Thursday, May 3, 2007

Don Imus May Sue CBS

Former shock jock Don Imus has made headlines once again with reports he plans to sue CBS Radio for wrongful breach of his contract after the network fired him last month. CNN reported Imus had $40 million left on his contract with CBS. Documents provided to CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin further indicate the network also encouraged Imus to remain "irreverent" and "controversial" on his program.

"Company (CBS Radio) acknowledges that Artist's (Imus') services to be rendered hereunder are a unique, extraordinary, irreverent, intellectual, topical, controversial and personal character and that programs of the same general type and nature containing these components are desired by Company and are consistent with Company rules and policies," the contract stated.

CBS fired Imus last month after he used racist epithets to describe the Rutgers University women's basketball team. Imus had a long and documented history of using racist, homophobic and sexist statements during his decades long career. Activists on both sides will almost certainly continue to debate the post-Imus termination fallout as he seeks to redefine his role. CBS' decision, however, remains a strong and long overdue statement against hate speech that has reignited the debate over its continued presence in the media.

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