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It was interesting this morning to listen to the "Imus in the Morning" radio program and listen to host Don Imus pick a fight with Connecticut-based food retailer Stew Leonard's.

Imus was reacting to a question from a listener about why the line of food products that he sells to support the Imus Ranch, a charity for children with cancer, were not available at Stew's. When Imus checked with his distributor, he was told that the retailer didn’t want to carry the products because Imus had called Stew Leonard Sr. "a crook."

Imus told a national audience (he is simulcast on MSNBC) that he couldn't remember why he had made such a comment - so he did an Internet search, found a decade-old story in The New York Times about Stew Leonard Sr.'s conviction on tax fraud charges, and then proceeded to read the entire NYT piece to his audience.

The radio host noted that 100 percent of his food products' profits support the charity, said he didn't care if the products were carried at Stew's because you can also buy them at Stop & Shop (a statement he made several times and that must have thrilled the Ahold-owned division), and then said - several times - that "you couldn’t get me to stop at Stew Leonard's at gunpoint."

By the way, we've been listening to Imus all morning…and he's into this Stew Leonard thing like a dog with a hunk of raw meat.
KC's View:
This sort of verbal rampage is the sort of thing that must make the folks at Stew Leonard's nuts…especially because they've worked hard over the years to put the company's and the family's tax problems behind them. Stew Leonard Jr., who currently runs the company, is an expert at working the positive publicity machine, and he won't appreciate Imus deciding to rip the scab off an old wound.

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) was on the program immediately after one of Imus's rants, and noted that he'd never heard of Stew Leonard's before, "but I have now." And so, now, has everyone else who listens to Imus.

Here are our thoughts, offered free of charge to Stew Leonard's (and anyone else who might find themselves in a similar predicament). First, don't get into a fight with Imus. You won't win, because he has nothing to lose.

Second, you can't hold grudges.