Stuck at home

THE QUOTE

“The timing is better for me. Back then, it just wasn’t right.”

WHO SAID IT

Barry Bonds on March 10.

BACKGROUND

Bonds was commenting about his return to baseball at the San Francisco Giants’ spring training camp in Arizona where he is a “roving instructor” to the team’s hitters. Bonds is the major league leader in career home runs (762) and was considered one of the greatest – if not the greatest – player when his reputation and career were ruined by his role in baseball’s steroid’s scandal. He testified in the BALCO case that he never knowingly took illegal drugs, but it was later found that his answers were misleading and he was convicted in 2011 of obstruction of justice.

THE FACTS

Bonds’ quote blames his seven-year absence from professional baseball on mere “timing.” But during that time the Giants had dropped him; no other team would pick him up; and he was spending much of his time fighting the steroids case. And then there was the 30 days of house arrest and two years of probation for the obstruction of justice charge.

TRANSLATION

Bonds employs euphemism in a bald attempt to disguise a past that no one has forgotten. A candid comment would have been: “I would have come back to baseball sooner, but I was in disgrace and no one wanted me, and I was kind of busy trying to stay out of jail.”

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The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting specializes in watchdog reporting, but as much as our government’s policies and actions need watching, so does their language. During the Vietnam war, we had “protective air strikes” -- doublespeak for bombing villages. And during the 2004 presidential election, John Kerry gave this twisted explanation of his vote on a military spending bill: "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

This new feature of pinetreewatchdog will call attention to fresh cases of the “pure wind” that blows regularly from our public figures: politicians, business people, commentators and others “practiced in the art of deception.”

As usual, we aim to be equal opportunity offenders. Because no party, no ideology, no special interest is immune from spin, obfuscation, weasel words, cant, misdirection, euphemisms, flummery, cheap shots and other forms of BS.

— John Christie, editor-in-chief

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