I just got the MSNBC "Breaking News" email alert telling me that Don Imus has been fired from CBS.
I don't like Don Imus and I've thought he was a jerk for years but I'm still kind of sad about this. I'm a sucker for second (and sometimes even third) chances and while I found his comments reprehensible I thought his apology was sincere. While I'm not really willing to argue that he shouldn't have been fired I think it would have been enough for his leash to have been shortened and he should have been given a chance to clean up his act (or enough rope to hang himself, whichever the case may be).
It also needs to be said that we as a culture are just as responsible for these comments as Imus himself. I remember the day after Katie Couric's CBS New's debut the big story wasn't how well she did but that she had pictures of Suri Cruise. This is because in modern times it isn't enough for news to just be news, it has to entertain us as well. This is why I'm ready to forgive Imus - I don't think he meant what he said, he just tried to give the people what they wanted and went too far.
You can watch Don Imus' comment here. You'll notice in the video that Imus isn't the first person to refer to the girls as "hos".
Update (7:01 P.M.): For more on the Imus controversy I recommend this news story and for commentary with a view differing from mine I highly recommend this blog post by the Today Show's Al Roker, one of the main voices inside NBC that called for dropping the Imus simulcast on MSNBC. You can also find the CBS statement on the firing here.Update #2 (7:40 P.M.): Media Matters has put together a good list of examples to show that the problem goes beyond Don Imus.