Washington, D.C., February 13, 2004 - The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) today accepted a public apology made by radio show host Don Imus of the "Imus in the Morning" program, simulcasted on MSNBC and WFAN-AM. Mr. Imus apologized to the Iranian American community for the offensive remarks he made regarding the crash of an Iranian Kish Airliner in the UAE on February 10th. In response to news of the air crash on the "Imus in the Morning" show that aired on February 10th, Imus remarked, "When I hear stories like that, I think who cares." Later, when another commentator pointed out the inappropriate nature of the remark, Imus defended himself by repeating the phrase "who cares" and "that's how I felt."
On today's show, Imus read on air NIAC's letter to MSNBC and WFAN and then went on to apologize for his earlier statements. "Probably not something to kid around about... What I said wasn't good...So I'm Sorry. I apologize to the Iranian people who were offended. I really didn't mean that. I was fooling around, I was probably stupid. I'm sorry if I made you feel bad... I seldom apologize to anybody about anything. But I am sorry if I made these people feel upset."
NIAC was contacted by numerous individuals and groups outraged by Mr. Imus's remarks regarding an event that has left hundreds of relatives mourning the loss of their loved ones--including a family of four--in Iran, India, Egypt, the Philippines, Algeria, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Nepal, Nigeria, Sudan, and Syria.
The National Iranian American Council yesterday demanded a public apology from Mr. Imus to the Iranian-American community, the families of victims', and millions of listeners. In less than 24 hours, 1400 letters were sent from members of the Iranian-American community through NIAC's website to executives of MSNBC and WFAN protesting Mr. Imus's remarks.
NIAC Executive Director Dokhi Fassihian stated, "We are satisfied with Mr. Imus's apology and the fact that he realized the importance of expressing regret for his insensitive remarks."
The National Iranian American Council called WFAN studios to accept Mr. Imus's apology. NIAC expects this event to lead to an increased understanding between media outlets and the Iranian American community.
The National Iranian American Council is a Washington, DC-based non-profit educational organization promoting Iranian-American participation in American civic and political life. For more information, please visit www.niacouncil.org, email NIAC at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a fax to 202-518-6187. NIAC is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization. All donations to NIAC are tax-deductible.
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