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Baseball And Steroids

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One claim that Uricchio stresses in his article on 9/11 was that the news media has the tendency to frame events that it covers. Uricchio argues that the news media uses, "The quick transformation of unpredictable live events into familiar narrative patterns, it can be argued, produces a certain comfort; but it also frames the event, establishing specific ways of thinking about the situation, together with an inclination towards narrative resolution" (39). This framing of events can be seen in almost any news story. Such as the recent story on baseball and steroids, in which the news media has tried to alter the public's view of baseball. The news media framed the story as if baseball had turned its head and looked the other way while steroids were openly taking over the game of baseball. Due to the tolerance of steroids by baseball the news story contends that the sport has quickly lost its reputation with the public and gained interest to government investigations.

The way the news looks at baseball's allowance of steroids right in front of their eyes leads them into writing in a derogatory way about baseball's intention on fixing the problem of steroids. As when Murray Chass stated, "On one coast, a member of one branch of the government is threatening baseball and its players union by saying that if they do not quickly agree to strengthen their steroids testing program, he will introduce legislation to do it for them" (1). This lack of prompt action on the side of baseball shows its unwillingness to cooperate with the governments commands. This leads to another issue that Chass mentions, which is the fact that baseball has been known to put the matter of steroids aside in order for the interest in baseball to be restored. Chass wrote, "In 1998, when Mark McGwire was on his way to breaking the season home run record, he was found to be using a steroidlike supplement...But the race between McGwire and Sammy Sosa revived interest in baseball that faded with the 1994-95 strike, and [Commissioner] Selig did not want to undermine that recovery" (3). From this quote Chass, and the previously mentioned statement show that the news media is trying to represent baseball as a sport in need major changes in priorities.

The main priority that the news story frames baseball as needing is that steroids are not just performance boosters that baseball players take to compete at a higher level, but they are illegal and should be regulated by organizations as strongly as any other illegal substance is regulated. An example of how the articles baseball prioritizing steroids in front of the law can be seen in Bill Shaikin's article when he quotes Bill Moss, former general counsel for the player's union, arguing why steroids should not be a problem to baseball as Moss states, "[The] owners [have] yet to demonstrate why random testing should trump privacy rights and a presumption of innocence. What really is the difference between performance-enhancing substances, performance-enhancing equipment and performance-enhancing trainers" (qtd in Shaikin 2)? In other words, the news story presented by the media is saying that player's privacy rights are the deciding factor in whether the team can regulate them from taking steroids.

This privacy issue leads to the news media's next frame on the story. The news media represents baseball's reasoning behind not excepting a new stricter steroids policy due to the government's inability to take the player's confidentiality into account. Chass' opinion was that, "Confidentiality is the key to the players' acceptance of any program, and they feel that the government's action violated the promise of confidentiality, as well as anonymity, under which the tests were to be conducted" (1). In spite of this belief by the players, the government has the right to search for any evidence of steroids as at this point the only people who are in control of steroid use is the organizations. Evidence in the news stories lead people to misunderstand how the players are being regulated. As the frame that the government is invading privacy matters should keep some other force from regulating the use of steroids. This is seen when Chass writes, "It seems highly unlikely



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