Some time last June, rumors surfaced that New York Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003. He denied it, saying there was no story here, and promised to release his test results, which he assured us would clear his good name. From that time forward, he played the fans as fools, telling them he would release the reports as soon as Major League Baseball finished their investigation, even though everyone knew that MLB was not preventing him from releasing the results.
One morning in February, he called a few reporters and told them to come to his house in Miami in a few hours so he could release the test results (despite the fact that the MLB investigation was still ongoing, but apparently no longer a hindrance). His invited guests show up to his choreographed press conference and he allows them a glimpse of hundreds of pages of information, which they are not allowed to copy. He does provide copies of a summary report prepared by some chemist Scott Boras hired that concluded Rodriguez did nothing wrong, and which was apparently completed backin July; no reasonable explanation was provided as to why the information had been held secretive for so long or why the information was being released that day, which just happened to be 48 hours prior to Commissioner Bud Selig’s critical address to the baseball world about the dire economic straits baseball has fallen into because of the huge contracts players have been signing (beginning with A-Rod’s own 10 year, $252 million contract).
The New York Times wrote an editorial a few days later, issuing the mildest possible rebuke, noting that the whole thing was a little odd, but largely brushing the seriousness of the allegations under the rug.
Meanwhile, in Connecticut, Senator Chris Dodd gave an in-depth interview to one of the most respected journalists in the country to be aired for nearly an hour in prime time that evening. During this interview, Dodd admitted that he had made a decision he called “stupid” and “naive” and accepted a couple of sweetheart mortgage deals from his friend who ran a mortgage company. He knew it was wrong, especially since his responsibilities on the Senate Finance Committee included regulatory oversight of the very people who were giving him the VIP treatment.
He acknowledged that he got the deals because of his status as a US senator, and he deeply regretted using his official position for personal gain, but it was just the way the culture was in DC at the time and he got caught up in it. He said that he knew he could not take it back, but he would do his best to teach the incoming Congressmen and Congresswomen not to make the same mistakes he had made. He apologized to his constituents, and expressed his hope that his honesty now would begin the process of regaining their trust. He answered every question put to him, acknowledged there would be those who would not forgive him, but he committed himself to doing the best he could do as long as his constituents would have him.
For days, the media would rip Dodd for being insincere, and he would be booed loudly by the gallery when he entered the Senate chamber. But he would buckle down and do what he had been elected to do; he would find some principles and stand behind them, becoming the first Senate Democrat to break ranks on the “stimulus” bill, leading to a crushing defeat for Obama, Reid and Pelosi. Then…
Beep, beep, beep, beep.
Ughhhh, alarm clock. [stretch] I must have fallen asleep. Did I miss anything?
Cross-posted at The Artful Doddger.