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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Republicans up the ante on Dodd, Lieberman regarding Imus

For once, I agree with Republican Chairman Chris Healy and those politicians and organization leaders who allowed themselves to get caught in this political move have only themselves to blame.
Hartford - Connecticut State Party Chairman Chris Healy Tuesday called on U.S. Sens. Christopher J. Dodd and Joseph I. Lieberman to end their silence and demand that radio host Don Imus be fired from his CBS radio show.

"The time has come for Joe and Chris to seek federal regulatory action against the racist rantings of Don Imus," said Healy. "Given their record of work in the civil rights area, it is critical that our U.S. Senators demand the same level of accountability as any other act of public bigotry."

Despite his apologies, Healy said, Imus has not gotten the message about hateful speech over the federally regulated airwaves and both Lieberman and Dodd have a responsibility to seek action from the Federal Communications Commission to take action.

"A two-week vacation is not the answer, federal fines and a demand that Imus be removed from his show are," said Healy. "Both Sens. Dodd and Lieberman are often eager to appear on the Imus program to talk about their commitment to fairness and promoting racial healing, let us hope they are eager to do the same to seek justice."

Healy said both the Connecticut NAACP and the Legislature's Black and Hispanic Caucus should also weigh in and demand action. Healy sent a letter to both Lieberman and Dodd asking for their active involvement.

"This is not a political issue, but it requires action from political leaders," said Healy. "If we are to stop the endless stream of hurtful speech which is conveniently disguised as satire, then we must stand with those who have been hurt by it."

Healy released a letter he has sent to Scot X. Esdaile, President of the Connecticut NAACP Executive Committee, asking for the group's participation in a boycott of sponsors of the Imus program and action by Sens. Lieberman and Dodd.

"Free speech is a protected right, but hateful racist speech should not be tolerated over the public air waves," said Healy. "There must be consequences, especially for those who continually abuse the privilege as Imus has done."

April 10, 2007

The Honorable Christopher J. Dodd
The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman
United States Senate
Washington, DC. 20515

Dear Senator Dodd and Senator Lieberman:

I think you both would agree with the general assessment that the comments made by syndicated radio host Don Imus concerning the Rutgers University Women's Basketball team were hurtful, racist and beyond the pale of public discourse over a fedeally regulated airwave.

Since each of you have been frequent guests on Mr. Imus' program, I would hope you both would join me and others in publicly denouncing his statements and seek an investigation and action by the governing agency - the Federal Communication's Commission.

The FCC has issued orders and fines for similarly inappropriate comments made by radio personalities over the years, and Mr. Imus' comments would certainly meet any reasonable standard of action. Since each of you has fought for civil rights over the years, I would hope you take this issue as seiously as any other racial incident and demand answers and appropriate action.

At a time where the voices of public discourse must be respectful, I think you would agree that Mr. Imus' actions have crossed the line of deceny and should not be allowed to go unpunished.

I appreciate your attention to matter and hope you can respond in kind.

Very Truly Yours,

Christopher C. Heay
Chairman - Connecticut Republicans

April 10, 2007

Mr. Scott X. Esdaile
NAACP Executive Committee
192 Dixwell Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511

Re: Don Imus Radio Program

Dear Mr. Esdaile:

As you must be aware, the comments made recently by syndicated radio host Donald Imus concerning the Rutgers University Women's Basketball team were a racist insult to a dedicated group of student athletes who have been slandered over public airwaves.

Since the Imus program is heard throughout the Connecticut and New York market, many of its sponsors who serve this audience have refused to indicate whether they will pull their advertising in the wake of these comments or the insufficient punishment meted out by the management of the program - CBS radio.

I hope you could join me in denouncing and boycotting the sponsors of the Imus program and seeking action against Imus and CBS through the Federal Communications Commission. I hope to enlist the support of our two U.S. Senators, Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman, both of whom have been frequent guests on the program in question.

These racists insults have no place over the public airwaves and it is important that leaders from all political sides come together to seek action and promote racial healing.

I will send you copies of the letters I intend to send to both Sens. Dodd and Lieberman seeking their prompt action with the FCC and hope you will support them as well.

Please feel free to contact me at any time, and I appreciate your attention to this important issue.

Very Truly Yours,

Christopher C. Healy
Chairman - Connecticut Republicans
Although this is TOTALLY a political move be Healy, the fact that we haven't heard a peep from "holy" Joe Lieberman, Chris Dodd (both of whom are regulars on Imus' show) and the silence from the HEAD OF THE N.A.A.C.P is simply outrageous.

I'm working on one hell of a post regarding Imus and his history of bigoted remarks and I'll offer my views on one of the most disgusting individuals on radio at a later time.

UPDATE: Well, it seems like Dodd and Lieberman are playing a game of dodgeball
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) was observing Passover on Tuesday and was therefore unreachable, spokesman Rob Sawicki said. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) was on vacation, an aide said. Edwards had yet to speak about the comments....

By late Tuesday afternoon, Dodd spoke up. "As the father of two young girls, I can imagine how hurtful these comments were to these young women and their parents," Dodd said in a statement. "The comments were wrong and unacceptable." He did not, however, say whether he would do the show again.
Hat tip to tparty for the catch.