04 December 2007

Imus is back and now flanked by blacks

I caught the opening bits of Imus' triumphant return to radio yesterday at 770 WABC. Imus sounded about 8 months older and, if possible, more awful and more clueless than I remember.

I swear the show started off sounding like a live Klan rally. It took me a few moments to realise that good ole boy Southern skiffle I was a-hearin' was that of Levon Helm and his Woodstock ramblers.

Imus' first show back was a live broadcast from Town Hall. Nothing like starting things off with a remote!

The show was a $100-per-ticket benefit for the Imus Ranch; the cattle ranch in New Mexico that offers the American cowboy experience to children suffering from cancer and blood diseases. Um, OK.

After the pomp and circumstance dissolved, Imus quickly returned to that familiar grave and apologetic monotone drawl he had back in April. No sooner was he lulling listeners to sleep with dire deadpan speeches about "recovery" and having the "opportunity to be a better person".

How fun! Just what I wanna hear at six in the morning!

You must recall Imus fell into a self-imposed social purgatory after jokingly calling the Rutgers University women's basketball team "nappy-headed ho's" on a slow news week when Al Sharpton was bored.

By 20 minutes after six he was knee-deep in "I don't know if it's melodramatic to describe it [the Rutgers incident] as a life-changing experience, but it was pretty close."

It took all my might not to switch stations.

He continued, pledging to "never say anything in my lifetime that will make any of these young women at Rutgers regret or feel foolish that they accepted my apology and forgave me."

Don't even get me started. Now we're walking on radio eggshells for a fucking women's college basketball team?!

Shortly after his welcome back benediction, Imus introduced his all-new cast, including two black comedians Karith Foster and Tony Powell, as well as stupid Bernard McGuirk, the producer who instigated the Rutgers comment and was fired as well.

Imus is done. Old. Dead and buried. A corpse. Bringing him back sober and serious with two new token black comedians is cheap, hollow and gratuitous.

While an overly apologetic Imus pledged to use his new show to talk about race relations, he added: "Other than that, not much has changed. Dick Cheney is still a war criminal, Hillary Clinton is still Satan and I'm back on the radio." And the $100-per-seat crowd roared with soft-core delight. Woooo! That crazy irreverent Don Imus is back!!

And with that Imus reclaimed his throne as an old, washed up hack who may've been fired clumsily on a slow news week, but should've remained in radio Siberia. The world turned just fine during the eight months sans Imus and his return has only resounded that forgotten fact.

Imus is a useless relic; an antique radio eunuch.

More from me on Imus...

An Apologetic Imus Is Back on the Air {AP}


Anonymous said...

At the start of the show this morning Imus couldn't communicate with Lou Rufino, who is apparently across the street from the show's studio in the regular WABC studios while Imus is at the RFD - TV studio!

Perhaps I am just being naive here, but wouldn't there have been some sort of dry off-the-air runs using the new studio?

They lost almost an entire hour of the show this morning.

And it wasn't just the technical problems. It was the bad music, the total lack of professionalism, the complete commercial overload and the poor production values of half the commercials.

The whole approach to the show sounds like it's comming from Bum-freak, Iowa. The newscast had stories re-treaded from yesterdays headlines. There's nothing worse than "old news" in a news-talk format. This had to be the worst, most embarassing single hour in the history of WABC. If this is what Citadel has brought to the table, lord help the listeners of this "flagship" station. I can't beleive Phil Boyce would allow this to happen.

Anonymous said...

Imus should be IN THE WABC STUDIO doing the show!!! Not at some makeshift TV studio!!! There is WAY too much concern that Imus do a TV simulcast on that tiny little RFD Network (that most of the world can't even get) and it's happening at the expense of the main show--which is the WABC *radio* show.

Let RFD adapt itself to the radio show... not the other way around. This is an example of vastly misplaced priorities.

It's not just the technical issues. It's the whole tone of the show.

RFD has a mostly rural audience that receives programming like "The Cattle Show," "National Tractor Pulling" and the "Largent and Sons Hereford Cattle Auction."

Imus need to end the cowboy fantasy and stop thinking he's talking to farmers. His audience is NY, DC, Boston and the other major urban/suburban markets.