Citadel Broadcasting is paving the way for the return of misogynist poster boy Don Imus to the public airwaves. If the deal goes through, Imus’ debut will be Dec. 1, and already there’s talk that the show may go into syndication. Imus was fired by CBS and NBC last spring for his derogatory and misogynist comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.
The National Organization for Women was the first women’s organization to speak out against Don Imus’ insulting and degrading language directed at those accomplished young women, generating over 30,000 messages through our website. In April, NOW and other civil rights organizations went to New York City and told CBS and MSNBC that it was time for Imus to go.
“CBS and MSNBC did the right thing and fired Don Imus. Not one but two major media corporations understood the cost of hate speech and the value of public confidence,” said NOW President Kim Gandy. “Now, after a six-month vacation and a seven-figure settlement, Imus is looking for a comeback with another big corporation. It’s like a bad dream. Didn’t they learn anything? No one has a right to a platform on the radio — if they did, we’d have more talk shows than we have airtime.”
So what does it say to the public when a big corporation provides a stage for someone with a history of using the public airwaves for hateful and racist speech? It says they’ve made a choice about the kind of audience they want, and women and people of color aren’t included.
NOW has alerted supporters so they can write to Citadel Broadcasting urging them to reconsider, and to take a stand against hate speech.