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UPDATE - WIMN weighs in on Don Imus on Fox News Live

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

August 14th, 2007

8/15 UPDATE: Segment bumped due to a breaking news story that took priority.

MEDIA APPEARANCE: I’ll be on Fox News Live tomorrow at 12:30 or so to discuss the potential “comeback” of Don Imus — see below for details about the discussion, the time of the show, and the back story.

Long-time, loud-and-proud bigot Don Imus was fired from his national radio gig after a controversy swirled in response to his calling the Rutgers women’s basketball team “some nappy-headed hos” last spring.

Now, according to the Associated Press, CBS Radio has reached an undoubtedly lucrative settlement with the momentarily-shamed “shock jock,” who is now jockeying for a “comeback” on ABC or other radio networks. The settlement hinged, the AP reports, in part on:

a contract clause in which CBS acknowledged that Imus’ services were “unique, extraordinary, irreverent, intellectual, topical, controversial.” The clause said Imus’ programming was “desired by company and … consistent with company rules and policy,”

(that according to Imus’s lawyer.)

So, today I got a call from a producer at Fox News Live, wanting me to appear on their net tomorrow to discuss the whole Imus ’sitch. I told him that while as the executive director of Women In Media & News I have a lot to say about Don Imus, I think it is important for TV news debates about Imus to feature African American women’s voices, since the whole controversy surrounding the radio host involved his racist and sexist comments about Black women. I offered the names of two prominent, media savvy Black women (journalist Jill Nelson, who wrote brilliantly about Imus for WIMN’s Voices back in the spring, as well as Latifa Lyles, a vice president of the National Organization for Women).

A few minutes later, the producer called me back and made it clear that he was just interested in having me on because I’d been an effective guest in the past, and that if I turned down the segment the other guest he was going to book was also white, and that person was a conservative commentator.

So, though I had hoped that the show would feature an African American woman’s voice on Imus, I agreed to do the segment because at least this way I’ll be able to bring a feminist, anti-racist media criticism perspective to the story. Here’s the 411:

MEDIA APPEARANCE: WIMN’s Jennifer L. Pozner discusses Don Imus on Fox News Live

DATE: Wed., Aug. 15, 2007
TIME: 12:35, but give a few minutes before or after if you’re taping it
SHOW: Fox News Live with Jon Scott
TOPIC: Don Imus’s recent contract settlement and possible comeback

Wish me luck, and if you watch the show, I’ll appreciate your feedback in the comments below.

To thank Fox News for including a feminist media critic’s perspective on their show — and to ask them to do follow-up segments on Don Imus that include the perspectives of women of color — email feedback@foxnews.com

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