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TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Cosby an American icon no matter what accuser claims

Humans are imperfect, so occasionally it is best to focus on their lifetime legacy rather than their recent mistakes.

A Canadian woman accused William H. Cosby Jr., an entertainer who has amused us for decades while teaching us lessons in good parenting and morality, of sexual misconduct.

It is too early to know whether there is truth to the allegations, or if it is just a celebrity hold-up. Mr. Cosby's statements suggest it may not be entirely made up.

"Sometimes, you try to help people and it backfires on you, and then they try to take advantage of you," Mr. Cosby said. "People can soil you by taking advantage."

Investigators have cleared Mr. Cosby of any criminal wrongdoing, but allegations are likely to surface in the form of a civil complaint.

Whether the allegations are true or not, our image of Mr. Cosby should remain focused upon his tremendous contributions to American culture.

Allegations notwithstanding, Mr. Cosby is Fat Albert. He is Scotty Scott in "I Spy," a host of characters in "The Electric Company" and, of course, Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable in "The Cosby Show."

We all make mistakes, and William H. Cosby Jr. may indeed be fallible.

But Bill Cosby was, and is, an American icon. His legacy of humor and morality need not be second-guessed.

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