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Don Imus roils the racial waters once again

June 23, 2008 |  6:28 pm

The chances of Don Imus once again becoming a good radio buddy to various politicians probably got slimmer today.

Radio talk show host Don Imus has many friends among politicians but his continuing history of making controversial remarks may reduce his guest list True, when Imus regained a program last December after offensive remarks he made several months earlier about the Rutgers University women's basketball team led to his exile, several friends from Capitol Hill who had once been his frequent guests -- including John McCain -- helped welcome him back by chatting with him on air.

But since that first flurry of appearances, Imus' new show has not evolved into the regular stop it once was for a bipartisan swath of political bigshots (others included Chris Dodd, Joe Lieberman and John Kerry). And an exchange Imus had today regarding professional football player Adam "Pacman" Jones doesn't seem likely to help restore his sway.

During a report this morning on his nationally syndicated show about Jones, who has been reinstated by the NFL after several scapes with the law led to his suspension during the entire 2007 season, Imus asked, "What color is he?"

When told Jones (who recently requested that that announcers no longer use his nickname when mentioning him) is African American, Imus responded, "Well, there you go. Now we know."

It's a surprise that Imus apparently was clueless about the well-publicized Jones. It's no surprise that his remark again placed him at the center of a racially tinged controversy. Huffington Post is tracking the furor, including Imus' defense: "I meant he was being picked on because he's black.''

Regardless on whether the I-man rides this one out, it's a bit tougher to imagine McCain wanting to have another conversation with him as the vote nears in November.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Associated Press