Breaking: CBS fires Imus


“There has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on our young people, particularly young women of color trying to make their way in this society,� CBS President and Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves said in announcing the decision. “That consideration has weighed most heavily on our minds as we made our decision.�

Join the Conversation

  • Anonymous


  • norbizness

    One down, about 29485 shock jocks to go. It sets a good precedent: if you or your co-contributors makes racist statements 219 times, we will totally pop you on the 220th time.

  • Auguste

    Damn you! Beat me to the “breaking” post by two minutes.

  • Scilian

    Good for them. I may weight more of my viewing time in CBS’s favor for doing so.
    I for one, dont find the humor funny. I would also neither does much of CBS’s audience. Maybe a lot do like prefer his humor, but I would wager at least as many dont, if not more.
    Good for CBS not taking this lightly. Any targeted race would have been offended, and I believe males would have been too if they called them all rapist dick sticks or some other shit like that.
    Just how many women honor CBS with their viewing time? How many black people honor CBS with their viewing time? Im sure a majority took displeasure or even hurt in hearing that said.
    On the flip side, I dont see anyone rooting for his job back, so maybe this is a really good sign for society.

  • thebewilderness

    Shorter Moonves: Women shop.

  • mooserider

    this is heartening…but is anyone else left wondering why this is the awful, bigoted comment that everyone got up in an uproar about?
    a lot of supporters of imus have pointed out that this kind of comment shows up on his show *all the time* They seem to see this as some kind of justification for this particular comment, but it just leaves me wondering: why were the others acceptable? why didn’t mainstream media pick up on other racist, sexist, bigoted comments ?

  • The Law Fairy

    Go CBS!!!
    I agree it’s strange that suddenly, one random straw breaks the camel’s back — but, hell, I’ll take it.
    I can’t WAIT until Howard Stern gets blasted for saying n***** or f***** on his stupid little show and Sirius fires the idiot asshole.

  • thebewilderness

    I think it is because of the target.
    Molly Ivins said: I object because he consistently targets dead people, little girls, and the homeless–none of whom are in a particularly good position to answer back. Satire is a weapon, and it can be quite cruel. It has historically been the weapon of powerless people aimed at the powerful. When you use satire against powerless people, as Limbaugh does, it is not only cruel, it’s profoundly vulgar. It is like kicking a cripple.

  • Erin

    Awesome Ivins quote, bewilderness.
    This is awesome news. I was afraid they were going to bring him ack in time for sweeps to benefit from the publicity of his return. Unfortunately, the “biggies” (Limbaugh, Stern, etc.) will not feel the heat. They’re “expected” to behave badly, so they get a free pass because it’s part of their schtick. Sickening.

  • UltraMagnus

    Shorter Moonves: Women shop.
    So true. This is coming from a man who doesn’t approve of most interracial dating shown on CBS, especially black men and white women and has shot down such plot lines time and time again. Some get on but usually they involve white men.
    And before anyone asks how I know this, I work within the TV industry and I’d heard about this from other writers on CBS, it’s an understood rule Moonves doesn’t like interracial storylines, even though he himself in in an interracial marriage.
    On the topic at hand, I don’t know how I feel about this. Firing him could be a good sign but the people who approve of his message aren’t going to sit back and go “Oh gee, Don Imus got fired for saying bad things, guess I should change my way of thinking.” He’s not going to change, they’re not going to change they’re just going to get more bitter about it and say there’s a conspiracy of the liberal media against them. I think it would have been more effective if they’d gotten LISTENERS to stop listening, SHOWING him that the people in this country aren’t going to stand for that anymore.
    I am also for free speech, no matter how hateful, though I understand that Imus is now fucking with CBS money (bottom line) and that’s the main reason they’re letting him go.
    I think that might be my biggest problem with this: CBS didn’t really fire him for his comments or else they would have done that immediately, they fired him once advertisers started pulling ads (aka money) so now they’re trying to cover their asses. They honestly have no concern about the feelings of those young women and their apology is as hollow as Imus’ was.
    Sorry for the rant, hard to articulate all my feelings about this.

  • Erin

    UltraMagnus, good point about CBS. Something to remember before we shower them with too many “doing the right thing” kudos.
    I agree that it would have been way cooler if he’d been fired for losing listeners over his remarks, but I more and more believe that there are too many people out there who love the shock jocks too much to stop listening, no matter how bad it gets. Hell, even a lot of the talkig heads on the news have demanded to know what the “big deal” was about his remarks. Reference Coulter, most recently.

  • laguz

    wahoo…tonight, my mom sez “poor imus” and I say “he’s a badddd mannn” she sez “he’s not the only one” I say “one down…”

  • Justice4All

    I am in no way supporting Don Imus. I really dont’ like the guy and his show. On top of that, I don’t understand why he attacked innocent girls who did nothing offensive. However, I don’t feel he should have been kicked off. First off, the man apologized for what he said and is even giving a sincere apology to the girls and their families. The only reason he’s gettin g kicked off is because of his show losing sponsors after remarks from Al Franken and Jesse Jackson, who are calling him racist. This man is not racist, just a very offensive man. He has some cancer funding for children, and i can bet you that some of those kids are African American.

  • stellaelizabeth

    “i have black friends” does not a racist unmake.
    you can do good things and still be an asshole.

  • Justice4All

    If you are referring to my post when you said “you can do good things and still be an asshole,” then just know this: i think he is an asshole. I also think Bill Maher is an asshole for not respecting other people’s opinions. I think Rosie O’donnell is an asshole for doing the same AND for consistently saying that 9/11 is a conspiracy, offending victims of that tragic event. The thing is, is that there are assholes all over T.V. and there will always be. I just dont’ think Imus deserves to be kicked off, cause if he does, a hella lot of other people should follow him out the door.

  • SakuraPassion

    Imus just isn’t funny, I’m for free speech, but with that right there comes responsibility.
    I’m kind of torn with this, issue I am truly disgusted with Imus’s comments. However, I’m also annoyed with that that these so-called black leaders cry racism and yet very rarely speak out against the blatant sexism that’s rampant in the our (black) community.

  • Smartpatrol

    HA! See Ya LATER, Hater! Sux 2 B U!

  • Smartpatrol

    HA! See Ya LATER, Hater! Sux 2 B U!

  • unklef

    There’s a good essay on the ‘Counterpunch’ site about the need to change the entire culture of abuse if this is to be more than a purely symbolic firing. After all, the right
    wing meanie machine (but not only them) verbally slams people every day- usually people they think can’t defend themselves. Its one fetid pyramid of abuse. Maybe -i hope- dumping Imus is a sign that the tide IS turning in a positive direction and not just damage control. If that is the case it may be in no small part due to the work of folks running blogs like this which call people out on their shit everyday. Keep up the good work Feministing!

  • Doug S.

    I’d like to link to someone else’s take on this whole situation:

  • oenophile

    Hell, even a lot of the talkig heads on the news have demanded to know what the “big deal” was about his remarks. Reference Coulter, most recently.
    No, her position is that Imus should have apologised and, I believe, sent flowers to the young women at Rutgers. She said that it is wrong to attack people who do not put themselves in the public sphere:

    The reason people don’t like what Imus said was because the women on the Rutgers basketball team aren’t engaged in public discourse. They’re not public figures, they don’t have a forum, they aren’t trying to influence public policy.
    They play basketball — quite well, apparently — and did nothing to bring on an attack on their looks or character. It’s not the words Imus used: It would be just as bad if he had simply said the Rutgers women were ugly and loose.

    Bingo. I do think she misses the poinnt that the words add another level of insult, but that second level is not the be-all end-all of the problem with his remarks. (Given how rappers may use such language with impunity, it’s hard to get too worked up about hearing it. The problem is that it’s directed at some highly accomplished, talented, hard-working young women who did nothing more than play some great basketball.)
    I hate the fact that black women can be made fun of for their appearance. I hate the fact that blondes are mocked for their hair colour. I really freakin hate every single time a woman accomplishes something and is reduced to hear physical beauty.
    If advertisers had the guts to pull their money over that, great. If someone knows which ones did so, let me know so I can buy their products. (FYI: Not a censorship fan; just a free market fan. The market has spoken – loudly.)
    I’m surprised that no one has remembered that Amanda Marcotte and Shakespeare’s Sister had problems with their jobs over similar issues (albeit prior to their hiring).

  • oenophile

    Note that the fourth paragraph should be in italics.