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At the end of the week it's the Friday Final, our best guess as to the winners and losers this week. First the losers:
You have to say that Don Imus is the week's big loser. He took a huge fall, and while he fought against it manfully and valiantly, the stars were just lined up against him in the end. Imus hasn't said what he's going to do now, but it's a 40-year broadcasting career that took a big hit this week. My guess is that he will be back on the air — and sometime soon.
The second big loser this week has to be Mike Nifong. What's it worth to get elected DA in Durham? Your career? Your law license? Nifong watched as the North Carolina attorney general made it clear his panel of experts thought there was nothing to Nifong's prosecution of the Duke lacrosse boys, and that is very, very bad for Nifong.
Nancy Pelosi has to be our last big loser. This is not the time for amateur diplomacy, as she demonstrated so well. She was going along fine — though not without criticism — and then she decided to sit down with a terrorist-sponsoring dictator and bungle a message from Israel. Hillary Clinton winced.
Now to the winners department:
Give the Duke lacrosse players the top prize. They came out of this smelling like a bouquet of roses while the newspapers who hounded them, like The New York Times, and the Duke professors who declared them guilty ended up looking like morons. Innocent turns out to be an extremely definitive word.
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are the other big winners. For years people have asked who put them in charge. Well, this week they demonstrated nobody had to say they were running the race courts. They just are, evidently. It may frost some of you out there, but they came out winners.
And the Rutgers basketball coach, Vivian Stringer, was a huge winner. When she spoke about her players, the debate about the "ho" word ended abruptly. She is smart, polished, poised and eloquent. And she came out of a night of a major disappointment in losing a game looking like a hero to many people.
That's the week's winners and losers.
That's My Word.
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