BIG-HEADED FOE Imus, Sharpton (inset)(Photos: Getty Images)
Don Imus is back—and Rev. Al Sharpton is surprisingly okay with that.
Imus buddy Bo Dietl dropped heavy hints on a radio show over the weekend that the aging shock jock will be back at WFAN no later than September. That would mean a mere five months of wandering in the wilderness for the I-Man, who was fired in April by CBS Radio and MSNBC after calling female college basketball players "nappy-headed hos."
Sharpton, of course, played no small part in Imus's downfall, even inviting the man onto his radio show to apologize to viewers only to declare his apology inadequate. Yet the Rev. tells Radar he would not oppose Imus's return this fall.
"My position is that we never called for him to be permanently barred from being on the air," he says. "We'll see when he comes back, and if he comes back, what are the boundaries and what is the understanding. We'll be monitoring the situation, but we wanted him to pay for being a repeat abuser, and he paid. We never said we didn't want him to make a living."
As for the claim that Imus is seeking a black comedian to "take the sting out" of his racial humor, Sharpton says, "A sidekick is not cover. What he needs to give him cover is his own conscience and whether he'll live up to the apology he gave those Rutgers girls."