Monday, December 3, 2007

IMUS returns with an apology

"I will never say anything on this program that will make those women at Rutgers regret or feel foolish for accepting my apology," said Don Imus, in a long, some times rambling speech opening his first show back in eight months, after being fired by CBS for calling the basketball players "nappy headed hos."

"Neither will anyone else on this program," he added.

He said he never intended to infer that the women were prostitutes and that after meeting with the team for four hours, he learned that his was a hurtful choice of language that was no less hurtful when used by comedians such as DL Hughley or Damon Wayons.

Imus said he has diversified his cast and that his "great" radio show would continue. He apologized for his "reprehensible" remark and said that "what happened is what should have happened."

Being criticized, and having his statement taken out of context was out of his control, he said.

"Everytime I would start to get pissed off about that, I would remind myself that if I hadn't said what I said, that we wouldn't be having this discussion and I wouldn't have to deal with that and the women at Rutgers wouldn't have to deal with that."

He called himself a drug addict and alcoholic and said that since he has been in recovery, he has been able to start a better life. He said this incident was similar, a chance to start again and do better things.

"Other than that, nothing else has changed. Dick Cheney is still a war criminal. Hilary Clinton is still Satan and I'm back on the radio, " he added.

Guests included musician Levon Helm, historian Doris Kearns Godwin, Mary Matalin and James Carville.