Thursday, May 04, 2006

SF Chronicle Conspiracy

Up to this point in the Barry Bonds controversy I've given the San Francisco Chronicle the benefit of the doubt as part of the problem. They are just another part of the media frenzy that feeds on sensationalized news stories to sell newspapers. Remember, "Greed is Good" in business and newspapers will do just about anything to get more readers.

That being said, I pick up the San Francisco Chronicle this morning and see the headline story with a big picture of a man who somewhat resembles Barry Bonds in his head shape. Actually they look nothing alike but the picure in the paper is cropped enough to give the illusion. The heading reads "Moussaoui Taunts The U.S., Zacarias Moussaoui being the al Qaeda conspirator sentenced to life in prison for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Below this full page headline in dead center is the heading "Records may fall but the Babe endures. The picture that accompanies this story is of Barry Bonds laid out on his back being attended to after getting hit in the forehead by a batting practice foul ball. On further review I discover the heading about the Babe is not a cheap shot at Barry falling down with injury as in "Records may fall," but a front page feel good story about Babe Ruth's greatness and larger than life persona.

There is no mention of concern for Barry's health. When you flip to the bottom of the front page there's a huge picture of Babe Ruth swinging a "hearty swing at a pitch in New York's Yankee Stadium on June 18, 1929. Slightly above this is the heading, or more like the underlying comment of "Bond's pregame scare," accompanied by the following:

Giants trainers attend to Barry Bonds after the heavy hitter fell to the ground hit in the head by a foul ball while watching batting practice before Wednesday's game with the Brewers in Milwaukee. See story, Page D1.

When I turn to page D1 there's a picture of Barry sitting up but still on the ground while trainers continue checking on him. The heading? "Was Curse of the Bambino at play?" Whatever happened to questions about the effects the injury may have had on Barry's game play? Instead, the article starts out by suggesting maybe the Red Sox curse has found a home in San Francisco. The remainder of the article is rather good, with a touching part about Barry giving a 9-year-old boy an autograph and talking with him one on one. Mind you the larger article about Babe Ruth, which continued on page A7 painted a much warmer picture of the Babe than this article did of Bonds. But it's those darn headings that make me feel like maybe, just maybe, the SF Chronicle has become very anti-Bonds. Let any other star of a team get knocked down for seven minutes by a hit in the head and their hometown newspaper would have x-ray charts and doctor's opinions all over the front page. Is the chronicle conspiring against Barry Bonds for whatever reason? Just read the headlines.

As for the al Qaeda terrorist look-alike, that may fall into the "who shot JFk" realm. You tell me, two hated dark skin men who have similar head shapes, and then a larger than life white hero after a hearty swing at bat with a blissful smile. Remember "Greed is Good" and they'll do whatever it takes to get people to buy and read their newspaper. I sure hope Barry is okay. We're in third place in our division and don't even want to think about curses this season. Besides, three more Home Runs and then in place of the Babe Ruth stories we may see Hank Aaron stories. I doubt it though. Hank Aaron is Black.

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