At a separate press conference held shortly thereafter, the coach and members of the Rutger’s women’s basketball team gathered before microphones and television cameras to express their satisfaction at the CBS decision. “I was very glad to hear that Don Imus has been fired as a result of the things he said about us,” team Captain Essence Carson said. “For bumming us out after the awesome time we had at the NCAA tournament, he definitely deserved to lose his job and be ostracized by the media.”
Coach C. Vivian Stringer added, “I’m just glad we’ve finally set the precedent that if you say something rude and tasteless on the radio, you have to disappear. My girls worked hard and played their hearts out in that tournament, and to have to endure a senior citizen making racially insensitive jokes about their appearance is something no one should ever have to do, especially not in a free country like the United States.”
Coach Stringer and the Rutger’s team were joined by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who led the public battle against Imus following his comments on April 4. Sharpton, who like Jackson appeared dressed in a gleaming white robe with what appeared to be a halo hovering brightly above his head, called the firing of Imus a major victory for human rights. “The events of the past week have done nothing but prove to me the greatness of our great nation,” Sharpton said, “where we have the most precious freedom any human being can have: the freedom to never, ever have anyone ever say anything to offend you ever, or the person who said it gets fired. I think now public figures realize that they have to watch what they say, because the Rev. Jackson and I are listening carefully to every single word, just waiting for the slightest hint of racism to pounce.” Coach Stringer reminded Sharpton that the remarks made by Imus were also sexist in nature, prompting Sharpton to add, “Right, sure, sexism too. Whatever.”
Television talk show host and unpolluted beacon of purity Oprah Winfrey applauded the courage of the Rutger’s women when reached for comment. “These girls make me proud to be a woman,” Winfrey said. “When I think of the agony and hardship they had to endure because of what Imus said, of how their humanity was ripped away and destroyed in one fell swoop, of how their lives have been ruined for all time, and then I see them still standing, still strong, it just makes me so grateful to be here and to be this enormously wealthy. I can’t think of any person or group of people who have pushed forward the cause of civil rights more bravely and righteously than these girls. Not even one single person ever.” Winfrey paused and then added, “Nope, not even one.” Winfrey also claimed to be working on a story celebrating the “courage and inspiration” of the Rutger’s team for the next issue of her magazine, O, which will feature Oprah on the cover modeling a $75,000 one-of-a-kind gown designed by Donatella Versace.
Response to the Imus termination has been overwhelmingly positive from Congress as well. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her intention to introduce a bill next week making it a Federal crime to publicly say anything that might offend, insult or degrade someone of another race, sex, religion, sexual preference or ethnic group. “And the best part is, we’ve spoken to the President and he’s agreed to suspend ex post facto, allowing us to make this law retroactive,” Pelosi said. “So don’t worry, Don Imus will pay for his heinous crime. Once we make it a crime.”