Have you heard about the brouhaha over Don Imus's comments regarding the Rutgers University women's basketball team? Criminy, I can't turn around without seeing or hearing something about it be it on TV, radio, newspapers, or the Internet. As Charlton Heston would say, "It's a madhouse! A madhouse!!"
Seriously, I'm not surprised Imus was fired over this because that's how radio works. The corporate giants certainly don't mind making money from their "bad boys" but these same corporate giants don't lift a finger to defend their talent the moment an incident generates more than a few complaint phone calls. They are afraid to tell people to change stations if they don't like what they hear because Joe and Jane Q. Public don't like to be told such things and *gasp* may actually decide to listen to something else. That causes lower ratings and lower ratings mean less money. Heaven forbid a multi-billion dollar conglomerate make a little less money.
Please do not get me wrong (and I'll put this in bold to emphasize): The remark was mean-spirited, racist, and misogynistic.
However, I cannot honestly believe that the mass populace thinks nothing like this has ever been said on the radio before. Hell, the guy that was involved in the initial on-air discussion followed Imus's remarks with a well-known racial slur (yes, he was referring to a Spike Lee movie but still). CBS Radio has known for years that Imus's brand of comedy relies on being a total jerk with behavior that has a history of flipping the race card. Quite frankly, what was said was pretty damn tame compared to some of the crap that has come out of his mouth before.
But "shock jocks" bring in the listeners—CBS was fine with that and had been for the past ten years. For CBS to suddenly pretend that this sort of thing is unacceptable is cowardly at best.