Re: What Dick Gregory thinks of Imus's comment, here is a comment from NYT's blog, The Lede:

"It's interesting how quick people are to jump to conclusions.
When he returned, Imus hired two stand-up comedians to join his program, Karith Foster and Tony Powell. They are African \-American. They were not bothered by the comment.. Do you think Dick Gregory would have appeared today in the 8:30 hour if Imus had tossed out a racist slur? THey discussed the comment, and Dick Gregory was not troubled by it.
It's easy to criticize when you are ignorant."
Alameda, California
- Posted by Kenn Fong


"He added that Dick Gregory, a veteran comedian and activist who is black, would be a guest on his show on Tuesday, to discuss the death of George Carlin. 'We'll see what he thinks,'' Mr. Imus wrote. 'I mean...come on!'"(Jacques Steinberg, TV Decoder).

So what did Dick Gregory have to say on Tuesday? Does anyone know? It seems like a crucial piece of the "puzzle," yet I haven't seen any coverage of of it in the times.


To quote Jon Stewart:

"Taking clips and quotes and presenting them out of context? That's my job!"

Carol Anne

I'm thinking that some of the disagreement here and elsewhere comes from our inability to "read" sarcasm. We can hear a sarcastic tone and judge someone's meaning by that. But written on paper or on-line, the sarcastic tone tends to disappear. Gazillions of flame wars result!


This is just another chapter of the media trying to drum up a story about a comment that isn't really all that newsworthy. Does anyone really care what Imus says? Even if he meant harm by the comment (which no reasonable person would infer) this is America afterall where we all have free speech.


When I heard the comment (I wasn't listening too closely, so perhaps I misheard), I thought he suggested that black men are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement. That's certainly sometime I've said in the past; the mistreatment of racial minorities by police has a well-documented history.
Did anyone else interprete it in the same way??

Next Level

wow... just read the Imus' quote.

Pretty hilarious, actually.

People need to lighten up. Can we move beyond fake-outrage every time a shock-jock opens his mouth?

Are we a nation of children?


...and George Carlin is rolling in his grave.

Actually I'm not sure what that has to do with anything; I just wanted to get a 'Carlin is dead' comment in as quickly as possible.


It will get less attention because "Pacman" is a criminal.

The Rutgers women's basketball team was not.


The only reason anybody is making a big deal out of this is because its IMUS and he is white. Jemele Hill made a much worse comment in an article for ESPN, and it wasn't an off the cuff comment since it was written and edited. SHe compared routing for the celtics to routing for Hitler. That was much worse, and you hear nothing about it at all in the news, why's that, cause she's black and she offended white people, and I guess thats OK, but the other way around every body has a hissy fit. That in and of itself is racist.


Why is it ok for Dave Chappel and other Black comedians to make fun of black people and its not ok fot Don Imus who is white? Give me a break! Imus is an entertainer just as much as Dave Chappel and should be judged by the same rules!


Speaking as an old white man, were Don's comment to be made in a room full of old white men, it would be assumed that Don was throwing out a Sharpton-esque knee jerk criticism sarcastically, and that he was making fun of those who would make such a comment without the sarcasm. So in his own coded way he was poking fun at black cultural leaders and knee-jerk lefties. He's not making fun of Pacman; Pacman doesn't need any help.

So, yes, he made the obviously racist comment while laughing at himself for making it (because he's Don Imus, the well-known racist), and laughing at those who think all white people are racist because Don Imus makes an off-color joke, and finally laughing at how white people will react defensively having been accused of being racist, although they got the joke and found it funny, but aren't racist.

The comment is funny mostly becuase of the contortions we will go through because he told it. It's a joke on all of us.



Cant anyone say anything in America anymore?

Charles D

I've read this comment over and over and have failed to see how it is racist.


Interesting: my comment submitted this morning at 11:07 am, inviting people to compare coverage of this story at two other NYT blogs and comment on the degree of journalistic integrity exhibited in each, was not posted. I wonder why. Perhaps NYT's equivalent of NYPD's Blue Wall of Silence?

Meghan (#4), here is a comment by someone who heard things as you heard them:

"I heard this live and came away with the impression that Imus was talking about how blacks get unfairly targeted by law enforcement. The short clip making the rounds has no context and makes it seem like he was saying that it's no surprise that Pacman has been arrested six times because black people are just lawless ruffians.
It's absurd and I hope this non-story dies quickly."
- Posted by Steve on NYT blog, TV Decoder


Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry's dentist friend converts to Judaism so he can officially joke at the expense of the Jewish.

Back in the day (gee! I sound like this happened a century ago!!!), this was still considered humor (else Seinfeld wouldn't have been as highly rated on TV as it was).

Can we get Jerry, Kramer, George and Elaine (in that order) back on TV?


In response to #1 (Alfred's comment), I believe this is because of the way social groups have been constructed over the past many centuries. Within a social group - whether it's based on religion, ethnicity, etc. - people believe that they have the 'right' to make certain allegations/comments towards others.

It essentially can be looked at as a social norm.


maybe when Obama's elected, Imus can say "there you go"


I think he was making the point that black men are profiled or targeted for arrest. Honestly, his "there you go" comment sounds like something that might come straight out of Rev. Sharpton's mouth! If it had, how do you think we would have responded? We'd "know" what he meant.

Interesting, reacting differently depending on who is exhibiting the behavior or making the statement. Who's being profiled now?