Saturday, May 05, 2007

120 Million for losing job

Controversial American shock jock Don Imus, 66, was dismissed April 12 after describing the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" on his nationally syndicated radio program.

He was barely three months into a five-year, $40 million contract with CBS, and his attorney has said Imus would sue for the contract's unpaid portion.

Reports suggest Imus will seek $120 million in unpaid salary and damages from CBS.

This case would involve 'free speech' which is a sacred right in the United States. If Imus engaged in racial abuse or hate speech in which criminal intent is alleged, a court should decide whether action is warranted against Imus.

A source told that Don Imus’ lawsuit highlights language in his contract which encouraged him to be confrontational and irreverent on the air. The contract also supposedly stipulates that Imus receive a warning prior to being fired.

CBS Radio has a delay button and if the host makes a racist remark that is unacceptable, the dump-button guy has to bleep out the remark before the content hits the airwaves. Apparently CBS failed to do this with the Imus incident.

Therefore in dismissing Imus, it appears that CBS caved into the emotions of some public pressure rather than go by contractual obligations.

It will be interesting to see how this case gets played out in the court.

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