Vox Populi: The O'Shaughnessy Files

By William O’Shaughnessy | Go to book overview

BOB GRANT ON THE IMUS CONTROVERSY

It takes one to know one. Bob Grant has been pilloried,
castigated, censured, and denounced by our colleagues in
the public press. So it was to be expected he’d get his ire
up when Imus was on the ropes. This is the interview he
did with us on April 20, 2007.

WILLIAM O’SHAUGHNESSY (W.O.): In our profession, the Imus controversy lingers. The I-Man is silenced. For how long? Nobody knows. And we’re going to switch now to New Jersey for the dean of talk show hosts, the great Bob Grant. We are all your students, sir. How do you see this controversy with Imus?

BOB GRANT (B.G.): Well, actually, after reflecting on it, I’m not really surprised. That doesn’t mean I approve of what happened. But Don has lived on the edge for a long time. And, of course, when I heard about all this, I immediately thought about what happened to me eleven years ago.

Naturally, I understood when he said he was shocked because I was, too. Neither of us ever intended to get people so angry they would want us fired.

W.O.: Bob Grant, you, too, have been the victim of intimidation and coercion.

B.G.: Well, yes indeed. (laughter) So many things were broadcast with humor and then perceived to be very serious. I remember asking a program director, a very nice, sympathetic guy, “What are they taking this all so seriously for?” He replied, “Hey, wait a minute! That means you’ve achieved your goal!” And as far as Don is concerned, I believe certain people have taken him way too seriously.

W.O.: Should they have fired Don Imus, Bob Grant? MSNBC and CBS? Should they have thrown him off the air?

B.G.: Well, I thought they would suspend him. Matter of fact, I predicted, “Well, one week, maybe two.” But, apparently, the pressure was so intense, sponsors were dropping like flies, and that’s

-8-

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