Nappy Imus

PR people love to play Monday morning quarterback. In fact, isn’t this the stock-in-trade of many PR bloggers (this one included)?

OK. What else can be said about Don Imus’s eventual career-ending (my prediction) faux-pas? Unlike Jimmy the Greek, Mr. Imus apparently has a long, sordid history of racial and gender insensitivity.

But the big question in my mind was whether his PR consiglieres really believed a ritualistic radio appearance with the Rev. Al would produce a happy ending to this final chapter of the shock jock’s colorful career. After all, it didn’t work for Kramer. Why should it for Imus?

Who advised him on this tact? Did anyone believe for a moment that the two would embrace and the righteous Reverend would extol his listeners (and the media gaggle gathered) to forgive and forget? This was destined to be an opportunistic publicity ploy for Big Al…versus a “coming to Jesus” moment for Imus.

Imus’ story line simply does not have a second side. He was wrong, and he needed to (sincerely) apologize and disappear back into the woodwork. Didn’t some of you — my more PR-astute readers — recognize that something was amiss after seeing the first of Imus’ string of public apologies? IT WAS WRITTEN IN THE SECOND-PERSON PLURAL:

“It was completely inappropriate, and we can understand why people were offended. Our characterization was thoughtless and stupid, and we are sorry.”

Huh? Maybe Imus has multiple personalities who, together, dissed the entire Rutgers women’s basketball team?

Will a two-week suspension buy CBS and MSNBC sufficient time for this to go away? Will the skeletons in Imus’ closet continue to surface in the media? Can the blogosphere keep this story from its natural death? And what will the Rev. Al do to capitalize on Imus’s first day back on the job? Stay tuned.

One last Tuesday morning observation: were Imus and the Oompa Loompas separated at birth, or what?