Friday, April 13, 2007

Imus: Harold Ford has No Courage

Seven days after Imus uttered his racist and sexist slur, Harold Ford quietly issued an "unofficial" statement acknowledging that the behavior of Imus was "reprehensible" and that Imus is "a good friend and a decent man." Waiting 7 days to chastise your friend for racist and sexist remarks is about what one would expect from a Fox News Democrat like Harold Ford.

It's nice to have friends, especially when you've messed up so badly that you are the center of a media frenzy, or the object of a public stoning. But with friends like Harold Ford, expect your ship to sink long before the Tennessee politician even entertains the thought of throwing you some life support.

The Imus slur was uttered on April 4. Ford's unofficial statement crept out on April 11, the same day that his 'friend' was fired from MSNBC. Ford's unofficial statement crept out on the same day that a story in the Chattanooga Times Free Press observed that Ford was oddly quiet, and that Imus was asking "Where's Harold?"

Imus asks on show: ‘Where’s Harold?’

Talk show host Don Imus, whose racially infused comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team led to a two-week suspension and widespread condemnation, inquired about former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. on his program Tuesday morning.

Mr. Ford, a former U.S. Senate candidate in Tennessee who has been a frequent guest on Mr. Imus’ show, was unavailable Tuesday for comment, said Selena Morris, a spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., where the former congressman serves as a vice chairman and senior policy adviser.

Bob Davis, chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, said it is unusual that Mr. Ford would not comment on Mr. Imus’ statement about the Rutgers team.

“Congressman Ford seems to always have something to say,” Mr. Davis said. “In this particular case, I think it’s outrageous that the congressman has not condemned the Imus comments.”

Ford was scheduled to appear in Chattanooga the very next day.

If you watched the days and days of round the clock cable news coverage of Imus, you know that the shock jock does have some friends. You know -- the kind of people who rally to your side when you are in trouble. They rightly condemn your bad behavior, but they offer you some kind of public support -- because they are your friends.

That would not be Harold Ford. Pretty well everyone who has ever been on the Imus show has had something to say about the shock jock on the cable news channels. But not Ford. He was not there. Imus has learned some important lessons this week -- and one of them is about Tennessee's Fox News Democrat Harold Ford:

"Harold Ford, Jr. has been disgraceful in his lack of support. I endured death threats to endorse him...It's unfortunate that he has no courage." -- Don Imus, April 12, 2007

via Taegan Goddard