On Wednesday's ATC, Melissa Block had a chance to do a little serious journalism on the return of bigot Don Imus to radio and TV. She interviewed RFD-TV president Patrick Gottsch about his decision to simulcast Imus' WABC radio show on his cable network.
Block notes that Imus was "...fired by CBS in April after he made derogatory remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team." She asks Gottsch, "Do you have any worries about taking Don Imus on board...many times before made offensive comments. Does that bother you? Do you worry about alienating your viewers?"
Gottsch answers, "Not at all...saw first hand what these folks [the Imus family] are like
I know for a fact that he's not proud of what happened earlier in the year. People make mistakes and I think he was the first one to admit he made a mistake and that's in the past."
That's it. I mean it. That's all the intellectual, professional thunder poor Block could muster. Does it bother you? Alienating viewers? Here's a few questions that might have made the interview worthwhile:
Why are you wanting to give a platform to a man who back in 1998 was unmasked on 60 Minutes as a racist. Or who referred to public TV journalist Gwen Ifill as a "cleaning lady." Why are you wanting to employ a repeat bigot, homophobe, and antisemite.
Seriously, do these NPR hosts do any preparation for interviews such as this, or just go in cold with a few questions and see what happens. It wouldn't taken more than 10 minutes to come up with a few concrete examples of Imus' career long behavior of airing bigotry for entertainment. Instead a listener to this interview comes away with a positive impression of Imus as a good guy who made a mistake and has paid his due--ugh...