So why is it that South Park is funny, but Don Imus isn't? I'm as willing as the next guy to laugh at jokes made about groups I identify with (which is to say, not if I'm cranky or it's not funny), so what's different here? My first reaction to the news report I read about his remark was "wow, that's a dumb thing to say in front of a hot mic, but whatever" but after I heard an audio clip of it, my perspective changed. Cause you know how sometimes when someone's telling a joke, there's an edge in their voice to show they're not really kidding? That's what the clip sounded like: a guy who thought that the women of the Rutgers team maybe didn't deserve the success they'd had that season, a guy savoring his own alliterative cleverness in causally dismissing their accomplishments. If he'd said something similar about a group of white male NBA players, it might have been funny. Or at least less ... serious.
I guess I'm willing to laugh at a offensive joke that's about my group as long as I think the room is laughing with me, not at me. Because if they're laughing at me, then it's pretty stupid of me to play along - it'll entrench the underlying stereotype. Which is why South Park is funny: the writers don't take anything seriously, and the offensiveness is equal-opportunity. If everybody's a target, nobody's a target, in some sense.