Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tiger Woods, please go away

I wasn't going to give the world's most famous philanderer (sex addiction...sure, whatever) any more virtual ink than he's already had. But two things happened today that raised my blood pressure:
  • The radio station I was listening to on the drive home led its 6 p.m. newscast with Tiger's return to golfing.
  • A national televised newscast did the same thing later in the evening, calling his comeback at the Masters "the biggest media event of the decade."
After I finished gagging, I reached for my netbook. Because I needed to vent, and words are usually my chosen means of venting. So here goes:
  • This is not newscast-leading news. This shouldn't even be worthy of any newscast. Perhaps the sports report on the local newscast, but not mainstream, national, leadoff coverage. Lineup editors please take note: This is a perfect example of someone losing perspective. I know it's been a slow news day, but this just makes you look silly.
  • Why do we reward folks like this? Yes, he's a great golfer. Probably the greatest player of all time. But who decided he's more worthy of our awe than, say, the doctor who fixed my legs when I was a kid? Our concept of what constitutes a hero needs a reboot. While I'm at it, thank you, Dr. Green.
  • Don't we all have better things to do? Sadly, it seems many of us don't. I can't fault the newscasts exclusively. They are, after all, simply trying to meet demand. And as long as viewers/consumers demand celeb-infested coverage masquerading as news, that's what they'll deliver. Welcome to TMZ Nation, everyone. We're apparently getting what we've asked for.
Thanks to some of the best PR minds on the planet, Mr. Woods is well on his way to returning to the pantheon of sporting achievement. Years from now, his sex scandal will be a mere historical blip - though in the age of the Internet, I kinda wonder how he'll explain it all to his kids once they become adept with Google.

Until then, I find myself hoping the gatekeepers of conventional and new media count to ten before they drop their objectivity and bow down at the altar of Tiger. Because after what I've heard and seen today, they seem to be missing the point of journalism - which, to me, represents the real story here.

Your turn: Am I off-base here?


Cloudia said...

You are TOTALLY on base here.

Aloha from Hawaii my Friend!

Comfort Spiral

MorahMommy said...

I couldn't agree with you more.Not discounting that he is one of the greatest golfers ever but what does that have to do with anything?

Why is what he did (betraying his wife and family) and going back to the game newsworthy at all?

kenju said...

Unfortunately, Carmi, too many people hang on every word in the media - as long as the word is about gossip, sin and degradation.

The media are geared to give people what they want and the overwhelming majority want to know every detail about Tiger and his addictions.

We can talk and write about how we don't care till we are blue in the face, but if the TV people get ratings and magazines sell - it will continue.

Anonymous said...

He's not worth the ink the papers will print. Apparently commitment means to a sports sponsor, not to a wife. Meh. whatever. He makes me want to do what my cat does when it swallows too much hair; gack on the carpet and walk away disdainfully.

Rene said...

I'm not sure what to think about the fact that the media is jumping all over this. I was in Mexico at the time of this "confession" and it was on all the channels there. So, this is not just a Canada/US thing.

The debate on this blog is more oriented towards the media angle.

I'd like to comment on the morality and ethics of it all. Who's wrong? Tiger? of course he is. The mistresses who knew the immoral acts they were engaging in? Do they have commitments to boyfriends? husbands? Are they wrong in their behavior?

Are we expecting more of Tiger? Why? Because he betrayed the sponsors who sold his clean image? to us for buying it? Of course he betrayed his wife and kids. We all know that.

I've had many debates with people who have told me that Tiger is "more" wrong then the girls he was with.

Maybe the media should debate the moral issue at stake here. Promiscuity/Adultery... which one is more wrong than the other? why?

Jeremiah Andrews said...

I think for U.S. consumption, sex scandals are a dime a dozen. With all the infidelity going around on the Hill, people don't seem to care all that much with what men do in their bedrooms, but what happens on healthcare and bailouts.

Tiger will be forgiven. He will make his short awaited debut, and it will be a rating coup for the US media and sports minds alike.

I think it all hinges on the HOPE that he play well, and possibly win the Masters Tournament. If he plays a shit game, they will say that he still needs some time to get back on track.

The media hype will be extensive and he will be on every network show for a weeks news cycle from every angle possible, because that's how shallow most viewers are.

TV viewers are fickle at best. Sex scandals are a dime a dozen. But Tiger is an icon and his star will rise again and he will once again be put on the pedestal from which is he plays it right, never falls from again...

But from one addict to another, once an addict always an addict in one form or another. I think his fix will change to media whore rather than sexual whore. And the people will fall down at the sight of him.

The brand is at stake and all those who kept him on board after the scandal broke. They want to see if their support really meant anything to Tiger in the end. I am sure he is feeling the pressure, why would he have chosen Ari Fleischer to head his pr campaign?

Haiti and Chile are far from our minds once again, because of people like Woods and the media machine. I think Canadians have better things to think about than taudry spectacle.


Mark said...

Yes, way too much emphasis is placed on these kinds of things. Yes, Tiger let lots of people down. Yes, he's a major enough figure that this should have been reported. No, it should not have been made out as news so long after it was first reported.

Anonymous said...

I'm SO glad I'm not famous.

Tiger is a human being, just like the rest of us, with a gazillion dollars and people around him who hide his secrets. Recipe for disaster. Not to say that personal responsibility doesn't play a role.

But come on y'all. Who's gonna throw the first stone?

Not me.

I'm just glad God loves me anyway.

momemts in time said...

It is a crazy mixed-up, hyped-up world we live in now. In England TW is not at the forefront of the news although UK Sportsmen in similar situations have been the subject of extensive non-news media coverage.

You are right in your example with the Dr who treated you... who do we as a society at large value and esteem, and why?

Why is it that the person who saves peoples lives at the risk of their own may be given a galantry award but those who entertain us or who make millions out of others hardship as they walk away from failing businesses receive Knighthoods. Wouldn't it be great if in the UK the next time some paramedics or firefighters risked their lives to save people, or an ordinary soldier did the same, the Queen arrived and kighted them on the spot. Lets have the Corporal Sir John Brown and Paramedic Dame Mary Smith... & wouldn't it make a hell of a mess in situations where 'dignatories' were seeking precedent and had to give way!

So come on ... the highest praise and honors for the ordinary people who serve us and those who are really brave, and remember those sports /film stars, captains of industry, politicians etc already have their financial rewards, sponsorship, publicity agents and fame so only need a small 'gong' at the most.

Linda said...

I really never cared about Tiger. Sure, he was a good golfer, and he was a role model for young black children to show them that they COULD be someone.

But to hear EVERY little step of his last few months has gone beyond the realm of normalcy, in MY opinion. Even our local stations (We're an hour from Augusta, GA, home of the Masters) keep asking what we think.

I keep saying, "it's not newsworthy...big whoop....who cares?" But apparently, people feel the need to pry into the private lives of public figures.

Believe me, I know this first-hand, apparently the need to read all of Mark Sanford's emails to/from his mistress was necessary here in The State newspaper...such drivel.

Tracie said...

Amen and amen!
You are exactly on base here....I don't watch actual TMZ...and I don't need to see "TMZ-ish" stories on the news. When I see Tiger Woods stories on the new I just keep clicking past!

Tabor said...

You are on target, but in sports money drives everything. Drugs, sex, gambling are put aside if the player is a real player, and as in this case, raises the value of the networks stock just by saying he is returning. It is not right, but it is fact.

fredamans said...

I'm tired of hearing about celebs and their putrid behavior, period.

I don't think you are wrong at all.

My biggest thing about the whole Tiger and Elin story is the talk of him giving up Golf. Why should he give up Golf to save his marriage? If he had to do that, the marriage was meant to be. Golf had nothing to do with his infidelities. He's just a pig, that's it!

sage said...

I turned off the news this morning when Tiger led the headlines... With all that's going on in the world and the most important thing is him... I agree with your rant!

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

off base?

Pamela said...

I'm ready for Cheetah Woods to be not news.

Glenn Cressman said...

Tiger is a symptom of a larger problem - that we, the public - care too much about celebrities (pro athletes included). Tiger is headline news because people are interested in what he's doing more than they're interested in anything else. They shouldn't be, but they are.

Tiger's return at the Masters will probably be the biggest media event. And Brangelina dominates supermarket checkouts. And people forgive Barry Bonds. And people actually care about Paris Hilton.

It makes no sense.

Collectively, we need to care less. "How?" is a question that I doubt we can ever answer.

But... here's a theory to chew on: our wealthy western civilization (yes, we went through a recession, but we're still rich) means we have no REAL concerns to occupy our thoughts. Do you think Iraqis care about Tiger? Do you think Haitians really care? Chileans? We have no real problems so we start to pay attention to things that merely interest us. Like movies, music and sports. Only a select few care about politics, human rights, philanthopy, etc., so those issues get pushed to the back pages of the paper and the last few minutes of the news.

Rene said...

I absolutely agree with Glenn's comments. We are rich, generally lazy (when compared to someone who's entire day is comprised of searching for food and water), and we have fabricated "problems" for us to solve to occupy our developed brains.
We gossip. We are armchair quarterbacks, always smarter than the guy on TV who trains all day. We shake our heads at Paris, Tiger, Brangolina and we have the solution for their problems.
We live in a bubble...
It's never more apparent than when I travel to a second or third world country and I overhear the "demands" from arrogant tourists (not going to generalize and say from any particular country).
I don't know the solution, but I always try to look at the raw human emotion involved. Why do Paris, Britney, and Lindsey "accidently" expose themselves in an attempt to get attention? What is missing in their lives? Why would Tiger do that? He has everything.