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Don Imus Is Fired by CBS Radio
In January 2006, MSNBC apologized but took no further action after the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation complained that Imus's description of the male leads in the film "Brokeback Mountain" was homophobic. In December 2004, the network had a similar response when Arab American groups protested after an Imus sidekick, Sid Rosenberg, referred to Palestinians as "stinking animals."
In both instances, MSNBC issued statements with identical wording: "The views expressed on the program are not those of MSNBC. Having said that, it was unfortunate that these remarks were telecast on MSNBC. We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by these remarks."
This time, however, there was too much heat.
The group at the center of the controversy -- the Rutgers team -- has not called for Imus's ouster. The players met with Imus for about three hours at the governor's mansion in Princeton, N.J., last night. Imus left without commenting to reporters, according to the Associated Press, and the team did not immediately issue a statement.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey yesterday, the team's coach, C. Vivian Stringer, said she wanted to wait until meeting with Imus before passing judgment. "He has hurt us tremendously," she said. But she added, "We promised to come to the meeting with an open heart and mind."
Staff writers Howard Kurtz, Lisa de Moraes and Frank Ahrens contributed to this report.