Buzz Bissinger, the author of Friday Night Lights, is eating crow over being a cheerleader for Lance Armstrong. He self flagellates in the Daily Beast in his article, I Was Deluded to Believe Lance Armstrong When He Denied Doping
The comment of Sir Peter Medawar in his scathing review of Père Teilhard de Chardin's book, The Phenomenon of Man, comes to mind:
"I have read and studied The Phenomenon of Man with real distress, even with despair. Instead of wringing our hands over the Human Predicament, we should attend to those parts of it which are wholly remediable, above all to the gullibility which makes it possible for people to be taken in by such a bag of tricks as this. If it were an innocent, passive gullibility it would be excusable; but all too clearly, alas, it is an active willingness to be deceived."
and: "Its author can be excused of dishonesty only on the grounds that before deceiving others he has taken great pains to deceive himself".
"They may be forgiven, because before they set out to deceive others, they went to great pains to deceive themselves."
Some of the comments on the Bissinger article are quiet incisive:
The main point to be taken here has nothing to do with Armstrong, and everything to do with the mainstream media in America today. There is a collective mentality in play, even a fawning for their subject at hand, that creates a universal bias that becomes the narrative. Journalistic integrity is dead, dead, dead. Investigative journalism only counts if the subject doesn't buy into the narrative.
Is it a mistake that the new headline in today's "Beast" edition has Obama and the words "second coming", as in "second coming of Christ", which is how the press does see the man? It certainly treats Obama that way. For if Bush had made some attempt at "executive orders" to the extent Obama has this week he'd have been pilloried. The narrative is to lionize, fawn, to add even more light to the glow only the press sees.
When Clinton wagged his finger at the American people, and lied to them, in every bit as big a conceit and deception as Lance, was his career destroyed as it should have been? No, the mainstream press loved the man beyond being lied to their face, and so the narrative is complete and utter redemption. He faces no press contempt, even today as he flies around the world with his buddy Bing, and forget all those twenty-something females, and thirty-something females that are always on the plane. No investigative journalism to be done on our beloved "statesman".
If Bissinger has even an ounce of decency this column would have been about Floyd Landis, who was absolutely destroyed by the major media, made to look like a fool, a buffoon; he was completely discredited. Where is he now? Where is the column on his courage, where is his redemption?
I can only hope that this ends the Redemption Tour, and Lance is kicked to the same hole where Pete Rose lives, a place of shame and embarrassment just outside the spot light they crave.
But it won't. Even the national news feeds picked up on the Oprah interview, and her self-serving comments led the sound bites, and were treated as "real news".
Sweet Jesus but the fourth estate needs to be torn down and rendered asunder. It's become a bloated hack for the liberal cause, running to the next microphone or word program to tell the public feel-good story lies of a football player and his imaginary girlfriend. Or how wonderful that buffoon of a vice president really is.
It's the press who has failed here, who is failing us completely. Bissinger is just another deluded egomaniacal cog in the wheel, feeding lies to the American people that he himself believes.
Some people here are incredulous at Buzz for "not doing his homework" and for making some contradictory assertions. Fair enough. Unfortunately, sometimes the conditioning of society is so strong that we only see what we have been taught to see.
Firefighter. Policeman. Teacher. Astronaut. Soldier. What is everybody thinking? Hero...right? How about cancer survivor? Here's the hard, cold reality. All of the people in those professions and circumstances are just people. Some are generally good, and some are just lucky bastards who survived to see another day, and to make that day a living hell for someone else. It is extremely unpopular to even insinuate that anyone in a glorified position in the public eye could possibly be human, and God forbid, less than human. Until the story breaks that they lied, stole, cheated, scammed, abused, murdered...or doped.
So, I don't fault Buzz for being among the masses unable to machete their way through the thick vegetation of image and propaganda surrounding Armstrong and his chosen field. Who actually watched the Tours over the years and didn't at least once think or say out loud, "How can they be that much faster than everyone else?" What? Oh right, because they're American. As it turns out, not so much. But we all dismissed those thoughts with each win. And we all deferred our doubts when so many of the public figures we admire and idolize began to sport "the yellow bracelet".
In the end, we were all conned by Lance Armstrong, even if it was just for a fleeting moment. And it looks like he's not finished with us yet...
Veteran Miami police sergeant convicted of stealing drugs and money from dealers - Miami-Dade - MiamiHerald.com
From www.miamiherald.com - January 19, 12:02 AM
A federal jury found veteran Miami police Sgt. Raul Iglesias guilty of stealing drugs and money from street dealers and lying to FBI agents about his misconduct.