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Friday, February 02, 2007

Radio Don Unleashed On Big Bill; Imus Rips Guv And His Prez Staff; Tells Him: "Besa Mi Culo!" Now It's Getting Fun 

Don Imus
A "fat bastard" with an "idiotic" staff? Say what? There were a lot of double takes across our Enchanted Land as word spread of the tongue lashing administered to Big Bill Richardson by Don Imus on his national radio and MSNBC TV shows Thursday morning. Imus came uncorked when, according to Imus, the Guv canceled an appearance on his show and asked Imus to apologize for previous comments he had made. It was all downhill from there as Richardson, his staff and nascent candidacy were all scorched shock-jock style:

"That moron...Bill Richardson...That idiotic, yuppie, not ready for prime time staff of his..He was going to come on today. He wanted me to apologize...Me apologize? You get that fat bastard on here and let him apologize. If Bill Richardson is going to run for President he is going to to have to get rid of the staff he has...I actually got a phone message from his idiot communications director. This moron calls me and wants me to call him back. Me, call him back to discuss this issue! You're not talking to some nitwit at some radio station in Farmington, you idiot!

"The fat sissy canceled. Get another staff, Bill, if you are going to run for president...They jerked around and the fat Governor wants me to apologize? These folks are not ready to play...This is New York; this is the big stage. This is not Santa Fe...Get serious..."

And in a final assault, the radio host and his crew accosted the Guv in Spanish: "How about if I whip your fat ass, Richardson? Besa mi culo!" (Kiss my ass.)

You can listen to Imus's comments here. And you can see the video here. These are partial excerpts of the Imus rant.

INSIDE IMUS
Big Bill
A Richardson sympathizer, while acknowledging that demanding an apology from Imus was a misstep, rose to the defense of the Guv who he said was maliciously maligned by the microphone master.

"Imus is an old booze hound trying to stoke his ratings again. He does it at the expense of the dignity of others. In the big picture, he is not much of a factor, but no one wants to tell him," rebutted the Guv backer.

Maybe, but Imus, who lost the sauce and the coke years ago, is avidly listened to by the D.C. power brokers as well as a healthy dose of liberals who will be voting in the Dem prez primaries. Industry reports say his overall listenership has taken some hits of late, but he still reaches millions. Sounds like a factor to us.

The Imus radio program has only one affiliate in NM--610 AM in Albuquerque. Unlike most syndicated radio programs, stations must put up a hefty penny to access Imus which limits the number of affiliates but keeps profits healthy. The 66 year old Imus, who has grown more crusty and irritable with age, has beaten the odds by staying on the air in a media world geared toward the 25-54 demographic. He is amply rewarded with industry articles pegging his take-down at over $7 million a year.

The Imus diatribe came after weeks of adoring press notices for Big Bill in New Mexico and served as a rude reminder that the national stage, as Imus said, is a much different arena. Still, repeatedly calling the Guv "fat" seemed juvenile. Hasn't Don noticed the new and diet-improved version of our White House Hopeful?

BEHIND THE BLAST

Imus is known for roasting politicos and then kissing and making up with them. (NM GOP Senator Pete Domenici has been a frequent guest as has Big Bill.) Imus's ire has been sparked by his efforts to get a community center built in Ribera NM where he and his wife run a ranch for children afflicted with cancer and other serious diseases. Imus claims Richardson has "jerked around" on the matter. Comments like that had the Guv's staff asking for an apology before he would again appear on the broadcasts.

(The Imus ranch had some controversy of its own not long ago).

The Imus baptism by fire may actually do the Guv and his staff some good, reminding them that thin skin gets roasted quickly in the national theatre; that you are dealing with people who are not intimidated by any politician and who can send you back to Pasadena before you know what hits you. The Governor knows all this having dealt with Imus for years, but his ego, as it does all of us at one time or another, may have gotten the best of him. If nothing else, the tirade could have Big Bill brushing up on his renowned negotiating skills as he works to bring the grumpy media personality back into the fold. Look for a Richardson initiated make-up session soon.

GOVERNOR KING IN HOSPITAL

Former NM Governor Bruce King fell victim to the recent icy weather, injuring himself at his ranch. The AP reports:

Former Gov. Bruce King had surgery to have a pin put in after breaking his hip in a fall at his Stanley ranch, his son, Bill King, said Thursday. "He slipped on the ice and fell," Bill King said. "He was out feeding the cats and it was kind of icy yesterday."

Bruce King, 82, was admitted to Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque on Wednesday. He was listed in good condition Thursday. "I think he's doing fine," his son said. "I talked to him this morning on the phone. He sounded good."

"He's tough," Bill King added.

Keep me posted. Send your news and comments via the email at the top of the page. I'm Joe Monahan, blogging and reporting for you from Albuquerque.

(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2007
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