Sports and Politics13 February, 2008
On the way to work, I was listening to sports talk radio (Mike & Mike in the Morning (if I listen to news, I get so angry at the way the news is presented I’m not sure I drive safely (and the classic rock station (my daughter calls it the oldies station) has a morning show which has lots of useless talk and little music))) and they were, of course, talking about the steroid hearings in congress. Jose Canseco’s name came up and I realized that this whole thing is very similar to the situation in Iraq (no, I am not comparing an illegal war which has killed between 200,000 and 1,000,000 people with steroids in baseball).
A few years back, Canseco published a book in which he exposed the level of steroid use in baseball. He was almost universally condemned. He was called a liar. He was personally and professionally denigrated by the press. His allegience to Major League Baseball was questioned. Years later, it turns out he was telling the truth. Yet today, his name is still mud. Oh, the media admits he was telling the truth, but any mention of his name has a negative modifier attached almost every time. The ones who called him a liar are, however, still around doing the same jobs (or have been promoted).
Does this sound familiar? How many progressive reporters and politicians called out the Bush administration about the evidence for weapons of mass destruction? Not that many, but those who did were called liars, they were insulted personally and professionally, and, for many, their careers suffered. The ones who insulted them, castigated and denigrated their reporting skills, and questioned their allegience to the United States of America, are still hosting news and talk-radio programs, are still writing for major newspapers, and many have been promoted.
So in both cases, the careers of the ones who got it right suffered. The careers of the ones who got it wrong prospered (I know I’m generalizing here, but its pretty close to 100%). How many other issues facing America and the world are treated the same way? Anthropomorphic Global Warming? The efficacy of the War on Terror? Trickle-down economics? Why do we have to wait a hundred years for the historians to admit that Canseco and Gore were right?