The Imus-‘Nappy ‘Hos’ incident on April 4 may have shocked people like Al Sharpton, but it shouldn’t have shocked WFAN, MSNBC or the show’s listeners whatsoever.
A recent history [via Media Matters] of hate-talk:
Former Imus sports announcer Sid Rosenberg appeared on the program and referenced a story in the New York Daily News headlined “Serena Shocked by Racist Heckler.” Rosenberg commented, “I was on an airplane,” suggesting that he could not have been the one heckling professional tennis player Serena Williams.
Executive producer Bernard McGuirk, performing as his character “Cardinal Egan,” said that “the whole nation is talking about” reports of a “young colored fellah pretty much deckin’ the old bag from New York and takin’ away some of her money.” McGuirk continued: “I’m speaking, of course, about [Sens.] Barack Obama [D-IL] and Hillary Clinton [D-NY].”
McGuirk said that Hillary was “trying to sound black in front of a black audience” when she gave a speech on March 4 in Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march. McGuirk added that Clinton “will have cornrows and gold teeth before this fight with Obama is over.” Earlier in the program, in reference to Clinton’s speech, McGuirk had said, “Bitch is gonna be wearing cornrows.” McGuirk also said that Clinton will be “giving Crips signs during speeches.” The Crips are a Los Angeles-based street gang.
During a discussion with Newsweek magazine chief political correspondent Howard Fineman, host Imus falsely claimed that “it was [executive producer] Bernard [McGuirk] who said, ‘Besa mi culo … Gordo, [to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson] not me.” The phrase loosely translates to “kiss my ass, fat one,” in Spanish. As Media Matters for America noted at the time, however, Imus echoed McGuirk labeled by Media Matters as “unidentified” saying “besa mi culo” at least twice himself on the February 1 edition of Imus. Richardson’s mother is Mexican.
Imus claimed that “if we’re gonna be fighting these terrorists through the lives of [8-year-old son] Wyatt Imus‘ children,” then “it might be good to start with somebody who is willing to take three big ones and drop one on Mecca, one on Jeddah, and one on Saudi — one on Riyadh,” all cities in Saudi Arabia. Imus made the point in response to co-host Charles McCord, who claimed that Imus had “Leon Klinghoffered John McCain … in favor of Rudolph Giuliani” during a private conversation they had the previous evening. Imus has previously claimed that he will vote for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008.
McGuirk claimed that Sen. Barack Obama has “a Jew-hating name.” The remark followed a flurry of other negative comments from Imus, McGuirk, and McCord about the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, calling Obama a “creep,” “a wind-watching wimp,” and “a flip-flopping weasel.”
As the Forward newspaper reported in a December 8 online article, Imus referred to the “Jewish management” of CBS Radio as “money-grubbing bastards” on the November 30 broadcast of MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning. Imus was discussing a past conflict with his bosses about hosting the musical group the Blind Boys of Alabama. Executive producer McGuirk asked, “Even if you wear a beanie, how can you not love the Blind Boys?” Imus continued, “I said, ‘They’re handicapped, they’re black, and they’re blind. How do we lose here?’ And then a light bulb just went off over [the managers’] scummy little heads.” CBS Radio owns WFAN, the New York station that is the flagship for Imus’ radio show.
FishbowlNY’s Imus Scandal Coverage: