US Christians Rejoice After Advertisers Pull Plug on Racism Row Radio Host

The President of a US-based Christian media watchdog has welcomed the decision by advertisers to pull the plug on radio host Don Imus after he made a racist slur on his show earlier in the week.

MSNBC dropped its simulcast of Imus's morning radio show after he called the mostly black members of the Rutgers University women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos" - "nappy-headed" is a derogatory term for the hair of many African people, while "ho" is slang for a prostitute. Now the radio show's distributor and owner CBS has fired Imus after a large number of advertisers cancelled their advertising slots on his show.

The President of Morality in Media Robert Peters welcomed the decision by advertisers to pull their adverts from Imus's show but said it would mean little unless companies also take their adverts off music channels which feature derogatory and often aggressive or sexually explicit material.

"Companies that pulled ads from the Don Imus Show are to be commended, but companies should also pull ads from music channels that daily pour forth a cultural swill that makes the Don Imus insult look tame by comparison," he said.

Peters pointed in particular to popular music channel MTV which has come under fire from Christians for the high profile it gives to controversial rap artists.

"What shocked me almost as much as the anti-social behavior exhibited in the 'music videos' were the mainstream advertisers that made the programming possible," he said of MTV.

The latest corporations to sign up for advertising on MTV are Intel and Pepsi North America, which will feature prominently on the MTV and Comedy Central mobile TV channels whose shows include 'The Real World' and 'South Park'.

Peters added: "The outrage directed at Imus is more than justified, but it will prove to be largely a hollow victory if corporate America continues to give rappers who degrade women, glamorise criminal and other anti- social behavior and promote racial stereotypes a high-profit, high-profile national platform to corrupt the minds and hearts of children and to pollute mainstream culture."

He criticised shows such as MTV for creating a popular culture "that has made stripping and trash talk 'acceptable' not only among many adults but also among many of our nation's youth".

Day Gardner, President of the National Black Pro-Life Union in the US, said she "felt anger that Imus actually thought this racial slur could be shrugged off as a joke".

"He thought it would be funny - I found it extremely offensive," she said.

"Racism is very much alive and thriving in America and the comments made by Don Imus are just more proof of that fact," she added.

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