Friday, February 25, 2005

Media Bias and ESPN

I wanted to leave a quick note on how much I am starting to hate ESPN. Yes, I love sports, and I watch ESPN. But for those who think that bias in the media stops at CBS and CNN, think again. I am still a little bitter that ESPN actively promoted Charles Woodson for the Heisman Trophy award several years ago, but this latest outrage is even worse than that.

Sportscenter this past evening had its Major League Baseball experts come on the show and say that there is no way anyone can keep Barry Bonds out of the Hall of Fame. They even went so far as to say that there is no way anyone can take away his records or even put an asterisk next to his name in the record books. This is hands down the stupidest thing I have heard in a few years.

Assuming that the Grand Jury testimony that was leaked is accurate Barry Bonds admitted to unknowingly taking steroids the year he set the major league single season homerun record. What more does anyone need? Whether it was knowing or not, he was cheating the year he set the record (the Feds seem to imply that they have a lot more evidence on Mr. Bonds). That deserves at least an asterisk. If this happened in Track and Field or the Olympics, Barry Bonds would be disqualified, forfeit anything he won, and be suspended for two years. ESPN thinks that it is not enough to strip Barry Bonds of anything, or even make a note of it in the record books. We know that Pete Rose gambled on baseball as a manager, but that never affected any of those 2,000+ hits he recorded, and baseball rightly excludes him from the Hall of Fame. Barry Bonds admitted to cheating. ESPN obviously thinks that cheaters should get to keep all that they won by cheating. It seems obvious to me that ESPN knows it makes more money, gets more viewers, and has higher ratings if people tune in to watch Barry try to set new records. Yet, if people think that Barry is a cheater, and his records illegitimate, then no one watches. It is sad to see news organizations sell out, even if that organization is sports news.