It’s pretty well known that Don Imus and Tim Russert have, historically, been rather chummy with each other. And during yesterday’s “Meet the Press,” almost all of Russert’s standard “Devil’s advocate” questions took the side of Imus. And Russert only twice said anything that even slightly reprimanded Imus:
“I don’t think anyone felt that what Don said was defensible, including himself.”
“I think he said a terrible thing.”
But almost all of the other points raised by Russert seemed to deflect attention away from Imus’s responsibility:
Is–those, those recognitions were done in a very public way, Gene.
MR. RUSSERT: Yeah.
MR. RUSSERT: But if he’s inducted in the hall of fame, he’s on the cover of Time and Newsweek in the late ’90s when people were very aware of the content of the show.
MR. ROBINSON: Well, people will decide whether they want to sponsor, you know, whether they want to put it on the air, and whether they…
MS. IFILL: Would you go back on his program if he did that?
MR. RUSSERT: I, I–I’d, I’d certainly listen to it. Absolutely. I mean, if he is dedicating himself–if the, if the Rutgers women’s basketball team said they have forgiven him and they’re trying to seek reconciliation, and he dedicates himself to racial healing, that is, to me, is a very positive step.