The Backlash from the Imus-CBS Settlement Begins
Al Sharpton Still Cannot Shut His Mouth!
As it has been widely reported through the media in the last few days, Rutger’s basketball player has filed a defamation of character lawsuit against radio host Don Imus, sidekick Bernard McGuirk and CBS Radio for the “nappy-headed ho” comments made last April. According to USA Today, the lawsuit was filed hours after the settlement between Imus and CBS Radio was announced.
The suit claims that Vaughn was humiliated, embarrassed and publicly mocked for the comments. According to attorney Richard Ancowitz, the lawsuit is “basically about vindicating my client’s good name. This is not a situation she ever asked for, and she would love to turn the clock back. But unfortunately she can’t, because of what Don Imus said on April 4.”
Ancowitz speaks with forked tongue, people. This lawsuit is only about one thing: MONEY!
In my article of April 13 (Don Imus, Racial Extortion and Hypocrisy), I wrote about a comment made by the Rutgers women’s team: “As God is my witness, my first reaction when I heard the statement that ‘Imus has ruined our dream season’ was that this was all a prelude to a lawsuit against Imus.” Alright, maybe it didn’t take a genius to foresee this..
The lawsuit also asserts that “the … false, defamatory, sexually denigrating and slanderous statements and comments against the women athletes of said basketball team were heard, believed and understood by millions of listeners … as factual pronouncements concerning the character, chastity and reputation of the plaintiff.”
The bad news for Vaughn is that her chances of winning the lawsuit at trial would be very slim, at least according to the Sports Illustrated interview with Michael McCann, a professor of law at Mississippi College and a frequent blogger about sports law. Vaughn’s case would have to prove several elements of slander and that would be difficult at best. The good news for Vaughn, and the bad news for everyone else, is that the suit would likely be settled before going to trial. That promises us another media circus.
It is heart-warming to think that this obscure young lady from the Bronx, who apparently has never heard or said a bad word in her life, is doing this to teach Imus and other media personalities a lesson. You can chose to believe the “spin” by her attorneys if you want. However, the facts tell us that Vaughn is just another person looking for some deep pockets for some quick bucks.
A quick word to the Imus and CBS defense team: please remember that these comments were made at 6:15 am and were largely disregarded until after two days of media spamming by Ryan Chiachiere of Media Matters for America. The only reason millions of people became aware of Rutgers women’s basketball, other than their second place finish in the NCAA tournament, was because of the endless droning by MMFA, the Rev. Al Sharpton and other opportunists looking for a soapbox.
Imus made a bad joke, pushed to the edge by sidekick Bernard McGuirk who frequently walked the thin line between good and bad taste. That is no excuse for the comments made by Imus, but it was MMFA , Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others who turned a bad attemot at humor into a racial brouhaha. Once again, for the record, that does not justify what Imus said.
America cannot afford to forget that MMFA is a group of Clinton-backed activists operating as a not-for-profit organization.
In the end, this lawsuit keeps alive the racial extortion and bigotry promoted by Sharpton. Aditi Kinkhabwala (Kia’s lawsuit Can Tarnish RU Image) reports that Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer was livid last spring when her name was associated with Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson in the creation of the media circus that was the Imus firing. Now she finds herself back in the show again with Vaughn’s lawsuit. All she is saying is that she is not a party to the lawsuit, something that is expected to created disruption around what could be a serious run by the Rutgers’ women at the NCCA title.
I don’t know whether Kia Vaughn is self-centered, greedy, naïve or an opportunist. No matter how you look at it, it makes the comments by the Rutgers women following Imus’ apology seem rather hollow. Despite the oath that they would act as a team, some apparently did not accept the apology, have not forgiven Imus and did not feel a sense of hinoir to the team vote. Whether it is attorneys trying to make a buck or Kia Vaughn (and other players who may follow) looking for some spending loot, there are plenty of people ready to pick at the scab from this sad chapter and keep the wounds of racial tensions open.
To Al Sharpton: SHUT UP!
The following is an excerpt from the Detroit Free Press article today entitle Sharpton Has Conditions for Imus:
Not so fast, I-man. The New York Daily News gave the Rev. Al Sharpton some ink and newsprint to set forth the steps he believes New York radio personality Don Imus “should take to prove that he has learned from the experience (of getting fired) — and not simply waited for the furor to die down.” Imus settled with ex-employer CBS and is expected to return to the New York airwaves on a different station soon.
Among Sharpton’s conditions: Paying Rutgers player Kia Vaughn (and any other player who decides to sue Imus) a settlement for her defamation suit, a statement that Imus understands not to take “cheap shots at women and blacks or any other group” and a pledge to “refrain from attacks on innocent people who cannot defend themselves.”
Wait — there’s more: Set aside an on-air slot every week for an ombudsman from the National Association of Black Journalists, and “encourage all corporations, including the record industry, to stop subsidizing and promoting people who engage in racist and misogynist language, even in the name of entertainment.”
“It was not and is not our desire to interrupt the life of Don Imus,” Sharpton concludes. “We just want to ensure that he does not interfere with ours.”
SHUT UP, AL!
Instead of letting Americans put aside the bad karma from the regrettable series of events last spring, Sharpton continues to incite unrest and suspicion through the use of racial extortion and ethical blackmail. If these conditions for Imus are professional guidelines to be admired, why doesn’t Sharpton do the same thing on his show? Why doesn’t he have an ombudsman from the National Association of White Journalists on his show? Oh, wait a second, there is no NAWJ because that would be racist and prejudicial, wouldn’t it?
Yes, Rev. Al, we love you because you have NEVER engaged in attacks against innocent people who cannot defend themselves. Oh, wait a second. Didn’t you do that to the WHITE lacrosse players from Duke? How much money did you pay them? Reach Media and Syndication One need to either get this guy off the air or they need to buy him a muzzle before he destroys all the progress we’ve made in eliminating prejudice. We still have a long way to go as a society and we cannot afford to take three steps backwards everytime Sharpton opens his mouth.
Al, take your hypocrisy, double standards and racial extortion and GET LOST!
Rutgers’ Star Kia Vaughn Sues Imus, CBS, CBS Radio, MSNBC and others August 21, 2007
The Backlash from the Imus-CBS Settlement Begins