Ex-Imus Producer Calls Sharpton ‘Race-Baiter’ In TV Debate

AP, May 11, 2007

In a debate televised Friday night, Don Imus’ former producer called the Rev. Al Sharpton a race-baiter who was looking for attention when he led a campaign to fire the radio host. Sharpton said Imus and his producer got what they deserved for making a racist, sexist remark on the air.

Bernard McGuirk and Sharpton appeared together for a combative debate on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes” show. McGuirk was fired last month for his part in an exchange on the “Imus in the Morning” program in which Imus called the members of the Rutgers University women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos.”

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McGuirk called Sharpton a “crude . . opportunist, a race-baiter” who campaigned against Imus to help his own career and raise his profile.

While McGuirk acknowledged that “these words did hurt these girls,” he added, “until you, Reverend Al, got involved, they probably never would have heard of it. They would have probably never, quote unquote, got scarred for life until you got involved for your own self-serving interests.”

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McGuirk countered that Sharpton “terrorized these spineless, thumb-sucking executives” into taking Imus off the air. In an earlier appearance on “Hannity & Colmes,” he said the executives “were in a fetal position under their desks sucking their thumbs on their BlackBerrys, trying to coordinate their response.”

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