The president believes that hurtful comments by radio talk show host Don Imus should be followed by an apology, because that’s “the right thing to do.”
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino was responding to a question from Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent there, who asked about the current headline topic.
“Rutgers University President Richard McCormick described the Don Imus on-air words as ‘despicable, unconscionable, and deeply hurtful to the team players, the students and their parents.’ And my question: Does the president of the United States disagree with the president of Rutgers on this?”
“The president believes that the comments made by Don Imus were inappropriate. He can understand why people’s feelings were hurt. He knows that Don Imus apologized and he thinks that that was the right thing to do,” she said.
The repercussions of Imus’ comments, labeling the members of the women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos,” still are developing. Late today, MSNBC announced it no longer would simulcast the “Imus in the Morning” radio show because of the controversy over the comment.
“This decision comes as a result of an ongoing review process, which initially included the announcement of a suspension,” said the statement from NBC News.
“What matters to us most is that the men and women of NBC Universal have confidence in the values we have set for this company. This is the only decision that makes that possible,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, a report from WNBC-TV in New York City said the FCC was launching an investigation.
News of the two actions came as Imus was under increasing pressure as General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline and American Express all confirmed they were withdrawing advertising support for Imus radio or television ventures. Earlier, Procter and Gamble pulled its ads from Imus’ show on MSNBC.
The show originates at radio station WFAN in New York, which is owned by CBS Corp., which has not yet announced any future plans for the show.
Just hours before the announcement was released, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told the MSNBC show “Hardball” that the venture should not allow such remarks.
The 10 members of the team had talked publicly about the issue a day earlier, wiping away tears as Coach C. Vivian Stringer said Imus’ remarks qualified as both racist and sexist and “are deplorable, despicable, abominable and unconscionable.”
However, they agreed to have a private meeting with Imus next Tuesday to hear his explanation.
Kinsolving also asked about the president’s allegiance to Harvard, where he earned a degree.
“Since the President earned a graduate degree from Harvard, he does not believe that Harvard students should have to pay $43,000 a year without requiring that all Harvard faculty teach at least 20 hours a week, with vacations of three weeks, rather than four months, does he?”
“I’ll have to consult him and see if he’s read his alumni magazine.” Perino said.
“Does he, as a Harvard alum, believe that all of the income from Harvard’s $26 billion endowment should be used to reduce tuition, or not?” Kinsolving continued.
“I’ll decline comment and let…” Perino said.
“And you’ll check and let me know?” Kinsolving asked.
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