It's about time this Don Imus thing get buried like the dead horse it is (insert Barbaro joke here). What he said was stupid, no doubt. Should he have been fired? I don't think so. I don't exactly find Imus enlightening or entertaining, but he said something stupid. He was paid to toe the line, and you've got to expect that when you encourage someone to be bold, they're going to overstep their boundaries at some point. Blame it on Imus, for sure. But also blame it on the fact that we're obsessed with "edge," and we're creating a media full of people racing to one-up each other. It's bound to happen.
In fact, not only was Imus hired to be controversial and irreverent, it was written in his contract.
But Imus has hired one of the nation's premiere First Amendment attorneys, and the two sides are gearing up for a legal showdown that could turn on how language in his contract that encouraged the radio host to be irreverent and engage in character attacks is interpreted, according to one person who has read the contract.
The language, according to this source, was part of a five-year contract that went into effect in 2006 and that paid Imus close to $10 million a year. It stipulates that Imus be given a warning before being fired for doing what he made a career out of - making off-color jokes. The source described it as a "dog has one- bite clause." A lawsuit could be filed within a month, this person predicted.
First of all, no one should get $10 million a year for talking. Say what you want about actors and athletes getting paid way too much, but at least they have specialized talents. Anyone with a personality and the ability to read an "On-Air" sign could host a radio show.
ANYWAY, Imus won't get his job back -- that would cause a PR nightmare I'd love to witness -- but he should reach a settlement with CBS that pays him a portion of that ridiculous contract. Just like Larry Brown getting a multi-million dollar settlement after getting fired from the Knicks, one lesson keeps being pounded into the heads of our nation's youth -- it pays to be offensively terrible at what you do.