A day after Don Imus’s radio show was suspended by MSNBC for two weeks because of his “racist, abhorrent comments,” Al Roker called for the shock jock to resign.
The Today show weatherman wrote in his blog on Tuesday: “It is time for [Imus] to go. I, for one, am really tired of the diatribes, the ‘humor’ at others’ expense, the cruelty that passes for ‘funny.’ Don Imus isn’t the only one doing this, but today he’s the one in the hot seat.”
Roker continues: “The ‘I’m a good person who said a bad thing’ apology doesn’t cut it. At least he didn’t try to weasel out of this by hiding behind alcohol or drug abuse. Still, he said it and a two-week suspension doesn’t cut it. It is, at best, a slap on the wrist. A vacation. Nothing.
“The general manager of Cartoon Network resigned after a publicity stunt went wrong and caused a panic in Boston. He did the right thing. Don Imus should do the right thing and resign. Not talk about taking a two-week suspension with dignity. I don’t think Don Imus gets it.”
Imus apologized Monday on his program and on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s radio show, saying his remark on last week’s Imus in the Morning show was a joke that “went way too far.”
He referred to players on the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos.”
Late Monday, NBC News President Steve Capus released this statement:
“Beginning Monday, April 16, MSNBC will suspend simulcasting the syndicated Imus in the Morning radio program for two weeks. This comes after careful consideration in the days since his racist, abhorrent comments were made.
“Don Imus has expressed profound regret and embarrassment and has made a commitment to listen to all of those who have raised legitimate expressions of outrage. In addition, his dedication – in his words – to change the discourse on his program moving forward, has confirmed for us that this action is appropriate.
“Our future relationship with Imus is contingent on his ability to live up to his word.”
Originating from WFAN in New York City and syndicated by Westwood One, Imus’s show reaches an estimated 2.5 million people a week, the Associated Press reports. The simulcast on MSNBC reached an estimated 361,000 viewers in the first three months of the year, according to the AP.