Blacks, Whites Divided Over Imus Coverage

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There is some irony in the news that opinions of the coverage of the story of Don Imus' racially divisive remarks appear to divide the audience along color lines, though perhaps instead it reinforces the need for dialog on race that many in the media were calling for in the wake of the incident.

According to the latest Pew weekly News Interest Index, 35% of whites surveyed believe firing Imus over the remarks--calling members of the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed ho's"--was too tough a punishment, while the figure was only 18% for blacks.

The racial divide was even bigger when it came to coverage. According to Pew, 62% of whites thought the story was overcovered, while only 21% of African Americans did.

While Imus appeared to dominate the airwaves, and it was the second-most covered news story of the year by percentage of the weekly news hole (26%), more respondents said they were "closely following" the situation in Iraq (26%) than Imus (20%).

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