Don Imus Berates Contessa Brewer


DON Imus didn’t like being called “a cantankerous old fool” by MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer on PAGE SIX. Brewer, a former news reader on Imus’ show, also said the I-man doesn’t know how to relate to “beautiful women.” “With that fat ass she’s got, she wouldn’t be one of ’em,” Imus said on the air Friday. “That skank has to spend three hours with makeup in the morning … Who’s she kidding? . . . Plus, she’s dumber than dirt … Oh, my God, what a pig. But I was willing to cut her some slack and not say anything, you know, until – in fact, I didn’t say anything . . . That’s why they have those big double-doors there at MSNBC, you know, so they can get her fat ass in makeup.” An MSNBC spokesman said: “Contessa Brewer is a valued and respected employee. While Don Imus’ humor is often brilliant and provocative, we believe that this morning’s comments about Contessa went over the line. We have expressed our displeasure to Don.”

Most of the characters on Imus’ program are rather annoying, not the least of whom is Mr. Imus himself. The photographic evidence, however, would seem to indicate that Ms. Brewer in not, in fact, a fat skank.

Photo: MSNBC's Contessa Brewer Photo: MSNBC's Contessa Brewer

Update: For comparison purposes, Don Imus:

Photo: WFAN - MSNBC Talk Jock Don Imus Photo: WFAN - MSNBC Talk Jock Don Imus

I report. You decide.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. wavemaker says:

    That match-up had disaster all over it from the get-go.

    She came off as a humorless prig, and hardly a good fit for a bunch of guys whose schtick involves a considerable amount of locker room talk.


    Imus is past his prime. His ratings are dropping.
    I think the reason he got so upset was the comment about not knowing how to act around a beautiful woman. He thought this was an insult to his wife. She is also past her prime.

  3. Chris says:

    I enjoy Contessa’s news reporting, and definitely do not agree with Don Imus’ unmitigated inane rudeness toward her! It does not surprise me that she would not wish to continue to be a part of the Imus program — I admire her moxy in getting out while gettin good and not putting up with his abuse! MSNBC has a duty to provide a sexually harassment free work environment and their failure to do so/take corrective action is illegal not to mention immoral and just plain improper!

  4. Is it not said that it is best to reamin silent and be thought an old fool, than to open one’s mouth and confirm the fact?

  5. Darla Davenport says:

    I watch Imus every morning on MSNBC. For the same reasons that most people can’t resist looking at bad car accidents….

    The powers that be at MSNBC (idiots…) apparently thought it would be a good idea to add a “news bunny” to Imus’ program. When Amy Robach showed up I thought she must have lost a bet or something. She must have put her foot down and refused to participate in the career killer any longer. They then throw Brewer to the wolves…

    What’s wrong with her calling him a “cantankerous old fool”? He freely admits it himself. What his cronies at the show call him is much worse. But, ooohhh ooohhh, let Brewer say something and he lets rip with the fat and ugly comments, neither of which Brewer is, by the way…What a bunch of no-class, misogynistic creeps…Brewer was subjected to relentless and constant sexual harrassment. If this had happened in a private corporation, Imus would be in the unemployment line!

    Imus blames his plummeting ratings on Brewer. Yeah, right, Don…I’m sure your falling numbers have nothing to to with the fact that you’ve been droning on, ad nauseum, for months, about mercury in vaccines…

    Imus insists that he can insult anyone he wants any time he wants. Go ahead Imus. I’m sure you’re immune to cancellation. Heh, heh, heh…

  6. Craig Betteridge says:

    This was a match made in hell. I couldn’t wait for the axe to fall. On top of it, Contessa played into Imus’ stichk and the rest is history.

    I think Imus would just as soon leave MSNBC. That would be a shame. As a California viewer it perfectly matches my weird hours.


  7. James Joyner says:

    Everyone should remember that Imus does not work for MSNBC. He’s got a huge nationally sydicated radio show that just happens to be simulcast on MSNBC. His radio audience dwarfs his TV audience.

  8. LongShadow says:

    Cuntessa would have been better suited to be the Weather Lady for Joe Scarborough. Now there’s a match. Instead she had to try to read the news in a somewhat dynamic environment. Imus was going to be professional about it until ‘Dumb as boiled gravel’ Miss B opened her mouth. If she would have had 2 active grey cells working for her, she would have known that when she opened her mouth she would be playing into Imus’ hand. She needs to go back to Phoenix and pound sand.

  9. banjo jones says:

    Is it the Vicodin talkin’?

  10. Iceman1955 says:

    There is nothing more boring than televising a radio show. Adding Contessa may have been MSNBC’s way of getting ratings. I think that Contessa Brewer and Amy Robach are owed an on-air apology from Imus and Senior management at MSNBC.

  11. Bill Dawson says:

    This is a really unfortunate circumstance.
    Contessa Brewer is a beautiful young lady with a
    lot of class. I think she is great as a newsanchor.
    I also like the Imus crew and the brand of humor they deliver so well.
    The placement of Contessa in the newsreader spot was a poor decision on someones part.
    I think Contessa probably made some comments she thought were off the record about her frustrations with the match-up.
    The Imus schtick to make federal cases out of
    questionable misdemeanors usually delivers some
    humorous bits. I think it missed the mark this time.
    It is very unfortunate, in my view, that
    Contessa’s comments were reported in the news.
    She is like everyone else; she needs to vent a little with friends about tough days at work.
    Instead someone sold her up the river to get a
    “story” at her expense.

  12. Sam says:

    Contessa’s a hottie, but she knew the gig when she took it. MILLIONS more people listen to IMUS each week than watch MSNBC. That’s a simple fact. If she didn’t like the gig, she would have been better served to either give the guys more crap on-air (which they’d have loved) or kept her mouth shut. People will still be listening to Imus years after they’ve already begun to ask? “Contessa Brewer? Isn’t she a stripper at Scores?”

  13. Jimbo says:

    Guys –

    Contessa would frequently re-read a news story that Charles McCord JUST read a second before her when she was on Imus. She knew the gig when she took it – and she had no clue what she was doing. Imus never mentioned why she wasn’t there anymore until she popped up on Page Six! She should have left it alone …

  14. Darla Davenport says:

    Many of you seem to be operating under the assumption that the folks at MSNBC have a choice about where they go and who they do the news with…

    I don’t think it works that way. Much like any other jobs, they go where they’re told to go…No womam in her right mind would willingly jump into that fray at the Imus Show…

  15. Keith says:

    This whole thing started when they decided to move Imus to the New Jersey studio a few months ago. They used to do the show in the WFAN studio, and just have a couple cameras hanging on the wall. Somewhere, some MSNBC suit (likely a poor one), thought it would be a good idea to do it in MSNBC’s studio in NJ. Bad move all around if you ask me.

    “Watching” a radio show makes for some pretty bad TV usually. I figure they wanted to try to make Imus more of an “MSNBC show” than a WFAN show on MSNBC. That’s why they tried to include some of their on-air talent. Contessa was probably told to do the show, but I don’t think she was fit for it. She’s used to reading a telestrator once every half hour, not participating in locker room talk radio.

  16. Barbara says:

    Contessa obviously didn’t “get” Imus. I’ll concede MSNBC should never have experimented with pairing a bunny with Charles — the women all seemed to have had a terrible time reading without a teleprompter. Imus was right about Contessa’s flat reading tone.

    Nonetheless, he kept his mouth shut about her absence, even when directly questioned (by Trump). It was she who showed less restraint than Imus (!) and he was justified in taking off the gloves.

  17. Cenno says:

    Does Imus assme he owns the franchise on expressing opinions? Brewer was entitled to declare him to be an obnoxious jerk. Fact is, Imus rode Brewer like a rented mule while she was on his show. Brewer proves Imus is thin-skinned, and that he collapses when get gets a taste of his own medicine. Since moving to that grotesque MSNBC studio,Imus’ cranky humor has become too mean-spirited, stale and repititous. He was funnier when locked in his drab WFAN basement digs.

  18. Kim says:

    Has Imus looked in a mirror lately?

  19. Thomas F. says:

    Has anyone here looked at the ratings for that one lung bastard, loosing 25% of his audience, and droping fast out of the top 20 soon, I don’t think that the crypt keeper has much more time in NY…. and don’t worry Deirdre that withered old husk of a looser will be dead soon and you can marry a real man like Micheal Moore……

  20. Cinaet says:

    Explosive vicious borderline insane verbal cruelty. Again. Imus comes off as nothing more than a thuggish brute, a playground bully. No class whatsoever. Five guys, one host and four inveterate butt kissers, ganging up on the air to endlessly abuse one young woman who made a couple of private comments in an unguarded moment to the wrong person. MSNBC needs to figure out something better to do with their morning programming.

  21. 52Ranger says:

    I don’t see what Imus got all bent about…I was listening to him back in high school (this was around 1975) when he was a cantankerous YOUNG fool. Back then he knew how to deliver a joke and take one standing up. And somewhere in my hazy memory, I think the younger version might have handled a situation with one of Brewer’s antecedants (Complete with the Farrah flip they were wearing at the time) a lot better… Although Roseanne Scamardella (WABC Anchorwoman in that era) might have spent more than a little time in his crosshairs, I think “fat skank” wouldn’t have even come up as a back-up line.

  22. Fred says:

    The best thing that could happen to Imus would be for his show to be cancelled by PMSNBC.
    I’m sure his radio show would regain the zest and edge before it was simulcast.

  23. binger223 says:

    Not to mention the delusional ex-druggie has a permit to carry a handgun in NYC. And he wears it in the studio. How in the world he got that permit in the most anti-handgun city in America is a mystery.

  24. LargeBill says:

    He stopped being funny over a decade ago. Like many before him he succumbed to his own ego.

  25. Martin says:

    Where do all of these assertions come from?

    Now I listen to Imus everyday and have followed Ms. Brewer’s saga. Imus went over the line the other day berating the girl, I was uncomfortable listening to it, but he is justified in reading her out.

    Ms. Brewer asked to be on the program after Amy Robach bailed out when she realized she was way out of place with that crowd. Ms. Brewer was obviously more stuck on her ego than her common sense when she asked to replace Amy.

    Ms. Brewer stunk, she just did. She didn’t fit in and Imus was making an accomodation to MSNBC by having a news bunny join the group in the first place. So he fired her and then, uncharacteristically, kept quiet about it, even when asked by Donald Trump where she was.

    So for her to then shoot off her mouth was unfair to Imus given the breaks he had given her. She just doesn’t get it, just as she didn’t get what it would take to be a regular on that show.

    She may make a good news reader, but for all the critism of Imus, they discuss news on that program and she couldn’t elaborate on anything she was reporting. She’s a pretty news reader, not a journalist.

    Which is fine, but not among people who know what’s actually happening in the world, even though they sound like its just a juvenile bull session. That’s why I like it.

  26. Dan says:

    I’ve never seen the TV broadcast and catch an hour of radio on the AM commute. Sometimes Imus is hilarious, sometimes not – but the music is always 1st rate. Curtis and Kuby – now there’s a couple fellows who should be off the air – boring.

    From the snippets I’ve heard on this flap, it seems the standard nonsense. They all make too much money for me to lose sleep over any of it – I just enjoy the ride and put on a CD if I want. Big deal – it’s entertainment. If Imus wasn’t such a confused gun-toting lib, I’d probably listen even more. His Kerry kissing bothered me more than this.

  27. barry says:

    Imus is a fossilized no-talent asshat. Someone once said ‘there’s nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster’ and they must have had Imus in mind.

    That MSNBC stoops to televise a radio show means they have a severe content deficit.

    Contessa Brewer is hot. Imus is off his meds.

  28. Jack Tanner says:

    I’m with Barry – he’s a mumbling idiot.

  29. Cenno says:

    Bravo to Brewer for refusing to be intimidated by Imus. Imus, in his Rhinestone Cowboy duds, looks like a fugitive from a gay dude ranch. The nasty old queen is surrounded by his three sycophants currying his favor. They see scared to death of him. Imus jumped the shark after Kerry’s train failed to make the demanded midnight whistlestop at the Ranch. Don’s been sucking lemons ever since. And, my god, hasn’t he pounded this mercury poisoning thing into the ground? And hearing about Wyatt’s chess, piano, etc. accomplishments has exceeded even Kathy Lee and Cody. Imus definitely needs to add more fibre to his diet, and drink less caffene.

  30. Leslie Bell says:

    Look, love him or hate him, there’s only one I-Man. Newsbunnies, on the other hand, are a dime a dozen. ‘Nuff said.

  31. Jim Wiggin says:

    Forget the fat, ugly comments. What must have had MSNBC’s lawyers and management really concerned was Imus’s suggestion that Ms. Brewer’s success had something to do with her handling of a frankfurter at the job interview. Maybe I misheard him?

  32. Howard S says:

    Huuu…Huuu…Huuu, Ainus has ripped me off once again. No body called chicks skanks or pigs before me! I’ve done it all. Everyone else are just imitators.

  33. Max says:

    We all know that Imus’s forte is to make comments and call people names to create controversy. Many times he takes it way past being amusing or even being controversial and goes straight to the point of being ridiculus. This obviously is a case in point. Contessa Brewer, as any eye of any beholder can see, is a very attractive young lady. Not to mention, well educated and experienced. NBC executives should never have placed her in a position to have to face this kind of nonsense. Were I Contessa I would be looking for some consideration for the network morning show which does seem to need some pumping up. Not necessarily to replace Katie but as a pleasant addition.

  34. DAMILLER06472 says:


  35. bob umo says:

    If Contessa Brewer is gonna publicly call Imus a “cantankerous old fool”…she should be able to take the heat of being call a fat ass.

  36. asics says:

    Bernard is a first class loser. He started all of this and his stupid and offensive comments made both Amy and Contessa very uncomfortable.

    Contessa put up with a LOT of crap, in good humor i might add, until that bald headed weasel started with his routine. He is a jerk. And it got worse when Imus started piling on. He is another stooge for doing this too.

    This arrangement did not work.

    I like Imus but dislike him at the same time, if that is possible. When he is in a good mood, he is all right. When he is crabby, i can hardly stand him. I like the sports guy, and charles–but cannot stand bernie and lou.

  37. B Foran says:

    Imus, Bernard and Charles are pitiful old men who acted like school boys when they were around Contessa. They didn’t know what to do with themselves, so rather than look like the nerds they are, they decided to try and make her look stupid. They failed miserably by acting like thirteen year olds who didn’t want the girl on to know that they really like her. What imbeciles.

    If I was Charles’ wife I would have met him at the door with a frying pan on the day when he had the Contessa doll straddling the mike. I was disappointed in him. I know he is an Imus ass kisser but I thought at least he had respect for women. Instead he proved himself to be as emotionally immature as his gun totin’ boss who, by the way, always looks like he dressed in a dark closet.

  38. B Foran says:

    Imus, Bernard and Charles are pitiful old men who acted like school boys when they were around Contessa. They didn’t know what to do with themselves, so rather than look like the nerds they are, they decided to try and make her look stupid. They failed miserably by acting like thirteen year olds who didn’t want the girl on to know that they really like her. What imbeciles.

    If I was Charles’ wife I would have met him at the door with a frying pan on the day when he had the Contessa doll straddling the mike. I was disappointed in him. I know he is an Imus ass kisser but I thought at least he had respect for women. Instead he proved himself to be as emotionally immature as his gun totin’ boss who, by the way, always looks like he dressed in a dark closet.

  39. brassgirl says:

    Contessa Brewer stunk…plain and simple. I don’t know if she was fired or quit but either way, it was the right move to get her out of there. I am ashamed that she sunk to playing the chick card about beauty because it shows that, to her, form counts over substance. And it is a lame excuse, like the racists that play the color card. Pretty girls that can read are a dime a dozen. I hope she doesn’t think of herself as a journalist, she doesn’t have the credentials yet.

  40. JHOOD670 says:

    I thought that the mix was bad. Brewer had no sense of humor and Imus’ crew couldn’t cope with her. She never laughed and never seemed like she was having a good time on the show. You have to be a tolerant person to work on that show and she clearly wasn’t. I like watching Imus on MSNBC, but I found the show more interesting when David Gregory was hosting it. Did somebody say Wally Pipp?

  41. c vance says:

    I have been an Imus fan for a long time, but he is beginning to be pretty tedious. When he is doing political interviews, he is the best in the business. But to surround himself with the likes of Bernard and Sid is tiring. Sid is particularly infuriating by calling almost every woman who appears on that show a “bitch”. The last one I believe was Nancy Grace. I say Sid’s lack of intelligence is showing. He must have left it in rehab.

  42. Wh Berger says:

    I used to watch IMUS regularly. His disrespect exceeded his usual boundaries with Contessa Brewer. I find it hard to watch him now.

  43. brainiac says:

    its amazing all the men losers coming to poor contessa’s defense. i never realized how lame average men could be.

    seriously, i can think of some women who would be willing to join imus’s program….. there called people that appreciatte their job.
    of course contessa would only play only so very very little, showing no deferrence to the real attraction (and boss), DON IMUS!

    oh no, dont mention contessa’s sweater….. her grandma (grammy) is listening. the nerve of that retard to try to change the show…. at least she could have just shut up instead of arguing.

    keep coming to her rescue, pathetic ones… maybe youll impress her and she’ll date you.

    oh, and this story revolves around the imus program, if you dont like it dont watch you secret imus addicted panzies afraid to admit you can’t get enough. morons. lol.

  44. asdf says:

    i get a laugh just reading of ppl complaing the laughing sid called nancy grace a “bitch”.

    to me thats just hilarious, but maybe its because i have a sense of humor, and many of these commenters dont.

    sure its inappropriatte, but its not delivered in hate, and i find it funny. if you wanna bitch about that, then eat S and die. i need this S! and your brand of entertainment can EAT S!


  45. follow-uper says:

    speaking of course language, and the tone its delivered in:

    don usually says outrageous things in the spirit of fun. don jokingly told contessa to pick up the energy, etc…

    the spirit of contessa’s comments on page six were not upfront with don, were not in the spirit of fun, and were ugly in spirit.

    F the bitch.

  46. Cinaet says:

    Notice how rude many of the Imus supporters are in this thread? I guess his loyal audience is comprised primarily of people who are mentally and emotionally limited to name-calling and personal abuse/attack when they express their disagreement with the Contessa crowd. Gee, what a surprise that is.

    Hatred spawns hatred, and hatred is what Imus and his sycophant crew thrive on.

  47. Mr. Cranky says:

    I’ve been an Imus listener for many years, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to put up with the gratuitous racism, sexism and inappropriate language, all utilized for their shock value but with no redeeming purpose. Imus is at its best when he is interviewing journalists and media figures such as Tim Russert, Bob Schieffer and David Gregory, and politicians like John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Harold Ford.

    Unfortunately, too much of the show now seems to be devoted to Sid’s ignorant, valueless banter, or Bernie’s juvenile racist and sexist commentary.

    Maybe Contessa shouldn’t have said anything, but her comments about Imus were made in a private seting (or so she thought), unlike Imus’ asinine comments about her which were broadcast to the world. She did absolutely nothing to deserve the miserable treatment that she got from Imus. And as for the person who thinks it’s hilarious when Sid refers to Nancy Grace and other women as “bitches”, you really need to get a life.

  48. DBT says:

    I am new to Imus and generally find him amusing. I liked Contessa as well, and generally feel, it is too bad things went south. But it is true that Imus continuously baited her- interrupting when she was reading the news, making inappropriate comments about her and so forth. I sometimes wondered if his ego was threatened by her presence. He and his crew definitely acted like adolescent wiseguys around her. Bravado masking inadequacy. And it is too bad as well because there are very few really stunning women on television in any capacity, including actresses. I don’t know that Contessa Brewer is a clock stopper, nor I am sure that she has that je ne sais quoi quality either. But I never needed a second cup of coffee to wake up when I got to look at her.

  49. cranky also says:

    I thought Contessa dealt better with the abuse than any of the others. Imus could not take it.
    Her news reading needed work, though. I’m sure it was a new situation for her, and who could read with all of the incoming…?

  50. cutty says:

    I am sure that I am not the only one who used to enjoy Imus but now think that he and the juveniles that are regulars on his show are getting a bit lame. mc gurk is a jerk and and Charles is a bigger suck up than Johnny Carson’s stooge used to be. Thank God I’ve forgotten his name already. What are Imus’s stooges going to do for a job when his list of make believe illnesses finally catch up with him.

  51. umo says:

    When Contessa referred to herself as a beautiful women…it was proof positive she is an idiot. She deserved the asskicking dished out by Imus.

  52. Maude Franks says:

    In this day and age no woman should have to put up with what Contessa did on the Imus morning show. Basically I’ve stopped watching the show because of this incident.

  53. R. Bruce Erwin says:

    Imus in the morning is an old boys club. I watch it on a regular basis rather than run down to the corner store and listen to all the neighbor men try to out bullshit one another.

    Imus is irreverant and truly funny unless you’re a prude.

    MSNBC must’ve made a committee decision to try and introduce a female co-news anchor to the Imus show, nonetheless two raving beauties such as Contessa and Amy. If that was the decision, then MSNBC powers should have found a fat-assed, hussy skank that would have taken no guff off of Imus’ boys and tossed them on their collective ears.

    Few things shock me, but seeing the Imus crew rough up two apparently classy women like Amy and Contessa did make me uncomfortable. Those actions were uncalled for and undeserving.

    The whole of the Imus crew should issue a written apology to these women and then return to their act of battering one another.

  54. Vladimir Phukov says:

    Me like Contessa. Me get excited when Contessa on TV. She make Vladimir very happy.