In April, I wrote a blog on Don Imus, his racist remarks about the Rutger's women's basketball team, and the decision to fire him.
In closing, I wrote:
If the reaction to Don Imus is just going to be a flash
across the darkside of broadcasting .. we will all suffer.
It is time to raise the standards of broadcasting.
Well, he's back ... or will be December 3rd.
On that date Imus will return to the airwaves for the New York based WABC-AM. At this time, there's no word of syndication nor any TV deal; previously, Imus aired on more than 70 stations and the MSNBC cable network.
So, who made the decision to hire Imus and why?
WABC-AM is owned by Citadel Broadcasting which has 240 stations. CEO Faird Suleman recently defended Imus in a New York Times interview. Suleman is quoted as saying: He (Imus) didn't break the law. He's more than paid the price for what he did.
Reverend Al Sharpton .. one of the strongest voices calling for the head of Don Imus ... now says: Mr. Imus has the right to make a living.
Imus' return is upsetting the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Organization for Women; they believe putting Imus back on the air is nearly as insulting as the comment taking him off the air.
Reverend Sharpton does believe that Citadel should meet with black groups and advertisers to explain how they will prevent Imus from returning to "his former vile and biased behavior".
CEO Suleman is correct that Imus didn't break the law ... but even if he did... everyday we have convicted men and women freed from prison after serving time for their crimes.
So, when it's all said and done ... has Imus paid for his "crime"?
And why is he getting this chance? That's the easiest question to answer: $$$.
Citadel is sure that advertisers will once again throw money at the Imus show. They did it in the past, and because they did ... Imus was allowed to say what he wanted ... attack anyone and everyone for racial, religious reasons or any basis he chose.
That's how we got to the previous Imus crisis.
At that time, broadcasting execs were cashing advertisers' checks with one hand ... while the other hand wrote vague, insincere apologies for Imus' behavior.
So,what can we expect from Imus this time? From broadcast execs?
Do you think he should get this fresh opportunity?
If so, maybe you think it is time to forgive.
In that case, I say: Forgive ... but don't forget.