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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Arab American journalists applaud discipline against Don Imus, urge broader view of racism problem

Chicago, IL/April 12, 2007 -- Members of the National Arab American Journalists Association (NAAJA) applauded decisions by MSNBC and CBS to drop Don Imus from their television simulcast and radio syndication.

The actions come in the wake of racist remarks that Imus made regarding African American members of the Rutgers women's basketball team.

NAAJA members believe that Imus represents a growing problem of racially insensitive comments being made not only by entertainers, but by so-called mainstream serious news commentators and talk show hosts.

"Don Imus was not an entertainer. He was not a comedian. Don Imus was one of the icons of American political and social commentary. Some of the nation's most prestigious journalists, governments officials and political candidates regularly appeared in his radio show, which was also simulcast by MSNBC," NAAJA members said.

"The unethical behavior and racist comments of Don Imus should not be diluted in a larger discussion of whether or not African American entertainers engage in similar rhetoric. However, Don Imus is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of mainstream journalists, government leaders and candidates who engage in racist rhetoric and that goes far beyond the African American community to include Asians, Jews and Arabs. That Don Imus has been permitted to remain in the main stream media unchallenged for so long is a testament to the challenges still facing mainstream American journalism, government and political life in America."

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