Poor Congress. The House Government Committee on Reform uses the dual timeliness-hook of a controversial new best-seller and the start of the baseball season to grab headlines and wake from its usual slumber—the committee hadn't sent out a subpoena in more than a year, until it decided that "government reform" was synonymous with demanding the results of private-sector drug tests—and yet when the big day comes, the hearings are so far only available (in Los Angeles, anyway) on the impossible-to-find C-SPAN3. The cable news channels occasionally show the video of Henry Waxman's squirrel face, while interviewing their own guests. None of the local radio stations, whether all-news, all-sports, or all-boring public affairs, are carrying the proceedings. A local sports jock just asked a guest where the steroids hearings rank in importance next to the NCAA tournament and the Shaq-Kobe rematch, and the guy just laughed.
That doesn't mean our representatives aren't making prince jackasses out of themselves. Sen. Joseph Biden told Good Morning America this morning that "This is about who we are as a nation." Senator McFinger-wagger, who was praising the sport's government-pressured new drug policy a month ago, is now saying "I can reach no conclusion but that the league and the players union have misrepresented to me and to the American public the substance of MLB's new steroid policy." And Sen. Jim Bunning, who bemoans the game's alleged lack of statistical integrity, has just created a new role for Congress—deciding what should be in the baseball record book:
Players who used steroids […] their records and statistics from when they used steroids should be wiped out.
Bunning, it might be pointed out, is one of the least-qualified Hall-of-Fame pitchers in baseball history, who probably wouldn't be there at all had he not benefited from mid-'60s rule changes that heavily favored the pitcher.
UPDATE: You can watch the debacle here.