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Imus Controversy Swirls On

The controversy over Don Imus' ill-chosen comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team continued to swirl.

Rep. Keith Ellison, an African American Democrat from Minnesota, said on CNN that the black community should think in terms of "redemption and reconciliation" if radio host Don Imus demonstrates that he is not a racist and that he is sorry for his remarks via heartfelt and repeated apologies.

But if he does not appear to be sufficiently contrite, said Ellison, "he should perhaps go other places."

The Reverend Al sharpton has called for Imus' resignation.
The Rutgers basketball team held a press conference Tuesday and said that while they did not forgive him,  they were looking toward a private meeting and accepting an apology in person.

Imus has pledged to apologize in person for remarks he made on his radio show, which have drawn not only harsh criticism but a two-week suspension from his WFAN(AM) New York radio show by parent CBS Radio and MSNBC, which simulcasts a video version.

One of the Rutgers players said Imus' comments "hurt a lot" a sentiment echoed by their coach, who called his remarks "deplorable, despicable, abominable and unconscionable."

CNN analyst Paul Begala, who has been a guest on the Imus show, called the comments "completely wrong, racist and sexist," but said he thought a two-week suspension was sufficient. He would go back on Imus' show "tomorrow."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.