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Is this what Journalists have become?

Novelist, Essayist, (Recovering) Journalist

Is this what Journalists have become?

Like every red-blooded American male, I love sports. I love sports news almost as much as I love the actual watching of the sport. Golf is no exception, especially since it produced for us an American hero.

Had he followed after President Barack Obama’s meteoric rise, we might well have referred to Tiger Woods as “the Barack Obama of PGA Golf.” But, since he was there first, sorry Mr President. You’ll have to live with being the Tiger Woods of American Politics.

We love us some Tiger. No detail of his life goes unnoticed. From the Nike contracts to the relationship with his dad, we want to know it all. We even know about his supermodel wife. So when word came down Friday morning that our American golf hero was involved in a serious car crash outside his home, we all jumped for the remotes, for the Interwebs, and started scouring the Infosphere for every last detail we could get our hands on.

Here’s what we knew:

  • It was 2:25 a.m.
  • The wreck took place outside his Windermere, Fla. mansion.
  • He was injured.
  • His wife freed him by busting out a window with a golf club.
  • Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, though charges are “pending” – but cops won’t say against whom.
  • He was treated and released from the hospital.

The first question — what was Tiger doing driving away from his home at 2:25 a.m.? Was he Jonesing for a Starbucks? Or was there some other reason a man would want to leave his house at 2:25 a.m.?

It didn’t take the disloyal amongst us Tiger fans to connect the dots and tie the wreck in the front yard to the wreck in New York. That’s right…Tiger Woods just might have a mistress.

That little factoid has led to a flurry of speculation Elin smacked ol’ Tiger around a bit before he was forced to flee his castle for possible medical attention.

It would certainly better explain the unanswered questions surrounding Tiger’s accident. Why was he leaving? Where was he going? How did he lose control in his own driveway? How did he sustain such serious injuries in such a relatively minor accident? Why was he driving a Cadillac SUV instead of a Buick?

Those questions are all well and good, but I’m left with a bad taste in my mouth after reading this gem from the Associated Press.

What specifically struck me is just how close AP got to answering all those questions above. But buried in the last third of the article, near the very bottom, was this little squirrel:

The accident came two days after the National Enquirer published a story alleging that Woods had been seeing a New York night club hostess, and that they recently were together in Melbourne, where Woods competed in the Australian Masters.

The woman, Rachel Uchitel, denied having an affair with Woods when contacted by the AP.

Let me get this straight. The National Enquirer publishes a story two days ago and now, you, the Associated Press, decide to follow it up with a visit with the alleged mistress? Seriously? The National Enquirer is now a trusted source in news? I guess this is the world built by Rupert Murdoch, after all, so it’s all fair game, right?

And we in Journalism are wondering why circulation is declining and ratings are falling.

Get well, Tiger. And don’t be too mad at Elin. Blame it on Rupert Murdoch.

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