Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jason Whitlock questions Selena Roberts' credibility

Jason Whitlock, although I often don't agree with him, is one of my favorite columnists. That's because he isn't scared of what people will think of what he writes and he isn't afraid to bring it. His latest entry at FOX is no exception.
Tuesday, as I listened to Roberts defend her New York Times columns that painted the Duke lacrosse players as rapists, cowards and liars during an interview on Jim Rome's nationally syndicated radio show, I couldn't help but notice she went with the Sharp-tongue defense.

"I wrote about the culture at Duke, and there's no doubt about that. I stand by that today," Roberts said. "I separated the criminal investigation from the culture."

Maybe it's a New York, freedom-fighter thing, this amazing ability to ignore the innocence of the criminally accused while making your justifiable point that America suffers from and with racism and sexism.

Roberts' writings/rantings on Duke lacrosse have become relevant again because she's asked us to trust her anonymous investigative reporting and speculation about Alex Rodriguez, the confessed steroid cheat and home run hitter.

According to Roberts' new book and her interview blitzkrieg, Rodriguez used steroids in high school, tipped pitches to opposing batters, tipped Hooters waitresses a paltry 15 percent, was nicknamed "Bitch Tits" in the locker room and is caught up in being perfect because his father abandoned him as a child.

Her sourcing for the most damaging allegations, by her own admission, is either anonymous or non-existent. She wants us to trust her, and her New York Times- and Sports Illustrated-highlighted résumé.
Whitlock goes on to say that unlike Bob Costas, the ESPN producers and the "steroid-obsessed baseball journalists," he doesn't believe Roberts. Jayson Blair, he says, worked at The Times and he was a liar too.
It is embarrassingly disingenuous for Roberts to suggest that her columns about Duke lacrosse weren't founded on the belief that the players sexually assaulted the false accuser. Her refusal to admit this mistake and apologize makes me wonder what other truths she's willing to fudge.
Whitlock ends it, like wrestling, with the powerful finishing move:
What I'm about to write is pure speculation.

Selena Roberts believes America is a safe haven for sexism (I happen to agree, but that's beside the point). She wanted the Duke lacrosse players to be shining examples of how deep-rooted and protected our sexism is, and she was more than willing to ignore their innocence to make her point (this repulses me).

Selena Roberts believes professional sports — the money, fame and power they primarily give young men — are corrosive of good values and a haven for sexism (I happen to agree, but that's beside the point). She wants Alex Rodriguez to stand as a shining example of what's wrong with American sports, and she just might be willing to ignore flattering truths about A-Rod and publish hearsay and gossip to make her point (and this is unfair).

She's written a celebrity-gossip book, "A-Rod: Game of Innuendo." Maybe you despise Rodriguez so much that you don't care about her methods and whether the rest of the alleged mainstream media characterize her work properly.

I bet the Duke lacrosse players and Tawana Brawley's victims could explain to you why you should care.
(Hat tip to Neil Best at WatchDog for the link)

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