he has no courage.”
“I’m not surprised by any of this. I’m not surprised at the hypocrisy of Al Sharpton, of Jesse Jackson or any of these people. But you can’t whine about it.”
“We can talk about all the good work that I’ve done forever, but I still said that. I’m not making any excuses. Everybody’s got to stop whining and quit talking about it.”
UPDATE 9:25AM: “I’ve dished it out for a long time and now it’s my time to take it. That’s fine. Bring it on.”
UPDATE 9:28AM: After one guest said “kick ass,” then followed that with “can I say that?” Imus said, “I think today you can say anything.”
UPDATE 9:37: “We’ve never done this well before” (regarding the radiothon)
UPDATE 9:38: On meeting with the Rutgers basketball players: “I can’t go through the rest of my life — nor can they — without us having this conversation and me telling them how I feel and, more importantly, them telling me how they feel.”