Sen. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, becomes the first high-profile member of his party to speak out against the recent dismissal of radio host Don Imus, saying he was "not sure it was appropriate" to fire racist host.
The senator from Massachusetts was interviewed by Dominic Carter on New York 1, the local all-news cable channel. Kerry was asked about last week's events, when Imus made now-infamous racist comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team.
KERRY: “I think that the…you know the punishment has to fit the crime so to speak. I think a long suspension, or a strong suspension met with his appropriate level, given that the team forgave him. To me it was in the hands of the young women. They made the judgment that they thought he was genuine and they felt they could forgive him. And I think it was appropriate to pay a price on the airwaves but I’m not sure that it was appropriate to say you’re off forever.”
CARTER: “If Mr. Imus has a show in the future would you appear on it?”
KERRY: “It would depend on what the context of the show was obviously. If he goes back to doing the same old same old I’d have trouble doing that, but if it’s a different show and he says it’s going to be different sure.”
Kerry also did not rule out appearing on a future program hosted by Don Imus. Incidentally, Kerry and the now-discredited radio host have a long history—he was a frequent guest on Imus' radio program and last year the senator was advised on-the-air by Imus to “stop talking” after that botched joke about Iraq.
In other John Kerry-related news, the senator has threatened that he may run once again for president ...