Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Uncomfortable truths (or lies)

Two new books are being criticized today for the mere fact of being written. We have heard reports that the book on A-Rod by Selena Roberts reveals details of alleged use of performance enhancing drugs by the baseball superstar from his days in high school through to times with his present employer, the New York Yankees. In a not so veiled accusation, the Yankee manager, Joe Girardi took to the airwaves questioning the timing of this publication (it being moved up to coincide, not so coincidentally he implies, with the return of A-Rod from recent surgery) and also stating that there are parts of one's life that one's children should not be forced to hear about. It is the, 'I am not proud of everything I have done' argument for privacy.

Now, Maureen Dowd in her oped of May 6, 2009 discusses "A Complicated Question". Ms Dowd is openly critical of the decision of Elizabeth Edwards to write a book which is billed as intended to help people 'facing life's adversities and offering inspirational meditation on the gifts we can find'. To Ms. Dowd, it is just another unfortunate "gratuitous peek into their lives and one that exposes (Ms. Edwards) kids by peddling more dregs about their personal family life... and the ex girlfriend". She concludes that "the really complicated question is what she hopes to gain from this book".

Here is the short answer. Don't read the book if you don't feel it is worthy. Many in the public are fascinated by everything A-Rod and by the human tragedy of Elizabeth Edwards and the fall from grace of her husband. The subjects of these books are in the public eye and the truth, and possible mistruths, about them are not to be silenced because either one does not like or understand the message, or questions its veracity or necessity. It is not only the convenient truths that are allowed to get airtime. Read it, or don't read it, but don't challenge the right of the author to choose the timing or the content of their publication. Mr. Girardi and Ms. Dowd have to know better than that.

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