Thursday, February 14, 2008

Three Ring Clemens Circus Continues

There have been amazing developments in the Roger Clemens affair in just the past 24 hours. First comes the news that former President George H.W. Bush, a longtime season ticket-holder of the Houston Astros and a personal friend of the pitcher, has been lobbying support for Clemens. Other reports go so far as to suggest that the current Bush to occupy the Oval Office may pardon the beleaguered hurler on his way out of office in January 2009 (see Scooter Libby).

If that weren't enough, now comes the news that Clemens' trainer Brian McNamee tried to contact the pitcher and fellow star Andy Pettitte prior to the release of the Mitchell report--in order to warn them that they would be named in the document. This seems to buffer McNamee's claims that he never wanted to harm Clemens, but was forced to give him up or face jail time for perjury. Despite that fact, the AP somehow interpreted this development as proof of McNamee's dishonesty. Check out the lead from the ESPN story:

In the week leading up to the release of the Mitchell report, Brian McNamee scrambled to warn Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte they would soon be outed as drug cheats -- while at the same time portraying himself as a man who gave up the two Yankees greats only after federal investigators pressured him to cooperate with baseball's steroids probe.

What sense does that sentence make? He has claimed all along that he did not want to give anyone up, but was forced to. Now comes the news that he tried to warn them before the report came out. How do those two things not jive? What in the world does the "while at the same time portraying himself as" mean? Those things are not contradictory at all.

While half of the government spends time defending a cheating steroid abuser, pondering whether to even charge him with a crime, another star is preparing to face trial and the prospect of 30 years behind bars for the same offenses. No GOP lawmakers seem to be worried about Barry Bonds' legacy or reputation, even though the majority of the case against him is derived not from a league-sanctioned investigation by the former Speaker of the House, but rather from excerpts from a book by two SF reporters.

The imbalance in the government's approach to both Clemens and Bonds became all the more evident in the past 24 hours. Last night, ESPN (both the TV and internet editions) and other top news outlets, devoted major airtime to the government's announcement that Bonds had failed a steroid test in 2001, only 30 days after hitting his season-record 73rd home run. Now this morning comes the news that Bonds did not fail that test. Federal prosecutors in the Bonds case claim that a typo in court papers filed Monday mistakenly confused the alleged failure of a 2000 drug test with a confirmed one in 2001. Nice job by the media of running with that story.
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1 comment:

Carter McCoy said...

I don't really understand what any politician stands to gain with the public by going easy on an obvious steroid abuser and cheater. The Bush pardon thing however, should surprise no one.