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Reply #21: Here's the infamous sL-IMUS turn. Actually, he screwed everybody, much more than just the CLINTONS [View All]

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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-26-08 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
21. Here's the infamous sL-IMUS turn. Actually, he screwed everybody, much more than just the CLINTONS
Edited on Sat Apr-26-08 08:20 PM by UTUSN

The following is the text of radio personality Don Imus' speech at the Radio/TV Correspondents Association Annual Dinner, Thursday, March 21, 1996.

Thank you very much this is kind of interesting, these don't appear to be my still have the folder I gave you? where did this come from? Well, nobody just leaves stuff like this just layin' around....(laughter)

Heh, heh, heh .. let me see if I can see what it says: "S. McDougall called again ...says bank needs check and statement; told her both were in mail, ha ha ha. Jesus, she looks stupid in those tank tops." I think I'll just hang on to these. (laughter)

Ah, here we go. Good evening Mr. President, Mrs. Clinton, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen, radio and TV scum.

You know, I think it would be fair to say, back when the Clintons first took office, if we had placed them all in a lineup -- well, not a lineup -- if we were to have speculated about which member of the First Family would be the first to be indicted... I don't mean indicted -- I meant to receive a subpoena -- everybody would have picked Roger. I mean, been there done that. Well, in the past 3 years, Socks the cat has been in more jams than Roger. Roger has been a saint. The cat has peed on national treasures. Roger hasn't. Socks has thrown up hairballs. Roger hasn't. Socks got his girlfriend pregnant and hasn't... oh no, that was Roger. And as you know, nearly every incident in the lives of the first family has been made worse by each and every person in this room of radio and television correspondents -- even innocuous incidents. For example, when Cal Ripkin broke Lou Gherig's consecutive game record, the President was at Camden Yards doin' play by play in the radio with John Miller. Bobby Bonilla hit a double, we all heard the President in his obvious excitement holler "Go Baby!" I remember commenting at the time, I bet that's not the first time he's said that. (Turns to President) Remember the Astroturf in the pickup? And my point is, there is an innocent event, made sinister by some creep in the media.

In some cases, the Clintons have not exactly helped themselves. Imagine if back in 1978 Mrs. Clinton had NOT said to Mr. Clinton, "Honey, Jim and Susan are here and they've got some river front land for these great vacation homes, maybe we can make some serious money. And he said "God I love this Reaganomics!" Or later, she'd said, "Bill, I talked to Web and he said 'Put down 600 hours' " and he'd said, "Well, that's a lot," and she'd said, "Yes, I think 60 makes more sense." And recently somebody said, "I don't know, I left them on the table in the book room."

Which reminds me, in light of the controversy that surrounded the publication of Mrs. Clinton's book, perhaps Anonymous should have written It Takes a Village. And then there's Senator D'Amato -- It Takes a Village Idiot.

The Senator suggests the Clintons hung around with unsavory characters. What the hell was he talkin' about? All of his friends have bodies in the trunks of their cars. By the way, my candidate for Primary Colors is Susan Thomases. I think she wrote it and simply can't remember. When I was asked to speak here tonight and was told who would be in attendance, my initial thought was "Well, I've already said almost every awful thing you could say about almost everyone in the room." And then I thought, "Well, almost everyone."

And I recognize I'm not going to be invited to Renaissance Weekend, or that Bohemian deal where Newt, Rush and Dick all sit in a teepee naked, beatin' on tom-toms. I won't be having lunch with Peter Jennings and some Hollywood nitwit, so this could actually be fun.

Let's start at the bottom with you folks in the media and work our way up. Do you remember the infamous curbside shooting from the Vietnam War? Well, I'm watchin' the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and Connie Chung and things are not going well, and I'm thinking were a couple a nights away from another hideous photograph. I mean everybody knows Dan Rather is capable of anything, including pulling a gun out on the set of the CBS Evening News. Dan has these utterly incomprehensible bucolic expressions he punctuates the conversation with. Several times after talking with him, he would say to me "Tamp 'em up solid." Having something to do, I later learned, with fortifying underground tunnels his father dug, for reasons that remain unclear. Now I'm hearing impaired a little bit from wearing headphones for a long time. I thought he was saying "tampons up solid" and I'm, why would he say that? I mean, I know he's nuts, but what does that mean? Anyway, I'd laugh and I'd say uh huh, and I would hang up. And he's a great reporter, but he does not have all of his bait in the water. And he's a little tense. Watchin' Dan Rather do the news, he looks like he's making a hostage tape. (laughter) They should have guys in ski masks and AK47's just standin off to...

And yet, he is one of the 3 or 4 people most people get their news from. Along with Tom Brokaw, of course. By the way, nobody wants us out of Bosnia more than Tom Brokaw does. Just so he doesn't have to pronounce Slobian Milosovich. Or report on fighting on the outskirts of Vilikakladusa. Or describe how Slobidan Milo... Slobidan Milso...I can say it... and we know Brian Williams is standing in front of the White House thinking "I'm two Serb war criminal names away from Tom Brokaw's job." (laughter)

And then there's Peter Jennings, who we are told more Americans get their news from than anyone else -- and a man who freely admits that he cannot resist women. So I'm thinking, here's Peter Jennings sitting there each evening, elegant, erudite, refined. And I'm thinking, what's under his desk? I mean, besides an intern. (groans) The first place the telecommunications bill should have mandated that a v-chip be placed is in Mr. Jennings shorts. (groans)

My favorite moment on World News Tonight was when Peter threw it to Cokie Roberts who we were told was standing outside the Capitol building, remember that when they chromo-keyed Cokie outside the Capitol. That happened during my friend Rick Kaplan's watch. Bill Clinton's worst media day, when Kaplan left as executive producer of World News Tonight because he'd humped the Clinton Administration harder than OJ has his video. The only thing he didn't do was run a crawl of the Clinton's defense fund 800 number with a shot of Sally Struthers sobbing into the camera. (laughter) By the way, I like Sally Struthers. And I think she's a sweet harmless soul doing God's work. But, if you're going to go on television and beg for food for starving children (laughter) shouldn't you maybe like eat a little less of it yourself? I mean, I don't think the plight of suffering children is amusing. I've personally raised millions of dollars for children with cancer, and millions of dollars for parents who've lost children through Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. But what are these people thinking about when they send her to a village in Ethiopia full of starving people? They might as well send the fat guy from Wendy's.

By the way, and this is really awful, (laughter) if you're Peter Jennings and you're telling more Americans than anyone else what's going on in the world, shouldn't you at least have had a clue that your wife was over at Richard Cohen's house? (laughter, groans, boos) She wasn't at my house! Bernard Shaw and Peter couldn't be here tonight -- he went to the movies with Alanis Morissette -- Bernard Shaw and Judy Woodruff round out our network news anchors and deserve mention only to recognize that Bernie has greater nut potential than even Dan Rather. If not for CNN, Bernard Shaw is at the post office marching somebody around at the end of a wire coat hanger and a shotgun.

And then there are the Sunday morning news programs. This Week With David Brinkley. I love Mr. Brinkley. He's an American icon. He and I both had similar surgery and I recognize that Mr. Brinkley is 75 years old. He's adorable. He also looks like ET. One of these mornings I expect him to say, "Cokie: phone home." (laughter) Now he's not the only extraterrestrial on the program. There's also Sam Donaldson and George Will. (whistle from audience) Sam, the New Mexico sheep rancher -- you would think that anybody who's taken as much money from the government in wool subsidies as he has could come up with something better to put on his head -- I mean what is that? (laughter)

Something Strom Thurmond threw out? A cheap doily he swiped at Arianna Huffington's house? (laugher) And then there's George Will -- and they call Steve Forbes a geek -- anyone that buttoned up, I guarantee ya, is spending part of his weekend wearing clothes that make him feel pretty. (laughter) Things he's picked up we now know at Victoria Secret over in Georgetown.

Meet the Press with the utterly charming and gregarious Tim Russert has brought a new sense of adventure and enthusiasm to Sunday morning television. Mr. Russert's unique and probing interrogation of guests is widely seen as bold and refreshing. Pawing off Bob Kerry's wooden leg was a special moment. Good natured, however, and patient to a fault, Tim is to be admired for enduring frequently insipid observations and questions from corespondents who for some inexplicable reason include the coma-inducing William Safire, the terminally tedious David Broder, and Elton John-look-a-like Mary McGrory (groans) Where did she get those glasses? By the way, Russert as many of you know came to television from the world of politics having once worked in New York for Senator Moynihan and Governor Cuomo. He was a fine aide whose duties included hiding the bottles for Pat and the bodies for Mario. (laughter)

Some of you may have noticed Mike Wallace wandering around here tonight. For some insane reason I agreed to be interviewed by Mr. Wallace, it's a good thing actually, because frankly time is up over there at "60 Minutes." I mean , they've gone from biographical essays of Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Stephen Hawking to profiles of loud -mouthed morons on the radio. I mean, have they no standards? And if they're going to fold up like a two-dollar suitcase every time some blood-sucking weasel in a Brooks Brother suit threatens to haul them into court, then off-load the entire cast in an ambulance now and ship them off to the drug tests. I mean I hate to be harsh here, but where are the days when Mike Wallace used to stick a camera in somebody's face and beat him like a rented mule? Where are the sobbing confessions? And they been doing this for a hundred years. It is over. Except perhaps for Steve Croft and he's hoping he can go over to NBC and blow up trucks. And Ed Bradley: we think the earring thing, Ed, you're a newsman, not a pirate (laughter)

Molly Ivins is going to be a commentator -- why not just go ahead and get Florence King? I told Nina Totenberg plagiarism jokes weren't funny. Speaking of people whose place on the planet is a waste of space -- the White House press corps --- I mean no wonder the President doesn't want to hold any news conferences. Who needs to be assaulted by a pack of rodents whose idea of a question is to confront the President with an insulting observation designed to impress their equally rude and arrogant colleagues. "Mr. President, Rita Braver, CBS News, we all know you're a pot smokin' weasel, that you once ate an apple fritter the size of a baby's head, that you actually run a 12 minute mile. Can you, therefore, tell the American people why that thing on your lip looks like a Milk Dud, and if it is a Milk Dud, and I'd like a follow-up." "Sir, Brit Hume, ABC News. Sir, everybody knows the closest you ever came to standing in a chow line was the cheeseburger window at McDonald's. So tell the American people, is that where you came up with 'buy one, get one free?' "

The president gets treated better by Rush Limbaugh. Rush may not, as Al Franken suggested, be a Big Fat Idiot, but I'm sick of him. The radio show, television show, the stupid books and now men's ties -- bold, vibrant, colorful, and all designed to look great with a brown shirt. (laugher) What a surprise that Rush is selling something that goes around a person's neck. Rush didn't date in high school, you're kidding? (laughter) You mean the varsity cheerleaders weren't falling all over a fat pig-eyed schmoo who looked like a cross between a red dog and one of those Budweiser frogs? (laughter)

He should be on a beach somewhere in a pair of Bermuda shorts, white socks, sandals, holding a metal detector. He couldn't get a date in high school? Maybe they should have had his senior prom at Sea World. Remember the old joke, what's got a hundred feet and four teeth? You know, the front row at a Willie Nelson concert. Well, of course now it's a Rush room. How appropriate that these ditto dorks all get together and eat and listen to lard butt.

And then there's Newt. (laughter, groans) Who names a child Newt? It seems only slightly better than a Boy Named Sue:
Well, he came into the world from the right side a town,
a Georgia boy who was diggin' around,
dreamin' one day he'd wield power absolute.
He's a guy who spends a lot of time in the fridge
and it's no wonder he wants to bring back the orphanage,
you would too, if your parents named you Newt
Now all you atheists had better be ware
cause school children's heads'll be bowed in prayer
beseechin the Lord to get rid of the poor and the queer
Member Newt and his conservative proteges
are going to fix this in a hundred days
and he was so proud he was on the edge of tears.
But now the ethics folks are snoopin for cash
And his cheesy book was less than a smash and
all the polls reportin he's held in disrepute
His sister's a thespian and appeared on Friends
And his poor old Mom's still tryin' to make amends
I'll tell you, life ain't easy for a boy named Newt.

And it was Newt, remember, who wanted to give every kid mired in the poverty of urban America a laptop computer. Not nearly as popular as Phil Gramm's plan to give every white male in the country a lap dancer. A friend, Kinky Friedman, who headed Gay Texans for Gramm told me early on that the Senator wanted to be president. Now, of course, we all know that. I was in Las Vegas when the news broke that Senator Gramm had financed a porno movie. It was better than having Ed McMahon hand me a check for ten million dollars. (laughter)

The only better news woulda been had Senator Gramm actually appeared in a movie. I mean, how great would that have been? I tend to like one of those farmer's daughter's deals. I could see Phil in the role of the traveling salesman, Lamar Alexander as the farmer, Pat Buchanan as the weird ranch hand. One of John Kerry's old dates, right off the ballet at Hee Haw. What's the deal with the wagons? Pull the wagons. Push the wagons. Get in the wagon. What wagon? Where did he think he was, the Ponderosa?

Senator Gramm was fond of saying he was too ugly to be President. Well, that was not his problem. I know he has a Ph.D. in economics. But you can't sound like you just walked out of the woods in Deliverance and not scare people. "You got a real purty mouth on you their, Bubba..." Not happening.

Bob Dole. What else does Bob Dole want? Willard Scott's already wished Bob Dole a happy birthday ... (laughter, groans, clapping) Twice. Bob Dole should be pleased. Bob Dole says tell Willard Scott to stop lying about Bob Dole's age.

And I agree with Ted Koppel, Pat Buchanan has a certain inherent charm. However, if he gets elected President, two weeks later somebody's going to come knockin on the door at three o'clock in the morning: "Just checking. What kind of a name is Imus?" Although, all this stuff about Pat Buchanan being anti-Semitic, I don't know about that. A lot of people aren't aware that he lost a relative in the concentration camps. His uncle fell out of a guard tower. (groans)

Mort Saul made the original observation that people who talk most about family values are all on their second and third wives. And I would point out they all have families you could rope off and charge admission to view. You throw up a tent, put Pat Buchanan, his brother Bay, Newt, Mom, Candace, Hugh Rodham in it, and you're lookin at a theme park.

Now I love Ronald Reagan, as do most Americans, regardless of politics. But man, what a weird family. Nancy starin' at him like a glass-eyed moonie on mushrooms, checkin' with this nut log out on the west coast who's charting the course of the country out on a ouija board. What's that all about? And the kid, Ron, trampin' around in his underwear on Saturday Night Live and Patty's naked in Playboy, and each of them had these Mommy Dearest book deals. And of course, they all still hate Michael.

Weird families are not confined to Republicans, of course. Remember the Carters? Ham Jordan, Willie Nelson are smokin' dope on the roof of the White House and Billy's out in middle of an airport, hosing down the runway, while Jimmy's flailing away at a killer bunny with a canoe paddle asking Amy to weigh in on America's role in the nuclear age.

And while President Clinton's cabinet is not technically a family, they are the single oddest looking group of people ever assembled. Like the bar scene out of Star Wars. (laughter) I mean, watching them file in for the State of the Union reminded me of seein' all those clowns falling out of the Volkswagen at the circus.

And speaking of Congress, while Al D'Amato, Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond are mildly amusing as the Chairmen of various committees, I miss the Democrats that were in charge. Especially Joe Biden. And Joe Biden's head. Tracking the progress of his plug job was like watching time-lapse photography of a chia pet. (laughter) He was most entertaining, however, as a committee chairman conducting hearings because Senator Biden always looked to me like he was comin' on to the witnesses. Usually women. "So Anita, when this is all over, you want to have a drink?" And although he's disappeared, he hasn't as have 13 of his colleagues, actually quit. Of course there are those Democrats who are not only staying, but doing so with renewed vigor and enthusiasm, mostly by becoming Republicans, with several noble exceptions. John Kerry of Massachusetts among them. This now gives me the opportunity to express my regret at having referred to my friend, Senator Kerry upon his marriage to Theresa Heinz as the Larry Fortensky of the United States Senate. Which reminds me of poor old John Warner. The Senator marries Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most beautiful women in the world, and three weeks later, he comes home and she's sitting in the kitchen playing Deal A Meal with Richard Simmons. How do you get that fat, that fast, and not live in a trailer? And then he has to choose between Chuck Robb and Oliver North. I mean, what's the deal with his karma?

But back to Senator Kerry. I also now recognize that it was irresponsible to suggest that he was a suspect in his own wife's unfortunate mugging. If the authorities thought it made sense that a senator from Massachusetts would be in Puerto Rico on a fund raising mission during the time of family crisis, it should have made sense to me as well. However, when I initially thought about it, it seemed only slightly more plausible than chipping golf balls at ten o'clock at night. But the senator and I are past that and in fact it has drawn us closer.

And yes, some unanticipated good for other Democrats came out of Republicans gaining control of Congress. Senator Kennedy for example, was forced to focus and take a bribe... leaving Chris Dodd the opportunity to get his bearings and realize, "Hey I'm a United States Senator, maybe I shouldn't be crawling around on the floor of this restaurant." In fact, as you know, Senator Dodd has recovered sufficiently to become the General Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and will play a pivotal role in the President's re-election efforts. In fact, he has a couple of bumper sticker ideas: "Clinton/Gore Please Raise Your right Hand." Or perhaps, "Clinton/Gore / Four More ...or five to Ten." Now we're not sure what role James Carville or his dog will play in all this, but isn't it just like a Democratic consultant to come along and make a mess and then expect somebody else to clean it up.

And while I' m not one of, obviously, Bill Clinton's advisors and it's not that I think Al Gore has done a horrible job, however, if I was president, and I wanted to make sure I won in November, I'd ask Colin Powell to run with me. Stick Dole with that dork from Michigan. However, it appears that it will be Clinton and the albatross Al Gore for the Democrats. And Bob Dole and someone slightly less cranky for the Republicans. Add the jug-eared little Martian from Texas for laughs.

One of the things that it seems to me that the media ought to think about in the coming months, particularly in this election year, consumed by the chaos of the campaign, is the sensibilities of the people you are covering. The way you cover them, and your treatment of them as individuals. For if nothing else, they are all good and decent people who, for whatever reason, have chosen to devote the bulk of their adult lives to public service. People who possess a passion for ideas and ideals to which they have committed extraordinary energy. It is almost always irrelevant and short-sighted to seize only on the unfortunate human imperfections of people who frankly have demonstrated an often puzzling willingness to endure great sacrifice, both personally and professionally, for what they see as a noble summons to serve the greater good. More often than not, however, that is exactly the case. You folks focus on each misstep, every misspoken word, each testy outburst. Do they not deserve some degree of our respect? To be treated with the dignity that at least acknowledges the mission of altruism they believe they're conducting. Shouldn't we be willing to give them some benefit of the doubt?

I don't think so.

Thank you all very much.

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