To be honest, I've seen very little of Don Imus' MSNBC simulcast of his radio show. I became turned off to Imus' cranky sourness back in 1985 when VH1 was in its infancy--Imus was one of the NYC deejays (Frankie Crocker was another) doing VJ duties on the channel.
Since then, we all know the rest of the Don Imus career trajectory. Imus decided to separate himself from the shock-jock pack and turn his show into a partial clubhouse for politicians and media pundits to drop by and spin their wares. And, as a result, the show has appealed to an older, more affluent audience (in a way, one could consider Imus to be Goofus to Charlie Rose's Gallant).
Yesterday, in the fallout of Imus' racist/sexist remark about the Rutgers University women's basketball team, one could turn on cable news channels and see the media wanting to protect Imus from extended fallout over his remark [CBS radio and MSNBC later announced Imus will take a two-week suspension].
Today, the story has expanded into the kind of racist scandal that, according to the media, is a "Teachable Moment."
Call me cynical, but future generations will remember this about as much as today's generation recalls the racist outbursts of Jimmy The Greek Snyder and Al Campanis from two decades ago--or the anti-Semitic slur relating to New York City that Rev. Jesse Jackson uttered around the same time period.
Fear, resentment and the temptation to stereotype based on skin color or nationality are sins all of us have to constantly guard against--regardless of what skin color or nationality we are.
UPDATE: One day later, with the Imus simulcast canceled, the NBC News President came on air to talk in a fake-pious tone about the integrity of the news division (while salving Imus' battered ego on the side) and to dodge the truth: advertiser pullout and loss of revenue was the tipping point for NBCUniversal's decision.
If NBCUniversal really wanted a news division with integrity, they'd reverse their current budget cuts and do something really out-of-the-box: have a news division that actually reports news as a public service AND BE WILLING TO LOSE MONEY BY DOING SO.
It's a step backward to television's long-ago past, and it should be a necessary one in an age of frivolity-gets-higher-numbers-than-substance.