Greenfield: Hypocrisy and Cowardice For Long-Time Guests To Boycott Imus

April 11th, 2007 11:19 AM
Jeff Greenfield has called it "the ultimate act of hypocrisy and cowardice" for long-time guests of the Imus show [file photo] to stay away now. Greenfield, who is leaving CNN to return to CBS as Senior Political Correspondent, appeared on this morning's "Early Show" and was interviewed by co-host Julie Chen.
CHEN: Did you hesitate to go on the show yesterday?
GREENFIELD: No. If you have the benefit of being on his show for 15 years -- and there is a benefit -- there's visibility, if you have a book [you can promote it], and also, to be blunt, it's a great deal of fun -- the banter. To stay away from the show when he gets in serious and deserved trouble, seems to me the ultimate act of hypocrisy and cowardice. But I went on the show and told him, I think quite bluntly, where things stood and where they have to go. All of us, he and some of us as guests, have not really stepped up to the plate in looking at the way race has been used on that show as humor.
CHEN: You don't think he should be fired, do you?
GREENFIELD: No. If you can't get redeemed once people call you out for a racially inflammatory remark, then there are an awful lot of people in the public eye who shouldn't be in the public eye, not the least of which by the way is Reverend Sharpton, who has a radio show many years after the infamous Tawana Brawley case. I think [Imus] gets a chance to show he understands just how hurtful and offensive this was, and more to the point, how some of the kind of humor he's been doing needs to really just be changed.
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