When Imus Stopped Giving Interviews (the First Time)

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Imus in his WNBC studio, October 1972. Photo: Time & Life Photos/Getty Images

Leafing through some seventies issues of the magazine earlier today, searching for David Halberstam's contributions to New York, we happened across the most curious thing. It was the October 30, 1972, issue, and Halberstam's piece was on the ascent of Spiro Agnew. (No, we couldn't make it all the way through.) But on page 62 we found this: "Why I Won't Talk to Journalists Any More." It was a media column by Don Imus. "I want to say right up front that I am a star," he begins.

I am in fact a very big star. The hottest thing to hit radio in 50 years. I have been in New York less than a year, and when you are not in New York City the national press ignores you. I was a big star last year in Cleveland, but the New York press was not bright enough to realize what I was going to mean to them. Now everybody in the country wants to write about me. …


Because they all know I am a star, every lame, alcohol-dazed, drug-crazed, parasitic creep with a felt-tipped pen and a Norelco cassette wants to get in on the act. In their depressing attempts to become heavyweight journalists, they all want to write about what Imus in the Morning is really like. Their idea of sensitive, in-depth writing is to call me arrogant, callous, irreverent, tasteless, shallow, and vicious. They call me a disk jockey. What they really want is to get close to my groupies.


I have tolerated them until now. I could have misused by power by drowning them over WNBC's 50,000 watts. No. But I have granted my last interview. And now, in their own medium, I shall tell you what these hack journalists themselves are like.

It gets meaner — and, to be honest, kind of funny, too. Take a look.

Why I Won't Talk to Journalists Any More [NYM, 10/30/1972]
Earlier: Daily Intel's coverage of Don Imus