WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2007
|CONTACT: TIM SCHEIDERER OR
COLLEEN O’BOYLE AT 703.683.5004
Rutgers Player Commits a
Foul with Imus Lawsuit
Basketball player sullies
image of noble, victimized team, CMI’s Knight says.
On the same day that disgraced shock jock Don
Imus reached a settlement on his $120 million breach of contract
lawsuit against CBS, Kia Vaughn, the center of the Rutgers women’s
basketball team, muscled in to grab a piece of the pie. Her timing
seems less than coincidental.
Vaughn filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages over Imus’ joke
on April 4 describing the team as “nappy headed ho’s.” The remark
led to an apology by Imus, widespread criticism, protests against
CBS, and Imus’ suspension and eventual firing. Vaughn is suing
MSNBC, NBC Universal, CBS Radio, CBS Corp., Viacom Inc. and Westwood
One Radio, along with Imus’ producer, for libel, slander and
“The Rutgers women’s team has garnered tremendous and well-deserved
positive publicity since Imus’ stupid and crude remark,” said MRC’s
Culture and Media Institute Director Robert Knight. “Now, Kia
Vaughn’s lawsuit may cost them their reputation for innocence.
Nobody who is remotely sane believes that Imus was seriously
describing the women’s actual character. He was making a lame joke
using language heard every day on BET and other major media outlets.
It will be interesting to see what the court will do with her claim,
as stated by her attorney, that a lawsuit is necessary ‘to restore
the good name and reputation of my client.’
“Was Imus wrong? Yes. Did he apologize? Yes. Was he still fired?
Yes. Should he be allowed to return to the air? That’s a question
the market will decide.
“Miss Vaughn’s lawsuit, whatever its merits, will strike many as a
prime example of a sue-crazy culture in which people try to get rich
off victimhood, real or imagined. It will be interesting to see
whether the media question her motivation as closely as they have
questioned Imus and others accused of self promotion at the expense
schedule an interview with MRC President Bozell or an MRC
spokesperson, please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen
O’Boyle (x. 122) at 703.683.5004.
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