Imus Firing Surprising, but Only a First Step

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I must admit I'm shocked both CBS Radio and MSNBC have fired Don Imus. Not that his reference to the Rutgers University women's basketball team in degrading terms wasn't reprehensible. But I believed down to my last axion and dendrite the networks would hang onto him as long as he made them money.

Both networks should be applauded for their ultimate decisions. However, they acted only after major corporate sponsors dropped their financial support for the programming. And CBS Radio took a day longer than MSNBC to reach its decision.

Let's hope two more changes spring from Imus's firings. First, the major advertisers who pulled their ads from Imus's air should screen all controversial talk shows on which they run ads and pull underwriting from programs whose hosts are routinely derogatory toward groups of Americans based on race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, etc.

Second, the Rev. Al Sharpton and other civil rights activists who ran the campaign against Don Imus should look inward and demand of the African-American community a zero-tolerance approach toward denigration of women. Any hip-hop artist, male or female, who uses derogatory or hypersexualized language (or pictures in videos) should be boycotted. Sharpton and others should invite white and Hispanic teens (also heavy-duty consumers of these materials) to join the boycott as well.

Then, we will have made some real progress at eradicating antisocial behavior from American culture.