In an op-ed in today's New York Daily News, former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D., Neb.) dares the presidential candidates to go on Don Imus's new radio program, which is expected to launch on WABC in New York City later this year. "You can be sure the candidates for President will avoid him like the plague. Democrats in particular may fear the wrath of the Al Sharptons of the world and feel pressured to stay away," Kerrey writes, "If that's the choice they make, they'll be making a big mistake. In fact, try as they might to denounce and avoid Imus, all the candidates would be well advised to throw caution to the wind and say yes to the inevitable interview requests."
Imus was cancelled in a firestorm of controversy earlier this year after he made racially insensitive remarks, describing the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy headed hos." But Imus recently received a new radio contract, and Kerrey argues that Imus made a mistake, apologized, and remains one of the toughest interviewers of presidential candidates. "For as offensive as his remarks were about the Rutgers women's basketball team (for which he, unlike Isiah Thomas, apologized), and as sharp-tongued as I hope he will still be (I pray he has not become Mr. Rogers during his forced sabbatical), he will have a big and influential audience," Kerrey writes, "And, whatever else he is, Don Imus is very smart, does his homework, and is the most difficult interviewer in the business."
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