David Carr of the NY Times pens a brilliant, must-read piece, exploring the history of Tiger Woods’ love-hate relationship with the media. Here, he scolds Tiger for the shame-on-you-media portion of Friday’s gut-wrenching apology:
Mr. Woods did take time during his talk to lecture the media on decorum — Gee, thanks for the lesson in manners, Tiger — but he has something of a point. Mr. Woods has never used his family as accessories on his brand as say, Phil Mickelson has, and he has asked paparazzi to stay away from his children.
He has made deals with the tabloid press before. In 2007, American Media Inc. agreed to kill a piece in the National Enquirer about infidelities in exchange for a cover shot and interview in Men’s Fitness.
So, if anything, his antipathy has only grown as he found himself daily in the gun sights of the tabloid and blogging media. “I think he was a little naïve about what bad press really was,” [Golf Digest’s Jaime] Diaz said.
He’s not naïve anymore. Those of us who have had some experience with human frailties all know why Tiger Woods did what he did last Friday, which was to get in a room with people he had hurt or embarrassed to say he was “deeply sorry” for what he had done. That part made sense, the beginning of a process of amends.
I just don’t know what the rest of us were doing there.
Me neither, Mr. Carr. My guess? It’s outlined somewhere in the Tiger Woods Sex Rehab Manual — “Step 9: To become a better human being, Tiger must face even more public humiliation and stage a bitterly awkward media event in the most uncomfortable environment possible for the whole world to watch (over and over again).”
I still find the whole thing surreal.