Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Tiger Situation

I wanted to address the Tiger Woods situation because I've been e-mailed my thoughts about the subject. For starters, I'm rather indifferent on Tiger. I do admire his ability and think he's good for the game, but I'm not a blind lapdog for him either. OTOH, I clearly do not detest the guy either.

But for the most part I could really care less about the situation unless it's revealed that he's a far worse human than we could ever imagine.

I will give Tiger this advice from years of closely following the media, particuarly in the realm of sports media, and having about a handful of friends and another handful of acquantainces who are journalists.

Tell the truth.

Contrary to the common saying, the cover up isn't always as bad as the crime. But the media never forgives those who lie to them. And while I could pretty much care less about the situation, this thing will only get worse if you try to cover it up. You want privacy and this matter to go away? Tell the truth, whatever it may be. Because at least if you tell the truth, you can always spin it to make it sound better than it actually is. If you lie and get caught lying, most of the media will never forgive you...even until you retire.

It's really as simple as that.



Anonymous said...

I'm glad it was said.

Rich H. said...

Thanks. I have no idea what really happened as I haven't really bothered to 'investigate it', but I can just tell from observing these situations and knowing journalists and talking quite a bit to them that the best policy is to tell the truth because if you try and cover it up it almost always gets exposed and then you have a real big issue on your hands.

Just tell the truth and let the PR people handle it.

Kevin said...

Excellent post Rich. I think you have just turned around how I feel, but really, I just wish the whole thing would go away. Of course that is an example thinking in a fantasy world...


Rich H. said...

The sports media generally isn't that concerned with being accurate. It's gotten to the point where it's almost like TMZ. I have a good friend who works for one of the top NYC newspapers, a friend that works for the AP in the midwest and another friend that works for a South Carolina Newspaper. They've also introduced me to a handful of other reporters, writers, etc. These people are hard working, honest reporters.

The main complaint I hear from them about today's media? The lack of journalistic integrity and ethics. Everything is a soundbyte or reporting a story even if the facts are wildly inaccurate. The big thing today, particularly in the sports media is that reporters will supposedly get one source, report whatever that source says, never check to see if it's valid or not and report it as long as it's controversial. The controversy sells papers, magazines, drives TV ratings and web site clicks.

And when it's proven that the story they reported was wildly inaccurate, what do they do?

They say 'well, my source told me differently.'

There's really no accountability for reporting inaccurate stories, especially in the sports media because ESPN controls most of it and really doesn't care as long as they draw viewers/readers to the story.

Watch 'The Wire' last season and writer David Simon, who was a former Baltimore Sun reporter, basically writes a storyline covering the same thing. He knew the deal loud and clear when he was a reporter and it was good to see him just say it. Most reporters won't speak because they want to keep their job and not have fellow reporters turn on them.

My basic feeling is that Tiger just needs to tell the truth, even if it's pretty bad because if he doesn't the media will then go after him and you'll start hearing all of these stories from 'anonymous sources' that are so untrue it will be worse than what actually happened.

I understand that reporters must have anonymous sources, but it's gotten to the point today...especially with the sports media...that reporters will just hide behind those sources despite being inaccurate most of the time. And after awhile, you really wonder if they had a source to begin with. It's either that or they aren't doing their job very well.

Keeping it secret will just get more of those reporters who 'don't do their job very well' into the fray. I'm not sure if the golf reporters are really like that, but much of the rest of the other sports media fits that profile to a tee.

Jana said...

good post...thanx he is now good...we just hope that this wont happen again..

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