The name of the man in the picture to the right will be forgotten before long. This is the first and last entry that will confront the readers of this blog with a picture of Don Imus, but the crawl at the bottom of the screen as he was uttering the slur heard round the world is telling. It shows something about the speed of news cycles; "..H RICHARDS SAID HE ONCE SNORTED..." of course refers to the big scandal that was breaking right before Imus created his own scandal, that Keith Richards said he had snorted his father's ashes in a cocaine mix. That story had legs about one inch long.
Now that CBS has followed NBC's lead by firing the original shock jock, he will quickly be replaced by another scandal on the front pages. But his story will be remembered and taught for years by those who work in the mass media. The uttering of casually sexist and racist "jokes" on the public airwaves (or basic cable) is now as clearly taboo as accidentally flashing a female breast during the Super Bowl halftime show or dropping an f-bomb. There's no gray area here. The next Imus who says something similar on the air will have his microphone pulled during the next commercial break.
And Don Imus will remember that it's not nice to fool with the Scarlet Knights. He started the conversation that ended his career by saying, "That's some rough girls from Rutgers." He had no idea. He had no idea that the real strength of these talented young women was in their intelligence and their quiet dignity. While others (including this blogger) immediately jumped into the fray, they showed how vile Don Imus's comments were just by being themselves (and making all of us with connections to Rutgers even prouder to be Scarlet Knights than we already were!).