Friday, September 22, 2006

Woodward and Bernstein they're not

S.F. Chronicle reporters Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada, who broke the now infamous BALCO steroids scandal and parlayed it into a multi-million dollar book, "Game of Shadows", have been sentenced to 18 months in prison appending appeal for refusing to reveal the source of the U.S. Grand Jury's leak.

While many in the sports journalism (oxymoron, anyone?) sect have been quick to laud these two as the new millenniums Woodward and Bernstein by standing up to the government and not forgoing their rights guaranteed them by the U.S Constitution, I believe their heroism is neither patriotic or precedent setting. Chalk it up to straight getting paid.

"Game of Shadows" has made both men rich and in terms of media exposure, very powerful. Any investigation into their book and discovering evidence that some believe could damage the credibility of "Shadows" would be devastating. The mere fact that the Grand Jury testimony, which was leaked to the men, has not brought about a single arrest or trial, speaks volumes about the kind of accurate reporting Fainaru-Wada and Williams did when writing their hard-hitting, accusatory book. Seems that these Chronicle reporters, much like the baseball players they accuse, seek downplay an unfair advantage they took not for the betterment of society but for the avarice of self-glory.


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