COMMENTS: Rutgers Hoopsters Respond

The abject apologies by morning radio host Don Imus for his insults against the women's basketball team of Rutgers University did not put the matter to rest. All three networks led with the team's response in an organized press conference. Dignified and self-possessed, they evinced the diametric opposite of the whorish behavior Imus had attributed to them. The players deserved the attention they received for their rebuttal--but then the networks went overboard. NBC followed up with a couple of extended interviews. ABC and CBS filed sociological features. The flap is only over a single hurtful insult on a morning drive radio show--not worthy of Story of the Day status for two straight days.

The highlights of the players' press conference were relayed as the team announced that they would meet in person and in private with the radio host next week. CBS' Nancy Cordes ticked off the attributes of the hoopsters--plays five instruments…studying to become a doctor…high school valedictorian--as they displayed "uncommon poise for students so young." ABC's Dan Harris called the basketball team's achievement "incredible." The coach got the players into shape after a losing start and they "roared back and made the NCAA finals." As for the radio show itself, NBC's Rehema Ellis announced that Imus had lost one sponsor, office supply retailer Staples, and may lose a second, Bigelow Teas.


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