Clemens v. McNamee: Who’s Lying?
In 60 years of watching television, I never saw anything like it.
At one end of the witness table facing the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sat perhaps the greatest pitcher in baseball history, Roger Clemens, winner of seven Cy Young Awards. With short haircut and dressed in a conservative blue suit and rust-colored tie, Clemens was articulate, forceful, and sounding wounded and angry.
At the other end of the table was sports trainer Brian McNamee: thin, with small eyeglasses, small mouth and projecting thin chin. He answered the questions from Congress in a monotone.
It was a contentious, nasty hearing. At one point, Clemens’ two lawyers leapt to their feet and started shouting down the congressmen. From the testimony:
McNamee: And make no mistake: when I told Senator George Mitchell that I injected Roger Clemens with performance enhancing drugs, I told the truth. I told the truth about steroids and human growth hormone. I injected those drugs into the body of Roger Clemens.
Clemens: McNamee was good at what he did—helping me exercise, diet and stay in shape. We shared an interest in grueling, military-style workouts, but I never asked him, nor did he ever give me, steroids or human growth hormone.
Clearly somebody was flat-out lying under oath.
I suddenly remembered a column I wrote last October about a machine that could recognize voice stress and detect when someone was lying with 94.7% accuracy—the Dektor PSE® 5128 Psychological Stress Evaluator. It could pick up lies over television, radio and the telephone, as well as when the person was in the room.
A client of mine had wanted to use this machine as the focal point of a newsletter, The Truth, to tell subscribers whether public officials were lying or telling the truth. How I wish I had this machine aimed at the TV during the Clemens v. McNamee v. Congress melee. I said in my original column that I was sure there was a business there. Now I am surer than ever!