Tiger by his tail

Tiger Woods. Two words that have media jump for joy. Forget about additional troops to Afghanistan, a double-digit unemployment rate and the health care debate. Tiger getting jiggywith other women and his wife apparently going ghetto on him sent the media in a tizzy. Tiger’s answer to it all: he pled for his privacy.

Through this entire melodrama, Tiger has been right about one thing — this isn’t anyone’s business but his and his family’s.

I’m a life-long journalist who strongly believes public officials and figures should be held accountable for actions that have a negative impact on the public. I argued that point and fought hard for that principal when I served as national president of the Society of Professional Journalists. But there’s something about this Tiger business that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

He did not squander public money. He did not embezel funds. He did not have an affair with someone who could impact legislation. He committed “transgressions” that may include having sex with women who are not his wife.

The advent of the 24-hour digital news cycle and niche celebrity sites puts the private lives of public figures in the spotlight — fairly or not. I just can’t help wonder whether the constant parade of stories about his or her affair ends up demeaning a profession that has so many other issues to tackle.

The views expressed on this blog are mine alone.


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