Imus tells Sharpton he can't win with 'you people'

NEW YORK -- Don Imus had a hot seat on the other side of the
microphone Monday, appearing on the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio show
and enduring more criticism for his offensive comments about the
Rutgers women's basketball team.

Imus issued another apology for referring to members of the team
as "nappy-headed hos." Sharpton called the comments
"abominable" and "racist" and repeated his demand that Imus be
fired. Later Monday, CBS Radio and MSNBC did say they will suspend telecasting Imus'
radio program for two weeks.

"Our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And
this time we went way too far," Imus said on "The Al Sharpton

The meeting prompted a series of testy exchanges, and Imus grew
visibly frustrated at times. During one exchange, Imus said he
can't win with "you people." Sharpton was clearly irritated by
that remark.

In another encounter, Sharpton said, "If you walk away from
this unscathed ..."

"How am I unscathed by this?" Imus interrupted. "Don't you
think I'm humiliated?"

During commercial breaks, Sharpton walked out of the studio and
said few words to Imus.

The CBS and MSNBC suspensions begin next Monday.

While CBS made its announcement without comment, MSNBC said Imus' regret at making the inappropriate
comment and his stated dedication to changing the show's discourse
made it believe this was the appropriate response.

"Our future relationship with Imus is contingent on his ability
to live up to his word," the network said.

Former Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken was scheduled to appear on Imus' show later this week to promote two books but has decided not to appear after learning of the host's remarks.

"In light of recent remarks made on the program, Cal will not appear on the show as part of his national book tour," Ripken's publicist John Maroon said, according to the Washington Times.

Earlier Monday, on his own radio show, Imus called himself "a
good person" who made a bad mistake.

"Our agenda is to be funny and sometimes we go too far. And
this time we went way too far."
-- Don Imus on "The Al Sharpton

"Here's what I've learned: that you can't make fun of
everybody, because some people don't deserve it," he said on his
show, which is nationally syndicated to millions of listeners.
"And because the climate on this program has been what it's been
for 30 years doesn't mean that it has to be that way for the next
five years or whatever because that has to change, and I understand

He pointed to his involvement with the Imus Ranch, a working
cattle ranch for children with cancer and blood disorders in New
Mexico. Ten percent of the children who come to the ranch are
black, he said.

"I'm not a white man who doesn't know any African-Americans,"
he said.

On the radio show, Sharpton said that Imus' good deeds do not
make up for what he said about the Rutgers team, which includes
eight black women.

"This is not about whether you're a good man," Sharpton said.
"What you said was racist."

Imus said he hoped to meet the Rutgers players and their parents
and coaches, and that he was grateful for the appearance on
Sharpton's nationally syndicated show.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and about 50 others marched
Monday outside the Chicago offices of NBC, the General Electric Co.
subsidiary that owns MSNBC, carrying signs and shouting "Imus must
go." Jackson said Imus' comments contribute to "a climate of
degradation" and stem from a lack of blacks as program hosts.

Imus made the now infamous remark during his show Wednesday.

The Rutgers team, which includes eight black women, had lost the
day before in the NCAA women's championship game. Imus was speaking
with producer Bernard McGuirk about the game when the exchange
began on "Imus in the Morning." The show is broadcast on more
than 70 stations and MSNBC.

"That's some rough girls from Rutgers," Imus said. "Man, they
got tattoos ... ."

"Some hardcore hos," McGuirk said.

"That's some nappy-headed hos there, I'm going to tell you
that," Imus said.

Imus apologized on the air Friday, but his mea culpa has not
quieted the uproar.

James E. Harris, president of the New Jersey chapter of the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,
demanded Sunday that Imus "resign or be terminated immediately."

Karen Mateo, a spokeswoman for CBS Radio -- Imus' employer and
the owner of his New York radio home, WFAN-AM -- said the company
was "disappointed" in Imus' actions and characterized his
comments as "completely inappropriate."

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this story.