- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 10, 2007

From combined dispatches

Both CBS Radio and MSNBC will suspend their broadcasts of the “Imus in the Morning” program for two weeks, network officials said yesterday, in response to what the cable news network’s parent company called “racist, abhorrent comments” by host Don Imus.

The two-week suspension will begin Monday.

“Don Imus has expressed profound regret and embarrassment and has made a commitment to listen to all of those who have raised legitimate expressions of outrage,” NBC News said. “In addition, his dedication — in his words — to change the discourse on his program moving forward, has confirmed for us that this action is appropriate. Our future relationship with Imus is contingent on his ability to live up to his word.”

The network said Mr. Imus’ previously scheduled charity “radiothon” will air as scheduled Thursday and Friday on MSNBC. CBS Radio had no immediate comment on the suspension.

Black activists have called for Mr. Imus to be fired since he called members of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos” during Wednesday’s program. Mr. Imus made the remarks after Rutgers lost to the University of Tennessee April 3 in the NCAA women’s basketball championship game.

Yesterday, appearing on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s radio show, Mr. Imus apologized again for the remark, saying: “Our agenda is to be funny, and sometimes we go too far. And this time, we went way too far.”

Mr. Sharpton, however, said the apology was not enough.

“Oh, no, we want him fired,” Mr. Sharpton said yesterday on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” calling for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sanctions against Mr. Imus. “I think that it is clear that we’re not just talking … about his personal beliefs or feelings, or even his being contrite. What we’re talking about is public policy.”

Although he said he believed Mr. Imus’ apology was sincere, Mr. Sharpton said, “The real question is whether the FCC is sincere about having regulations that operate the same for everyone.”

Yesterday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson led a protest outside Chicago’s NBC tower, and an official from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called for the broadcaster’s ouster.

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