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Imus returns to air with black cast members

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Don Imus’ critics assailed him for a racially charged on-air remark that got him fired. On his return to the airwaves, he brought with him some young black cast members.

It remained to be seen whether his newly diversified lineup and his pledge to foster a dialogue on race relations would quiet his critics and soften any future blows dealt in a show that Imus himself said is built in part on making fun of others.

"I can only wait and see if his deeds will follow up his words," said the Rev. Al Sharpton, one of the strongest voices calling for Imus’ firing after the shock jock called the Rutgers University women’s basketball team "nappy-headed hos."

"The fact that he now has a black sidekick and that he’s on delay clearly may speak of some of the measures that his new employers have put in to make sure that there’s not a repeat offense," Sharpton said.

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"I will never say anything in my lifetime that will make any of these young women at Rutgers regret or feel foolish that they accepted my apology and forgave me," he said.

Even after all the uproar, it appeared Imus could still draw high-profile guests. Monday’s lineup included noted presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and presidential hopefuls Chris Dodd and John McCain.

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