Home > Journalism, Personal, Sports > Tiger Woods Goes to Heaven — The Media Goes to Hell

Tiger Woods Goes to Heaven — The Media Goes to Hell

January 22, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Lynch him in a back alley,” Tilghman said, laughing.

The quote runs roughly halfway through ESPN’s latest headline story on Tiger Woods, and Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman’s recent slipup.

The story broke a few weeks back on a Sunday. Tilghman, while broadcasting on air for the Golf Channel, discussed how players might be able to beat Tiger Woods.

Nick Faldo, Tilghman’s partner, joked that the young players should all “Gang up (on Tiger) for a while.” Tilghman responded jokingly “Lynch him in a back alley.”

They both laughed and went on.

Enter Yahoo.com.

The story broke as it always does in full nappy-headed-hoes fashion. First a few prominent blogs spoke out. Soon Yahoo.com had a story posted.

“Anchor says racist comment,” one of the taglines read. “What did she say?” was the next line.

Of course I clicked.

Then I read the story and rolled my eyes. It didn’t go away however. First ESPN jumped all over it. Then Sportscenter replayed the audio. A few national papers picked up the story, and even though it didn’t reach Imus proportions the headlines were still there.

“This is Woods time to step up and prove himself a man,” one commentator wrote. “By laughing this off, Woods will damage the African American community.”

Then the call for Tilghman’s head started.

“She must be fired!” One angry commenter noted. Soon, 1,400 similar comments were linked to the Yahoo.com story.

Woods spokesman released a statement saying Woods and Tilghman had spoken and made amends. He admitted it was a poor use of judgment, but that was it. End of story.

The media however, refused to die. Tiger finally made a statement.

“It was unfortunate,” Woods said. “”Kelly and I did speak. There was no ill intent. She regrets saying it. In my eyes, it’s all said and done.”

Tiger goes on to say, “I’ve been in that situation before. We all say things we do regret, and that’s certainly a moment she does regret.”

Then he sums it up. “It was more media-driven than anything else.”

Exactly. Media-driven.

For a man who keeps his private life at bay. Cried in his father’s arms. Made it public that he would not play in the Open if his baby were to be born. And spends millions on helping children learn. The story gets old.

I am a part of the media myself, though; sometimes I wish I were anything but.

Categories: Journalism, Personal, Sports
  1. James Menard
    January 23, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    Tim, just because you’re a part of it does not mean you need to succumb to it’s darker side. You can be the one that works to change media! Appealing to populism and using emotions to control your audience is, I think, the basest form of journalism and you do not need to stoop to its level. So, keep your chin up and write about what you believe; write the truth. I know this won’t be hard for you, I’ve seen you do it!

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