Tiger’s transgression, our possession?

By - Dec 4th, 2009 12:10 pm
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I was saddened recently by the inordinate amount of airtime spent on Tiger Woods’ self-titled “transgression.” No doubt, Tiger is a huge issue in and of himself – mostly his exploits on the greens. But to witness the media world melt down over his infidelity was almost as depressing as realizing that the great American hero, or “Cablinasian” (a term he made up to describe his multiethnic background), had fallen from grace.

Golfer Tiger Woods has less to smile about these days.

Golfer Tiger Woods has less to smile about these days.

The media should check itself. To belabor this story is to ignore the more important topics confronting us today. As I made my way up and down the dial, the only station that seemed to recognize that there are weightier issues to address was the NPR affiliate, Wisconsin Public Radio. There, one got the usual dose of world news via its relationship with the BBC; along with substantive U.S. stories.

(Note: U.S. stands for the United States, and not US Magazine, which has been at the front of this tabloid-esque frenzy over “The Woods Incident.”)

It was gratifying to hear that public radio didn’t lose its focus and go off the rails with this Tiger thing, unlike many of the commercial stations, including the sports talk stations.

All of the speculation and conjecture that took place in the hours leading up to Tiger’s eventual confession was nauseating. Really, how many of the talk show hosts who admitted that they knew no more than what they read on sketchy posts from various news services, blogs and some nefarious websites, had any real idea of what they were talking about? I would venture to say, none.

Having spent almost two decades as a talk show host myself, I understand the nature, not to mention the need, to cling to a “hot topic.” There were times when I resorted to this type of lazy broadcasting. All you do is find a salacious topic, throw it out there to a hungry audience and wait for the phone lines to light up. It’s easy, but it’s not good talk radio.

What is good is using those precious, few moments allotted by station ownership to inform and educate the listening audience on those issues that affect lives. This week, President Obama announced his plan to send 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan. Wow! What a story.

Can you imagine the many discussion angles here?

Want to know how deeply involved most of the hosts I heard got into this? Can you say, “Baby-pool deep”?

I don’t mean to be too critical. I realize that some people can only handle so much. But listeners deserve a lot more than they are getting from their talk show hosts.

I understand sports talkers’ desire to delve into this one – it gives them something more to discuss beyond box scores, trades and the occasional misbehavior of a NBA star.

I am sure there was plenty of chop-licking and salivating on this one. Tiger Woods, “The Chosen One” had fallen from the heavens and the media was feasting on him. I heard one host say, “…He finally got what he deserved!”

There was anger and disgust expressed over the way Tiger has “manipulated” and as one host stated, “Leveraged his power over us” for so long. This talker was even sure that Tiger’s “handlers” had written the superstar’s statement. Another asserted that there’s “No way Tiger was contrite enough,” and he wasn’t accepting his apology.

Well, okay. I think that’s all we’re going to get. And, I say that’s more than we deserve. Again, this is a marital problem that will be worked out, one way or another by Mr. and Mrs. Woods. We’re all no more than gawkers in the gallery on this one. Maybe the cops who follow Tiger around the golf course need to step in and tell us all to back off.

Categories: Commentary, News, Politics

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