Friday, May 25, 2007

If the Mayor's Running, We Need Imus Back

Our Town downtown
May 28, 2007

I wish Imus were still on. He probably will be again. He’s gotta’ be. You can’t get by on Charlie Rose and those other guys. I’ll bet Imus could get more out of Warren Buffett over the phone in 10 minutes than Charlie got in fawning over him for an hour a couple weeks ago. Warren would laugh at/with the I-man which would tell you something about him you wouldn’t get on another show where, if they’re like Charlie, they’d do all the laughing, for some unknown reason. No, actually it’s not unknown; they’re so overly impressed with the guest they have on that they’re giddy/nervous and can’t control themselves. Imus wouldn’t really give a damn about Warren Buffet unless he found out Warren liked his favorite singer Delbert McClinton. Of course that’s not totally true, but at least Imus may have been drunk in Omaha once which is worth something when it comes to talking to Warren Buffett.

Which is why you wish Imus were on now when all sorts of pols are running around trying to look and sound presidential. (In saying all this I don’t excuse Imus for what he said about the Rutgers girls. He’s a genius and such folks make darker mistakes than average bears do.) With Mayor Bloomberg quietly checking out his chances, I’d love to hear what Imus would say about it. Did you notice the Bloomberg ad (for the company, not Mike) during ‘60 Minutes’ last week? That had to be a campaign ad, didn’t it? A campaign ad in the sense that it got his name out there. I think that’s what it was. He’s serious about this idea of being president. If he finds out he’s got no shot, he’ll say he only ever wanted to our mayor, but he’s out for all he can get. A guy with all those homes, wants it all. If he brought out his standard line about being short and Jewish and divorced , Imus would tell him to get some cowboy boots from his good friend out in Santa Fe, He’d tell him to marry that big, good-lookin’ girlfriend of his, and he’d tell him to call the I-man’s friend Kinky Friedman about the Jewish problem. He’d probably get Kinky on the line where Kinky would tell the mayor he could use the line he used in his Texas gubernatorial race: ‘If you elect me the first Jewish governor of the state of Texas, I’ll reduce the speed limit to 54.95.’ It would be funny and Mike would laugh out loud which you don’t see or hear him do much. And it would all be done with Imus wearing his cowboy hat, and not like Charlie Rose wearing a bespoke suit from the same tailor the Mayor might go to.

You wish Don Imus were on today when, as I write this, folks are lining up at the Barnes & Noble on Union Square to hear Al Gore talk about, and read from, his brand new book. I-man doesn’t like (or at least, didn’t like) Al Gore. I’m not sure why and I don’t want to speak for the deposed radio star. But you could probably reach into your own mind and come up with the reasons he didn’t like him. It would be fun to hear Imus go on about it. Someone has to. Gore’s being treated like he’s Brian Wilson being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s not that. Al Gore was never a major talent. He’s hot right now though, and you need someone who’s an insider/outsider like Imus to talk about it. You can laugh about Imus and the hat and all that and dismiss him as a racist cowboy if you want, but do you want to hear Larry King and Chris Matthews and Bill Moyers with Al Gore, more than with Imus? Imus is smarter than all four of them is why you want to hear Imus. And he’s not excited by, impressed by Al Gore. Hell, the I-man was so relaxed, unimpressed, not excited about meeting then-candidate Bill Clinton, he was the one who dubbed him Bubba.

The whole campaign for president will be a great spectator sport. I read where XM radio is going to have 24-hour coverage of it starting pretty soon. But with the mayor of our city maybe going to run, and with Al Gore maybe going to run, and with Hillary Clinton for sure going to run, you want Imus telling you what he sees in them.

Bill Gunlocke

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