Tiger Woods was the untouchable golden boy of golf. While some politicians may be off limits for obvious reasons, we now see that celebrities aren’t, after witnessing the media’s character assassination blitz against the worlds #1 Athlete.
In yesteryear, such stars as Michael Jordan and politicians as John F. Kennedy enjoyed the media’s lack of thorough reporting when an incident would negatively affect their image. Not to say Jordan was out there doing the same thing Tiger Woods was, but stuff like punching his teammate in the face, his addiction to gambling, were not thoroughly reported, and probably hardly investigated. In a capitalistic country, this is somewhat understandable when you’re a breathing, walking, and living product known in many living rooms across the country.
So why throw America’s top athlete to the dogs? The media chose not to support Tiger Woods after his crash that night. Were they tired of trying to cover for him or do desperate times call for desperate measures? The rise of social media has made it very hard for the media to refute claims it would rather not admit, as the masses of citizen bloggers who can instantaneously make a report go viral far out weigh the thousands of corporate and freelance reporters. In a time of recession, the consequences of shutting down the #1 athlete will have a domino effect across many businesses and less viewers tuning in. This means less ad spend for advertisers knowing that there will be less viewers watching golf in Tiger Woods absence. That equals less viewers going out to stores to buy those products. This means a lot less money flowing and keeping America’s economy a float.
There was definitely a surge in people tuning in to hear what was going to happen next with Tiger Woods as it all unfolded in living rooms across America. This seems like a reckless move on the part of the media, but could also be a well thought out plan to bring ad revenue to the companies that are covering the Tiger Woods affair. Or maybe the media is just giving us what we want, the opportunity to see stars falling from grace, as no one questions the ethics of news reporters camping outside the front of someone’s house and also rummaging through their garbage to give us the next big break in the affair. We loved the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky affairs, and since then the media has managed to give us atleast one high affair every year.
While Michael Jordan’s biography will not be tainted by scandals of infidelity, the list of politicians, celebrities, and sports entertainers who will be is long. From Shaq, Dwayne Wade, Bill Clinton, Kobe Bryant, Eliot Spitzer, Mark Sanford, John Edwards, Alex Rodriguez, Tiger Woods, and the next persons to be added to this growing list.
In Journalism 101 students are taught to have the out most ethics and not to report with any sort of personal bias. It’s a shame the reporters of today don’t play by the basic rules of journalism and result to personal attacks on someone’s character.