SHOULD DON IMUS GO BACK ON THE AIR? LET THE LISTENERS DECIDE!
Just over four months ago, national broadcast personality Don Imus was fired from his simulcast radio/cable morning show after he made, to say the least, insensitive remarks regarding the Rutgers University women's basketball team following their appearance in the NCAA Division I national championship game. Imus' unscripted comments were stupid and bordered on racist, and his employers at CBS Radio and MSNBC were correct in sacking him.
Now there are reports that Imus has been in negotiations with New York talk station WABC-AM and other broadcast organizations to revive his Imus In the Morning show. Needless to say, the possibility has stirred up controveresy over wheather he should ever return to the business which has been his trade for nearly four decades.
Personally, I am not a fan of Don Imus. I believe that he is an old, bitter man whose on-air persona is the way he is off the air, and that he should retire to his New Mexico ranch. That said, I also believe in giving a person the opportunity to redeem themselves and allow the people a chance to accept or reject him.
It's always possible to turn oneself around. The best example of that we've seen recently is Greg Mathis. A serious drug user/dealer and gangbanger in Detroit during his youth, Mathis had numerous run-ins with the law. Thanks to the support of his mother and several key mentors, Greg not only earned his GED, but his college and law degrees. However, after graduating from law school the State Bar of Michigan refused to issue him a license to practice law for several years due to his juvenile background. Mathis finally received his license, and as many people now know became the youngest person in Michigan history to be elected as a Superior Court judge and is now the host of one of America's most popular "judge" shows.
While I probably would not listen to Imus, I would not deny the people a chance to accept or reject his return to the airwaves on their own. The station's management would certainly be aware that signing the "I-Man" would be a risk.
That said, let me add here that I generally don't like the idea of nationally syndicated radio programmes in morning or afternoon prime time anyway. Radio stations should concentrate on serving and supporting the communities and areas that they are licensed to serve. Sadly, since deregulation of radio in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan, a lot of good, talanted air personalities are out of the business, and a lot of communities are without local news and entertainment.