13 March 2006

Meatheads and Boneheads and the Press Who Love To Hate (or Love) Them (CS)

So it looks like Barry Bonds has finally been outed regarding his steroid use. Plenty of people will talk about implications like the Hall of Fame, past records, and the upcoming season. But to me the most remarkable element of the Bonds saga has been the persistence of the sports media in pursuing this issue and story over the past couple years. Since the home run race really heated up these rumors have been swirling about and Bonds has frequently been implicated and asked about his possible steroid use ever since the issue was blown wide enough to be brought before some Senators. Bonds has always been pursued as a target of sports reporters and these recent revelations should only serve to stir the pot some more.
Now, not to get all Frank Rich on you here (with Sports in place of Culture/The Arts), but I have to make yet another comparison to the Bush Administration (and its respective relationship with the press).
Here we have a situation much more serious than the home run race, the pennant race, and spring training combined (not to demean these things... just saying, The President is a pretty important figure in our country and the world at large). Bush has made plenty of pinheaded moves and his administration has fouled up situations left and right. Even his "successes" are turning out failures. Just look at Afghanistan. Didn't we "win" there? Then why are reports coming in of deteriorating security, a broken economy, and rising Taliban (and in the face of all this, a reduced American responsibility)?
Essentially, there's plenty of ammunition to use against Bush and Co. But where is the tenacity that one would expect in these cases? How come important issues and developments often get a day or two of play in the media only to disappear? How come the press has no teeth? Of course you'll find condemnations in liberal outlets like The Nation and The Huffington Post but where is the determination of outlets like The NY Times, The Washington Post, or even CNN and other news media? Even some conservative sources are criticizing the President's lack of economic responsibility and complete uninvolvement with major issues.
Perhaps most of the media is trying to adhere to some form of "objectivity" but this is taking objectivity too far and no such argument can defend constantly taking simple excuses and ignoring important issues. One might also argue that the Bonds story is more "sexy" and thus gets more attention, while no one has the attention span for the various scandals coming out of Washington and the Bush machine. But knowing plenty of people tired of hearing about Bonds and aggravated beyond reason regarding the present administration, I don't buy such excuses.
I've already mentioned that there's plenty of fodder to go around for the media to pick up on. So what is it going to take to finally get them to dig in and stop swallowing any old excuses the White House soft serves them? I'd consider starting rumors that Bush has been taking steroids too, but the mental image of Cheney injecting a needle into GW's ass in the Oval Office is just a bit too much for the average American to handle.