And his lying was in no way small potatoes as far as the world of baseball is concerned. Because of his deceit, many people, myself included have been unwilling to simply accept his half-hearted apology so that he might be more inclined to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame.
But is McGwire’s lying, in the greater scheme of things, more worthy of a scathing backlash than say, lies told by our former President about Saddham Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction which hoodwinked a nation into getting behind a pre-emtive attack? Is McGwire’s lying, in the greater scheme of things, more worthy of our continued distrust than AIG exectuives who clearly lied to the American public about their portfolios. How about lying about an alleged affair with an intern in the White House by another former President. What about the lie that Tiger Woods tells us when he pretends to be faithful to his wife but instead has dozens of women on the side? Nixon and Watergate? Hillary and Whitewater? Jimmy Swaggart?
The freeflow of information in today’s society places us all in the precarious position of judging what we pay attention to. We all are our own program directors today–setting up RSS feeds to customize the information that we want to receive. The news media has become a 24-7 battle to entertain eyes and ears and not merely to be journalistically solvent. Getting the story on first often takes precedence over getting it right as well because we are constantly moving and news outfits are competing for our clickthroughs.
So when a popular sports star admits that he’s a cheat, why does he gain more attention than others who don’t admit deceit? While I have problems with McGwire, I wonder why he has incensed my passions more than those who haven’t even admitted their obvious deceptions of the American public in far more serious matters than a ballgame could ever hope to capture?
The issue is clear. We care more about being entertained than we do about serious matters that take our time and our energy and that lead many of us to feel helpless to ever seriously think that we can make change in society.
“They’re all crooks.”
“It’ll never change.”
“It’s not worth my time.”
We’ve all said it. And before it gets worse we should start putting out energies where they really need to be.
Even a blogger like me who jumped the gun on his favorite sport but failed to be as passionate about matters that I should be more inclined to speak boldly about in these posts.
Mea culpa. I might as well ask for forgiveness too…it seems like that’s the latest trend.