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Don Imus = Howard Cosell?

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The Poughkeepsie Journal (who? Apparently New York's oldest newspaper?) made the comparison, so don't blame me for it. I've stayed away from the Don Imus story because it isn't Redskins related, though Pughkeepsie gave me just the kind of tangential Redskins related minutiae that kind of sort of justifies a post. Background: Radio Host Don Imus idiotically referred to the Rutgers Women's Basketball team as "nappy-headed hos", a phrase considered racially motivated. Imus' case isn't helped by the fact that he's already a controversial guy. He did apologize, admitting "What I did was make a stupid, idiotic mistake in a comedy context."

Poughkeepsie says:

Manhattan resident Levan Hamilton, 44, who commutes to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, used to listen to the radio talk show host. Now, he won't after Imus referred to the Rutger's women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" during his radio show last week.

Imus apologized at length on his radio show Monday morning and later on the Rev. Al Sharpton's radio program. Both CBS Radio and MSNBC, which airs simulcasts of Imus' show, said they were suspending the program for two weeks.

But, it may be too little, too late. "It's like when commentator Howard Cosell called a football player for the Washington Redskins a 'little monkey' and was fired," Hamilton said.

The Redskins player in question was Alvin Garrett who had five touchdowns in the 1982 playoffs, including one in our 27-17 victory over Miami in Super Bowl XVII.

I don't know if the comparison is entirely fair. One difference is that Don Imus hasn't been fired yet. Second, it's not clear that Howard Cosell ever intended a racial connotation to the phrase since that's also how he described Mike Adamle in a broadcast (Adamle happened to be quick, agile, and white). I think there's considerably less doubt about Imus' comment. Finally, there isn't anything immediately offensive about the phrase "little monkey" unless one presumes a racial motivation. Calling the women's basketball team "hos" is by itself a dumbass move, even sans the attendant racism. Draw your own conclusions below.

Really this was just an excuse to talk about the Redskins winning Super Bowl XVII and to provide interested Hogs Haven reader(s) an opportunity to discuss Don Imus or Howard Cosell at their leisure. If you feel strongly one way or the other about it, let us know.