Not sure this will be a popular view, but... I actually feel sorry for Tom Flanagan. Anyone who watches CBC knows that Flanagan used to be a stiff, matter of fact commentator, pretty bland but thoughtful. I've never agreed with his views, but Flanagan always offered valuable insights from a right wing perspective.
As a regular viewer would know, Flanagan has undergone a bit of a transformation in recent weeks and months. The deadpan delivery waning, Flanagan was loosening up before our eyes, using humour on a regular basis. Prior to THE incident, Flanagan had dressed up like Sasquatch, brought props, made horribly inappropriate sexist jokes, he was Tommy Flanagan now. Rather than offer serious analysis, Flanagan was searching for the zippy one liner. It was this "new" Flanagan which lead to the horrible judgement that caused a international uproar.
I watched the show. My initial reaction was an obvious attempt at humour, that failed badly. I think the important thing here, to separate the partisan, the philosophy of the man, from the poor judgement in this instance. If I thought Flanagan was serious, I'd throw him to the wolves, but he just looks the awkward conservative playing it up, trying to be funny. I understand the seriousness, so some sanction is probably in order, but I'd say Flanagan has already learned his lesson. I suspect if Flanagan was more palatable politically, some of the reaction would be muted, but that's just a hunch.
Again, I understand why people are upset, so this isn't an attempt to minimize necessarily. My point of view merely thinks we don't require a pound of flesh, when Flanagan clearly saw no real world application to his clumsy ham routine on CBC. Flanagan has apologized, so I'll defer to intent, rather than the maelstorm that followed.