Friday, February 25, 2005

On Liars and Cheats

Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics.com, one of my favorite blogs, offers a discussion about lying and cheating. He pits baseball player Barry Bonds a likely steroid user who is on the heels of Babe Ruth's home run record, and University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, on the heels of Osama bin Laden as an America hater, against one another for the award for the biggest liar/cheat. This is a hard one, so I'll evaluate them both in terms of the affect their respective disgraces have on society.

Churchill is about as anti-American as you get without having attended an Al Qaeda boot camp. He hates Americans and all we stand for. Take a look at this post and then this and this by his fellow (and fairly liberal) CU professor, Paul Campos (all courtesy of RealClearPolitics). He lied about his heritage to get into what is a fairly useless position in the ethnic studies department at CU, has limited academic credentials, and applauds the murder of Americans. He has been exposed as a fraud, and he, of course, blames the right. Because, presumably, people in the middle and even on the non-pink left would supposedly side with his Stalinist world view.

But Churchill is not a teacher, he's a preacher. And he pontificates his peculiar message of hate in a department with no real academic value, reserved for angry people who receive six figure salaries to rehash grievances which they never personally experienced. In short, he's a phony. Nobody but a few like-minded fools takes him seriously, and he is more novelty than influence. He entered the national scene as a joke, just as he will leave it.

Barry Bonds is a guy whose baseball card many young kids want. He is a master home run hitter. But there are serious allegations that he did steroids and his response to them is revealing. He won't define the parameters of cheating, much less associate steroid use with it, reminding us of the "no controlling legal authority" argument. Which is like saying that a stop sign is somehow an ambiguous instruction. His red herring that tobacco and alcohol should be greater concerns is curious, given that it is unlikely that any player's performance has ever been enhanced by inebriation or after a cigarette or some chaw. His previous allegation that a trainer slipped it into a cream also falls flat. These athletes make a point of knowing what they are putting on/in themselves. And if Bonds later learned that he was slipped a Mickey Finn, he should have cried it from the mountain tops and implicated the trainer before he was "caught". Because silence implies acquiescence.

But then Bonds played the increasingly dog-eared race card...the cry of the exposed wrongdoer trapped in a truly hopeless and embarrassing position. His use of this tired old phony defense, rather than causing the media (whom he also called liars) to retreat like Dracula at the sight of a cross, only increased the scent of blood in the water. Come on Bonds, we know what's going on.

The race between these two individuals is very close, but I have to give it to Bonds because everyone Ward Churchill is on his face an unprincipled, unpatriotic and largely unintellectual moron. People don't look up to fools like him. But kids did look up to Barry Bonds. When sports figures do drugs in an effort to break the rules to get an unfair advantage, it sends a very disturbing message to young fans. Bonds was going to be a multi-millionaire regardless of how many records he was going to break. Was the sale of his soul and his image worth the extra money?

Spare us the defense Barry. We know what you did. It seems that you're the only one who doesn't.

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