Friday, December 28, 2007

Behind the Scenes



I hope that everyone had a good Christmas. Santa was good to me this year - he brought me a lot of great presents.





And one of these presents happens to be a DVD called Behind the Scenes at Imus in the Morning, It's a two-hour, no-commercials interview of McCord and McGuirk, and it originally aired on C-SPAN in April of 2000. It's moderated by the excellent Brian Lamb, who hosts the program and who founded C-SPAN. This interview took place on Mr. Lamb's morning show, and it apparently aired live on a Saturday morning. Probably the only people who have ever seen this interview are the camera crew, their immediate families, and myself.


Mr. Lamb is a sharp guy and an excellent interviewer, and he askes every single question that you could possibly conceive about the show. “Thorough” does not even describe them - “stalkeresque” is a better word. What do you do every day? What time do you wake up? How do you get to work? What time do you leave? What do you call your boss? Are you married? Does your wife have a sense of humor? Do you say what’s on your mind when you‘re on the air? What country did your parents come from? Do you like John McCain? What makes you decide to travel places when you do the show? What is a “news bunny”? How about this Rob Bartlett? Is HE married? Does he use a full-piece orchestra when he records his songs? Can you buy his songs on the Internet? How’s the limo driver? Will this Ranch talk ever stop? And on, and on, and on. Brian Lamb has his own morning show, but I strongly suspect that he owns a Tivo.


The program contains a lot of trivia about the show, stuff that a fairly new listener like myself have never heard before. For example, I learned, among other things, that:



- The nickname "the I-Man" was not coined it a fit of pathetic sycophancy - it was actually invented by Bob Raissman, columnist for the New York Daily News and owner of a manlier moustache than you.


- The character of "the Cardinal" was first conceived as a solution to a cumbersome live advertisement on the station. The New York State Lottery had bought ad time during the show, and Imus had been paid to read out the daily lotto numbers. Unfortunately, reciting numbers over the radio becomes a bit tedious, and they sought a way to jazz up the reading. Someone suggested having a "priest" character read the numbers, and, hence, the Cardinal was born.


-Lamb asked the two men if they could remember any time where they believed that the show had "crossed the line." It took them a good five minutes to come up with a concrete example, but here's what it was: Back in the spring of 2000, during the thick of the Elian Gonzalez crisis, Imus had joked over the air that, ha ha, what if the situation became so bad that the feds had to bust into Elian's house, dead in the middle of the night, and steal him from the arms of his aunt? And then they forgot about it and went about their way, until one day they they turned on the news and it actually happened.


There are also a lot of old-school clips of the show, including the Cardinal (before he became Egan), Bernard interviewing and mocking random people on the street, and other classic moments. At one point, they show a clip of the Cardinal singing “My Wild Irish Hos.” (Memories…how sweet they are.)

And then there are the phone-in viewer questions. Even if you have zero interest in the Imus program and find the two men boring, you will love the callers. You may have heard that only smart people watch C-SPAN. You heard wrong. Some can‘t form coherent thoughts. One guy calls in with Microsoft conspiracy theories. One woman, admittedly one of the smarter ones, yells at one of the men to "get your hand out of the Vaseline jar." (C-SPAN gets pretty racy on Saturday mornings.) A good deal of the callers seem to be coming down from their meth binge the night before. The moral of this story, boys and girls, is that the C-SPAN call screeners will let anyone on.

But my favorite? One of the callers is a woman who sounds like she‘s in her eighties. When she is asked her hometown, she proudly announces, “Hannibal, Missouri - Mark Twain’s home!” She then describes how she took care of her late mother (!) until her death, and how the Imus program brought her mother so much joy during her final days on this Earth. And then she says: "And I got to the point where I told my mother, 'Don't call me because I'm not gonna come in your room while you've got that filthy stinking I-Man on. There's not enough money in the world for me to take the berating and the putdowns and the horrible horrible things he says." Seriously, that made me laugh out loud.

And then there are the “offended” callers. And there are plenty of them. I love your show, Charles and Bernie, but why must you make fun of our President? I would recommend your show to my friends, Chuck and Bernard, but I can’t because you swear so much - why must you take the Lord’s name in vain? Bernie, you must be a jerk because you once called Al and Tipper Gore “ugly,” and what kind of sick twisted person does that? One guy lectures them, saying that, gentlemen, it‘s a great thing to have a sense of humor. But your mind is like a computer - you put garbage in, you get garbage out. Why, Mr. Lamb, do you spotlight these horrible savages, sitting right here in front of you?

One callers screams at them for using “racial slurs“…and then calls them “faggots.”

The “race question” gets asked more than once by the phone-in guests. Both men are forced to make about three speeches each on how, yes, this is a satire show, and that no, they are not racists, and that they are obviously joking when they say over-the-top ridiculous things on the air. This is an equal-opportunity show, and as Bernie says, “if Romanians were in the news, we would make fun of Romanians. But they’re not.” Even Brian Lamb looks a bit overwhelmed by all these accusations. One caller, sticking up for them, proclaims that “anyone with an IQ over two” knows that this show is simply satire.

This is really the only downside to the DVD - the fact that you, the viewer, know exactly what will happen in the future when you hear this. And it’s depressing when you realize that you’re hearing the voices of 2007 in 2000.

But then again…you’ll be watching this movie in 2008.

In sum: You. Must. Get. This. It's awesome. If you are an Imus fan, then this is the DVD for you. If you like to watch three grown men try to reason with crack addicts on the phone, then this is also the DVD for you.

(And in case you're curious, because I know that you are...more Imus C-SPAN DVDs can be found here.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Morning Wars

Were you up on the morning after Christmas, at 8 AM-ish, watching Chris Matthews host Morning Joe on MSNBC?

Well, in case you weren't, he apparently said that Joe's program is vastly superior to Imus'. In fact, I shall give you the mediabistro quote, because their version is pretty darn awesome:


"This is the greatest show in the morning. This is better than Imus! Haaaa."


Haaaa, indeed. Well, at least he didn't drop the F-Bomb.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas From The Family

Merry Christmas!

If you 're in a festive mood, listen to the Imus Christmas Mix that I compiled last month.

Or, you could listen to the traditional Christmas songs of Blind Mississippi White Boy Pigs Feet Dupree, particularly the one about Santa's secret.

But my favorite? Try listening to Charles reading The Polar Express. A note of caution: this one REALLY tugs at the heartstrings.

May you and your loved ones have a blessed Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Last Action Hero

I am probably the only person who finds this funny - but since it is timely, I shall post it in the hope that you share my twisted sense of humor.

Chuck Norris has sued the people trying to publish the eponymous "Chuck Norris Facts" that circulated the Internet. Examples: "Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he's never cried." Or, "Chuck Norris only takes 20 minutes to watch 60 Minutes." Or, "There is no theory of evolution - just a list of creatures that Chuck Norris has allowed to live."

Now, what does this have to do with the Imus in the Morning program? Well, when the "Chuck Norris Facts" email reached me, one of his movie posters was attached to the document. The poster is supposed to show Norris in all of his butt-kicking glory...and it does, in ways that none of us could imagine.

The poster comes from the movie The President's Man II: A Line In The Sand. But when the studio wanted to distribute the movie to foreign markets, they decided to change the title. They wanted to create a title, and a poster, that would make the movie instantly recognizable as a top-notch action film. They wanted something badass, something frightening, something more macho and manly than you could ever imagine. And they succeeded.



I have no idea what happens in this movie, but it likely involves giving roundhouse kicks to Al Roker and bad grammar.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Lovable, Huggable, and Funny

Your Friday morning Imus roundup:

-The always excellent Neil Best did a profile on Warner Wolf. It appears that he's in for the long haul, which is beyond exciting. By the way, Bernard was the one who described him with the title quote.

-"That's some nappy-headed prose there!"

-David Hinckley profiled the Elf-Tones yesterday. It'll be interesting to hear them this morning. Hopefully they'll be better than "Mrs Robinson".

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Question

Here's something that puzzled me as I listened to Monday's Jim Nantz interview. I'd love to hear your thoughts, because for some reason I just don't understand this.

Ever since the show came back, the I-Man has been adamant on the fact that he should have been fired from CBS, no questions asked. The guests will fawn over him, tell him that they missed him. And he shuts them up and tells them that he got what he deserved.

Now, I understand that part of this is refusal to make excuses for last April's events. And that's fine.

But here's what I don't get. If CBS should have fired him, no questions asked...then why did he intentionally make Les Moonves $20 million poorer?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Warner Wolf is Back!

It was announced over the weekend and proven true this morning: Warner Wolf has returned to the Imus in the Morning program, where he will do sports updates on the hour. I don't know how long he'll be there, or if this is just a temporary thing, but I believe that he'll be giving sports reports on the show for at least a little while.

How awesome is Warner Wolf? He made a cameo appearance in Rocky IV. That's the one where Sylvester Stallone singlehandedly destroys the Soviet Union and ends the Cold War. It's also the one where fellow boxer Apollo Creed dies. (I truly am not spoiling anything here, because he dies within the first ten minutes of the movie.) But here's the important part: Warner Wolf does commentary on that ill-fated match, where Apollo is killed by the Evil Soviet Boxer who looks like Vanilla Ice on steroids. So, theoretically, one could claim that in the movie, Warner Wolf actually outlives Apollo Creed. For you see, that is the coolness level of Warner Wolf.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

That's the Gayest Thing I've Ever Heard

I have no words for this.

Well, actually, I do. But I'm taking the biggest test of my life tomorrow and heading home shortly thereafter. So, for right now, I'm letting the thread title suffice.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Seasons' Greetatations

A few years back, the venerable Daily Show decided to "investigate" the state of homeland security during the Christmas season. And who would have better advice than our favorite private eye and security expert, Bo Dietl?

It turns out that Imus in the Morning is not the only television show that exploits Mr. Dietl for entertainment. Here, Bo shares his expert advice and limited language skills to a horrified correspondent. In other words, it's Imus with slightly younger people and a laugh track.

(On an unrelated note, there's a random guy about 2/3 into the video who looks exactly like Bernie. To the point where it's creepy. See for yourself.)

Be sure to watch until the very end, when Bo poignantly explains the meaning of Christmas to children. If it does not bring tears to your eyes, then you are not human.

Bo Dietl Appears on The Daily Show - December 1, 2005

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Never Trust The Quiet Ones

Some interesting items in the news:

-Ron Kuby wrote a whiny article about being fired from his radio gig.

I felt bad for Kuby and his partner, Curtis Sliwa, when Imus got hired at WABC. They had a substantial fan following, they had stuck up for Imus during the controversy, and they seemed like good guys. And now, after all that, they were getting the shaft.

I remember how some Imus fans went over to a WABC fansite and started heckling the C&K people, telling them that their favorite show was crap compared to the new program. This was a bad idea for several reasons, namely that it was really rude and probably lost Imus some potential listeners and fans. But also: how would you feel if a bunch of Joe Scarborough fans started spamming the Imus sites, telling people that they should just get used to Joe and how he's a demigod? Yeah, that would suck really hard, wouldn't it?

Anyway.

So, I felt terrible for them, and I still do. But I will never forget listening to the WABC stream at about 3 minutes before Imus' debut, and hearing Sliwa completely trash Imus and the guys before introducing them. It was actually pretty hilarious and completely out of nowhere - I was sitting there at my computer, laughing and going "WTF." But still, not very classy.

I hope they find some sort of solution. Here's a thought - maybe Imus can stay at WABC, and then Curtis and Kuby can replace Al Sharpton's radio program. I think that situation would make everyone happy.

- Sid Rosenberg interviewed Bo Dietl the other day on his radio show. One would think that a Sid - Bo conversation on censorship would be so insane that it would make the radio explode, but they're actually fairly lucid.

That said, they have an interesting discussion about the Imus in the Morning program. And Bo reveals something really surprising: he claims that Al Roker is a huge fan of Imus' program. Of course, this is Bo talking, but still.

-Finally, some saintly person put up the Whittaker Chambers moment on Youtube. There is a good reason why Charles going insane equals Youtube gold.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Interview With The Vampire

Did everyone catch the “Ten Most Fascinating People” interview last night?

It was interesting. And the content leading up to it was pretty epic in its own right. Justin Timberlake was asked, “So where did sexy go?” Then we had to watch the two Myspace founders create a page for Barbara Walters. “So, if I were an alien coming down from space, would I have to get on Myspace?” Classy.

Barbara did ask some decent questions. You may have seen that headline on Bill Clinton attending his wife’s potential Cabinet meetings - well, that came from a question that she asked him on this program. (And Imus is apparently more influential than Bill Clinton, if we are to believe the profile order.)

The actual Imus interview was good. (Imustruth has the video.) She describes him as the guy who invented shock jockery and who does a wide assortment of noble and crazy things. It seemed pretty fair – Mr. Imus didn’t seem as “whipped” as he did when he made all those apologies. I will say that he looked a lot better on the MSNBC cameras than the ABC ones. ABC doesn’t have Tom Bowman working for them, I guess.

But I had a disturbing realization shortly afterwards – and no, it was not hearing that the ex-Spice Girl married to David Beckham is more influential than Imus. (Seriously.) It was a segment they did on controversial leader Hugo Chavez. Apparently the Venezuelan leader hosts a daily morning show, entitled Al√≥ Presidente, in which Chavez obsesses over all of his enemies, talks about political issues, and mocks Americans. And I thought, “Holy crap. So WABC hired a Latin American dictator.”

My parents actually called me to remind me of the interview. “You know,” said Dad, “I think that Imus looks like Keith Richards’ mother.” But he didn’t say it in jest; he said it in a concerned voice, like a father who worries about the people influencing his child.

What can I say? I like “fascinating people.”

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Deep Thoughts

So what does everyone think?

First show – loved it. It’s still so hard to believe that yes, they are back. Just as it was hard to believe last April that they were gone.

I missed the second show yesterday, which apparently was a good thing. You know your second show has bombed when its ineptitude makes Drudge Report. At least it kept their names in the paper.

Though I have to ask - was it really "one of the ugliest technical train wrecks in recent radio and TV memory," as claimed here? I would think that prize would go to Janet Jackson in 2004. THAT was pretty ugly. Incidentally, I don't think the world is ready for a "wardrobe malfunction" on Imus.

But today’s show was better, or so I've heard. Right now I’m waiting for it to load on the Imustruth site. (I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but that is an excellent site. Not only does the owner seem well-connected – he was the first guy to get the names of the two new castmembers – but it always has up-to-date information. Also, the webmaster posts his collection of archived shows, which is my favorite aspect of the website.)

As for the new sidekicks? I will say this: they show promise. But when I was waiting all these months to hear the show, I was waiting to hear Bernard and Lou, not two unfamiliar voices. And that would be true whether they were black OR white. Some people have been disappointed in them, and I think it's for that reason: they're not Bernard and Lou.

I’m happy that we no longer have to pay attention to the whiny naysayers. The fans won, and they lost. I briefly looked at some of the negative press (in a gloating sort of way), and I found this gem from an activist in Rhode Island: “I’m committed to nonviolence, so the only thing I can do is violently turn the radio off.” Now, how does one violently turn the radio off? Do you repeatedly throw it against the wall until it stops? Do you vigorously yank out the plug? Also, the man claims to be a nonviolent person. So he only makes exception to his lifestyle with appliance abuse? Was he traumatized by “The Brave Little Toaster” as a child?

However, there is one thing that the Imus show MUST change. Yesterday I tried listening to part of the repeat on imusonair.com. It came in fine, but for some reason the Imus show has these endless commercial breaks consisting of nothing but Public Service Announcements. Naturally, the PSAs are voiced by the most annoying little children on Earth. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love children. I want to have them someday. But Heaven Forbid I have preachy PSA children with shrill voices. One of the commercials started with a little girl who said, in a childlike voice, “I am six years old. I love dolls. I love soccer. And in 3 years, I will love alcohol.” That made me laugh so hard. (Seriously, I am a horrible person.)

The commercials on WABC aren't so bad. I love the Hackensack hospital one (so sweet), and the others are OK. The only one that annoys me is that anti-Enron one, where the people are hideously laughing and the angry announcer goes, "Are you tired of taking it to the chin?" Whenever I hear "taking it to the chin," I always think of an unfortunate Bernard joke.

Tomorrow: the Barbara Walters interview. I will take bets as to whether Imus or Barbara will start crying first.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Last-Minute Info

I can't concentrate.

I've been trying to do homework for who knows how long, and failed at that. In a few hours I'll try to fall asleep. I'll probably fail at that, too.

I'm a little concerned about WABC right now. At the top of their page, they still have Curtis Sliwa and Warner Wolf on the logo; and Curtis and Warner are still listed as the morning personalities. Uh, guys...things have changed...

So here comes the last-minute important information. I certainly hope that WABC's web stream will hold up tomorrow morning, but it may be as functional as their website updater. So here are all of your "screaming" options, just in case:

WABC

96.9 WTKK in Boston

1340 WTAN - Clearwater

imusonair.com/

Less than seven hours to go...

The Last Goodbye

On today, Imus Eve, I thought you might enjoy listening to this...

It's Imus' "Farewell Show" from October 7, 1987, right before his station switched stations to WFAN.

Charles is there, reading the news. Incidentally, his top story from that day will either make you laugh or make you cry. I'm not sure which one to do myself.

Still, despite this being an Important Day, Imus doesn't really understand why everyone wants him to say farewell. "After all, when you turn on your radio on Monday, I'll still be here."

Imus in the Morning's Last Day On WNBC - October 7, 1987

For Your Consideration

- Mike Huckabee will be a guest on the program this Tuesday at 7:30.

-We have a new affiliate: WTAA 1490 AM in Atlantic City.

-David Hinckley keeps doing his part to educate the New York masses about the I-Man's return. Good job, David.

-Here's the AP article that's being printed everywhere about the Imus comeback.

-Finally, a sweet article about the I-Nation.

I can't believe I'm typing this...but less than 18 hours to go!!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Well, It LOOKS Official...

I don't know if this is real or not...but here is the link to what might be the official "Imus in the Morning" website.

(BIG BIG THANKS to iloveimus.com, who found this. He also did some detective work, and the site looks legit.)

imusonair.com - Bookmark it!

What's Going On in the World?

Less than 48 hours!!!!

- The NYPost repeats the "black sidekick" rumor and doesn't really add anything new. But what I found interesting was the fact that ABC Radio is guarding his identity as a "state secret." Why would they do this if he's an unknown?

-EXCELLENT comeback/censorship article from Marvin Kitman at HuffPo.

-Starting Tuesday, the boys will be broadcasting from Cablevision's Rainbow Studios in Manhattan for the first three hours. Then they'll have to cross the street to broadcast the last hour from WABC's studio. It sounds a little weird, but it's been done before - I believe Opie and Anthony do something similar to this on their program.

-One new affiliate: WHDQ in West Lebanon, New Hampshire.

-Bo was on The O'Reilly Factor last night. Apparently he talked about Imus. (I didn't see it.) Someone told me that Bo claims he's not allowed on the first show. Hmm, I wonder why?

Anyway, I searched for a transcript from the Factor last night, but I couldn't find one. But they did have a video of O'Reilly interviewing Alf. When Alf and Bo Dietl are battling for time on a network news station, then something is terribly wrong.

Friday, November 30, 2007

That's...Absolutely Fascinating

So apparently USA Today claimed that 20/20 would be airing an Imus interview tonight. I think they got their dates wrong, because Barbara Walters (LOL) is supposed to interview him next Thursday the 6th, or so I've heard. Something called the "Ten Most Fascinating People of 2007."

I definitely agree that he deserves a spot on the list, but I couldn't help but laugh at all the other names on this thing:

-David Beckham and his wife, "Posh Spice" Victoria Beckham

-Justin Timberlake

-Jennifer Hudson

-Katherine Heigl (She's on Grey's Anatomy - thank you, Wikipedia)

-Former President Bill Clinton (I don't know if he had any #1 hits)

-MySpace media moguls Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe




Now I don't want to judge before seeing anything, but this special looks pretty heinous. First off, look at all of the people on the list. (Posh Spice? Seriously?) And even worse, you know Barbara Walters is going to try and make the I-Man cry. That's gonna be super-awkward.

At any rate, someone might want to watch 20/20 tonight just to make sure they're not showing anything special. I would do it myself, but I have plans for tonight. Plans that I don't want to ditch because some USA Today staffer was too lazy to fact-check. So if someone sees it, tell us how it went. I'm assuming that a diligent person somewhere will put it up on the Youtubes, and the rest of us lazy and/or technologically challenged people will be able to free ride off of their work.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Subliminal Messages


Can someone explain why Imus is leaning on a giant syringe?
Is the graphics guy implying that the whole cast shoots up heroin?

A Bio, Rewritten

Compare this...

...with this.

EDIT: I need to clarify something that I wrote earlier. I had said that I was discouraged by the more "somber" tone in the latter link, and I hoped that it wouldn't carry on to the new show.

But "somber" is too harsh a word. "Reflective" is better. I was just disturbed a little that the old one was zany, and the new one is much more serious. I suppose it has to be, but whatever.

The second one is well-written, though. And you can tell that Charles wrote it, too. It has that perfect mix of SAT vocab and depraved humor.

I like the way it's crafted. It starts out with this image of a narrator who's come to tell you a tale of an extraordinary person. But, the narrator cautions, "If you knew a certain fact about this man's life, you would condemn him immediately and stop listening. So I'm not going to tell you that fact until the end. But first, let me tell you the real story." Then it branches into this narrative about how the protagonist's life totally sucked until about age 30, when he achieved fame and glory. Everything is going great until finally, when things reach their best, the narrator feels that he has to tell you this horrible secret. Very effective.

(Can you tell that I'm a writer and like to overanalyze things?)

News Roundup

More and more news keeps pouring in as we come closer to Monday. Expect to see more posts in the next few days.

Items of interest:

- A nice David Hinckley article in today's Daily News, discussing RFD-TV.

- A "revenge is sweet" article from today's Page Six. They got their information from (who else?) Bo Dietl. More on this later. (It also made the front page of today's Drudge Report, LOL).

- Two more affiliates: 92.7 WXUR in Utica, and WTAR-AM 850 in Norfolk, VA.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Waiting For Imus

"Much like Beckett's tramps and their patient vigil for Godot, I've been waiting for Imus," James Brady writes.

61*

What does that number mean?

It's buried in a article about GM being wishy-washy with buying ad time on Imus in the Morning.

"The show will be carried on 61 stations outside of New York."

Yeah, that's right. Including WABC, there will be 62 stations broadcasting the show. So, the show will be back to its original number of affiliates.

More good news: this was hinted at earlier, but today's TVNewser confirms that Newsweek guests won't be back. Honestly, losing the Newsweek guests might be the best thing that happened to Imus' show. They all were so boring, self-absorbed, and brought nothing to the table.

In the meantime...four more days!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Meet Affiliate #4 - The Score

We have a new affiliate - WSKO 790 The Score in Providence, RI. (So much for having to wait until January to get affiliates!) It looks like a great station.

Oh, and guess who does the mornings on the station's FM side? None other than Opie and Anthony.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Imus Christmas Mix



Boy, do I have a surprise for you.

You may remember the story of KCAA. When Imus was cancelled last spring, the California radio station refused to stop playing Imus' old shows in protest.

KCAA's website contained daily podcasts of every single Imus show since February 2006. After the cancellation, some KCAA employees urged Imus fans to download these shows before the station deleted them.

Unfortunately, I was only able to snag about 15 shows. But one of them included the December 25, 2006 broadcast - a program filled with nothing but classic Christmas skits mixed in with classic Christmas songs.

Therefore, I now present to you the Imus Christmas Mix - a compilation of the show's best Christmas material from the past fifteen years. It's broken down into five parts for easier downloading - I also edited out the commercials and the newscasts.

The skits include:

- The stirring tale of "Ebenezer Imus" and his abused employee "Bernie Cratchit;"
- Sal Minella's "Night Before Christmas;"

- The "Little Drummer Boy Rap" (which, incidentally, will require nothing short of a lobotomy to get out of your head);

-Blind Mississippi White Boy Pigs Feet Dupree's "White Trash Christmas;"

-timeless Christmas music;

-and so much more.

Feel free to download this and to tell your friends; I just want to share the love. Just a note of caution, however: these files may take a second to download if you have a slow connection. (Also, keep this a secret from your friends who work at CBS Radio, mmmkay?)
Merry Christmas, and remember: we're just a week away!

UPDATE: I've fixed the server problems, I think. If you have any problems listening to these files, post it in the comments or shoot me an email.








Friday, November 23, 2007

Weekend Update




First of all, how hot is this logo? Thanks to Al for finding it; it's on the WTKK website, and it's my favorite so far. (I even like it better than the retro-looking red-orange-yellow WABC one. Now THAT is an excellent logo.)

Second, I urge you to read James Wolcott's excellent piece on various people whining about Imus' return. Mostly, it will put you in a good mood. But more importantly, it succintly sums up our feelings about this entire "hate speech" accusation. Is is wonderfully written and worth your time.

Third, more good affiliate news: 1340 WTAN out of Clearwater, Florida has decided to syndicate the program! (That's WTAN, not WFAN, LOL).

Fourth, expect something exciting in the next couple of days. It isn't news or some sort of scoop; rather, it's just something that I put together. I think you'll love it. (If I can figure out how to post it, that is. I'm still a Blogger novice.)

In the meantime, can you believe that we're almost a week away?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Day



As a holiday treat, here are some funny Imus clips on Youtube.

May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

But Where's Dogbert?



Yeah, it's pretty awesome to be on the cover of Time magazine. But really, the only reason I'm posting this is Dilbert. That's right. Dilbert, the star of all the desktop calendars of my youth and early adolescence. The guy whose adventures decorate refrigerators and bulletin boards and lockers. The character who starred in my favorite comic strip in middle school.

Forget about Imus. Being in the same picture with Dilbert is the epitome of coolness.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Still Here

Here's something I find creepy; as of right now, Support Imus, Neil Best's Watchdog, and the RFD-TV website are all down. What's the deal?

Speaking of Internet issues, sorry for lack of activity this weekend. I will get around to answering my email, I promise.

Fourteen more days!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions

I've been getting the same questions over and over again, so I thought I'd make a nice tidy list.

1) Is Imus coming back?
Indeed he is! 770 WABC will be his flagship station. He'll also be simulcast on RFD-TV.

2) Can I get tickets to his opening show?
Yes, you can! The show will be at the Town Hall Theatre in New York, on Monday, December 3rd. You can buy tickets here. (Also, information about parking, directions, accessibility, and a guide to local hotels and restaurants can be found under the "Visitor's Information" section on the Town Hall's main webpage.)

3) Will Imus be syndicated anywhere?
The list is growing, but so far we know that he'll be on 96.9 WTKK in Boston. (Speaking of WTKK, you might want to listen to longtime I-Fave Jay Severin make the announcement about his return. It's pretty awesome.)

4) Is Bernard McGuirk coming back?
Yes.

5) How about Lou Ruffino?
Who is Lou "Ruffino"? And why are you asking me? This is an Imus site, not classmates.com.

That said, I do know that Lou "Rufino" -with one F - will be rejoining Imus.

6) And what about Rob Bartlett?
He'll be back. (Incidentally, you might want to get more information about his stand-up shows here.)

7) Will Imus in the Morning be broadcast on a delay?
Yes, for twenty-one seconds. Some people are making a big deal out of this, but I don't really see the issue. It's not a minute and a half or anything.

8) What channel is RFD-TV on ?
If you have DirecTV, it's channel 379. If you have Dish Network, it's channel 231.

9)I don't have RFD-TV. How do I get it?
This is a complicated question, depending on where you live and what cable provider you have.
I would provide a link to RFD-TV's website to explain everything, but their website is down right now.

10)How are Morning Joe's ratings?
Not so good.

11) Like me, did you laugh at Morning Joe's heinous new logo?
Yes, I did. Apparently MSNBC fired their graphics designer when they fired Imus.

12) Have you anticipated all the questions that I've been wanting to ask?
Probably not. If you have any more questions, post in the comments or shoot me an email. I'd be happy to help.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Imus Returns To Boston!


It was announced this afternoon that 96.9 WTKK in Boston will be carrying the Imus in the Morning program, starting December 3rd. This is the first big affiliate that Imus has gained. It's also exciting because the Imus program and WTKK have a long history together. WTKK has carried the Imus program for years, and Imus in the Morning often invited WTKK personalities to be guests on its program. Also, the Imus crew was known for trekking up to Boston every St. Patrick's Day to do a live remote with WTKK.

I now present to you an aircheck for the ages. This afternoon, Jay Severin made the big announcement during his own program on WTKK. Severin, as you know, was a frequent guest on the Imus show.

As you listen, try to realize what this might feel like for him to make the announcement. He was a fan of the show, a friend of the show, and a coworker. And now, suddenly, that "was" has been changed to "is." How likely, I wonder, did today's turn of events seem back in April?

The giddiness in his voice, combined with the gravity of his announcement, is unforgettable.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

IMUS TICKETS: FOR SALE!


Imus premiere tickets for December 3rd are now on sale!
From the Imus Ranch Foods website:

*********************************************************

Imus Is Back!
(An Exclusive Offer for Imus Ranch Foods Customers)
Attend the historic, first WABC broadcast of Imus in the Morning

77 WABC Presents Imus In The Morningwith The Levon Helm Band

Live from Town Hall in New York Cityon Monday Morning, December 3, 20076:00AM to 10:00AM

Please arrive well in advance of the live broadcast as doors will close promptly at 6AM and ticket-holders arriving after that time will only be seated during scheduled commercial breaks.

The Town Hall
123 West 43rd Street(between 6th Ave. & Broadway)
New York, NY 10036

Ticket price: $100.00
(Editor's note: tickets are on sale here.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Information Overload

Okay, lots of important things from this morning's Jacques Steinberg article:

1) The Imus premiere show will NOT be at the Beacon Theatre; rather, it will be at the Town Hall performance center in Midtown Manhattan. The Times says that no ticket information has been announced; however, I included a link to their box office for information.

2) Imus will be signing a contract with RFD-TV within the next few days. Allegedly, it will last for five years and "could be worth" up to $5 million a year. Steinberg notes, "Even with a portion of the RFD payment going to Citadel, Mr. Imus’s annual compensation from his new radio and TV outlets could be within range of the roughly $10 million he was being paid annually by CBS Radio." Bwahahahaha.

3) Imus in the Morning will air on RFD's main channel in the morning. However, it will rerun on their HD station in the evening.

4) Most of the article discusses the juicy details about how the RFD deal was struck, so it's a must-read. It also centers on RFD founder Patrick Gottsch, who comes across as a lovely man and a genuine person.

5) Mr. Gottsch is described as a man "whose shoulder-length grayish hair and weathered complexion are evocative of a younger Mr. Imus, though not much younger." Hey, New York Times? Why must we mock the nice rural businessman?

6) The article says that Mr. Gottsch wants to strike up deals with Comcast and Time Warner. However, it's strongly implied that those talks have not taken place. For those of you who are hanging onto Comcast and Time Warner, it may be awhile (if at all.) So you might want to switch over now.

The details are finally taking shape!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

To the Fans, About the FAN

I ran across the following about a week ago, but I hesitated in posting it. Mostly because it seemed a bit...well...let me explain.

I sometimes like to read the posts at the Mike and the Mad Dog forums. The posters mostly discuss (and hilariously mock) the Mike and the Mad Dog program. But they also talk about other WFAN shows and personalities. I don't go there as often as I used to (for obvious reasons), but it's a fun read.

About a month ago, the administrator of the site contacted Sid Rosenberg and asked him if he wanted to join. (Sid now does mornings at 790 The Ticket in Miami.) Sid did join, and he asnwered a few questions from posters.

But a little over the week ago, he posted the following message. Like I said, I was hesitant on posting this here because it didn't feel right. However, since this was intended to be a direct message to his fans - and not a private email to a friend - I decided that it was appropriate. So here you go.

Sid's Days At The FAN...OVER!

I have received a bunch of emails from listeners on this forum and the New York City Message Board about a possible return to the FAN in the near future.....you want a safe bet? Bet NO!


For starters, I don't believe the "powers that be" (especially the Eric Spitz's of the world) want me back. Secondly, it is a rash judgement to assume I want to be back there....truth be told, I don't. While I readily agree that a voice in my hometown would be nice the FAN would NOT be my first choice.

I am actually down on the station both from an on-air and off-air standpoint. I have a chance to listen (via the internet) a little each day and my relatives up there still listen religously and we've all come to the same conclusion....this is NOT the FAN your dad told you about!

I personally don't like Craig Carton on or off the air and while I like Boomer I can't imagine the show is any good. And I'm sure that on its best day it doesn't hold a candle to the great Imus shows we put on. I LOVE Joe Benigno both on and off the air and I'm also very fond of Somers too. Some of the younger guys (Malusis, Licata, etc) are talented up and comers as well. But for the most part FAN is filled with monstrous egos who aren't nearly as good on the air as they'd like you to believe.

The station will always be a big biller and always have a sizable audience because of the market but that's NOT necessarily an accurate indicator of the overall talent.

I am only in year 1 of a 4 year deal down here and I've started to create a really nice niche in this market. Plus the people I work with down here appreciate my talent and treat me with respect. Not that a return is out of the question, but I would rather end up on a non-sports station or a satellite format.

With that said, thanks again for the continued loyalty and Let's Go Giants!!!!

**********************************************************

So...I'm not sure if trashing your ex-employer on the Internet is the smartest thing in the world.

But that said, at least he's keeping it real for his fans and expressing his real opinion.

(Incidentally, if you want to see what Sid's been up to recently, click here to access the audio archive for The Sid Rosenberg Show. He's been getting rave reviews, so you should really check it out. This interview is a good place to start.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Equal Time

Way back on February 9th, Imus became so mad at Chris Carlin that he fired him. Naturally, Carlin was rehired two minutes later - but not after being yelled at.

Why did Imus become so angry, you ask? What was the Continent's transgression? Well, it turns out that Carlin was not spending enough time on college women's basketball.

Watch the video here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Morning News

A few important news items today.

One is buried in an article from the Boston Herald about turmoil in that city's morning radio. It reports that the show will not go into syndication until January. So if you haven't ordered satellite television for RFD, or haven't figured out how to stream WABC from the Internet, do so now. (If anybody wants to know how, just post something in the comments or email me.)

The article also says that radio station WTKK has "lost listeners" since Imus's departure. Really? Last April, article after article insisted to me that Imus was "irrelevant." I guess not, huh?

Switching gears, Bob Raissman's column in today's New York Daily News has some, uh, "interesting" rumors. I would quote directly from the article, but since it is the Daily News it is full of hideous little puns that annoy me. So I'll summarize:

Word on the street is that Imus is hiring two (!) black women (!!?!!?!!!). Oh, and he scrapped Warner Wolf for them, too. So Warner's not coming back.


OK then...

Friday, November 9, 2007

In Praise of Hackensack


On this morning's Fox and Friends, Geraldo Rivera noted that he had taken the week off because of his daughter's sudden illness. (Fortunately, she is now doing well.) Rivera credits her recovery to the facility that treated her - none other than the pediatric wing of the Hackensack Medical Center in New Jersey. And who, pray tell, has raised over $40 million for the pediatric wing of Hackensack Medical Center?


In this video, Geraldo tells the Fox viewers about Imus' work for the center. Say what you will about Geraldo and his previous journalistic efforts, but in this morning's segment, he was solid.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Sidekick Rumor is True...

From Bob Glauber, yet again:


We all know the I-man was kicked off the air at WFAN for making racist and sexist remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team. This despite repeated apologies and meetings with the players and coach Vivian Stringer, as well as prominent African American leaders.

But now that he is making a comeback on WABC radio, we're hearing that he is expected to have an African American on-air personality working with him in studio. We still haven't pinned down a name, but we'll let you know as soon as we hear something more.


If Imus follows through on this plan, it will certainly create an interesting dynamic, especially given his reputation for making edgy - and sometimes over-the-edge - racial remarks. And it could go a long way toward re-establishing his credibility if he can remain relevant and more sensitive to racial issues...

****************************************************


Thoughts?

Brand New Logo


This is apparently the new logo for the show, at least on the WABC side. If you go to the WABC press release, you'll see this tacked onto the bottom.
Thoughts?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hail, Hail, the Gang's ALL Here


I will let this post speak for itself.




*************************************
What with Neil Best being on vacation this week, we didn't want to leave you completely out in the cold if there was some news about Don Imus' impending return to the airwaves. So we've got a few nuggets to share with you.
Here goes:

* Engineer Lou Ruffino has yet to officially sign a contract to join the program, but he's expected to do so shortly. We heard that Ruffino was among those on a tour yesterday of Imus' new digs at WABC radio.

* Bernard McGuirk will be an on-air personality.

* Of course, Charles McCord is signed, sealed and delivered.

* We've also heard that there will be an interesting on-air hire that is sure to create a buzz, but we're not yet privy to the name. We might hear something more tomorrow.

For those of you new to this blog who somehow heard there was some Imus news, welcome aboard. We're mostly football around here, but we are big Neil Best fans, so we dabble in a variety of things. Check us out and feel free to come back if you like. Or else feel free to completely ignore us and count the days until Best is back on the clock.
Cheers.
*************************************************
For now, I will ignore the mysterious "interesting on-air hire." All I care about is that the fans will be getting McCord, McGuirk, Rufino (with one f), Bartlett, and Kenney. Oh, and Imus, too. Can't forget him.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Go See Rob! (Part 2)


I am sure that you've often said to yourself, "Self, I highly enjoy Rob Bartlett and his assorted characters, and I also enjoyed in partaking them on the radio and on television. But I sure wish I could see and hear Mr. Bartlett perform in person." Well, here's your chance!


Rob Bartlett will be performing this Friday, November 10th, at the Seven Angel Theatre in Waterbury, Connecticut. (Call 203-757-4676 for tickets.)


Through November 18th, Rob will be starring as Amos Hart in the Broadway production of Chicago. Tickets, directions and more information can be found here.


Finally, Rob's Big Fat Christmas Show will be held at the Brokerage in Bellmore, NY, on December 15th. (Click here for tickets, directions, and more information.)


Monday, November 5, 2007

Classic Programs on RFD-TV

If you click here, you will discover something shocking that Imus and crew once found on RFD-TV.

This HAD to have cinched their simulcast deal...

RFD-TV It Is

The Nashville Tennessean reports that the satellite network plans to simulcast Imus in the Morning...

EDIT: It also claims that the show would be available on their HD network. You know, I love Don Imus, but seeing him in High Definition might traumatize me for life...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

He's No Arthur Godfrey, But Who Else Is On?

The New York Times, Take 2.

Peter Applebome writes a thoughtful article about the Imus comeback and the current state of radio. It's good reading.

My favorite passage:

I’m not a member of Imus’s club. My only brush with him came when he lambasted me for a few days a lot more vigorously than he did the Rutgers women. (Long story. It was all schtick.)

I think you can explain a lot of Imus in the Morning behavior that way. It was all schtick.

Hail, the Conquered Hero



I love Dick Cavett.

And you will, too, after you read this following piece, "Hail, the Conquered Hero", which eloquently describes the Imus situation. Mr. Cavett is a brilliant, cerebral man and a master of the English written word. I highly recommend his other works as well.

This might be the most eloquent, rational, and truthful article written about this mess.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Imus in the Morning, Bernie in the Afternoon?

Former Don Imus sidekick Bernard McGuirk could get his own radio show in Boston, sources told the Herald, even as Imus himself announced plans yesterday to return to the air Dec. 3...


Read more...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

"The Biggest News Talk Radio Station In America Just Got Bigger!"


That's the title of the official WABC announcement on their website:

Citadel Broadcasting Corporation and 77WABC Radio today announced the hiring of Don Imus as the station’s new morning host beginning Monday, December 3rd. Imus is bringing his team back to the radio on 77 WABC including newsman Charles McCord. The show will air 6am to 10am on 77WABC and will be syndicated nationally by the ABC Radio Network.

“We are ecstatic to bring Don Imus back to morning radio,” said 77WABC President & General Manager Steve Borneman. “Don’s unique brand of humor, knowledge of the issues and ability to attract big-name guests is unparalleled. He is rested, fired up and ready to do great radio on the nations most listened to News/Talk radio station, 77WABC.”

Imus has been a morning radio icon for over 30 years in New York City. Throughout that span, Don developed a reputation as a hard-hitting interviewer, able to ask tough questions and still have his guests come back for more. An extensive roster of celebrities, politicians and media stars have appeared on his program during that time, establishing Imus in the Morning as the nation’s radio show of record.

During that same time, WABC grew into the most listened to News/Talk radio station in the nation. From its studios, 77WABC launched the national careers of the biggest talk show hosts on the radio: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and Matt Drudge. “Having Don Imus join the WABC galaxy of stars is certainly an amazing addition to our station and for our company but most importantly, the real winners are morning radio listeners everywhere,” said Borneman.

IT'S OFFICIAL!

Shock Jock Don Imus Returns to Airwaves

Nov 1 04:33 PM US/Eastern
By LARRY McSHANE
Associated Press Writer


NEW YORK (AP) - Don Imus will return to the airwaves Dec. 3 on New York's WABC-AM, only nine months after the cantankerous shock jock's career seemed doomed over his racist, sexist remark about a women's college basketball team.

Citadel Broadcasting Corp. made the announcement Thursday, confirming long-rumored reports that Imus was coming back to morning drive time in the same city where he was banished in April.

"We are ecstatic to bring Don Imus back to morning radio," said 77 WABC President and General Manager Steve Borneman. "Don's unique brand of humor, knowledge of the issues and ability to attract big-name guests is unparalleled. He is rested, fired up and ready to do great radio."

Imus will return with his longtime newsman, Charles McCord, and other members of his morning team, Citadel said in announcing the move. It did not specifically mention Bernard McGuirk, the producer who was fired along with Imus.
Imus will replace the morning team of Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby on the Citadel Broadcasting-owned station.

The acid-tongued broadcasting icon was fired in April after he called the Rutgers University's women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos" on the air, sparking a national furor and calls by civil rights leaders and broadcast journalists to resign.

But just three months later, Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the strongest voices calling for the shock jock's firing, said Imus had a right to make a living and could return to radio.
Citadel Broadcasting CEO Farid Suleman also recently defended Imus, telling The New York Times in a recent interview: "He didn't break the law. He's more than paid the price for what he did."

But prospects of Imus' return, anticipated for months, have outraged critics including the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Organization for Women, who said the idea of him coming back to the airwaves months after he was fired is nearly as insulting as the comments that drove him off the air.

The radio industry has eagerly awaited his return and the ratings he brought on his WFAN-AM morning show program, which had also been simulcast on the MSNBC cable channel.
Suleman's WABC-AM is already home to several syndicated hosts: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

Imus' national presence would trump the local Arbitron ratings, where his WFAN-AM show consistently drew fewer listeners than Sliwa and Kuby.

Pre-Announcement to the Announcement That They're About To Announce

Per here and here:

As The Post first reported back in August, radio's lone cowboy (haha, what?) is expected to announce this afternoon or, at the latest tomorrow morning, that he has sealed a deal with Farid Suleman's Citadel Communications to host a morning talk-show on the company's flagship WABC station in New York...

Yeah, I wish they would just ANNOUNCE it already, but this is excellent news. Happy November.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick Or Treat


Happy Halloween!


For a treat, I offer a partial aircheck of the Imus in the Morning program, dated August 25, 1977. (Big thanks to Airchexx.com.) In truth, the aircheck should be called "Imus in the Morning, plus three hours of hideous commercials." Seriously. Among other things, the commercials tell us about German beer, Pan Am flights to Scandinavia (?), something about how Communist spies know all about Babe Ruth, and some tragicially bad French accents. Plus, there's like a 20-minute long commercial with people singing "Cheese, glorious cheese," and listening to it makes you want to hurt someone.


But hey - it's vintage Imus. Enjoy.


In keeping with today's festivities, I enclose a photo of a pumpkin carved in the likeness of Terry Bradshaw. Can I explain why someone carved a Terry Bradshaw jack o'lantern? No, I cannot.



Monday, October 29, 2007

Don't Hate The Player...Hate The Name


Let us hope that the future sports reporter on Imus in the Morning never has to give updates on this basketball player, who plays pro basketball in France.


Because that would be sooooooo awkward...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Are Guests Necessary?

Not to blatantly steal the thread title from Maureen Dowd. But it’s a good question - will Imus be able to book guests? Pundits say that this would make or break the legitimacy of his comeback.

(A confession: I always liked the show better when it was banter between the cast. In fact, in a worst-case scenario of no guests showing up, I think the show would be awesome if Imus and company simply flipped through the newspaper for four hours and mocked the headlines.)

But it’s true that high-profile guests provide credibility to the show. And the “intellectual” guests are, presumably, the draw for the the highly-educated, wealthy clientele that Imus attracts.

So who would be on the show? Let’s say, for the sake of example, that no young, up-and-coming journalist or politician would want to be a guest. Let’s also say that every human on Earth who hasn’t supported him would never go on.

Here is a list, presumably, of people who have either supported the show through the controversy, or who have said that they would return. If I’m leaving anyone off, please say so in the comments.

ONCE AND FUTURE GUESTS


Politicians (and other Washington people)
-John McCain
-John Kerry
-Joe Lieberman
-Rudy Giuliani
-Bill Richardson
-Mike Huckabee
-Hamilton Jordan
-James Carville
-Paul Begala
-Mary Matalin
-Bob Kerrey

Writers/Journalists/Media Personalities
-Craig Crawford
-Tom Oliphant
-Pat Buchanan
-Mike Barnicle
-Jay Severin
-Jeff Greenfield
-Mike Lupica
-Bob Schieffer
-Lou Dobbs
-Sean Hannity (I don’t think that Hannity’s been on the show before, at least not in recent memory. But not only was he an Imus supporter, he and the I-Man now share a flagship station)
-Tom Friedman
-Tim Russert (Yes, I know. I know he’s the Judas of the 21st century, I know Big Russ should be ashamed of him, and my opinion of Imus would plummet if Russert came on. Plus, Charles walking out of the room when he appeared was amazing. That might have been the only poignant bitchslap I've ever seen. At any rate, Russert did say he would go on the show if Imus returned. So I’m counting him, but only for technical purposes.)


Sports People:
-Charles Barkley (said back in May that Imus deserved a suspension, not a firing; criticized Sharpton and Jackson)
-Terry Bradshaw (of Dime Store Jesus fame)
-Sid Rosenberg (though they’d practically have to go on a ten-minute tape-delay)

Entertainers
-Bo Dietl (I know Bo’s main occupation is not entertainment, it’s beating the crap out of thugs. But let’s be honest with ourselves, Bo is pretty entertaining)
-Levon Helm
-Bill Maher
-Kinky Friedman
-George Carlin
-Larry the Cable Guy
-Steve Schirripa
-Dick Cavett
-Pretty much anyone in Nashville who likes selling albums


Now, this roster could be wrong. Some of these people, particularly the entertainers, come on infrequently. Some of these people may never come back.

But this is a very impressive list.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cardinal Egan Tells Media To "Grow Up"


No, I didn't create that headline. I owe that to a story that the Gothamist ran a few weeks ago.


See, it turns out that there is a real Cardinal Egan. Well, let me rephrase that. There are two Cardinal Egans.


The first Cardinal Egan often wore nice striped shirts, sunglasses, and a FedEx envelope that constantly needed readjusting. He delivered laughs with every one of his sermons, which strangely often focused upon the sins of a man named Don Imus. Then suddenly, last Good Friday morn, he announced that he had to run to St. Patrick's Cathedral to deliver a special Lenten Mass. And he hasn't been seen since.


The second Cardinal Egan may be less familiar to you, if you're not Catholic or a New Yorker. Like the first Cardinal Egan, he is also the head of the Archdiocese of New York. The headline in question comes from a story where the media was harrassing him about people protesting a church closing in East Harlem. And, well, what can I say? He told them to grow up.


His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan has been in charge of the Archdiocese ever since Archbishop O'Connor died in 2000. He's had a controversial reign, due in part to closing several churches because of budget constraints. While this sounds like a reasonable plan, it has not been without controversy. Case in point - last February, the Cardinal invited the priest of a failing church to his office...and then, when the priest had left, actually changed the locks on him while he was gone.


Also, back in July -get this - the real Cardinal Egan publicly supported the Sirius-XM merger. I absolutely swear I 'm not joking.


Now, I'm going to be honest. If you're in charge of the entire Archdiocese of New York- one of the biggest Catholic hubs in the nation - then you have to be a stern, authoritarian person. Also, the media is known to demonize a personality - a lesson that we've all learned too well in the past few months. And who am I, this kid, to criticize a guy who's devoted his life to God?


All I'm saying is this. When Bernie did the Cardinal Egan character, he wasn't satirizing the Cardinal Egan; he was, I assume, impersonating a generic foulmouthed Irish priest. The real Edward Cardinal Egan may be more G-Rated than his counterpart, but they certainly share certain characteristics.

Some time ago New York magazine ran a hit piece on the real Cardinal Egan. Check out these completely out-of-context quotes, and try to compare the two cardinals:


According to several accounts from those who were present, Egan went on to claim that his enemies were priests accused of sexual abuse who thought that Egan hadn’t adequately defended them. “When I hear stories about what those priests do, I have to do No. 2,” he spat in disgust.


(WHAT?!?! The Archbishop of New York made a reference to TAKING A DUMP? Are we SURE Bernard didn't write this?)

Then Egan widened his target to the entire priest corps: Of the 2,000 priests and bishops in the archdiocese, he lamented, not one stood up to defend him. “I was loyal to Cardinal Cody to the end,” he insisted in the stentorian affect he uses to complement his imposing height and girth. “Let me tell you, that is manliness! That is priestliness! That is Edward M. Egan!”

****************************************************

And...I really have nothing to add to that.

(Except for this: if you wish to watch a treasure trove of Cardinal clips, look no further. Also, I highly recommend the blog of the Fake Cardinal Egan, written by a brilliant guy who truly knows how to channel Bernard McGuirk.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A New York DJ In Connecticut's Court




Politicians in Connecticut are insane. No, really.

I don't know how the Nutmeg State survived the events described in this New York Times article, dated June 18, 1992. I'll let the opening paragraph speak for itself.


"On cue: three, two, one . . . Welcome once again everybody to "Weicker in the Morning," where wacky, caustic morning deejay Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. interviews New York radio jock Don Imus, who is pretending to be Governor of Connecticut for a day..."

My favorite line: "Mr. Imus...chafed that he didn't have "real power" because he couldn't execute any death-row inmates, or even taunt them on the telephone about the fall television lineup that they won't be able to see."

If you want to read more about "Imus, Rex, Gubernator per diem," click here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Silent But Deadly


The press is getting anxious about this Imus comeback, to the point where they will report on almost anything. Case in point: today's New York Post has an article all about how Imus was at a charity auction at Christie's, yet never said a word or made a ruckus. Their headline? "Imus' Silent Night." Ho ho ho!


Anyway, according to the article, the event was hosted by himself and wife Deirdre. The Post, being their usual classy selves, creatively describes him as "a wrinkly, foulmouthed radio-show host." New York Post, why must you hate the poor sick children?


What I do find disturbing is that he bought "two front-row seats to a Hannah Montana concert." Let's hope that Levon Helm hasn't bailed on him.
UPDATE: This headline from the New York Observer says it all: "At Benefit, Imus and Son Flip Reporters The Bird." Haha, wow...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lessons in Public Safety

Recently, the fire chief of Dallas gave a banquet speech at a local NAACP meeting. Chief Burns (no pun intended) is the first African-American fire chief of the city.

During his talk, he mentioned all of the struggles that the black community has faced over time:

“We’ve overcome so much,” Burns said, specifically naming bombings,
riots, assassinations, Don Imus and Katrina.


Now, as a naive college student, I feel a little presumptuous about lecturing about public safety to a fire chief, particularly the fire chief of the 9th-largest city in the nation. But here goes.

Pop Quiz:

1. Which of the following is the least destructive to a community, both physically and socially?

A. Bombings
B. Riots
C. Assassinations
D. Don Imus
E. Katrina

At first I was going to say, "Well, obviously D." But then I thought, wait. I had initially assumed that the fire chief was referring to Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed a city and claimed many lives. But he didn't specify. He could be talking about any woman named Katrina. He could be talking about the 80s band Katrina and the Waves.

So, OK, Chief, I agree that Don Imus is probably more dangerous than most women named Katrina. Definitely more dangerous than the people who wrote "Walking on Sunshine." I'll spot you on that one.

But riots? Bombings? Assassinations? This part I don't understand. Because come on, riots, bombings, and assassinations are much more lethal than a crazy old guy on MSNBC, right? I mean, Don Imus has done some harmful things in his life. But his weapons are usually words. And words rarely inflict the physical damage that riots and bombings and assassinations wreak, the kind of damage that leaves people and communities "scarred for life."

Wait...never mind...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ex-Senator Urges Dems To Go On Imus

Bob Kerrey, former Nebraska senator and head of the New School in New York, wrote an excellent op-ed piece for the Daily News that urges Democrats to go on the Imus show. Please take a few minutes to read it - it is wonderfully written and deftly summarizes many key points. Bravo to Kerrey.

The only disconcerting thing is that, in a complete meta moment, the Daily News actually did a separate article about Kerrey's position regarding the Imus show. So it's an article in the Daily News...that's about another article in the Daily News. Huh?

At any rate, it's good to see articles like these.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Let's Hope He Does the "Seven Dirty Words" Routine

One date (George Carlin)'s looking forward to is a radio appearance with another New York icon, Don Imus, when Imus returns to the airwaves in December.

"'It was inappropriate,'" Carlin says of the remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team that cost Imus his radio and TV gigs. "But it was a disproportionate reaction for a moment in a 30-year career. It's what this country does - reacts with imperfect solutions.

"I'd told him I want to be one of the first guests."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Not Ready For Prime Time Players

No, it's true. Apparently Brian Williams is hosting Saturday Night Live on November 3rd.

So what does this mean for NBC News?


Full disclosure: Brian Williams was one of my favorite Imus guests. From the moment he took over Brokaw's seat to around April 10, 2007, I thought Williams was one of the standard-bearers of television journalism. (Of course, I thought the same about Tim Russert, which goes to show you.) Williams is, truth be told, absolutely hysterical. He even cameoed briefly on last year's SNL premiere, and outdid the actual cast. I actually believe that if SNL ditched the skits and had Brian Williams perform an hour and a half of stand-up, it would probably be the funniest show they've had in years.

That said, I don't think this is the right time.


When I read the news I asked myself, "Is this really any different than him joking around with Imus or Jon Stewart?"

Yes. It's different.


For starters, when Brian went on Imus or goes on Leno or Stewart, he is playing Brian Williams. A funnier, snarkier Williams, sure, but it's the same guy.


But when Williams goes on SNL, he will likely play different characters. Saturday Night Live consists of different sketches - he could theoretically be anybody. He could be a construction worker. He could be a caveman. He could be a male gigolo. Anything. Can you picture Williams being a Roxbury Guy, or hanging out with Wayne and Garth, or cheering with the Spartan Cheerleaders?


High-profile people have hosted before this. Rudy Giuliani did the show when he was mayor. Al Gore and John McCain have also hosted. But to my knowledge, the only journalist who has ever been on was Jimmy Breslin, back in 1986.

Plus, consider the fact that SNL is not very family-friendly. What if Williams swears? What if he tells a dick joke? That won't go over well with the nice old ladies who make up his audience. Also, you know that if Williams even slightly makes fun of conservatives or liberals, he's going to be hounded as being biased.

While Williams has an excellent shot at making a memorable episode, this is not the time to try it. Think about the hits to NBC News's image in 2007. There was Imus, of course. Then there was the Virginia Tech incident, when NBC decided that putting their logo on the ramblings of a mass murderer was safer than putting it on the I-Man's picture. Then there was the attempt to buy a Paris Hilton interview for $1 million. The list goes on.

After all that, someone decided that it was OK for the face of NBC News, the Heir to Brokaw, to be silly on live television.

So much for "the standards of our reporters," the excuse they used to fire Imus.

I haven't watched Williams since April, but the SNL geek in me compels me to see this. So I'll keep you posted. Who knows, maybe Williams will have his own NHH moment...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Newsweek is Not Fine, Man



I found a video of Newsweek writer Howard Fineman at some sort of Q&A dinner deal. He talks about Imus. If you have eaten anything in the past 24 hours, do not watch this video. If you suffer from bulimia, then maybe you can see it.


Fineman was of course horribly shocked and offended by the scandal, and he felt remorse for all the times he participated in such horrible evils. When the moderator mentioned that Fineman was one of the few guests who didn't "run for the hills," Fineman said smugly, "In the interest of full disclosure, I was already booked and committed." Howard, get off my Youtube.

He also says that if the show changes to his standards, then maybe he'll accept the invitation back. When the hell did Howard Fineman start calling the shots? He's talking like the popular jock at school who knows that every homely girl is madly in love with him, or the overly obnoxious student who knows everybody in the class wants to hear his opinion.

But then Fineman says something really scary:

1) He keeps in email contact with Imus.
2) He might be a new guest. Which, if he works with Newsweek, implies that the Imus ban over there could be lifted, and that those people could go on too.

If anyone remotely connected to the Imus show is reading this - I don’t care if you’re the janitor or the vegan food cook or whatever - then I have one message for you to pass on to the powers that be.

DO NOT BRING ON ANY NEWSWEEK GUESTS.

Please. For the love of all things sacred, do not bring these people on. It has nothing to do with loyalty, although that‘s certainly a factor. My real problem is that every single person at Newsweek sounds exactly the same. Now, this would be OK, if they all sounded like "a vaguely interesting person who didn't talk in monotone." But that was not the case.

I'm trying to differentiate them in my mind, and I'm probably forgetting someone, but here goes:

-There was the frowny bald dude who always reminded me of the Daily Show’s Rob Corddry;
-There was Evan Thomas, who I don’t remember anything off the top of my head, though I think he swam nude in the Atlantic Ocean or something;
-And there was Howard Fineman, who I perpetually confuse with Jeff Greenfield.

I couldn’t tell you what Jonathan Alter brought to the table as opposed to Evan Thomas. Everyone had the same opinions; everyone blended together. For me, “Newsweek guest” always equaled “homework time.”

There was only one exception. One of my favorite I-guests was Jon Meacham, partially because I admired him - because who becomes the editor of Newsweek in their mid-thirties? - and also because he talked about current events from a unique, engaging perspective. He also had a fascinating take on religion in America, which is a subject that’s always interested me.
But when the scandal broke, Meacham was one of the first people to backstab Imus - he banned all his reporters from the show on the Monday following the remarks. Imus used to go on about Meacham being a staunch Episcopalian, and sometimes he would ask Meacham to interpret Scripture. And I'm sorry, but being Christian and behaving in that manner is like being a vegan and editing Field and Stream.

So hopefully we've learned our lesson here with Newsweek. And if Fineman calls Imus to be on the show, Imus will hopefully do exactly what the guests at the Q&A do - turn his back, ignore Fineman, and eat.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Your 'Morning Joe' is Decaf




Yesterday, Inside Cable News published the above chart that compared Morning Joe's ratings to those of Imus in the Morning.
To quote an alleged insider, “Joe would certainly know what it’s like not to have a ‘whole lot of people’ watching, much less anyone tuning into his show – test patterns rate higher.”
Ouch!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rockin' the Beacon

So apparently, the premiere show of the resurrected Imus in the Morning will not be in the WABC studios.

According to (wait for it...) Neil Best, Imus and the gang will be hosting their premiere show at the Beacon Theatre in Manhattan. The Beacon has a very rich history and has hosted countless musical acts.

Several questions:

1) Are they going to have a live audience?
2) If so, are they out of their MINDS?
3)Could this possibly be one of the most memorable concert experiences ever?

If so, this blog will keep you posted on tickets information, logistics, and so forth.

Something tells me that, for all its history, this will be the busiest that the Beacon has ever been at 6 AM on a weekday...

THE RETURN OF THE KING

He's coming back.


Did you hear me?


He's coming back.

He's All Right

Read this article, and try to tell me that this Imus show never touched people's lives.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

And the Band Played On

How has it been six months since Imus has been off the air? Anybody know? I don't, but this weekend (October 13) marks that date.

If I owe "Imus in the Morning" anything, it would be their introducing me to the music of the Band. Pre-Imus, if you had asked me about their work, the only song I would have named was "you know, that one song, the one that goes, 'Take a loan off Fannie, take a loan for free?' Or something." (For all I knew, it was a song about scamming a mortgage payment off of Fannie Mae.)

I don't remember what song it was that got me hooked. It could have been the aforementioned "The Weight," or it could have been "Long Black Veil" or "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." I do know that I bought their music soon afterwards, and that they are now one of my favorite bands of all time.

So in honor of this not-so-auspicious occasion, here are the lyrics to "Ophelia," one of my favorite songs by the Band. (Incidentally, the person in the painting is Ophelia, Hamlet's potential sweetheart, from the Shakespeare play. I don't think the Band was writing about her, but hey, it's a beautiful painting.)

Boards on the window, mail by the door
Why would anybody leave so quickly for?
Ophelia, where have you gone?


The old neighborhood just ain't the same
Nobody knows just what became of Ophelia
Tell me, what went wrong?

Was it something that somebody said?
Mama, I know we broke the rules
Was somebody up against the law?
Honey, you know I'd die for you

Ashes of laughter
The ghost is clear
Why do the best things always disappear, like Ophelia?

Please, darken my door

Was it something that somebody said?
Honey, you know we broke the rules
Was somebody up against the law?
Honey, you know I'd die for you

They got your number, scared and running
But I'm still waiting for the second coming of Ophelia

Come back home