Before there was Morning Joe, MSNBC used to begin its mornings with simulcast of the Imus in the Morning radio program. In April 2007, Imus called the Rutgers Women's Basketball Team "nappy-headed hos." Almost immediately there were calls for Imus' head, the most vocal of which was Al Sharpton. A few days after the racist comment, Imus appeared on Al Sharpton's radio to address the controversy. Imus apologized (for the second time). Later Sharpton was interviewed by CBS News' Richard Schlesinger and said it didn't matter that Imus apologized; he should be fired anyway:
When he himself admits that what he said was repugnant, when he himself says there's no excuse for it he wasn't thinking, than what is there for the owners of the stations and FCC to do but then say therefore the punishment must be this. He's not debating any of the claims I made. He's debating that I'm a nice guy despite doing all of this.
When Schlesinger ask if Sharpton thought Imus was a racist, the future MSNBC host said it didn't matter:
I don't think it matters. I think what he said was racist and sexist and he admitted that. And I think that, that's like saying; do I think if a guy commits a crime he was really a criminal? If he did the crime he goes to jail whether he's a career criminal or not. That's not the point.
Later he says:
Advertisers should not sell their products to our communality and subsidize our children being called nappy hos.
Thanks partially to Sharpton's efforts General Motors (Imus's biggest advertiser), Staples Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Sprint Nextel, PetMeds, American Express and Procter & Gamble all pulled their advertising from Imus in the Morning.
The Imus firing was almost seven years ago. Seven days ago, Martin Bashir, working at the same network that fired Imus at Sharpton's urging, made reprehensible comments about Sarah Palin. Three days later Bashir apologized.
Al Sharpton hasn't said Bashir should be fired even though he apologized. He hasn't said that women should stop buying product from advertisers. Like the TV network he works for, the Bashir incident shows Al Sharpton to be a hypocrite.