And now Imus go.
Shock jock Don Imus left the airwaves after nearly half of a century on the radio Thursday.
“I know in my heart there’s been nobody ever better on the radio than me,” the less-than-modest 77-year-old DJ declared shortly before signing off from his studio in Texas. “Nobody ever did this.”
Imus fought back tears while thanking his listeners and saying “You have no idea how much I’m going to miss you.”
The “I-Man” also appeared to take subtle parting shots at past rivals including the Rev. Al Sharpton and the self-proclaimed “King of All Media” Howard Stern, boasting that he was never disuaded by a “bigoted civil rights charlatan” or an “envious shock jock.”
The Riverside Calif., native’s long career wasn’t without controversy, sometimes by design and other times because of bad decisions.
In 2007, Imus called the Rutgers University women’s basketball team “nappy head hoes” for which he later apologized. In an interview with CBS on Monday, Imus expressed “regret” over that incident.
“It did change my feeling about making fun of some people who didn’t deserve to be made fun of, and didn’t have a mechanism to defend themselves,” he confessed.
Some critics also felt Imus went too far at the 1996 White House Correspondents’ Dinner when he joked about President Clinton’s sexual appetite and First Lady Hillary Clinton’s controversial business dealings while they awkwardly listened from a few feet away.
For that, he expressed no remorse.
Imus had planned to retire his “Imus in the Morning” show at the end of the year, but announced in January that because his syndicator, Cumulus Media, had filed for bankruptcy, he would call it quits a little earlier than scheduled. He even cut his final show short, as he was played out by a Kid Rock song that was followed by three hours of “Best of” material from past shows.
“Imus in the Morning,” which aired every weekday on 84 stations.
With Brian Niemietz