A-Rod, Steroids and The Media
Since the story about Alex Rodriguez taking steroids broke, we have been bombarded by article after article, news report after news report and continuous, repetitive discourse on the subject. Most of the commentary has been negative to the point of the absurd. The demonizing of this man has taken on new heights from supposedly intelligent professionals. Quite frankly, I have seen murderers—who are real criminals—get better treatment.
These reports have driven the issue to such dimensions that Bud Selig once again pandered to the public with baseless threats to 'punish' A-Rod and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) did his own grandstanding on the subject with rumblings about bringing A-Rod in to testify before Congress. Has everyone lost the ability to put things into perspective? Are we such sheep that we allow the press to manipulate what we think?
Among the countless stories, articles and opinions I have seen very little on the role of the press. Blame has rightly been laid at the feet of the players, the union, the commissioner, the trainers, et al. Each is culpable to some degree. But what about the media itself? What is their responsibility?
With few exceptions the press has turned this into a media circus. A feeding frenzy of out sized proportions. The press in New York has been especially guilty in this regard. Writers such as George King and Joel Sherman of the NY Post and the increasingly irrelevant Mike Lupica and Bill Madden of the NY Daily 'Snooze' have taken the lead.
These writers label Rodriguez a 'liar' and a 'cheat'. They call him 'A-Roid' and 'A-Fraud' and pontificate on how he needs to be more forthcoming and that this will be a season long distraction. The trouble with that logic is that they are the very ones who continue to exacerbate the problem. In fact George King acknowledged as much when he stated in a recent article; 'Rodriguez's teammates will be asked about it forever...'
My question is 'Why?'
What is the purpose of badgering A-Rod's teammates or even A-Rod himself ad-nauseam? What is to be gained? If Rodriguez has more details to reveal it will be to someone in authority, not beat writers continually trying to sensationalize the story.
From what I have read most fans, myself included, are tired of the issue and really don't care what happened six years ago. We know there is/was a steroid issue in MLB. Most professional sports, the NFL in particular have similar problems but don't garner the same level of 'righteous indignation' that baseball does. That double standard is unfortunate but the bottom line is MLB has a testing policy in place with severe repercussions for those that are caught using. It's time to move on.
Let me be clear that I am not excusing or condoning Rodriguez's behavior. Everyone must endure the consequences of their own actions. What's especially frustrating, however is the 'holier than thou' attitude many in the media take. The press is among the least qualified to sit in moral judgment of anyone and yet they continue to denigrate A-Rod.
Note to the sports writers—start writing about the game and not the player's personal lives or problems. The A-Rod steroid issue was last week's news and has been reported to death from every angle.
Let it go. It will only continue to be a distraction as long as you let it.
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