I was worried when I read that Drudge scoop last week that he might come back without the benediction. But now that he’s got an injection of Absolute Moral Authority from a man found liable on seven counts of defamation?

He’s back, baby:

“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.”