The closing remarks from HBO’s Bryant Gumbel (above) on tonght’s “Real Sports”, as culled by Watchdog’s Neil Best. Compared to Rep. Townes, Suzyn Waldman seems downright reserved.

œFinally tonight, a few words about flattery. Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state and notorious self-promoter, once observed that ˜Those who say flattery doesn™t work have never had it practiced on them.’

œThat quote would seem to have registered with Roger Clemens, who, facing congressional hearings this week into his alleged steroid use, suddenly became civic minded last week, and made a number of personal house calls on Capitol Hill. Given Clemens™ well-earned reputation for surliness, his transparent charm offensive was to many— exactly that. Aside from the obvious question about why elected officials would consent to meet with a freshly deposed witness in advance of his testimony, you™ve also got to wonder just how much Roger™s shameless slurping may have compromised the objectivity of those slated to question him.

œFollowing some face time with the accused, one California Republican came away gushing about how much Clemens was the kind of guy you™d want as a neighbor. Since neither party has a monopoly on bad judgment, a Democratic congressman from Brooklyn named Edolphus Towns (above), all but fell at Clemens™ feet. Parroting the pitcher™s defense after their meeting, Towns claimed his half hour personal visit had made him a believer in Clemens™ character.

œNow I obviously have no idea if Roger Clemens is guilty of that which he is accused. Maybe he is. Maybe he isn™t. But you do have to wonder why someone who™ll be under oath and claims he™s innocent would engage in what looks like the political equivalent of jury tampering to try to influence his reception before a House committee. You could argue it™s good insurance. Or you could conclude that on the heels of an interview, a press conference, a taped phone call and a deposition¦he doth protest too much.