Don Imus is back on TV. (Yes, he was on RFD-TV, but even he says his move to Fox Business Network is, “the difference between being on television and being on an Etch A Sketch.”)
Imus talked with WaPo’s Howard Kurtz about joining a team that includes Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, even though his politics aren’t necessarily theirs. “People think I’m more liberal than I am conservative, which I probably am,” says Imus. And about Fox:
“The perception is that even their news is skewed toward opinion — not when I watch it. It’s a fair news organization. It’s not my job to defend them. But I’m more likely to believe Shep Smith than Katie Couric or Brian Williams. Their news is advertiser-driven.”
And Fox’s isn’t? “We’re better people and have a much closer relationship with our Lord,” Imus deadpans.
His 11-year run on MSNBC came to an end in the spring of 2007 after a racial remark he made about the Rutger’s women’s basketball team. FBN EVP Kevin Magee tells Kurtz, “Don has more than paid his price for that. He was censured by the marketplace.”
One of the NBC anchors who replaced Imus on MSNBC before the slot was given to “Morning Joe,” was David Gregory who Kurtz reminds us asked then-Sen. Barack Obama if Imus should be fired. “I’ve got two daughters who are African American, gorgeous, tall, and I hope at some point are interested enough in sports that they get athletic scholarships,” said Obama. “He would not be working for me.”
Imus says that Obama “was kind of duped into that… He was being interviewed by that backstabbing, pigeon-looking, gut-sucking weasel David Gregory.”
Says Gregory: “Imus used to say those things about me even when he was being affectionate. I always tried to be fair to Don.”
Don’t expect Gregory or any other NBC Newsers on Imus anytime soon. But Imus has kept up with some of his other TV regulars, including ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and CBS’ Bob Schieffer.
“I think it’s an older and wiser Don Imus,” says Schieffer. “Don learned something from that experience, and at heart Don is a fine person. We all make mistakes, and he made a beaut.”
“I had a fairly decent career up to that point,” Imus says. “I didn’t want to end on that note. I’m a great believer in karma and naively think things will work out for the best.”