Of course he is and what of it? Should he be fired? I suspect he will be sent off to Purgatory for a suitable amount of time and then come back, or part of him will. He will be lessened as a result, possibly to the point that his career will wind down and blink out sometime soon. I'll watch this with semi-detached interest because I view Imus, and his cast of regular creeps, as a symptom rather than the disease.
There are mean and nasty elements that make up not just our society but each of us individually. We are the sum of our parts and a moral life is built, not on those parts being perfect, but by trying to stay on the path of being a better and kinder person all the way to the end. we try to cast out the parts we don't like, the mean thoughts, the unkind actions, the little things that add up to less of a good person than we could be "If Only".
Don Imus is a jerk in a really big way. he also does a ton of work for charity. People close to him talk incessantly about the good things he does and how much he cares for people. He also carries a concealed weapon, as folks who have hugged him have noticed. Harold Ford Jr. spoke of his own discomfort at this revelation after Imus handed Harold a very generous Senatorial campaign donation. This is an example of normal human contradiction carried to caricature. It is present in all of us to some degree.
MSNBC will no doubt sacrifice Imus, more or less. I doubt they will permanently fire him. There's money involved and our media is for sale. Conservatives know this and it is the only way conservatives can survive. They must pay handsomely in order for their inconceivably hateful message to exist. Conservatism uses bigotry by providing it a haven. Our American media has sold it's soul for profit and has abdicate its Constitutional responsibilty for fairness and accuracy. Only a few Corporations control the vast majority of the media outlets. The Iraq war, our loss of Constitutional freedoms, and electorate stupidity on the issues of science and climate change are only symptoms of the loss of our free press. The question is whether we can get accuracy back as an American ideal...or not.
In the interest of "Accuracy" it is imperative that we understand during this current flap that bigotry is not about hatred...Bigotry is about fear. It is about insecurity. Al Sharpton calling for Don Imus's scalp is not going to end bigotry. Sharpton's actions will not do that. So far, I haven't seen one singe leader step forward to drive out racial fear. It won't make as good a headline, so what we'll see is sharpton and other high profile blacks yammering about the "Evils of Racism" instead of doing something that will actually help end racism.
I've thought about Don Imus and frankly I don't like him or his show and I really don't like the creeps he keeps on the payroll who are so much worse than he is that they make him look moderate by comprison. Imus says he wants to go talk to the Rutgers women basketball team and apologize in person. Bold as that seems to be, it is a cop out.
Until Don Imus feels a personal revulsion at the lack of kindness in the act of someone...Anyone.. calling a young black girl a "nappy-headed 'Ho", there will be no end to racism and bigotry.
I wouldn't punish Don Imus by suspending or firing him. I would have him serve as the towel boy for every practice and every game for the Rutgers women next season. Racism and bigotry will only end when people like Imus quit being afraid. He should face his fear by serving people he is not the same as. Different people are simply different. We can't hate them for that.
It is the unkindness in people we should hate. And this is what we can change if we so choose