Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

No Holds Barred: Mark Ribowsky on the Relevance of Howard Cosell 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Mark Ribowsky, author of the new biography Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth, and the Transformation of American Sports.
Howard Cosell was not only a "cultural icon", a highly insecure and (thus) highly pompous man, and an always controversial sportscaster, but also a pioneer in developing independent sports journalism and critiques of the powers-that-be in the world of sports. Although he eventually became a major part of the sports establishment through his decades of work for the ABC television and radio networks from the 1950s through the 1980s, his main legacy is that he strove to "tell it like it is" and stand up for what he believed was right in sports.
We spoke with Mark Ribowsky by phone Monday afternoon about his important new book and the legacy of Howard Cosell. Before Cosell, he argued, sports broadcasting was "a forum for Ken dolls to parrot the company line". After Cosell, who passed away in 1995 at the age of 77, in sports, and particularly in what passes today for sports journalism, "people have gotten way too soft".
This book provides an important and critical analysis of the life of one of the pioneers of sports journalism, and is a must-read for all those, journalists or not, who stand for truth and justice in the world of sports and in the world in general.
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