Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Front Page News

As a daily ritual, I peruse several online sports news sites. As I am sure, most of you do.
The usual suspects, CNNSI, FOXSPORTS, ESPN, TSN, etc...

Now if you click on each of those links above, you will find that the lead story on these SPORTS NEWS sites, is about Tiger Woods and his misdeeds, shall we say.

First of all, these are sports sites, and Tiger Woods is not an athlete, he does not play a sport. He participates in a leisure activity. He is damn good at it, the best in the world. But you don't see Tony O'Shea on the front page of any of these. Tony doesn't play a sport, but does participate in a rather difficult leaisure activity, and is the worlds best at it.

But please, save your hate mail for another time.... I'm not done yet.

Even IF Mr Woods was an athlete, these "articles" are not about his latest victory or defeat. They are about the sordid details of his private life. I hesitate to use the word private. In the time of world domination by 14 year old girls, we are subjected to Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook. Now, I am not an adolescent teen age girl. I do not need to know where all of my friends are every minute of every day. If I want to send a friend a message, I email them. Or if I have something to tell them, I pick up the phone and call.
I know. Old school.
But "journalists" and "media outlets" insist on informing us about every minute detail about every celebrities lives. Some celebrities crave the spotlight. Chad Ocho Cinco tweets while celebrating in the end zone. Britney Spears forgets her underwear. Fine. Do what you need to do to make yourself feel wanted. It's your show.
But other celebrities, like Mr Woods for example, go out of their way to maintain a private existance. Are their wishes respected by "journalists"? Or the "paparazzi"? No.

Why is this even a story worth writing about? Who the hell cares if Mr Woods slept with every member of the Baltimore Cheerleaders? I don't. Why do you?

This is a lot like a "story" from last week, where the son of Brian Burke, General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, "came out" and admitted he was gay.
Who the hell cares? Why is this a story? What you do in your own life is your business. Will it affect the way his Dad does his job? No.

When exactly did we go from reporters, who reported the facts of the story, to journalists, who insist on scrounging up discreet details about everyone's private lives?

I know I'm going to get a lot of heat here... but it had to be said.


night owl said...

Tiger is probably the richest athlete in the world. Therefore, whatever he does is news. It's just the way of the world right now. You may not care. I may not care (I'd be happy if golf went away forever). But, believe me, an insane number of people care, and they're not just reporters or gossip columnists. The appetite for that kind of stuff is definitely there. And it is growing and growing.

I am a journalist who writes for an "old-school" newspaper. (yeah, yeah, I know, that's redundant). We spent months mocking the TV news for dragging out the Michael Jackson death story for ages. But I constantly would run into people, regular people, who would talk about Jackson weeks after he died. It was ridiculous. But that's what a lot of people have become -- they are obsessed with this stuff.

Pop culture "news" is everywhere. You can even find it in baseball card blogs. People eat it up.

It's sad. I don't understand it. I think it's a symptom of people unsatisfied with their lives, so they have to obssess over people they don't even know. But it's there.

Justin G. said...

I agree with you. I just posted my own Tiger story (after waiting till some news came from a byline that wasn't TMZ).

I would argue that despite playing a "leisure actvity" Tiger Woods is indeed an athlete. Dude is jacked.

Anonymous said...

You don't find it a just a bit interesting?

Now if this was Joe Blow I can understand, but its not. It is the richest most well known athlete in the world.

He was found bare foot,a busted lip, and lying in the street after being laid out by his wife with a 3 iron.

Dude was running for his life!

It may not be sports, but it sure is entertainment.

gcrl said...

i think it's a chicken/egg thing. i don't know if people care, or if the media thinks they care. either way, this sort of thing is why i subscribe to no magazines, have only a sunday newspaper subscription, watch no espn, no fox news, listen to no talk radio, and avoid local news and 'entertainment news' shows like the plague. there is no substance, just nonsense and drama and fluff that they are trying to sell.
i will seek out the content i want to read about online or watch bbc news or listen to npr. although i have to admit, the local npr station was talking about tiger (whom i do consider to be an athlete, by the way) this morning. enough.

Anonymous said...

This recent "news" phenomenon dumbfounds me. I hate how many celebrity "news" shows there are nowadays. It is a bit sickening. It is really annoying when it seeps into sports coverage. I watch SportsCenter for two things: scores and really cool highlights.

Maybe that's why I just go to and click "scoreboard" much more often than I sit through SC anymore.

My only argument would reflect what the other commentors have stated. Tiger probably should be considered an athlete. There is lots of sports coverage of golf and he is one quite a few sports cards.

Of course by that definition, guys that eat hot dogs and grow really long beards are also athletes...

Doc said...

My only problem with it is that he has children. What type of example is he setting for them?

Will he think it is acceptable if they have "transgressions" in their futures?

PS - Set aside the Post Set for you, and I had a blast watching the Canes ruin the Leafs night with my son. I'll write it up sometime and let you know when it is posted.