Precinct 333

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Committee Hearings About PR, Not Steroids

I was struck by this quote from an AP article about the subpoenas issued by the House Committee on Government Reform to Major League Baseball officials and players.

Asked why Bonds wasn't invited, a spokesman for the committee chairman, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., said, "Barry Bonds, to be frank, brings a whole crowd and we're not interested in the story being Barry Bonds."

Yeah, the congressmen are interested in the story being about them, not about Barry Bonds. That shows that the hearings are window dressing intended to make members look like they are “doing something,” not about actually doing something. After all, Bonds is the hottest thing in baseball today, and stands accused of using steroids. Why shouldn’t he be invited, especially given this comment by the Davis spokesman?

Asked why [Mark] McGwire was asked to appear, White said: "For some, this is an opportunity to come here and clear their names."

Why shouldn’t Bonds appear, if you really want to offer folks the chance to clear their names of Jose Canseco’s charges? After all, he is the reigning homerun king. Is it that you are afraid that the focus will be on him, and not the committee members, if he and a press entourage march up the steps of the US Capitol Building and into the committee room? Are you afraid that Bonds, and not your boss, will be the central figure in the media reports?

And by the way -- would you mind explaining to me how steroid using baseball players are a matter for the Government Reform Committee?


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