- The Washington Times - Friday, May 4, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer for Don Imus yesterday said the former radio host’s bosses could have edited the on-air comments that got him fired — a fact that means they saw the broadcaster’s remarks as routine for his show.

Attorney Martin Garbus told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that CBS Radio and MSNBC had delay buttons but didn’t use them when Mr. Imus made racist and sexist comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team last month.

“That means CBS and MSNBC both knew the language that was going out, and both knew the language complied with [Mr. Imus’] contract. … It was consistent with many of the things he had done,” Mr. Garbus said.

CBS Radio owns Mr. Imus’ former home radio station, WFAN-AM, and MSNBC simulcast the program on cable television.

An MSNBC spokeswoman contradicted Mr. Garbus’ claim, saying the broadcast aired without a delay and that there was no opportunity to delete his comments. Allison Gollust said MSNBC would not respond to any of Mr. Garbus’ other remarks.

A CBS Radio spokeswoman, Karen Mateo, said she would not respond to Mr. Garbus’ remarks.

Mr. Imus, 66, was dismissed April 12 after describing the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos” on his nationally syndicated radio program. He was barely three months into a five-year, $40 million contract with CBS, and his attorney has said Mr. Imus would sue for the contract’s unpaid portion.

A day earlier, CBS Radio said it would vigorously contest Mr. Imus’ planned lawsuit.

“We terminated Mr. Imus for cause,” CBS Radio said in a statement. “Based on the comments in question and relevant contract terms, we believe that the termination was appropriate and CBS would expect to prevail in any attempt by Mr. Imus to recover money for his actions.”

Mr. Garbus cited a contract clause in which CBS acknowledged that Mr. Imus’ services were “unique, extraordinary, irreverent, intellectual, topical, controversial.”

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