This is hardly the first time Mr. Imus has made racially insensitive remarks during a broadcast. In a 1997 interview with “60 Minutes,” he said he chose one white staffer to tell racial jokes on his show. He once referred to the PBS anchor Gwen Ifill as “a cleaning lady.” And in 2001 he took a pledge, guided by the Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, to refrain from making further racist comments on his program.
Mr. Imus tried to stave off calls for his resignation by appearing today on a radio program of which the Rev. Al Sharpton is the host and making a more complete apology for what he acknowledged were “repugnant, repulsive, and horrible” comments.
Mr. Imus also said he was trying to reach out to the team, their coach and parents to issue a direct apology to them. Earlier today on his own nationally syndicated radio show, “Imus in the Morning,” Mr. Imus said he was a “good person who said a bad thing.” His statement this morning was part of a 10-minute “explanation” of the comments.