“Don Imus is facing his first lawsuit from a player on the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team for derogatory comments that cost him his job as a radio host in April, ABC News has learned.
Kia Vaughn, star center for the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team, has filed a lawsuit against Imus for libel, slander and defamation — the first civil suit to be filed against the former radio host. Vaughn is asking for monetary damages of an unspecified amount….
Obviously her lawyer thinks this suit will fly, but the young woman is a public figure. A tangential one, no doubt, but still, in the public eye.
And today, everyone from front runners for President to fundamentalist preachers gets to be bashed obscenely in public in the free-for all of modern media. It’s coarse, intrusive, and vulgar. No question. But it’s also standard fare. Why suddenly jump on Imus for doing what he’s paid to do? It’s not as if he was courtly to everyone else…
In the BB boo-boo he was trying to be hip and down with street talk…..and tripped up — big time. But no one could seriously have drawn a negative picture of the Rutgers women’s team from what he said. No one could possibly have thought the Rutgers players were “ho’s” from the tone and context of his remarks.
Of course, the public is always free to change its level of tolerance for mud any time it wants to, but if Imus is going to be rounded up and branded, let it be for something he said that really was malicious — his remark about Gwen Ifill being the cleaning lady. That was a truly reprehensible comment – because it came off as contemptious of her professional abilities. And it had to have damaged how she would be seen in her work environment.
But with the Rutger’s team, he was simply horsing around in the dumbest possible way and happened to put his foot in his mouth – not a difficult achievment when you have an aperture that wide and constantly agape….
The guy’s even been sued by his nanny.
So – no to Kia Vaughn. But yes, to a lawsuit…..by Gwen Ifill.