News flash: World did not stop for A-Rod scandal

By Chelsea Fiddyment

Some Americans were tearful over the event. Others, enraged. Some were ashamed of the trust and hope they placed in this rising star, now fallen from the sky. My children’s children will be feeling the repercussions of his actions years from now.

Yes, Alex Rodriguez admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003, when he was with the Texas Rangers.

Oh, and some economic stuff happened, too. And some fires somewhere.

In the president’s first prime time news conference, he rambled on and on about how some bill he wants to push through Congress will do blah blah blah, 4 million jobs, 800 billion dollars, whatever. Thank God Michael Fletcher from the Washington Post got the night back on track by asking Obama what he thought about A-Rod’s admission of guilt.

I mean, who really cares about the government passing one of the most dicey pieces of legislation since the PATRIOT Act with little to no regulatory measures built in, or that our children’s children’s children will likely still be paying for it?

But seriously, folks, the kicker for me happened when I caught a brief snippet of the news Monday night. A montage of clips from a “60 Minutes”-type interview played – Rodriguez seemed kind of insincere the whole time, and then the newscaster followed with “Now, on to the fires raging in Australia.”

In case you hadn’t heard amid all the discussion of the A-Rod scandal and what it means for Major League Baseball, wildfires continue to ravage the southern Australian state of Victoria. Officials said Tuesday that potentially more than 200 people have died. Authorities have still been unable to identify whether arsonists have been involved with fires in Churchill and Marysville, although the dryness and heat – including Melbourne’s record high last Saturday at 115.5 degrees – are clear contributors. More than 750 homes have been destroyed, leaving thousands without a place to live.

And here we are, hung up over steroid use. Maybe I could concede if someone found out Michael Phelps was jacked up on ‘roids instead of just smoking pot, but as things stand, it’s not worthy of the serious national news coverage it’s been given.

On the other hand, if A-Rod wants to fund part of the now-passed stimulus bill with his bloated salary as penance for his heinous misdeeds, then maybe we can talk. Or maybe, if the MLB allows the usage of performance-enhancing drugs, they could be sold by the federal government or taxed heavily in order to help pay off the $1.2 trillion debt that carried over from the end of the Bush administration.

Perhaps we’re just looking at steroid use in the wrong light. We need a little of that good ol’ American ingenuity in times like these.

Someone should have suggested to Congress that a regulated performance-enhancing drug market would establish more jobs than something like tax cuts or green initiatives.

President Obama said at his press conference in regards to the A-Rod doping scandal that “it tarnishes an entire era, to some degree.” Honestly, I believe he’s right.

The handling of the whole situation has tarnished much more than just Rodriguez’s career, his once-inevitable Hall of Fame legacy or even the National Pastime and the faith of its fans.

In a country where journalism as an industry is desperately floundering, the presentation of this whole issue has tarnished what it means to be a credible news source.

Credibility isn’t established purely by presenting factual information. Credibility means having a solid reputation based on an ability to provide not only accurate news, but pertinent and thought-provoking insight. We’re experiencing enough financial credit problems as it is in America. The last thing we need is a lack of journalistic credit, too.

Chelsea is a senior in English and creative writing and loves meeting others who appreciate the value of Kenneth Branagh’s version of Hamlet.