What Difference Does It Make?

Lance Armstrong used various drugs and blood doping to enhance his performance during his cycling career, and now we have Beyonce, singing at the presidential inauguration, using pre-recorded music to enhance her performance. Both performers have engaged in essentially the same conduct (including the claim that “everyone does it”), yet somehow it’s only Armstrong who faces a lifetime ban from sports, lost endorsements, lawsuits, and perhaps more criminal investigation.

Beyonce, meanwhile, goes about her merry way without a care in the world. And one Slate writer positively gushes over her, concluding that Beyonce answered her critics in the “most badass way possible,” by singing the national anthem a capella during the press conference for her upcoming Super Bowl gig. During the press conference, Beyonce made just about every excuse possible for her decision to lip-synch, except blaming George Bush. But perhaps the White House will put out a statement correcting that oversight.

The inconsistent treatment of Armstrong and Beyonce for identical conduct seems odd. But then, maybe it’s not so odd after all. Beyonce’s deception took place during Obama’s inauguration, and it’s accepted among liberals that a lie here or a lie there is okay as long as the lies are done in the service of the liberal vision. Liberals will either deny the lie, or as Hillary Clinton did in her recent appearance before Congress, simply dismiss the issue entirely by asking, “What difference does it make?” Hopefully Americans understand the difference it makes, but these days such optimism is probably misplaced.

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