I know I'm the last to arrive at the table on the Don Imus controversy. I think that's because my initial reaction is that it's a no-brainer. The guy's a boorish moron, but we live in a country in which even boorish morons have the right to speak.
However, we all have the right to not listen, and that's what I've chosen to do. And advertisers have the right to vote with their feet...and that's what they've apparently chosen to do. If Imus wants to stand on a street corner loudly insulting blacks, gays, women, jews, etc., that's his right as an American, and I'll defend it. But that doesn't mean I have to stand on the street corner and listen. Or tune in and hear him on the radio. Or even buy the products of his sponsors.
So...do I think he ought to be silenced? No. But we're a market-driven society, and if no one's listening, and no one's buying the sponsor's product, he's no longer an asset to the radio station and they have every right to fire him.
And then he's welcome, as an American, to head for any street corner with his sidekick and shout out anything he wants to anyone who'll listen.
Yay for free speech.