Isle of White

For starters, Nobile claims, Imus has called the black players on the Knicks "a bunch a thugs." But what Nobile finds truly reprehensible is the way Imus and his guests casually compare African Americans to apes. On June 18, for example, in talking about the movie Instinct, a regular guest of Imus observed that "the gorilla special effects look like the starting lineup of the Knicks." In a similar vein, Nobile claims, Imus and one of his producers constantly referred to Patrick Ewing this spring as a "knuckle-dragging moron" and "knuckle-dragging dope."

Nobile has been contacting journalist friends of the I-man in hopes that he can find someone willing to take Imus to task. But the writer thinks Imus is protected from criticism by a "white posse of major media players" who crave the publicity they can generate by going on his show. So far, no response from Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Jeff Greenfield, or Frank Rich. He also called George Vecsey, a sports columnist for The New York Times, who Nobile says is "no racist." He hoped that Vecsey might take umbrage at Nobile's claim that this March, Imus called Times sportswriter William Rhoden a "quota hire." Vecsey, who has been a guest on the Imus show, left Nobile a semi-apologetic phone message.

Then last week, David Remnick published a piece in The New Yorker criticizing sports writers who made the mistake of judging Knicks players on their "character," early in the season when the team was losing. (In sports, he implied, character is not relevant to performance, and it even may have become a code word for race.) Sensing an opening, Nobile sent The New Yorker a letter, praising Remnick's piece and detailing Imus's allegedly racist comments.

Remnick declined to comment, which Nobile called a "scandal," adding, "Ralph Ellison weeps."

Locker Up

Everywhere you turn in New York, some sassy gal is publishing a book about single women and their sex lives. The worst of them blithely put their own sex lives on display. But there's at least one twentysomething in the big city who makes a living writing about sex, without disclosing a word about her sex life! That's Sari Locker, professional sex educator and the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex, published in May by Macmillan.

This how-to book won't teach Candace Bushnell any new tricks, but it's done wonders for Locker's profile. One of the first stops on her publicity tour was the Leeza show, on which Locker appeared with William Shatner.

"When I first met him in the wings, he shook my hand and acted fairly aloof," recalls Locker. But then during the show, when Leeza took out Locker's book, "He grabbed the book away from her and they started wrestling over it. During the commercial break, he turned right around and started talking to me and he wanted to know all sorts of things about my sex life."

But Locker is not that kind of girl. She sets boundaries, and she's not interested in getting intimate with guys who she meets when she's giving a lecture, or doing a book-signing, or appearing on a TV show. "I was trained that you don't get involved with your students or, in therapy, with your clients," she sniffs.

That doesn't stop men from hitting on her at professional gigs, and as a result, Locker has come up with what she calls the Four Categories of Men. "A quarter of the men I meet think I'm going to be some wild, passionate, kinky lover. A quarter of the men I meet have some kind of sexual problems. A quarter of the men I meet are very intimidated, not just because I write books and I'm on TV, but also because being financially successful is very intimidating. The rest are the ones who want to know me for me. They're neither threatened, nor intimidated, nor titillated."

Asked why she doesn't write about her own sex life, Locker says, "Someday I will write the story about how being in this field since I was 18 has affected my sexuality and my dating life. But I think 29 is too young to be writing an autobiography." She is currently dating an artist she met at some other guy's book party.

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