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Sunday Late Nite: Bob Kerrey Urges Dems to Appear on Imus

Democrat Bob Kerrey, former Nebraska Senator and current President of the New School in New York City, has re-defined how Democratic Presidential candidates might accumulate what he cleverly calls “courage points:”

In short, Imus adds a lot to the American political debate. He made a nontrivial, nonfatal mistake — one for which he apologized. He and his listenership should not be indefinitely ostracized as a result.

But there’s another reason national politicians would be making a mistake if they boycott Imus. If they keep away from the show all the way through next year, it could do real political damage, if not in votes lost, at least in courage points.

You see, according to Bob Kerrey’s NYDailyNews Op-Ed today, Democratic Presidential candidates lost “courage points” when they refused to appear on Fixed News’ debate:

Democratic candidates already made a similar mistake when, goaded by groups like to dissociate themselves from Fox News, they pulled the plug on a party debate to be aired on the network in September. They had a chance to reach millions of people — but they blinked, and they blew it.

First of all — nice reinforcement of GOP talking points, Bob Kerrey! Let CaptCT at MyLeftNutmeg explain to Bob Kerrey what’s wrong with his thinking:

Boycotting Fake News was brilliant because it revealed Fake News for what it is: a right-wing publicity channel and not a news organization. So Kerrey misses the point about Fake News — appearing on the show legitimizes it, as well as legitimizes all the vitriol it heaps on Democrats.

The same can be said for the Imus Show. Kerrey knows it too. Kerrey even says, “who wants to be the first to … legitimize” Imus? Well, quite simply they shouldn’t.

Similarly, Imus isn’t running a legitimate interview program, just like Faux Noise isn’t a legitimate news network. CaptCT?

Don Imus is a bully and a self-promoter. His loyalties are to the people who suck up to him. Those who appear on the show, make donations to his “ranch,” and praise his wit and inciteful comments are treated well. They get their candidacies endorsed or their books promoted.

Those who criticize Imus or refuse to appear on his show — mostly as a result of his blatantly racist and sexist comments — get skewered by Imus, day after day. It’s Imus’s own brand of extortion. Play nice or I’ll do all in my power to destroy you.

And Bob Kerrey, who’s eager to make nice (“I myself have appeared on Imus before and would welcome the chance to go on the show again.”) would like us to believe that:

The man simply made a mistake.

Bob Kerrey should ask Gwen Ifill if Imus made a mistake:

“Isn’t The Times wonderful,” Mr. Nelson quoted Mr. Imus as saying on the radio. “It lets the cleaning lady cover the White House.”

I was taken aback but not outraged. I’d certainly been called worse and indeed jumped at the chance to use the old insult to explain to my NBC bosses why I did not want to appear on the Imus show.

I haven’t talked about this much. I’m a big girl. I have a platform. I have a voice. I’ve been working in journalism long enough that there is little danger that a radio D.J.’s juvenile slap will define or scar me. Yesterday, he began telling people he never actually called me a cleaning lady. Whatever. This is not about me.

Colbert King at the WaPo reminded us when the controversy erupted that it wasn’t a mistake:

And it’s not just race and sex. This week the Anti-Defamation League, in a news release, hailed Imus’s suspension as “a long time in coming.” The ADL’s national director, Abraham H. Foxman, said that his group has logged dozens of complaints about Imus’s on-air remarks and has written twice to Imus but that it never received any response from him or his program team.

Foxman said the ADL wrote to Imus in December after Imus and his co-hosts on a Nov. 30 program referred to the “Jewish management at whoever we work for, CBS,” later described by Imus — according to Foxman — as “money-grubbing bastards.”

In the release, Foxman said that in a December 2004 broadcast, “Mr. Imus referred to publishers of a new book called ‘The Christmas Thief’ as ‘thieving Jews.’ Later on the same program, he attempted to apologize for that remark by saying (of thieving Jews), ‘I apologize, I realize that’s redundant.’ “

ha, ha

Bob Kerrey reasons that Democratic Presidential candidates shouldn’t ostracize Imus and his audience for Imus’ mistake. But it’s pretty clear whose path Bob Kerrey is really blazing, as CaptCT concludes:

Kerrey strongly endorsed Lieberman in 2006. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kerrey is making these comments to pave the way for politicians like Joe to go back on the air with Imus.

Note to Democratic Presidential candidates: Bob Kerrey’s advice is not meant for you and you shouldn’t take it. It’s an obvious attempt to smooth the runway for his BFF Joe Lieberman to make a triumphal return to the “somewhat chastened” Imus airwaves when the new programming launches on WABC in December.

Do not fall for this.

It is not okay to legitimize Imus’ defamation of these wonderful strong Rutgers women (shown in the video above) by appearing on his new wee programme.

Do not fall for this.

(YouTube courtesy of donovonc: Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! introduces excerpts of the April 10, 2007, Rutgers Women’s Basketball Team press conference, highlighting statements by Coach Vivian Stringer and team Captain Essence Carson)

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