Peace, Lies and Baseball - Live From Beiijing! - by Gregg Adams

Hey sports fans, did you watch NBC's coverage of the Olympics Sunday, August 10Th? Well if you didn't, you missed some riveting television! The men's 4x100 relay final, China vs. the U.S. in women's gymnastics, but most importantly, Costas vs. Bush. As you may be aware, our President is multi-tasking in Beijing, discussing humans rights and freedom of the press with President Hu Jintao, admonishing Vladimir Putin for violence and "disproportionate response" in bombing Georgia and reassuring baseball fans that it's important the sport "be clean". Over the last few days has Dubya had more air and hang time than a Kobe Bryant dunk; waving the flag, providing pep talks for the basketball team and hanging with beach volley ball star Misty-May Treanor. The giddy way he's prancing around our athletes in Beijing kinda reminds me of the 9 year old winner of the 'Tell Cheerios why you deserve a trip to the Olympics!' contest. (Just what was he doing with Misty anyway?) In all seriousness, Bob Costas structured what could have been a great forum for the President. Whether you believe he should have attended the games or not is your call, however it did present an opportunity to show the world that he is on top of his game, active in managing diplomatic relations and working with his peers to avert another world crisis between Russia and Georgia. The result? Once again, I was dumbfounded by his lack of skill in communicating our position on the issues and his obvious inability to see the irony, and in some cases, absurdity of his answers. For example, after Costas asked him about what he had said to Putin regarding the conflict in South Ossetia, he remarked: "It was just interesting to me that here we are trying to promote peace and harmony and we're witnessing a conflict take place". He also articulated "There needs to be a international mediation there for the South Ossetia issue". Is the same leader who refused to consider mediation as an option before his ruthless invasion of Iraq now channeling John Lennon? One particular answer provided crystal clarity on the President's grasp of the issues back home: Costas: This past week you restated America's fundamental differences with China. THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Costas: But given China's growing strength and America's own problems, realistically how much leverage and influence does the U.S. have here? THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I don't see America having problems. HMMMM, perhaps our next commander-in-chief will not only admit there are problems, but take an active role in helping to resolve them. After he set that whole 'American problem' misconception straight, he moved on to human rights: Costas: Then this past week they revoked the visa of Joey Cheek, an exemplary Olympian who had planned to come here not to directly protest China's government, but to call attention to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Costas: What's your reaction? THE PRESIDENT: My reaction is I'm sorry Joey Cheek didn't come, he's a good man. Joey Cheek has just got to know that I took the Sudanese message for him. My attitude is, is if you got relations with Mr. Bashir, think about helping to solve the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. That was my message to the Chinese government. I pray the Chinese government doesn't follow the example the Bush administration has set on this issue - a total lack of action and commitment. In closing, we all know that Dubya knows baseball. Why he even owned the Texas Rangers at one time. I may be wrong, but didn't he own them during the time period currently being investigated by George Mitchell for rampant use of steroids? Why yes he did, which makes this exchange all the more interesting: Costas: Briefly, one more sports question. THE PRESIDENT: Sure. Costas: You have been outspoken -- your past connections to baseball; you used a State of the Union speech to do it, to talk about performance-enhancing drugs in sports. Marion Jones recently petitioned you for clemency. THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Costas: She's serving time because of involvement in the BALCO case -- one-time Olympic hero. We know many Olympians and in your favorite sport and mine, baseball, big names -- Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens. What's your feeling about this and how much do you, as an American, trust the integrity of the sports you watch? THE PRESIDENT: Yes, well, you know, let's just talk about baseball. Obviously one of the great things about baseball is we can compare the records of the players of the '50s to the '60s and the '70s, and obviously the 1990s, and it is very important for there to be a -- for the sport to be clean so that the great continuity and the history of baseball is real. And secondly, we don't want adults sending mixed messages to children, that it's okay to shoot up drugs in order to become a star, because it's not okay. Here's a news flash for you George - it's not OK to deceive the American people in order become a star in the eyes of the Oil industry either. Most Baby Boomer's you talk to agree that the 60's were a hazy period to recall , for the Decider, it seems to be the 80's!

1 comment:

Yagnesh Vadgama said...

HA! How nuts was that interview!? And how annoyed did Bush look when Costas kept talking to him? Personally I was under the impression that our elected official(s) should have to answer any questions thrown his/her way. I digress ..

What had me coughing up lungs laughing was when Bush was upset with Putin for invading Georgia, talking about how it's not right to invade foreign nations. Pardon me for asking ... WHAT DID WE DO IN IRAQ?!

Can November 4th hurry the f*ck up?