• Bear Stearns CEO James Cayne, ranked 611 in the world at contract bridge, fired Warren Spector, ranked in the top 225, for his role in the subprime crisis. Spector, a co-president at Bear, who took home $37 million, spent a whole two weeks at a bridge tournament in Nashville, while Cayne made do with a mere two days. Meanwhile, the firm announced 310 job cuts. [Bloomberg, DealBook/NYT]
• Merrill Lynch canned three top executives before even disclosing its own subprime losses, which could exceed $4 billion. Dow Kim, the former co-head of institutional securities, Osman Semerci, global head of fixed income, and deputy Dale Lattanzio were all shown the door. [WSJ]
• Zoe Cruz, co-president of Morgan Stanley, is the highest paid woman in America. At least there's good news for somebody! [CNN, WSJ]
Bill O'Reilly's comments on his radio show about that time he dined at Sylvia's with Al Sharpton, as noted by Media Matters, caused such a furor earlier this week that last night CNN was prompted to ask:"Is Bill O'Reilly Comment on Race an Imus Moment?" Today, the rage faded a little, not because of O'Reilly's impassioned defense of himself but because it was so obvious from the tape that he was genuinely surprised by the fact that black people are just as civilized as white people. "Imus' 'nappy-headed hos' remark was clear-cut, shocking racism with a hefty dash of sexism to chase," wrote Rachel Sklar of Eat the Press. "O'Reilly's comments were ignorant as hell and betrayed so preconceived notions, that's for sure, but if you read his comments in full, they read like 'clueless white guy' rather than 'deliberate racist.'" But is it something more than cluelessness?
• Don Imus, his big settlement with CBS finally behind him, is now looking to make a comeback on ABC radio. [NYP]
• Andy Rooney apologizes for crossing the line from crotchety to racist – sort of. [NYT]
• Charlie Gibson wants you to remember that he, unlike Katie Couric and Brian Williams, is humorless. [NYT]
• The nation's largest mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial, almost out of credit. Oh. No. [NYP]
• Recent hedge-fund woes look far from contained — they've even inspired a country song. [DealBook/NYT]
• Chuck Schumer's bright new plan for taxing private equity: raise taxes on all partnerships, not just big firms like Blackstone. How Democratic. [Reuters via DealBook/NYT]
• Don Imus may not have gotten that full $20 million; no one knows where he's going to work next; and he may have to pay an unspecified amount to settle a defamation suit brought by a Rutgers player. Oh my! [NYT, AP via NYT]
• One staffer at Portfolio compared editor-in-chief Joanne Lipman to the captain in Mutiny on the Bounty who gets thrown over board, confirming the total geekdom of staffers at Portfolio. [NYP]
• Dow Jones union suggests members fight the power by using anti-Murdoch wallpaper on their computers, and Jack Shafer thinks the term "genocidal tyrant" fits Murdoch nicely. [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro, Slate]
Breaking news! From Matt Drudge! Don Imus has a deal! Woo-hoo! Reports the fedora'd one:
Radio host Don Imus has agreed to settle his contract with CBS for $20 million, and a non disparaging clause, legal sources claim. The move opens the possibility Imus will soon return to the airwaves — on WABC in New York! [Top radio executive strongly dismisses Imus will be offered WABC slot] Developing…
• As if last night's man-made horrors weren't enough, here's one from Mother Nature: A tornado touched down in Islip Terrace, uprooting trees and ripping up a law office, as two storms pummeled Long Island at the same time. [WNBC]
• Some Wall Street Journal employees answer phones by drawling "News Corporation" in an Australian accent. [NYT]
• Congress is refusing to pass a "routine resolution" honoring the New York Archdiocese because it mentions scandal-tainted Cardinal Edward Egan by name. Honorable, we guess. Remind us why Congress is honoring archdioceses in the first place? [NYP]
• Al Sharpton, who led the drive to get Don Imus fired, will have no problem with his nemesis' return to the airwaves: "He has a right to make a living." So does the Rev, who clearly needs new material. [amNY]
• And mazel tov to Mark Malkoff, who visited every Starbucks in Manhattan — there are 171 — in 24 hours. Bad news: Dude's an "aspiring filmmaker" and, naturally, filmed the journey. [NYDN]
Danny DeVito is trying to make a movie about Crazy Eddie. One of Lindsay Lohan's MySpace friends sold online correspondence between Lohan and Samantha Ronson to Star magazine. Philip Roth complained about showing up in "Page Six." Jane staffers stole a lot of stuff from the fashion closet after learning the mag was folding. Former Jets QB Boomer Esiason may replace Don Imus as WFAN's early-morning D.J. Gore Vidal is annoyed that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power tore out his solar-power system. Congressman Charlie Rangel is offering $1,000 to anyone who can prove he went on a "date." Today show contributor Amy Jacobson was fired from her Chicago post after being caught on tape in a bikini at the house of a woman whose disappearance she was covering. Gisele and Tom Brady PDA'd at Palma on Cornelia Street. 50 Cent canoodled with Ciara.
• CBS Radio employees are hinting that Don Imus may be back in the fall. [NYP]
• Former Intermix head Brad Greenspan, who once owned MySpace, has made his own bid for Dow Jones. [NYT]
• Universal Music has canceled its contract with iTunes and will now sell music through Apple at will. [NYT]
• Is Imus's planned $200 million lawsuit a ploy to get back on the air? [NYP]
• The final bids for Dennis Publishing are due next week, and it's shaping up as a showdown between Kent Brownridge and Ron Burkle. [AdAge]
• Jeff Bridges will play Graydon Carter in the film version of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. [WWD]
Michael Jackson is trying to reclaim a trove of Jacko memorabilia set to be auctioned off this month, some of which is pornographic in nature. Lindsay Lohan and "boyfriend" Calum Best got into a shouting match at the Soho Grand. Jerry Hall called Mick Jagger cheap. Billionaire David Koch boasted that he had graduated college when his wife was only six weeks old. The Office star Jenna Fischer slipped and fractured four bones in her back at Buddakan, but she's okay now. Charles Barkley thinks Don Imus should just have been suspended, not fired. Top Chef contestant Sam Talbot backed out of his deal to open a gastropub on the Lower East Side.
• The speculation ends: Isabella Blow died of a drug overdose. [BBC]
• Despite news that Jil Sander's sales were up, rumors are swirling that the line may be sold. [Fashion Inc./Portfolio]
• Diane von Furstenberg's new neighbors have welcomed her flagship with open arms. [Downtown Darling]
HBO chairman Chris Albrecht was forced to resign last night after allegedly beating up his girlfriend Sunday, likely because this wasn't his first domestic assault. Harvey Weinstein had to explain to girlfriend Georgina Chapman that Elie Wiesel was notable for being "in a concentration camp" at the Time 100 fête. And Jessica Simpson dressed conservatively at the event to not draw attention from boyfriend and honoree John Mayer. Cameron Diaz went to a sex show at the Box the night before appearing on the Today show. Josh Hartnett and Helena Christensen sang karaoke together. Lorne Michaels sang karaoke at oil heir William Hess's bar mitzvah. Nancy Grace is trying to get on The View now that she's out at Court TV. NBC News' David Gregory may be Don Imus's replacement.
• At this year's 2007 Robin Hood benefit, philanthropic hedge funders paid $400,000 to sing a song with Aerosmith, and $1.3 million for dinner with Mario Batali. [NYT]
• Hafiz Naseem, a junior investment banker at Credit Suisse, was charged with insider trading after he tipped off associates in Pakistan about deals, including the TXU buyout, before they were made public. [NYT]
• Google is the No.1 preferred employer for MBA students, with more traditional companies McKinsey and Goldman taking the next two slots. [Fortune via CNNMoney]
• A Bancroft spokesman said family members who hold slightly more than 50 percent of voting shares will oppose News Corp.'s bid for Dow Jones. [NYT]
• Don Imus hired a top-notch First Amendment attorney to see that he gets the $40 million left on his contract. [Fortune/CNNMoney]
• Former Newsweek Interactive head Mark Whitaker will oversee TV programming and Web content at NBC News. [WWD]
Howard Stern knows a thing or two about getting flak for saying politically incorrect things on air, but Don Imus shouldn't expect any sympathy from his fellow shock jock. "I never was a big fan of Imus," the King of All Media told us at the Tribeca premiere of Adam Carolla'sThe Hammer last week. "I don't appreciate his broadcasting, and I didn't appreciate him back when I worked with him. It’s time for him to take that cowboy hat and the spurs and the chaps, and maybe go to an S&M bondage house or something with that uniform." The two have a long history together, both coming to national prominence on WNBC-AM in the seventies and eighties, where Imus aired in the mornings, Stern in the afternoons, and they became rivals. "It was time for him to go," Stern said last week. —Bennett Marcus
Leafing through some seventies issues of the magazine earlier today, searching for David Halberstam's contributions to New York, we happened across the most curious thing. It was the October 30, 1972, issue, and Halberstam's piece was on the ascent of Spiro Agnew. (No, we couldn't make it all the way through.) But on page 62 we found this: "Why I Won't Talk to Journalists Any More." It was a media column by Don Imus. "I want to say right up front that I am a star," he begins.
I am in fact a very big star. The hottest thing to hit radio in 50 years. I have been in New York less than a year, and when you are not in New York City the national press ignores you. I was a big star last year in Cleveland, but the New York press was not bright enough to realize what I was going to mean to them. Now everybody in the country wants to write about me.
And so the "nappy-headed hos" remark has cost Don Imus his job. The final denouement, which came with CBS Radio's canning the I-Man last night, a day after MSNBC dropped the simulcast of his show, has seemed inevitable for most of the week, as protests had intensified, advertisers had balked, and the great and august Ana Marie Cox had announced she would never again deign to appear on such a juvenile broadcast. (Cox first gained fame as the editor of Wonkette, where she was known for her anal-sex jokes.) But it has not always been thus; many, many public figures have uttered bigoted slurs and lived to tell the tale. After the jump, a look back at some Great Moments in Bigoted Slurs.