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1 October 1996 (USA)  »

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Imus would always say that his program was the highest-rated on MSNBC. This was never actually true. See more »

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Outstanding program - 10* +
7 October 2006 | by (Tulsa OK) – See all my reviews

I've been a fan of Imus for a long time. Since moving a few years ago, in our city, I can now only receive via the 3-hour MSNBC simulcast of the radio show. Over the past few years, the program has added more aspects for the television component, and MSNBC personnel provide on-air news and weather reports, and serve as foils for some of the humor.

The telecast is for only 3 of the 4-hour broadcast - but throughout the show's history, the "fourth" hour often contains some reprise items, and sort of "winds down" from the main featured guests and bits in the first three hours.

My schedule is such that I often work late hours, so I TIVO the show and listen/view later. I find it more entertaining than a lot of nighttime television, and can also just listen if doing other things. Watching/listening later also encompasses less time, without having to incur the commercial time.

No program with the number of hours, guests, on-air ensemble, etc., which "Imus in the Morning" has, can hit the proverbial "home run" every day, or with every featured guest, subject or "bit." But this program is a superb piece of entertainment, and far more informative and insightful than the smarmy talk shows (whether skewed to the far right by Limbaugh, Savage, Beck, et al - or Garafalo and her fellow protagonists on the far left), or the lame presentations of "Today," "The View," etc.

Imus interviews better than the network newscasters and their cohorts, lets the participants talk, and is a master of the simple, direct question.

Imus certainly is not lacking in ego, but this makes the events all the more interesting. His very competent colleagues are also outstanding - and the mix and movement among prepared features, spontaneous exchanges, shtick, and argument keeps things lively and fascinating. Often they all change "gears" among these the way Jeff Gordon shifts them in his Chevy.

If you haven't tried this program (or if you've only watched it briefly), give it a try - for at least a couple of weeks. If it's not "your thing," there are certainly plenty of alternatives. If you like it, as I do, it provides a major piece of entertainment in the midst of the plethora of mediocrity "out there."

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I added this comment during 12/06 -- four months ago. In the past few days, Imus, his program and associates were first suspended for two weeks by MSNBC and CBS for the radio syndication -- and in the past couple of days, fired and permanently canceled by both.

Just as a broken clock is correct twice a day, and a blind squirrel can find an acorn -- the reverse is sometimes true: in this case, a host and program -- normally clever, humorous, usually incisive, admirably assisting many worthy causes, presenting great interviews and fresh perspectives from/about prominent persons and about world events -- nonetheless, made about the most stupid faux pas one can imagine, and one somebody with 1/40 of Imus' experience should have avoided.

I always found some of the racial parodies, and producer Bernard's roles in most of these, to be near or over the edge, and frequently not that funny. And recently, Imus' and Bernard's continuing barbs to sportscaster Chis, a portly fellow to say the least, about his weight and recent marriage seemed excessive as well.

With Imus being (admittedly) one of the more arrogant persons one will find, and Bernard, particularly, something of a younger "clone," the whole Rutgers matter was a case of those two, who delighted in taking this type of humor to the "edge," not only going too far, but falling off the metaphorical cliff.

Further, their whole exchange wasn't even vaguely humorous. While I'm no great fan of either Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton - and each has some incidents in his past in this same arena - they and everyone else who decried such a cheap shot at these young women are correct. Imus has leveled criticism and parody as a major part of his shtick forever, but normally towards prominent people, powerful politicians and celebrities, sometimes unnecessarily excessive, but with those who seem often to deserve it, and have the means to argue back if they choose.

These young women were not within this area.

Should he have been fired? In my opinion, absolutely not. But this guy, a superstar on-air, earning 8 figures annually, with four decades' experience, an obviously intelligent individual, seemingly one of the most intelligent and astute persons around, with connections at the highest level of his industry - should never have put everything at risk for what was one of the lamest bits ever presented on his program (in terms of its usual humor), and it seems unbelievable that such a weak stream-of-consciousness would have been permitted to (at least for now) end such a lengthy, prominent career.


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