Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I can openly belabor the Tiger Woods story because I’m not a serious journalist.
If I were a serious journalist, my editorials would have to wear the cloak of indifference, as in “I'm only using the Tiger Woods story as a way to examine the prurient interests of the American public."
And then maybe I’d invite another sober commentator on board, especially if this were NPR, BBC, or PBS, and we could spend an enormous amount of time discussing our mutual distaste at the story’s prominence in the news. “So that’s three waitresses, one party planner, two models, and a porn star? And there’s speculation he did them all at the same time? Tell me Scott, I look at these pictures and wonder; Why does the public seem to care, because I certainly don’t.” “I can’t say, Noah, because I certainly don’t care either. Especially about the porn star.” "Yes Scott, I believe she starred in Diary of a Horny Housewife, and I most particularly and emphatically do not care about that."
Wall Street Journal got in the game by pretending to cover the business aspect of the case -- the effect waitresses, models, and porn stars will have on future endorsements; will Gatorade pull the plug on the Tiger juice (big mistake, I think. Sure to be a collector’s item, even though everyone seems to have some).
It's almost refreshing to see the story covered by the goofy news outlets like Fox and TMZ. At least there's no pretence; they know their viewers like a little heavy breathing.
And after all, journalism, even the moderately good stuff, has always traded in death and destruction, and when that’s in short supply, sex and scandal. You can only sell what people will buy. If this weren’t true, everyone would have a subscription to The Economist.
Just see how many times Climate Change has clawed its way into the Google top ten list. That only happened, briefly, when there was some breath of scandal about Russian secret service and emails. Now, had those emails been written by porn stars, that story would have had legs.