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Clemens Goes to Congress

Congress spent more than four hours questioning Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee about steroids. And, as Bill Littlefield comments, after more than four hours, we don't know any more than we did when we started.

First, let us understand the higher purpose for all this talk about the running nanny in the two-piece bathing suit, the basement-dwelling gauze pads stained with seven year old blood, the party that may or may not have been a party which Roger Clemens may or may not have attended in order to discuss drugs, unless that wasn't what he was discussing, assuming he was there.It's for the children.And it might work. Certainly no child over the age of eight who watched Wednesday's hearing will ever want anything to do with steroids. Such a child, assuming there is some light behind that child's eyes, will understand that steroid use might bring him into contact with the people who run such hearings. Everyone is entitled to his or her own understanding of hell. My version is being trapped in a room full of people relentlessly asking me questions I've already answered many times. Perhaps they are trying to catch me in a lie. Perhaps they have not been listening. Maybe they just figure they're as deserving of time on TV as any of their esteemed and honorable colleagues. Wouldn't it have been terrific if one of those congress people had said, "I pass?" What we learned from Wednesday's hearing is that according to committee chairman Henry Waxman, Roger Clemens is a credible and convincing person...except for the statements in his deposition that turned out to be untrue. We also learned that one congressperson regards Clemens as "a titan in baseball," and that another is grateful for all the charitable deeds that have been attributed to Clemens. We learned that Clemens regards himself as "guilty of being too nice to everyone." We learned that Brian McNamee, the trainer who says he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone, got a doctorate from a mail-order institution in Louisiana, so why should anybody believe him about anything? We did not learn which team's cap Clemens will wear when he enters the hall of fame, if he ever does, but it wasn't because one of the congress people didn't ask that question. One of them did. You could look it up. Shortly thereafter, another of the congress people reassured any of us who had begun to regard the whole exercise as perhaps the result of a fragment of an underdone potato that we shouldn't worry, because the U.S. Congress was "working on other major issues, too." What? Other issues as major as this one? What could they be?

This program aired on February 14, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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