Radio host Don Imus, who lost his job last year after making racially insensitive comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team, faced fresh cricism after saying in an interview that Adam "Pacman" Jones of the Dallas Cowboys has been arrested six times since being drafted in 2005 because he's black. "What people should be outraged about," Imus said in defense of his remarks, "is that they arrest blacks for no reason." (CNN)
What the commentators said
After calling the Rutgers women's team "nappy headed hos," said Anthony Rieber in Newsday's The Final Score blog, Imus' defense was that he meant it, but made a mistake. Now he spouts more of his "his usual racist garbage" and he's got another excuse. "Nonsense." What is "in his heart is eventually going to come out in all of its ugliness."
There's no denying that Imus makes plenty of comments that "make me cringe," said Stephen Kaus in The Huffington Post. And I'm a big fan. But any "fair-minded person" who hears the full interview in context has to see that Imus meant that Jones "was arrested because he was black, not that he committed bad deeds because he was black."
You'd think after the Rutgers debacle, said Heather Muse in the Village Voice's Runnin' Scared blog, "Imus would keep his big mouth shut about issues of race with regard to sports." But when he does let fly another of his "ridiculous, offensive statements," should the media shower him with coverage? It's important to talk about the issue of race in America, but it shouldn't be up to a "second-rate shock jock" to drive the debate.