Sunday, February 1, 2009

Phelps Scandal Exposes Government Shills

The Times reports:

Drug claim could spell disaster for Michael Phelps

The world was spellbound for a magical seven days at the Beijing Games as Michael Phelps became the greatest Olympian in history, but today his career could lie in ruins after being pictured allegedly taking drugs.

America woke up to discover that their Olympic hero, whose face smiles from packets of cornflakes on millions of breakfast tables this morning, stands accused of smoking cannabis. Athletes caught using the drug, a banned substance under rules set out by the World Anti-Doping Agency, could face a ban of up to two years.

Who the hell cares?

If anything, smoking pot probably decreases his lung capacity and thus makes him a slower swimmer. So why is this relevant to his competitive sport of choice?

People (often rightly) take note of and (often wrongly) make make a big deal out of counter-cultural bias inherent in alternative media. But stories like this one show that the allegedly neutral mainstream media has a bizarre drive to toe the prohibitionist government line. And worse than that, these deranged anti-marijuana mainstream sources go as far as to present nonsensical moral objections to drug use in the abstract as fact--giving the impression that everyone thinks or ought to think that marijuana use is a bad thing. It's no wonder so many people believe this propaganda when so much of the mainstream media is so happy to shill for it.

This is why I'm optimistic about the death of so many mainstream news outlets. Nothing clears dead wood better than fire. And only when the mass of inanimate clutter is removed can anything new grow in its place.

Update: at Slamdance: Drug War, Colombia-Style:

It's scandalous that the mainstream media care more about chiding famous athletes for smoking pot than reporting on the horrific violence that the drug war inflicts on innocent Colombians.

Update II:

Slog parses the wording of Phelps' apology:
"I engaged in behaviour which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment," Phelps said in a statement to the Associated Press. "I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. "For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again."

But what does "it" refer to? Smoking pot? Allowing himself to be photographed while smoking pot? Allowing himself to be photographed while smoking pot out of a skank-ass bong? Allowing himself to be forced by finances into making an apology for something he's going to keep doing on a regular basis? Well played, Mr. Phelps.


taco said...

Chris: What are your thoughts on prescription pill abuse?

Christopher Patton said...

I didn't get around to answering this today, but I'll write up a whole blog post on it tomorrow.