Markos Moulitsas posted a short criticism of Chris Dodd for asking for the endorsement of Don Imus, the radio shock jock that set of the national press this spring after calling the Rutger’s women’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos”.
To me, this didn’t mean a whole lot. After all, I have never actually hear a single thing that Imus has said, so I don’t feel fit to judge him as an endorser, and the slur he used, while perhaps indicative of his personality, does not the full man make. Imus is from Dodd’s home state of Connecticut, so they may know each other better than most. Certainly Dodd asking for Imus’s endorsement doesn’t mean an endorsement of all of Imus’s sentiments.
However, while perusing Google News, I came across this story, with a comment from Chris Dodd’s Press Secretary:
Comment from Colleen Flanagan, Chris Dodd for President National Press Secretary – Dec 3, 2007
The Senator has worked with Mr. Imus and his wife Diedre on issues they share a deep commitment to, such as combating autism, and saw today’s appearance as an opportunity to continue to talk about this and other important issues with Mr. Imus’ audience.
For more information on Chris Dodd and his campaign for President, please visit http://www.chrisdodd.com.
This intrigued me because those that talk about “combating autism” are usually those of the non-scientifically backed anti-vaccination variety and a quick Google search for “Imus autism” revealed that she was indeed on the anti-vaccination bandwagon, as can be seen by this interview with Larry King, where she raises the specter of thimerosal:
Vaccinations, and it goes back for years, have contained a preservative called thimerosal, ethyl mercury, which is a known neurotoxin. The government has told us for years, when women are pregnant, now they tell you only eat a serving of fish because of the ethyl mercury, which comes from coal burning that gets into the fat of the fish, and when you eat the fish you absorb the mercury. It’s a known neurotoxin. At my environmental center we identify all these threats.
Since this is an issue specifically mentioned by Dodd’s Press Secretary, I have to take it as a sign that Dodd feels similarly, which is not a good sign, IMO. So, while initially, Dodd didn’t take much of a hit in my view, the excuse he gave actually ended up repelling me from him as a candidate.