Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Year of the Tiger

Recent attention on the sexual exploits of Tiger Woods made me wonder what the story is really about. At first, it appeared to be a minor story of Tiger driving badly. Of course, the local police who responded to the incident felt the need to mention that a window was broken out on the car, apparently with a golf club. This seemed unusual given the fact that the accident was not serious at all.

Enter the media. The scrutiny about that window and the golf club started to build with the intensity of a conspiracy investigation. Speculation was rampant: Had Tiger and Elin had a fight? Was there trouble in paradise? If so, pray tell, what was going on??

The story grew from being the report of a minor incident to a demand for answers about the 911 call, the smashed car window and the golf club. Somehow, there was an expectation that an explanation must be given--nothing less would be acceptable. Was this really news? Was this really anyone's business? Why were we supposed to care?

At about the point my disgust with the media coverage--which spanned the sports reports, national news, and entertainment news--the Women started coming forward.

The Women emerged from obscurity to openly admit Tiger had been sleeping with them. One woman had saved all of her voice mail messages; another had over 300 saved text messages. Reporters couldn't get these women and their artifacts in front of a television camera fast enough. Was it simply a case of, "Aha! We told you there was scandal in the car vs. tree incident."

Seriously. How can someone claim to have a loving and special relationship with Mr. Woods and then rush to the news outlets with 300 text messages to share? Were all of those messages kept because they were special, personal treasures? That's highly doubtful. Who saves hundreds of text messages and then admits to an adulterous affair? I suspect love's got nothing to do with it. This is not the behavior of someone who is who is love with Tiger or who cares for him in any way. Could it be these women were just waiting for the opportunity to show that they had, in fact, snuggled up to a famous (married) guy?

Ladies, nobody is proud of you. Nobody thinks this was an accomplishment on your part. You have just revealed how little class you have.

The ongoing media coverage of Tiger's indiscretion has troubled me, as well. He's a man. He plays golf. He endorses products. And, like millions of other men, he got caught being a serial adulterer. I'm still not sure why that's news nor am I convinced it's anyone's business other than the members of the Woods's household.

Tiger Woods is a golfer, a professional athlete. Do sports figures really have an obligation to be role models? Should we care how they spend their money or their time away from their work? Should it matter to anyone other than Elin?

I would say no.

Another rich guy let his ego get the best of him and he screwed around a lot. Not news, not interesting, not worth the press conference or the hours of television, newspaper, radio, and online coverage.

The world is a busy place full of real scandals that affect our safety, our health, our freedom, and our finances. Events happening every day are shaping the every-day lives of regular people but we don't even hear about it.

Even the media outlets have forgotten what is news.

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