Penn State professor Michel Haigh is interviewed on a blog posting today by Shaun Assael, author of Steroid Nation, about media coverage of athletes accused of doping. What she found: That denial of wrongdoing by athletes isn't met very kindly by journalists (or the public). Instead, the better strategy seems to be an apology, such as that issued by Jason Giambi.
Assael speculates that another less-effective strategy, however, could become more effective as fans begin to grow deaf to the steady drumbeat of sports scandals: that of "reducing offensiveness" -- or, simply put, positioning the bad behavior as not-so-bad. As Assael notes, if that happens, players like Barry Bonds may have a chance at career revival.