Friday, November 7, 2014

Roger the Dissembler

It's never the act but the lie. What public figure doesn't know that one, especially in the era of Social Media Sees/Hears/Witnesses All?

OK. So one public figure doesn't know that, apparently.

Come on down, Roger Goodell!

The NFL commissioner botched the Ray Rice thing about as badly as a man can botch anything, but if it takes him down it won't be the botching that does it. It will be the lying about the botching, if that in fact is what is going on.

Watergate took two years to take down Richard Nixon, and, yes, it wasn't the act but the coverup that got him -- the coverup and the lies he told to keep the coverup breathing. And so if Goodell thinks the storm has passed, it hasn't.

That was made abundantly clear yesterday, when Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome reportedly testified under oath during Rice's reinstatement hearing that the running back told Goodell on June 16 that he'd hit his wife. This again runs counter to what Goodell has repeatedly said, which is that Rice was "ambiguous" about that during the June 16 hearing.

But Newsome was in the room, and swore under oath Thursday that he heard Rice tell Goodell.

Because of a gag order, no one knows what Goodell testified to this week. But if it again differs significantly from Newsome's testimony, one of the two men perjured himself. And it doesn't seem likely it would be Newsome.

If so, Goodell's finished. He may be finished, anyway.  These things, as Watergate proved, have a long and persistent reach.

Some things do eventually go away. This will not, and should not.

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