By Ron Howell
I remember being in front of the television once, mindlessly
watching a stupid movie, and this guy on the screen pulls out a gun, identifies
himself as an I.R.S. agent and begins firing at some poor fellow, a shocked tax
I thought the scene was hilarious. I always had this notion of I.R.S. agents as trigger-happy, overly zealous, poor excuses for law enforcement officers.
And now, having read the recent New York Times exposé revealing that it was a wild I.R.S. agent who targeted Barry Bonds, things began to fall into place for me.
All along I had been wondering what the big deal was. Why were “they” going after this guy who in his 40s did an amazing thing – hit more home runs than anyone before him in professional baseball?
All of a sudden there's a mission to go after athletes for
using drugs?In this case Barry Bonds for allegedly using body-building
And now the answer. An agent named Jeff Novitzky – who seems
almost high on speed in his zealotry and who tried to get the Times not to
publish his name or use his picture – is the one who went after Barry Bonds.
Herewith is the story and above is the photo, showing I.R.S. Special Agent Jeff Novitzky, left, walking ahead of Barry Bonds in 2003 when Mr. Bonds gave his grand jury testimony.
The picture was originally taken by Paul Chinn and published
by the San Francisco Chronicle.
(Most of you know that Bonds was recently indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice related to the steroid using case.)
Ron Howell is a veteran journalist and neophyte blogger. Over the years, Ron has been a reporter – domestic and overseas – for Newsday, The Associated Press, Ebony Magazine, The New York Daily News and The Baltimore Evening Sun.