There is an article up on CNN Money.com about Don Imus hiring a First Amendment lawyer to launch a possible lawsuit against CBS. All I can say is, it's about time. I am so tired of these corporate pussies who hire people like Imus, with the full knowledge and expectation that they'll be controversial and say shocking things (for ratings and advertising money, of course); and then when they inevitably go too far, the same people who hired them to be raw in the first place scurry like mice and throw out the controversial personality like they're garbage.
I'm no legal expert, but from the looks of this, it sounds like Imus might have a solid case. The contract reportedly has language that encouraged Imus to engage in character attacks. There is also supposedly a stipulation that Imus had to be warned once for making a particularly off-color remark before he could be terminated. I'm not so much upset that Imus got canned for saying what he did; I'm upset at these hypocrites, again, who hire these people, give them lots of money, and tell them to go for the jugular. Than, they do what they're told and just because some extortionists and hucksters like Reverend Al and Jesse Jackson open their fat fucking mouths, they're fired, even if they apologize, as Imus did.
A haggle in Imus's case, according to the article, is that Imus said what he did on the public airwaves, which are regulated by the FCC. I don't think this is an issue. There have been much more offensive things said on radio than the "nappy-headed hos" comment that weren't made a case out of by the FCC.
This is worth quoting verbatim from the article:
"So under this argument, the case could turn on whether Imus' comments - which referred to members of the Rutgers women's basketball team as 'nappy-headed hos' - meets the definition of profanity under FCC guidelines. The FCC, on its Web site, defines profanity as 'including language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance.'"
So, again, I'm not a legal expert, but the obvious question is, what is meant by "grossly offensive?" What is that? What has to be said in order for something to be considered a "nuisance?" Can you get any more vague? Besides, the argument shouldn't be so much whether what Imus said was offensive, as it clearly was, but whether it was offensive enough to cost him his job. It wasn't like Imus did a Michael Richards and started spewing "N" bombs. He said something that pissed off a few people. So what? That's the nature of his show, I don't understand why everyone was so surprised. He was doing it for years. The only thing that happened, as a result of this big outcry, besides Imus getting fired, is that "nappy-headed hos" is now a part of our lexicon. So really, in the long run, what was accomplished by this? You thought you were dousing a fire, by getting this guy off the radio, yet all you did was fan the flames. Nice going, morons.
Good for Imus, I hope he wins this lawsuit so these bigwigs will come up with clear and concise standards for their on-air personalities to follow. You can't wink and give the thumbs up to people like Imus and Opie & Anthony, and then throw them out on their ass when they offend people. I hope CBS Radio goes the way of WNBC. Scumbags.
Here's the link to the article: