Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

March 29, 2019

Screwball

Filed under: drugs,Film,sports — louisproyect @ 7:48 pm

Opening today at Cinema Village is a documentary titled “Screwball” that takes a light-hearted look at the performance enhancement drug (PED) scandal that led to the suspension of Alex Rodriguez in 2014. Most of the film consists of interviews with two of the principals: his supplier Tony Bosch reminiscing about the affair and a naïf named Porter Fischer, who introduces himself as a professional tanner and who purloined files from Bosch’s Biogenesis Labs office in order to pressure Bosch into repaying a $4000 debt. As a comic device, there are reenactments of the various players in this scandal by young boys who appear in baseball or business suits, fake mustaches, fake tattoos, etc., and whose dialog is supplied by adult voiceover. All of this takes place with a film score that sounds like the accompaniment to a slapstick comedy, which in many ways it is. Despite the comic intent, there are some genuinely dark aspects including the revelation that Bosch went to prison not so much for supplying A-Rod and other professional baseball players but for supplying PED’s to high school kids who needed them to compete at  a level necessary to get an athletic scholarship. With Bosch often injecting them with their parents’ consent, you get a feel for the generally depraved character of athletic competition, especially in Florida, where Biogenesis was based.

The first wave of steroid abuse was connected with their fairly open use in the Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire era. After they and other players were outed by José Canseco in his 2005 book “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big”, it became too risky to use PEDs openly since drug tests were routinely required. Tony Bosch, a Cuban-American living in south Florida who operated an anti-aging clinic, had devised a protocol that kept drugs beneath the level that could be detected in a urine sample. Once the word got out, players flocked to his clinic to get a leg up on other players, especially fading stars like Alex Rodriguez.

Bosch wore a lab coat and a stethoscope in his office to give the impression that he was a physician. His degree came from a medical school in Belize that was not even up to the level of a diploma mill. Tony Bosch was the slacker son of a licensed physician who made himself available to his son for signing prescriptions. As shady as his father was, he was not nearly as criminal as his cousin Orlando Bosch, who in addition to being a physician was a Cuban counter-revolutionary who bombed a Cuban civilian airliner, killing all 73 people on board.

As his business expanded, Bosch partnered with a tanning salon chain run by two brothers. The idea was to draw people in who could get fitter and tanner under the same roof. This was Florida, after all.

The real question is how such a business could get a foothold in Florida. In my review of “American Relapse”, I pointed out that drug rehab centers in Florida do not require a physician to be on staff. This is the true of anti-aging clinics, as well. They will inject steroids into anybody’s arm as long as they have cash on the barrel.

This is what you’d expect in a state with a governor like Rick Scott.

Gov. Rick Scott took responsibility? No, he took $300 million | Randy Schultz

South Florida Sun Sentinel

October 2, 2018

By Randy Schultz

When the federal investigation of Rick Scott’s former hospital company became public in 1997, the board of Columbia/HCA forced him out. Scott left with $300 million in stock, a $5.1 million severance and a $950,000-per-year consulting contract for five years.

What does Scott call that? Taking responsibility.

The governor’s new Senate campaign ad again seeks to rewrite the history of Columbia/HCA, which Scott founded in 1987 and led as CEO. Indeed, the ad is titled “responsibility” and compares Scott’s actions to those of “strong leaders.”

In its settlement with the government, the company admitted to 14 felonies related to fraudulent billing and practices. Most happened under Scott’s leadership.

Read full article

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