Friday, March 25, 2005

Imus Ranch flap

The I-Man took it on the chin yesterday, when the Wall Street Journal ran a story about how he and his family were using the Imus Ranch as a vacation getaway. Imus spend most of his TV and radio show defending himself. He pointed out that he did spend Christmas and Thanksgiving at the ranch every year, but it was far from a vacation. Imus points out that he and his wife Deirdre run the ranch, and take no salary.
Imus calls claims that he uses the ranch as a vacation home "absurd." He says he and his wife manage the ranch as volunteers, working the entire time they're there. "I'm not getting anything out of this other than having fun helping the children," he says.

He points out he reimburses the ranch for every expense, and he raises all the money it takes to run the ranch.
"Does it cost too much per kid? Maybe it does," Imus says, adding that "I would spend $2.6 million or $1.8 million per child if I thought it could change their lives."

The flap started when New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office began a routine inquiry into the operation of the ranch.

The New York Times reports:
A spokesman for the attorney general's office said that two developments had triggered the examination: the charity had requested an extension to file tax data, which typically prompts an inquiry, and the office received an anonymous letter saying it ought to check into Mr. Imus's use of the ranch.

The notification that the attorney general office's had ended its inquiry came after a morning in which Mr. Imus spent much of his show criticizing the article.

Mr. Imus called the article "a vicious hatchet job" and added, "Anyone who had been to my office in New York knows that there is not a day that goes by that I'm not on the phone with the ranch."

Related Stories:
New York Times: Radio Host Criticizes Report on Charity
Newsday: Imus on the defensive

Also see Google News Coverage


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