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)
-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)
-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.)
-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)
-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)
-Larry the Cable Guy
-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.