As veteran Chicago media watcher Robert Feder describes it, Cowley is down to his final strike with his bosses at the Sun-Times. He also gave a blow-by-blow on how Cowley's day evolved following his misogynistic Twitter rant:
Although Cowley had been known to cross the line before, the tweets he posted Sunday morning while waiting for a delayed flight to take off became a viral sensation and a source of embarrassment for the paper after they were picked up by the sports news website Deadspin.com, which accused Cowley of "raging sexism" and abuse toward females.
As soon as he landed, Cowley killed his Twitter account under orders from sports editor Chris DeLuca, who had called the columnist's cell phone demanding the deletion. But by then, his offending tweets had been copied and archived on more than one website.
While Sun-Times bosses weighed the options available to them in accordance with Chicago Newspaper Guild disciplinary procedures, speculation about Cowley's fate ricocheted around the blogosphere. Some demanded his immediate firing. Others rumored that he had been suspended. Neither was the case.
Cowley's reporting continued uninterrupted as his editors ultimately decided to issue a final warning through the guild process. "If he does anything again, it's pretty much a fireable offense," a source said.
Cowley could not be reached Tuesday.
Well, at least we know where we stand with Joe Cowley, unlike some folks.