June 24th, 2008
03:37 PM ET

Don Imus and Pacman Jones - what a pair

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/24/art.imus.pacman2.jpg caption = "Radio host Don Imus said Tuesday he was making "a sarcastic point" that police often unfairly target blacks when he asked about Adam "Pacman" Jones' race on his show."]

Roland S. Martin
CNN Political Analyst
AC360° Contributor


Shock jock Don Imus says he was just defending Adam "Pacman" Jones on Monday when he said that he asked about his race when discussing the Dallas Cowboys cornerback being arrested six times.

But I'm not buying it.

Imus, who was canned last year for making racially- and sexually-charged comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team, says he is being unfairly criticized for his comments.

But I listened to them, and I don't see how he can make such a comment.

  1. Pacman never says his arrests were due to him being black. So how could Imus be defending him when that wasn't the issue?
  2. Jones said he wanted his nickname changed because of all the attention he has garnered. OK, but his race isn't a factor.
  3. Imus never explained his statement. He calls it being sarcastic. Maybe it was a conversation going on in his head. Dude, if you make such a comment, be smart enough and EXPLAIN what you mean.

Imus walks a tight rope. He's not in jeopardy of losing his job. Citadel and WABC Radio pay him a ton of dough. They likely see this as good PR. But for him personally, this wasn't a smart move.

By the way, if Imus was concerned about police targeting black men and harassing them, was he vocal over the Sean Bell shooting?

I'm just asking.

Maybe there is some good out of this. Maybe Imus really does care about the issue of driving while black or walking while back.

My advice: Don't make Pacman the poster child. He's an idiot who brought it on himself. His race had nothing to do with his arrests. When your involvement in a strip club shooting leads to your suspension, and on the night before you are to meet with the NFL commissioner to save your hide, and you go to a strip club, you're just dumb as hell.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Roland S. Martin
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. leo- des moines, iowa

    I am an African American residing in the state of Iowa. I'm over 50 years of age, and have seen my share of racism, but I honestly believe that Don Imus was trying to point out the racism that cops harbor. I have been stopped on several occasions for DWB. So I believe that Mr. Imus is appalled by this racial profiling and he just wanted to make a point of this. So I think he should be "cut some slack" in this instance. Thank you.

    June 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm |
  2. Annie Kate


    Thanks for the honesty in your write-up. I don't think either man has been very smart about what they have done or said. I just hope it blows over quick and we don't spend an hour of newstime on it – 30 seconds should be enough.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 24, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  3. Franky

    You know, I didn't even bother giving a response of these two. I'm actually gonna give the same response as I did in another website....

    I don't care aboput Imus, O.K? He didn't say it well and he's old........way old! As for Pacman....ooppps, excuse me, I mean, Adam. Let's just say I don't got NO criminal record(and yes guys, that's the truth, that's how slick I am) and I know if you get stopped not once, but twice, or more times, you are more related to here in the hood than anywhere else. All I'm saying is in my opinion, therey're not even worth discussing. That's just my opinion...

    June 24, 2008 at 8:22 pm |
  4. Ted Leon

    Roland: It's amazing how people say what they actually feel and are not man enough to own up to it. Don Imus is who he is so he should just live his truth. At least that way you are not dealling with someone in the closet.

    Los Angeles. Calif.

    June 24, 2008 at 8:15 pm |
  5. Marla OK

    Imus did not make a racist statement. A As are too quick to claim racism when criticism is warranted.
    I believe Imus before Roland any day.

    June 24, 2008 at 8:13 pm |
  6. Judy M., Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

    Maybe the problem with Don Imus is not so much that he is a racist, it's just that he is old and confused. I mean let's look at the 4 word question he asked before considering his 6 word comment shortly after. In discussion with a sportscaster Imus is told that an athelete who he isn't familiar with has been arrested multiple times. Imus jumps to the question "what color is he". My first question would be "what were the arrests for". What would Imus have said if the answer had been "white". He is pandering to black people in saying he is 'defending' them with sarcasim which is meant to show black people are picked on. The point simply isn't genuine. Most of the team is black, they all work in the same town as Adam Jones. Most of the team was NOT arrested 6 times. Imus wants us to believe he automatically jumped to the defence of Jones and used sarcasim to make the point. Not true. If there was a situation of black people in Adam's situations getting charged when white people who participated weren't charged then there would be a point. There would also be a legitimate point if black people were facing more prosecution and tougher sentences in comparison with the rest of the population. But one black man who has been in trouble numerous times, in a community of many black people who have no problem with the law, is just not a valid example to point toward unfair racial treatment. Imus knows all of this. But he must be old and confused cause he seems to have forgotten the racial slur and his subsequent firing some months back. My second question, following asking "what were the arrests for" is this: "who listens to old geezers like Don Imus and why?"

    June 24, 2008 at 8:10 pm |
  7. sueluoise1

    I usually don't listen to talk radio, but i caught imus' show twice the week of June 9, 2008. I stopped listening because it was painfully obvious that Imus was choosing each word super carefully and pouring sugar on his guests. So that this still happens, I would choke it up to incidental fallout. Sue

    June 24, 2008 at 7:51 pm |
  8. o'rouke

    is there racism in the u.s.? of course! is mr imus a racist? could be. is mr jones african american and a person of interest in multiple incidents? yes...imus had a point no matter how backwards he articulated it. and jones wants to left alone. so leave jones alone and turn imus off. there, you see how easy that was.

    by the way, rev. sharpton is on the verge of being irrelevant. pick your battles sir. let someone else from your network make appearances. you show your face on the big cases. that way the public will say :ohh sharpton is here it must be a big deal!" and not "aww its just sharpton running his mouth again."

    June 24, 2008 at 7:49 pm |
  9. Kayle, CT

    Yeah I must admit I was a little offended by what Imus said, but I don't think did it to be racist. I think he's trying so hard to come off as open minded; it makes him seem like an even bigger bigot.

    June 24, 2008 at 7:46 pm |
  10. Cheyenne

    Roland, I agree with you 100%. It's pretty obvious that Imus was NOT being sarcastic. I believe that to be pretty clear if you listen to the context of his comments. I'm just a little disgusted with the media's obsession with Don Imus. I could care less about Don Imus' personal opinions on race. In no way does he influence or affect America. If anything, the media's constant stream of diatribe directed against Imus will just earn the shock jock a higher volume of listeners. People want to know what he'll say next. Imus and his comments are disgusting and dispicable and I don't know why the media wants to give him so much credit for them.

    June 24, 2008 at 7:46 pm |
  11. Larry

    As long as there is a dime to be made in the economy of racism there will always be investors.

    June 24, 2008 at 7:43 pm |
  12. Betty

    Well you can tell Al Sharpton & Jessie Jacksons followers are the only ones writing in on this subject. Get a life people. I take Imus for his word on this one. Why is it most things said in reference to the blacks is taken out content.

    Just another way for Al & Jessie get to attention and appear on television. We have other things to talk about besides this jerk Pacman Jones. You just did him a favor so he will look like a poor old soul.

    Most of all shame on you Roland for making this as a racist statement made by Imus. You need to get a life and stop wanting attention also.

    How come you never go after Jackson and Shapeton for making racist statement? You just have to keep the fire and hate going.

    June 24, 2008 at 7:29 pm |
  13. Ratna, New York, NY

    Dear Ronald,

    We are all to a certain extend racist! I believe that Imus sarcastic remarks were misinterpreted. He actually meant that black men are arrested at a higher rate because of their race. Well at least he is getting hell for his remarks and is in no position to bank in on the Black Experience, unlike Madonna.

    People like him should exist, so we can pound at them.

    June 24, 2008 at 7:25 pm |
  14. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    With all the crap spewed by people in the news, radio/ TV jocks, sports athletes and the rest!! If it offends you don't listen!!
    With all the issues facing your nation at this point at all levels of your society [THE DEBT – D_E_B_T!!! [anyone out there notice it's size for [bleep] sake!!!] and this rurns your crank?? Get a grip!!

    June 24, 2008 at 7:07 pm |
  15. Kristina

    I love how these commentators can say something blatantly racism and just go "it wasn't racism" and somehow people are supposed to forget about it.

    June 24, 2008 at 7:05 pm |
  16. Larry

    Roland & Sharpie have nothing better to do; its like the Spanish inquisition & the Salem witch hunts all over again.

    Malcolm X should have a holiday named after him; he was a great man.

    June 24, 2008 at 6:55 pm |
  17. J. Cox


    You have never lied! Why even bother to clarify? He said exactly what he meant the first time yet I am still perplexed as to why we are even giving this fool any play. We are just improving his ratings. His racism is so deep rooted he is totally unaware of what he says. He has gotten away with it for so long that he is quite comfortable. I would love to leave him in a room with a couple of dudes from the 'hood for about 15 minutes!

    June 24, 2008 at 6:50 pm |
  18. JC- Los Angeles

    I never thought the day would come when we dignified the likes of Don Imus and Pacman Jones with a comment. New Zealand can't be this bad.

    June 24, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  19. Norbert from Norfolk, VA

    Way to go frat., telling it like it is again. It's a proven fact, Imus is an idiot. He's said again what's really in him. Once he realized his dumbness again, he tried to clean it up. That was for all those millions he's getting paid. He realized that his millions were being jeopardized so he tried to clean it up. There is no way they're going to fire him because it's all about the benjamins! Let it happen to one of us though. Security would have us out of there so fast we wouldn't have time to grab our personal effects. Keep up the awesome job Roland! ......06!

    June 24, 2008 at 6:06 pm |
  20. Cynthia

    It's a shame that the powers that be still keep him on the air. All Imus did was try and back peddle out of what he said – I don't buy his response at all. Why give his a forum to put things out there like that. As long as they let him stay, you can expect more of it.

    June 24, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  21. pati mc., camp hill, pa

    Roland, you are dead on dude! Seriously, Imus did it before (over and over again, I might add) and he will do it yet gain.

    Imus defending PacMan? Give me a break! I know of not one soul who would buy that.

    Call me a cynic if you will. but in this case, I will wear that monker with pride.

    All The Best Roland, I agee with Tracey Anderson – you totally rock.

    June 24, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  22. Greg

    It's called closet racism,

    When you talk this way behind closed doors it comes out when your gaurds are down. Imus is just getting old, he can't keep his consentration anymore.

    June 24, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  23. Kristen- Philadelphia, PA

    Don Imus is racist I thought we all knew this already. After making several racist comments why do people still even acknowledge this man? If people were really fed up his show would be off the air because no body would be tuning in. Unfortunately enough people don't seem to be fazed by this idiots repeated racist remarks. So I guess we can expect this nonsense to keep going until this man retires.

    June 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  24. Cecil Jones

    Shame on you Roland! Bad acts are always permissable in the Court of Public Opinion, but they aren't news. Adam Jones is trying to change his life. He didn't shoot anyone and he's not gay. Imus should have been held accountable by Warner Wolf when he asked, "What color is Pacman?" It doesn't matter! They shouldn't have allowed color into a conversation concerning "Bad Acts." Mr. Jones is trying to clean up his act and he gets dragged through the mud to help Imus create ratings? This isn't news and it sick that you resort to exploiting this kind of dirty trick.

    June 24, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  25. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hi Roland!
    I agree with you totally!
    Is anyone sick of Imus getting air time? What a waste of air!

    June 24, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  26. Bill Danville Virginia

    We've got kids starving in Darfur, people suffering in China and Myannamar, gas heading to $5 bucks a gallon...who really gives a crap about Pacman the Thug or Imus the Idiot...once again the media suceeds in driving what the public thinks is important.

    June 24, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  27. Susan


    They are both idiots. Maybe they can do a show together.



    June 24, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  28. Lilibeth

    He will probably make comments like that again in the future because of deep-seated beliefs and perceptions. One might suggest that he seek counseling, but maybe it’s too late for that? Who knows...

    Edmonds, Washington

    June 24, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  29. PS from Tennessee

    I am a Titans fan and "thank the lord" that Dallas took Pacman. It doesn't matter what his race is. He was nothing but an embarassment to the State of Tennessee.

    June 24, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  30. Rob from Detroit

    Imus is aracist pig who should be fired. and any one who supports him is racist just like sean hannity. I don't want to be apaRT OF HIS AMERICA.

    June 24, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  31. jess from Canada

    Hi Roland, Please just accept that racist is here to stay & get over it The fact that you are both racist & get paid BIG bucks to be so. I listened to the interview with Al Sharpton he said it is going to take him a couple of days to assess & consult others before he makes up his mind about whether he should be unset about the remarks Imus made. Give me a Break!!

    June 24, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  32. Lexi

    I don't believe what Imus said was correct. He was wrong and irrelevant. You can not blame someone's mistake based on race. I'm sick of his racial and sexist rants. Roland I agree with you 100%

    June 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  33. Cindy

    I'm with ya Roland! No way was Imus defending Pacman! He was trying to say that because Jones is black that he is more apt to break the laws and to be arrested. Why can't Imus just be a man and say what he meant? I don't believe a word he says regarding this. If he wasn't being racist with that remark there ain't a cow in Texas! LOL


    June 24, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  34. Tracey Anderson - Boston, MA

    Dude, you rock!

    June 24, 2008 at 3:44 pm |