Three years ago I wrote this post including the same graphic. The graphic is as meaningful to me today, if not more so, as it was then.
This post is not a speculative commentary about the recent news swirling around Tiger Woods. Instead, it’s a commentary – and a sad one at that – about the seemingly insatiable appetite people have for not just wanting to observe, but for psychologically wanting to “get-off” gawking at the plight of others.
Current events imploding upon Tiger Woods could happen to Joe Blow and nobody would know, notice, or care.
Fine, I get it that Tiger is, well Tiger. I am not suggesting the issue could or should go unreported. But it’s a little more than idle curiosity when half, if not more than half of those following the Tiger story are secretly hoping, if not outrightly cheering along at the prospect of the more salacious outcome. Would we wish the same for Joe Blow?
On Friday afternoon I was driving back from a business meeting in Toronto when shortly after 2pm 680 News was reporting that “Tiger Woods had been in a car accident and was seriously injured.” I admit that within seconds I was on the phone to my good golfing buddy, Ross, to inform him of the news. Difference is, not for a millisecond was I thinking, let alone hoping, this was, or would turn into, a so-called sex-scandal.
Not dissimilar to when I heard the first bits of emerging news about Michael Jackson, when I heard Tiger had been in a car accident I was immediately and immensely concerned for the wellbeing of the person who represents everything he does to a game so near and dear to my heart. It was both a selfish concern I may never see Tiger play again, and a more genuine concern that harms way might have come to a person for whom – while I have never met – I feel a certain sense of friendship and familiarity.
In that instant while on the phone with Ross, I was informing and sharing with a close friend who I know feels the same about golf and Tiger, that something tragic could be in the making.
However the tragedy is no longer about Tiger sustaining physical injuries from a car accident, but rather the ever-growing and incalculable damage that is being [deliberately] inflicted as we breathe, speak, and type.
To the business of Media, and everything good and bad that would flow from it, the salacious versus the innocent outcome is worth hundreds if not thousands of times more than say Anna-Nicole, MJ, OJ, or Monica. Nearly every outlet from the relatively little-known 680 News, to TMZ, to Larry King’s CNN can’t wait to take their best shot at destroying Tiger, but above all, the image of Tiger.
Like everyone else, will I watch and observe this story, a story that has all the makings of “the story of the year?” Of course I will.
But where possible I will also pass along the best piece of advice given by Liam Neeson’s character in the 1995 movie Rob Roy; “…brother, bad enough that it might be so without you wishing it.”