On air: Why can’t we take our eyes off Tiger?

I was sitting near one of our most esteemed news programmes yesterday. About 20 minutes before they were on air which website do you think most of the producers were looking at? TMZ.com.

And I’m not saying this as a criticism – I was on it as well. Details were coming through of Tiger Woods’ mother-in-law being taken to hospital, and we all wanted to know more.

I can’t speak for the others, but I wasn’t doing it for professional reasons.

Now, we’re looking for some honesty from you today. We know that some of you feel the private life of a golfer is irrelevant and has no place in the news.

But someone’s looking at these stories – they’re consistently in the most read lists, and his mother-in-law’s ill health again saw a huge surge in interest.

This is a conversation which will only work if those of you who have taken a keen interest in the Tiger story, are happy to come on air and explain why in an honest way.

Is it because….

…you’re enjoying his fall from grace?

…it’s like a soap opera and each new ‘installment’ is entertaining?

…you’re fascinated by a life that’s a long way from your own?
…or something else?


Lots of us did in the last 24 hours…

I was checking the news again before going to bed, and saw the story about the 911 call made from Tiger’s house. So I went to TMZ.com (again) and they had it. I started listening, but bailed out after a few seconds.

You hear someone (presumably Tiger’s wife) sounding frantic, clearly extremely worried about Tiger’s mother-in-law. There are kids crying in the background. I decided I didn’t need to hear that. But that hadn’t stopped me clicking on it though so I’m not taking the moral high ground.

The call, if you want to hear it:

Earlier a very short clip of Tiger’s mother-in-law being taken on a trolley into hospital was replayed thousands and thousands of times online and on TV news programme around the world.

The video if you want to see it:

It got me thinking is there no information about celebrities and their lives that we won’t consume? And as computers allow to do this in relative privacy, are we all now doing exactly what we want – and by that I mean looking at almost anything to do with these people’s lives?

162 Responses to “On air: Why can’t we take our eyes off Tiger?”

  1. 1 patti in cape coral
    December 9, 2009 at 14:58

    “This is a conversation which will only work if those of you who have taken a keen interest in the Tiger story, are happy to come on air and explain why in an honest way.”

    I am glad, then that I am not going on the air to say how much I don’t care about the Tiger story. There are a lot of complaints on the blog when people don’t like the subject, and I usually try to avoid doing that because I love WHYS and think you do a fantastic job. Sometimes I become interested in a subject I was never interested in before, especially getting a wider view of it from different sides of the globe.

    In this instance, however, I have to say that I feel the Tiger story is getting stretched very thin. The quote above makes it seem like you are only soliciting Tiger fans who are interested in his ongoing saga, and don’t want to hear from the rest of us that really couldn’t care less. Maybe this isn’t your fault, you’re just following the interest of the public. I guess I just wish the public wasn’t so interested so we could move on to another subject.

    • 2 Ken Thomas
      December 9, 2009 at 19:45

      I always liked Tiger Woods, but I am not one to follow paparazzi. While this is not the fare of WHYS, but I think it is appropriate. Appropriate because, occasionally, the coverage of a story becomes a story in itself. The mania is amazing. And perhaps, disturbing. I am not a golfer. I take no joy in is fall. I think it is none of my business and have done nothing to investegate it. It is sad that so many people aparently lack lives of their own and seem to vicariously thrill in the lives of others. Especially when those others go so horribly wrong.

  2. 3 steve
    December 9, 2009 at 15:02

    People may be talking about this, but people also talk about reality TV shows, the Whitehouse party crashers, which might, MIGHT, merit one show, but multiple show about tabloid issues? It’s a case of a guy cheating on his wife, possible other domestic issues, mistresses who know they were with a married man. If he were not a rich golfer, this would never have made the news, let alone have been being “discussed”. There are so many other important things going on, like Copenhagen. Are you going to tell me that Tiger Woods is going to get more shows than Copenhagen and global warming?

    The EU decided to moderate its stance on Jerusalem, calling for it to be shared, rather than for the Palesetinian to entirely get East Jerusalem.

    There really are sometimes more important things than the things “people are discussing”. people sometimes discuss the most meaningless things, such as tabloid gossip, which belongs in newspaper tabloids, tabloid magazines, and tabloid TV shows, but not on the BBC.

    If everyone were discussing the latest drug to enhance sex, would you do a show on it?

    127 people were blown up yesterday in Baghdad, and the show is on Tiger Woods, AGAIN? Please.. Cover serious news.

    • 4 patti in cape coral
      December 9, 2009 at 15:29

      Steve, I have to admit I would be more interested in the latest drug to enhance sex than I am in Tiger woods.

  3. 5 Methusalem
    December 9, 2009 at 15:07

    Why can’t we? Because we are blinded by the Media-Sharks!

  4. 6 Chintan in Houston
    December 9, 2009 at 15:08

    Because he is PLAYER of the year 😉

  5. 7 Julie P
    December 9, 2009 at 15:24

    In Tiger’s case people are talking about because he was Mr. Squeaky Clean, a very likable, successful athlete, then he fell off the pedestal, that makes him someone to talk about. For some reason there are people who like to see their heroes fall.

  6. December 9, 2009 at 15:28

    Those who can’t look away (which way outnumber those of us who can) feel their lives to be drab and boring. They seek to first deify another human, and then watch them fall. It makes them feel better about their own perceived situation. “Look here is a person better then me, yet they are the same.”

    Also, nobody likes to talk about complicated issues that they don’t understand. (Religion, politics, social issues). So it is easy to talk about simplistic issues and topics such as sports, celebrities, and the weather. So many simpletons quest to be geniuses of the shallow and simple.

  7. 9 Peter Gizzi UK
    December 9, 2009 at 15:36

    It would seem we cannot though quite why I really do not understand. Are there possibly more important issues to discuss? Leave him alone!

  8. 10 Tara Ballance, Montreal Canada
    December 9, 2009 at 15:42

    I take a keen interest in the real Tiger Woods story. You know, the one where a gifted black athlete makes it to the top in what used to be considered a white men’s game.

    It’s right up there with the Jackie Robinson story.

    But I get the feeling that’s not what today’s show is going to cover. Too bad.

  9. 11 Roy, Washington DC
    December 9, 2009 at 16:05

    It seems to be less about his fall from grace, and more about the fact that he’s a celebrity, and things are happening to him. This 911 call would have likely been in the news even if the other recent Tiger Woods news hadn’t taken place. It’s idolatry, in a way.

  10. December 9, 2009 at 16:25

    Celebrities’ private lives matter as they have an influence on the public, especially their fans. Tiger Woods, for instance, has now become a public property as his game can’t be separated from his private life. It’s rare for people to have a high esteem of a person’s professional performance while they know their private life leaves much to be desired.

    Tiger Woods’ private life is also the concern of his sponsors like Soft drink brand Gatorade which says it is to drop a Tiger Woods-endorsed product (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8403418.stm ). Although it said it was not related to revelations about the golfer’s private life, it can be one of the motives. Maybe, Gatorade made this statement not to ruin his future.

    Apparently, Woods’ life is shattered. He has to redress himself as a family man and as a golfer to enjoy both popularity and self-esteem.

  11. December 9, 2009 at 16:32

    Power, women, sex, sports, violence with a dash of possible foul play from a hero falling from grace….sounds about like every movie, TV show that our culture can’t seem to get enough of.
    The funny part was the sports journalism world first thought this story would die down within a week. Then yesterday you hear, “He won’t be able to leave his house for a year.”

    This might possibly become the most covered story of the year.

  12. December 9, 2009 at 16:34

    With the Copenhagen climate talks, the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the health care debate and yesterday’s bombings in Baghdad, it is simply embarrassing my fellow journalists and others continue to devote so much air time and print space to Tiger’s latest travails. As I write this, I have two stories queued to read–HIV/AIDS activists want New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to do more to address the epidemic and an ex-boyfriend who police interrogated in connection with the execution-style murder of a woman in the Bronx in front of her two children earlier this week. ‘Tiger-mania’ has gone on long enough. Let’s focus on something that’s almost certainly far more important.

  13. 15 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    December 9, 2009 at 16:35

    I’m a news junky, not a gossip junky. If Tiger’s winning a Master’s I’ll listen because that’s news. Otherwise, I am not interested in hearing about him. I’ll skip tonight’s WHYS.

  14. 19 Lauren Stanisic
    December 9, 2009 at 16:36

    People are talking about the new tiger woods scandal for the same reason they talked about kobe bryant’s similar marriage scandal, “brangelina” and jennifer aniston, and an infinite number of other celebrity gossip stories involving love and sex. It is no surprise to me at all… Many in our culturally are obssessed with these topics. Furthermore, a huge gossip industry now exists, with media sources ranging from People magazine to Perezhilton to CNN covering these stories. I’m sure that, to an extent, they fuel the “hype” around the scandals to garner more interest and participation from the public.

  15. 20 derrick kwashie from ghana
    December 9, 2009 at 16:36

    what is it again!!!!!!!? Iam sick and tired of this unrealistic fuss and hype about the Tiger’s. Celebrities are humans like the rest of us and so, inasmuchas we would want to enjoy our privacy in tranquility without bother, so should we allow them their’s. Quite honesstly i suspect some sinister intentions here, especially with the mainstream media’s overly interest in the whole Tiger saga. Indeed i suspect that interest of the media is not the well-being of tiger woods,rather they are basking in his apparent fall from grace to grass, as they have so far been able to portray.

  16. December 9, 2009 at 16:44

    What do you expect from cable TV? They got 24 hours in a day and what better way to kill it than by focusing on someone’s private life.

  17. 22 gary
    December 9, 2009 at 16:50

    I agree with those who suggest this story should not be aired. This man made some really stupid choices and it’s likely he, and his wife and family, will make payment for the rest of their lives. Besides which, I think most people look precisely because they ought not.

  18. December 9, 2009 at 16:54

    I have great respect for Tiger Woods as a golfer but otherwise no interest at all in his or any other celebrities private life. The advise has to be to get a life of your own, I think.
    Sorry for that one but it is a bit sad isn’t it?

  19. 24 seaAdamwestiii
    December 9, 2009 at 16:56

    According to our constitution, Fifth and Fourteenth amendment, he has a right to privacy that is being ignored entirely by the media. I’m not interested in the personal life of Tiger or members of his family. Additionally, I could care less about any one’s personal family life other than my own.

    Is it possible because of an interracial marriage that more interest is being injected by the media to the public? Does the media expect to score more points by doing so?

    There are more issues that affect the public more than the Wood’s incidents, but the media doesn’t do enough investigation or questioning. Items of more interest are health care, wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and possibly an escalation of war into other countries and the debilitating economies world wide.

    The media has made a mockery of the Woods Affair.

  20. 25 Gary Paudler
    December 9, 2009 at 16:56

    I was looking for more substantial news than Tiger Woods so came here.

  21. 26 Zita
    December 9, 2009 at 16:57

    Well said Tara of Montreal! One voice of sense in the wilderness of media frenzy and consumers who want titilation. I repeat Tara, here is a coloured man who broke barriers and became the number one sportsman of the world. He draws crowds, his country must have made a lot financially and he is synonymous with golf at its best. Now we see the other side of the coin, i.e. celebrity equals loss of anonymity. Celebrity is money, fame, stardom and what you exchange for that is your anonymity the price of which is high. We who are non entities never apprec iate what we have. If one of us did what he did no one would even want to know.
    He has only proved how stressful being a celebrity is and also that he is as human as the rest of the human race. But I have a word for those ladies who squealed. Is there no humanity in you?
    Having said that now that eveybody has had their fill of gossip, the media and readership should give this family the privacy it deserves to sort out some tricky problems. Think of the wife and the two innocent children. Let’s give them the space they deserve.

  22. 27 Donna
    December 9, 2009 at 17:00

    Why can’t we leave Tiger alone? The simple reason lies with the fact that journalist (use the term loosly) no longer can go out and hunt down a story with real meatiness in it. They take the easy way and capitalize on what they preceive as noteworthy. It is easier to follow the pack and pluck the little tid bits than to hunt out a story of more import. The media seems to think that once a mistake is made by a person of notarity then everything he does becomes fodder for the rumor mill and inuedo masters.

    One can not turn to a web page, news cast or article that Tiger is every where how can we not look?

  23. 28 John in Salem
    December 9, 2009 at 17:07

    Sorry, Ros. Not only do I not have a keen interest in the story, I honestly wasn’t aware of it until I read your piece.
    Some of us at least TRY to have lives, y’know.

  24. 29 Tom K in Mpls
    December 9, 2009 at 17:08

    If it wasn’t for TV commercials I may not have known who he is.

  25. 30 Andrew in Australia
    December 9, 2009 at 17:13

    Yes it is rather fascinating to watch Woods’ fall from grace. All the more enjoyable as he set himself up to be above all that follows and plagues over paid, over hyped sports stars and celebs. He wanted all to believe he was clean, a good guy and traded on that, making an obscene ammount of money on the back of it.

    What do we find out.. not a surprise really… he turned out to be no better than anyone, worse as he used his position of wealth, fame and power to procure women to satisfy his urges. His efforts to hide this from his loving public so they continue worshipping him, failed dismally in one big implosion.

    But spare your ire for the women involved. They knew he was married, they used his fame, yet are above most of the criticism!

  26. 31 Billy in Florida
    December 9, 2009 at 17:14

    People like to watch those with more than them screw up. It makes them feel like equals or superior when they have no other tallent, skill, success or meaning to validate their life. The media perpetuates this by devoting endless coverage to the minutia that in anyone elses life would be considered a private with no bearing on their job. This celebrity facination a cancer to our society which shows the degradation of our mental and moral lives. Respect the man for his golf skills but to assume that makes him a saint everywhere else is foolish to the extreme. I listen to WHYS and BBC to distance myself from this kind of rubbish, and get information that will actually have a bearing on my life or the world. It disappoints me to see even the BBC now falling into this trap.

    Billy in Florida

  27. 32 Andrew in Australia
    December 9, 2009 at 17:14

    For those criticising news outlets (like the BBC) it IS what the world wants to hear about.

    They don’t want to hear how the world wil do nothing to save the planet because of greed, they want to delude themselves and hide from reality with Woods’ indescretions or was it transgressions?

    as for this program.. it is world have YOUR say after all!

  28. 33 neil
    December 9, 2009 at 17:23

    I am so surprised there is no apparrent media adviser to guide Tiger in dealing with the issues in a more professional manner – I would have thought this was a key condition of the sponsorship contracts as his behavior is synonymous with the brands and the image they are trying to generate.

  29. 34 steve
    December 9, 2009 at 17:32

    @ seaadamwest

    The constitution and its provisions (except the 13th amendment prohibition on slavery) only applies to state actors. The media is private, not the state, so it simply doesn’t apply to him.

  30. 35 Gabriel Goah
    December 9, 2009 at 17:36

    I dont think the Tiger story will go away….. unless of course Michael Jackson resurrects! or David Beckham divorces victoria!

  31. 36 Linda from Italy
    December 9, 2009 at 17:37

    I suppose the TW soap opera could be considered light relief from the “Oh yes there is/Oh no there isn’t” (global warming) camps slugging it out over the airwaves, it’s just that it and he are sooooooooo boring.
    Maybe (probably) WS listeners are not your average tabloid-reading, reality TV-consuming types, so while U-tub (no typo) et. al are getting zillions of hits, on this trivial little saga, the disappointment expressed by many WHYSers may just prove that point, and we would rather talk about something that actually interests us.

  32. 37 Carol
    December 9, 2009 at 17:37

    Hi Ros, I’m interested in Tiger’s story because I was so shocked when it came out. I believed him to be the person he represented himself to be. A family man with family values.

    Carol from Portland, Oregon

  33. 38 Patrick in Vancouver
    December 9, 2009 at 17:38

    I first saw Tiger on the Merv Griffin show. He was 2 and I was 5 years old at the time. I was fascinated by him and became an instant life long fan. I don’t follow golf but have always kept up on Tiger.

    Sadness best describes my overall impression when I think of him now. The talented, innocent young boy I admired so much turns out to be just another corrupt human. There is little reason to follow him left for me. I wish him well.

  34. 39 Tony from Singapura
    December 9, 2009 at 17:42

    I am fascinated as to why Tigers wife didnt just keep quiet.

    She is quite attractive and could easily find one or more outside lovers for herself (whats good for the goose is also good for the gander) and just enjoy the good life that her husband can provide… 3M just for turning up at agolf tournament should cover expenses at home nicely.

    If she had followed this good advice of mine, there woudlnt be all this unwanted media attention, something which I am sure is making life a bit tough at the moment.

  35. 40 Brad
    December 9, 2009 at 17:51

    Poor Tiger, the latest rumor is that Playgirl might have naked pics of him, YIKES! See Life and Style…

  36. 41 Tony from Singapura
    December 9, 2009 at 17:53


    I think the problem is not so much Woods Adviser, I think he has some very good ones.

    I suspect that his wife doesnt have one – or was listening to her heart that day.

    She should have called me.

  37. 42 Elias
    December 9, 2009 at 17:53

    Tiger Woods is known the world over for his golfing skills. Theres a price to go with fame, he is closely scrutinised by the press and public so that anything and everything he does is reported in the news. He should have known better than to allow himself to get involved with other women whilst he is married and has a child. he alone is to blame for his indescretions. Famous people are always in the news, hopefully he will get over his personal problems and continue making lots of money playing golf. It is more often to be found that a famous man succoms in this way and not a famous woman.

  38. 43 posnie
    December 9, 2009 at 17:59

    There’s a great reason for this interest, that we don’t want to look at in the face.
    And it’s not the usual sports celebrity hubris.

    The reason is that Monogamy and fidelity are really tough for us.

    Tiger’s fall helps us forgive ourselves for the confusion, shame, attractions and actions we experience against the expectations of good sexual behavior.

    Like Hugh Grant, here’s an uber-achieving man: well-mannered, smart, handsome, wealthy.
    And he’s got a beautiful wife he loves.
    If *HE* can’t keep his fidelity in his pants, can we really blame our own selves?

  39. 44 Mark Sandell
    December 9, 2009 at 18:00

    Thankyou – some of you for posting on a subject you clearly aren’t interested in – but know all about.

    Who are these people then, that are so interested they have made him the number one most read- most e-mailed- most viewed on major news sites around the world ?

    Are they all really dim and trivial ? Are they all- but not you obviously, led blindly by the media ? Who are these millions of people then ?

    Yours grumpily….etc etc etc

    9and when we talk about climate change or Iraq or Afghanistan, why don’t you flood us out with comments ?)

  40. 45 Venessa
    December 9, 2009 at 18:07

    For the most part I think people are glued to the tabloids because they want to know that even famous people share the same issues as the general population.

    Personally, I could care less about celebrity news. What is going on in Tiger’s private life is no concern to me. I’m still not sure why people think he needs to apologize to fans for his behavior that has nothing to do with his golf career. Mind your own business people! Should I apologize to my co-workers for mistakes I make in my personal life?

  41. 46 patti in cape coral
    December 9, 2009 at 18:21

    Awww, Mark, don’t be grumpy! In my own defense I have to say that everything I learned about the Tiger Woods soap opera was from WHYS. Also, I think people might comment more on Tiger Woods than the climate change/Afghanistan stories because that type of story requires information and research to write an educated opinion, but for something such as infidelity of a popstar/sports star, you just feel how you feel, not a lot of research needed. As I have said before, sometimes I don’t comment on a story I’m very interested in because I am just listening so I can learn more about it.

    • 47 sheetalparmar
      December 9, 2009 at 18:33

      Hi Patti, i just sent you an email asking if you’d like to speak to us on the programme about why we shouldn’t be talking about Tiger Woods. Interested? If so, email me back with a number please…thanks

  42. 48 steve
    December 9, 2009 at 18:23

    @ Mark

    If you posted pornography links, you’d get even more responses, yet it’s still not newsworthy.

  43. 49 Tony from Singapura
    December 9, 2009 at 18:26

    @Mark Sandell

    I only know about the MIL problem through WHYs.

    Its a juicy story, but its also the story of what makes news.

    I do think that there is a bias in determining what is the subject that everyone is talking about brought about by the population size of the USA and the connectedness of its residents.

    Different cultures find different news subjects interesting, for example, a few years ago I was in California and was surprised to see the scheduled program (a quiz show I think) being gerzumped by live coverage of a car chase on the freeway. There were news helicopters and professional commentry on the poice tactics. wow !

    In other countries, a police car chase on the freeway would not get breaking news status and would not gerzump normal programming.

    So my point would be that if you just measure the amount of chatter on a news subject, without correcting for the demographics of the chatterers, then the determination of what is the WHYS subject will be biased towards interests of the group that has the highest number of “connected” members. that would be the USA.

  44. 50 Bert
    December 9, 2009 at 18:28

    You may count me among those who didn’t even bother to look at the videos you posted at the top.

    It would be more interesting to do a show on Amanda Knox. Is there anything there, or just another bunch of young people getting into way more trouble than they should have, thanks to drug and alcohol related stupor?

  45. 51 patti in cape coral
    December 9, 2009 at 18:34

    I’m starting to think all of us who were not interested in this story used the wrong approach in writing about it. I think we should have kept it to ourselves and not commented at all.

    • 52 judy
      December 9, 2009 at 19:15

      I was checking here to see who it was that had an interest so I could better understand. So happy that I am not the only one who would rather ignore and give other people the privacy we would want for ourselves.

  46. 53 bjay
    December 9, 2009 at 18:34

    YE ! T

    The vultures are having a feel-day.

    You are good as your last game.

    God Bless America.com


  47. 54 Mr. Kawakubo
    December 9, 2009 at 18:44

    The fall from grace…

    We are happy to see Mr. Woods fall from grace because his fame seems out of proportion with his reality. Golfers have never been particularly at the forefront of popularity and Mr. Woods became popular in large part do to a symbolism or a sense of ‘overcoming.’ Would Lance Armstrong have been as popular without the cancer? Would Tiger Woods have been as popular without the contrast of his blackness to the whiteness of the sport? Certainly he is a fantastic golfer, but golfers are generally not a part of popular culture. Something put him there and it probably wasn’t just his athletic abilities. His journey told a story and many related to it.

    In some ways Mr. Woods story was an artifice. He set up this perfect controlled life that was a sham, an attempt to fit in and control his image. He didn’t become something new in golf, he became one of them. We are glad to see him fall because we are tired of the story and the bourgeois facade he created. He became part of a club that wasn’t worth its membership. It is like asking why would a gay person want to be in the military in the first place? Why would a women want to join a repressive men’s club? Is that modern, is that moving forward? Mr. Woods culturally didn’t sell-up, he sold-out.

  48. December 9, 2009 at 18:58

    Tiger Woods is a golf icon and his superb behaviour on the golf course has won him a lot of praise and admiration. So when stories of his affairs started coming out, people were shocked out of their wits. How could such a serene player have such peccadillos? The appetite to know more has now become an obsession with the public and the journalistic pack craving for more. To add to the drama, when Tiger’s mother-in-law was taken to hospital, the inquisitive press and public put two and two together and got five! Such is sensationalism. Leave Tiger to sort his private affairs. Even a celebrity needs time to reflect and solve problems without the media glare. Give Tiger a break.

  49. December 9, 2009 at 19:01

    This is the same old “perfect” celebrity story. People just love to live vicariously through famous people’s lives, accomplishing things they never could, and with Tiger, he always has such a pristine, perfect facade, so his screw up of course is huge news, regular people like to know that EVERYONE does stupid things, no matter how many times your face appears on a magazine or how much money you have. We are all imperfect human beings.

  50. 57 chinaski in LA
    December 9, 2009 at 19:04

    I know it’s a tough news week Ros, but come on, another WHYS on this topic. *yawn*

  51. December 9, 2009 at 19:05

    Tiger Woods: becomes the world’s greatest golfer, has numerous endorsements, gets married, has children and gets caught cheating on his wife. Up to this point, the story is pretty typical of many past celebrities, who fell from grace. However, since the story is not over, the news media wants to come up with the ending, by hunting for items to keep the story alive.

    At the end of the day, Tiger Woods is news…and until some other news story comes along to trump it, we will have to ride this horse into the sunset…or until Christmas.

    The days are shorter–and Christmas is coming!

  52. 59 gary
    December 9, 2009 at 19:09

    I can, did, and have for today quit listening too.

  53. 60 steve
    December 9, 2009 at 19:09

    So if everyone were talking about methods of picking your nose, you’d do a show on it rather than a terrorist attack or Copenhagen or other newsworthy events simply because people are talking about it?

  54. 61 Bardly Geek
    December 9, 2009 at 19:12

    I have changed the channel already.
    Today’s population is some 200,000 than yesterdays: surely you can find someone among the burgeoning population who has done something besides have sex.

    Stick with the important, not just the momentarily popular.

  55. 63 chinaski in LA
    December 9, 2009 at 19:13

    Ok, ok. If we are to have a conversation about this it quite simply is a shame to see someone who in everyone’s eyes was flawless, popular, talented and wealthy make such a poor decision. I predict his retirement in the next 3 months.

  56. 64 Tom K in Mpls
    December 9, 2009 at 19:13

    Holly missed the statement. The India speaker asked the press to try and *sell* real news like they do gossip.

  57. 65 Tom D Ford
    December 9, 2009 at 19:14

    Well, I had successfully avoided it until you pushed it in my face.

    Oh well, if I can’t escape it I guess I can endure it.

  58. 66 Liv
    December 9, 2009 at 19:15

    I think it is sad that so much attention is placed on Tiger and his life. What he does not affect anyone’s personal life IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM (except for the people directly involved). All the people who follow this story closely need to get a life. Unfortunately U.S. the media makes it hard when all you can hear, read or see on the news is Tiger. US media coverage has always been superficial.

  59. 67 Marlon, Trinidad
    December 9, 2009 at 19:15

    The reason this story makes news is that it is going to make MONEY for the gossip columnists and someone will benefit. Do we really know the real Tiger Woods? And who created this wholesome image? He has not fallen from grace because he is still an amazing golfer.

  60. 68 StGermain (California USA)
    December 9, 2009 at 19:16

    Roz’ comment basically saying in American news speak
    that “If it bleeds it leads” is quite, in this case, disappointing
    to hear. While I quite understand and appreciate a good
    entertainment story, seriously, this one is just rubbish.

    I can understand the fascination with Tiger and all that,
    but this is hardly a juicy bit of gossip and I’m baffled as
    to how this has captured as much attention as it has
    and as you are clearly devoting to it.

    Let’s have some bits about his torrid extramarital affairs,
    something worth good gossipy attention! 😉

    Thanks for the continuing quality of the show and the
    high production values.

  61. 69 Reverend LMF McCormack
    December 9, 2009 at 19:17

    BBC has become the worst kind of tabloid in this thing.
    Noone’s talking about anything else because you aren’t bringing us any NEWS.
    I dont’ know about anyone else but I want REAL NEWS not celebrity gossip.

  62. 70 Michael
    December 9, 2009 at 19:19

    I’m listening to KALW in San Francisco. I am turning the radio off right now and will turn in back on when this program is over. I don’t want to feed into the perception that this is a story that the public wants to hear about.

  63. December 9, 2009 at 19:22

    Tiger Woods is the victim of his success that gave him too much strength he couldn’t control. His strength made him feel larger than his family and he sought to be a real tiger trying to chase whatever caught his eyes. A real tiger should keep to its territory and defend it.

    As a strong golfer, he can’t stop people getting interested in the outcome of his apparent tragedy. As a ball he seems to have been thrown aimlessly in face of strong winds that made him wrecked on an unsure land.

  64. 72 Ron Georg
    December 9, 2009 at 19:22


    What an absurd notion, the idea that because the police released the tape, we have to listen to it. In fact, I hadn’t heard it, because I normally only listen to public radio which, here in the States, normally exercises good news judgement. It’s often the only option on the radio dial; since your show is part of that lineup, you’ve effectively eliminated the alternatives to hearing other, more considered news, at least for the hour.
    You would do well to recall the words of former FCC chair Newton Minow: “Some say the public interest is merely what interests the public. I disagree.”
    I’d love to stick around to see if you include my thoughts as part of the debate, but I’m switching over to a music station.
    Happy Trails,
    Ron Georg
    Corvallis, Oregon

  65. 73 George
    December 9, 2009 at 19:25

    Why are you discussing Tiger Woods’ personal life? Is World Have Your Say becoming TMZ? I am very disappointed.

  66. 74 Dana
    December 9, 2009 at 19:25

    I took the time today to send a note to Nike today to tell them to drop him. Golfers seem to and should hold themselves to a higher personal standard than most other sports. It’s still a sport with etiquette and a certain level of poise. He should not represent the sport for younger golfers. If they keep him, Nike products won’t be under our Christmas tree this year.

  67. 75 Reed Kurtz
    December 9, 2009 at 19:26

    Look- I’m trying my best to get away from this story, but everywhere I go, nearly every source of news and media that I consume on a regular basis is THRUSTING this absurd story upon me. To claim that somehow we in the public “want” this information is ridiculous. I listen to BBC or NPR or read the NY Times for substantive social and political information and instead this is what I hear about- I DON’T turn to these media outlets for this, but this is what I get.

    There will always be a certain subset of the population that gawks at train wrecks, yet we don’t let them manage the railroad system. Yet why do we “let” these same people dictate what stories get extra media coverage?? DO YOUR JOB AND GIVE US THE NEWS WE NEED TO BE AN ENGAGED CITIZENRY.

  68. 76 Q
    December 9, 2009 at 19:26

    the real issue is volume its not that there isn’t enough real news but there is specialized news business news sports news political and so on.

    In the same way and then there is gossip which appeals to the masses because its an issue that the majority of people can relate to the story because every one knows who tiger woods is,, and not for his failing but because of his accomplishments.

  69. 77 A.J.
    December 9, 2009 at 19:26

    Following your line of reasoning; just because a story is not one of the most popularly read or followed, it should be pushed aside in favor of what the people want. Most people don’t want to hear bad news. In fact, most people, if asked, would say they’d just rather be entertained. The more they are fed what they want, the more they will expect that and ignore other world events of consequence. So, give them what they want? Okay. Then be prepared for a world full of idiots who don’t give a damn about anything of true importance and only want salacious personal details of the lives of their favorite celebrities. And thanks to you that’s just what they’re getting today. Well done.

  70. 78 Sascha
    December 9, 2009 at 19:26

    Should the question rather be, to which point are people interested in such frivolousness just eager to console their own miserable lives?

    t makes me wonder why NOBODY gossips over other peoples publicly undisclosed virtues or values….

  71. 79 Jason
    December 9, 2009 at 19:27

    This is absolute sensationalist garbage! This BBC show is no better then TMZ and access Hollywood. I’m a long time listener, but this is the last time I’ll spend anytime listening to this show. it’s an embarrassment, and the producers should be ashamed!

  72. 80 Todd in Atlanta
    December 9, 2009 at 19:28

    To Ross and the rest opf the BBC…
    I’ll speak for myself, but I’m quite sure I echo the sentiments of many listeners out there…
    From across the Atlantic, I’ve been getting online to tune in to the BBC’s shows for over 6years because I could count on it to give me a wide range of differing perspectives (whether it be news, music and documentaries) than what I get here in the USA.

    You guys can CHOOSE to cover whatever crap everyone on the bandwagon is covering, OR, serious information or not, you can give me the alternative coverage I count on you for.
    Just think about that.

  73. 81 Alan in Arizona
    December 9, 2009 at 19:29

    I just realized that your doing market research for a new show!

    ” World Have Your Say! The Tabloid Addition!”

    I can see it now! Instant input from paparazzi around the world. Expand your market share to encompass all the people that read the Sun or National Inquirer at the grocery store check out line. Get show tips from friends of celebrities in crisis before they even know they have a problem. This might work for you!

    Who cares about real problems when we can find out what Condom brand Tiger prefers!

    Time to go to BBC Radio7 for some real comedy!

  74. 82 EchoRose in Florida
    December 9, 2009 at 19:31

    The listeners who are displeased with today’s subject matter count themselves as “intellectually above” stories that they consider common gossip and they charge shows like yours (and America’s NPR) as the hip-intellectual-activist-no-nonsense information hook-up. They need to quit crying; remember, golf is a gentleman’s game, so this gossip is going to reach a lot of people who wouldn’t ordinarily be drawn to this kind of gossip.

  75. 83 Lisa from Pennsylvania, US
    December 9, 2009 at 19:32

    I’ll admit it, I’ve been following this story closely. Do I feel bad about it? Not really. Do I delight in it? Not really. It’s just interesting. I think with Tiger Woods, as in Britney Spears’ downfall, people took particular pleasure in following those stories because those celebrities painted themselves as squeaky and almost artificially clean and we were almost waiting for something like this to happen and bring them down to Earth with the rest of us.

  76. 84 Sian
    December 9, 2009 at 19:33

    Tiger turned out to be a cheetah… Har har

  77. 85 CJ McAuley
    December 9, 2009 at 19:33

    This is not about any kind of jealousy over fame or fortune, I think. It is more about a perceived hypocrisy around the Tiger Woods persona/empire. He has been all about massaging his image for years, and has gotten wealthy as a result. I mean people who don’t know anything about golf still know Tiger due to his lucrative endorsements, for the man is a walking corporate billboard! The phrase “selling one’s soul” comes to mind.

  78. 86 Matt
    December 9, 2009 at 19:33

    The world’s fascination with Tiger and his private life is a pathetic characteristic of our humanity. Is boredom so prevalent that any crumb of information about a celebrity’s life, no matter how small or meaningless to our lives, is cause for ‘the need to know?’

    I feel pity for Tiger because he is now tabloid fodder, no better than Jennifer Aniston and Octomom. He has been tried and found guilty in the court of public opinion. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves.

  79. 87 colleen
    December 9, 2009 at 19:33

    i fully agree that the Tiger story is not even remotely as newswrothy as serious topics such as climate change, Iraq, HIV-AIDS, global poverty, etc., etc. I don’t think that 90% the people reading the Tiger stories would disagree with that. Just because people are reading this story does not necessarily mean that interest in other topics has diminished. Thats why this story is representing a surge in gossip website readership, not a consistent, sustained increase.

    However, this guy has made millions (billions maybe?) by creating a public image based not only on his talent, but also on his image. Tiger gets endorsement deals because he has always stressed the importance of his family, his relationship w/ his father, his children, his wife, etc. In the end it’s all lies and so why shouldn’t the truth be made public? Hey, maybe some people will think twice about cheating…. (wishful thinking?!)

    If this happened to an athlete that was equally talented, but with a lesser “family-man” image, it would be on ESPN and thats about it.

    The real tragedy is for his family. They shouldnt have to deal with the media frenzy, but it’s Tiger’s fault, not the media’s fault, nor the public’s fault.

  80. 88 James
    December 9, 2009 at 19:34

    Couple of points:

    I don’t care about Tiger Woods but his “fall from grace” is certainly dramaticand that is probably the reason for the interest. We could compare Andre Aggassi’s recent admissions of drug use (well after the fact) which seems to have drawn much less attention.

    Secondly, I think this is a reflection of the public’s focus on reality TV, soap opera and docudrama – even serious news is often exaggerated and described with hyperbole. Plus, these forms of “entertainment” are cheap to produce and get good ratings.

    With regard to it being highly rated on BBC’s website, today’s “most shared” item is a story from March 2009 about a giant phallus being painted on a roof – admittedly amusing, but that doesn’t mean it is worth spending an hour talking about.


  81. 89 Q
    December 9, 2009 at 19:34

    for those who criticize this show … it isn’t about tiger woods but rather why the story is so popular

  82. 90 Ginger
    December 9, 2009 at 19:35

    Ros, you say it’s appropriate to cover this story because it’s had so many hits on internet news sites, but if hits on the web are now the criteria for serious news programs, than they’d all be covering pornography. It reminds me of something the head of BBC audience research once said in a conference. The BBC had sent out a questionaire asking listeners what they wanted to hear. One woman – bless her soul – responded “I deserver better than what I want to hear!” I think media organisations – and the BBC resists this tendency more than others – are falling over each other to try and get listeners by following polls and web statistics rather than serious news and information criteria.
    That said, my complements to World Have Your Say in general for covering even the populist stories in a serious and responsible way.

    Ginger in Holland

  83. 91 David / Portland, Oregon USA
    December 9, 2009 at 19:35

    The reason “so many millions” can’t “take our eyes off it” is because that’s the swill the media chooses to slop on our global plate. This is a clear case of media supply creating demand; if there were a self-imposed moratorium on reporting the Tiger Woods “story,” I doubt that many more than a few hard-core golf fans would even care.

  84. 92 steve
    December 9, 2009 at 19:35

    It’s ironic that you are worried about potential libel suits, when you have guests write in, listening to the news you present, stating that they will no longer purchase products that endorse Tiger Woods, potentially harming the sponsors economically, and harming Tiger financially if he gets dropped by the sponsor. Carrying this story can cause financial harm to many parties.

  85. 93 bjay
    December 9, 2009 at 19:35

    I do need some time this kind of an emotional rescue.

    Yes, I do know it is difficult to loosen up those square listeners.


  86. 94 John
    December 9, 2009 at 19:36

    I sometimes listen to World Have your Say during my lunch, but if this is the type of trash that you will be wasting my time with in the future, I’ll definitely stop listing to WHYS. Shame on you!

  87. 95 Molly
    December 9, 2009 at 19:36

    It’s very funny; the only place I have actively read/heard about Tiger Woods is twice now on World Have Your Say and then saw the headline on the website where I check my email. I was so confused to hear you cover such a trivial story that at first thought I was hearing a repeat from the other day). However, I get that you are not covering the Tiger Woods Scandal, moreso you are interested in why this type of news gossip is so popular.

    I personally read my news online (NY Times) and haven’t read anything there about it. I am not surprised, though, to hear how much people are following this; the internet is free and it’s easy to be sidetracked at work, click on a link and scan a story for the juicy bits–and that is traceable readership, leading to more people reporting on it due to idle curiosity. I wonder how many people would get up first thing in the morning to buy a newspaper/magazine about Tiger if that were the only option?

    Portland, Oregon

    • 96 julee
      December 9, 2009 at 20:04

      I am also from Portland, and have heard this on the news, read it in the Oregonian and see it on all the news stands.. your blind!!

  88. 97 James
    December 9, 2009 at 19:36

    oh, by the way I am in Taiwan – one of the gossip centre’s of the world… should try reading the newspaper here and trying to find some column inches on serious news. 😮

  89. December 9, 2009 at 19:37

    today is not about tiger but rather about his mother in law as the new celebrity. Why create confusion mark?

  90. 99 Alex from Oregon
    December 9, 2009 at 19:39

    I find it fascinating simply for the reason that I live in a predominantly Christian nation that throws money & power at those they believe live up to their moral values and standards; surprise surprise, yet another man holding such stature falls from grace and the fascade cracks. What I want to know is when will we stop treating athletes and politicians to a cushy ride they seldom deserve in light of the suffering that exists all around us? He hits a ball with a stick people – surely those millions could do better in some other sector of our society?

    …..or does that thought make me a communist? 😦

  91. 100 Mike Quinn (Cleveland OH, USA)
    December 9, 2009 at 19:41

    At the risk of seeming to contradict myself:

    1) It’s none of our business – Tiger’s marital/driving/whatever problems.

    2) It’s not surprising that so many are obsessed with the story. The reason Tiger is making the obscene amount of money he makes is because he’s so good at a sport that so many people care about. He accepts the riches so he has to live with the nonsense that goes with it. I play handball but I could be the best in the world and nobody would care.

  92. December 9, 2009 at 19:41

    I am disgusted by this predatory assault on the man’s family, who are the innocent victims of this nonsense. Not only are you ignoring serious events such as the Baghdad bombings, but you largely ignored the slaughter of nearly 1,400 human beings by Israel earlier this year. It is very clear that media attention or lack thereof manipulates the evocation of feeling and empathy for our fellow humans – or lack thereof.

  93. 102 Tom
    December 9, 2009 at 19:41


    Couching a dimensionless, voyeuristic story inside a manufactured premise of “exploring why this story is interesting” is a weak attempt to present tabloid content while maintaining an erudite tone; it’s a backhanded trick and all the listeners know it.

    This is meta-reporting, news about news and, so, is an exercise in self-serving content generation on the part of the BBC. If “statistics” say something is interesting on TMZ, those statistics are not news (and, probably, neither is the source story).

  94. 103 Marlon, Trinidad
    December 9, 2009 at 19:42

    The people who enjoy the”fall” from grace of Tiger Woods appear jealous of the achievements and potential of the man. He has done things and has impacted the world so much more than they could ever had. Had he died in the accident would the storeies be coming out?

  95. 104 Alan in Arizona
    December 9, 2009 at 19:42

    I will agree with Ros. The internet is a wonder way to get news. I read articles from news services in the States and Europe and I love this show when it has good stuff going. I think you should ask a broader question regarding news and gossip and their effect over the internet. Question the impact of each on the internet and related aspects. Obviously Tiger is not the issue! Just that type of story!

  96. 105 M. Carter
    December 9, 2009 at 19:43

    Why are people so interested in the lives of celebrities? Is it because there lives are so empty they must live vicariously through others?
    Tiger Woods is a human being so he deserves some privacy for that reason alone.
    I have not followed the story but am aware of it because it has been so prominent on the BBC World Service. The solution, turn the BBC off when the story comes on.

  97. 106 Matt
    December 9, 2009 at 19:44

    …interestingly, I find that supporters of this story are women, and critics are men. What do we suppose that means?

  98. 107 Tom D Ford
    December 9, 2009 at 19:44

    Mark, Ros, and the rest of you WHYS guys, the only times I have heard about Tigers’ problems is from you guys. I just don’t seek out such stuff.

    I can understand the overall general interest because it is a human interest story, but it is not the kind of story I go out of my way to look for.

    The great poet Carl Sandberg said:

    “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”

    I choose to spend some of my daily time “coin” with you, sometimes it is well spent, and sometimes it is, well, spent.

  99. 108 Kacey USA
    December 9, 2009 at 19:44

    Ross you hit it spot on. I worry about the society that made this the story more than the fact it’s being reported excesively. While the news media may be partially responsable for the sensationalizing of some details, the story would not be on air without everyone watching. They want to, maybe subcontiously, have some effect on the stars. The mob helped him rise and the mob wants to watch him, even if just slightly, fall.

  100. 109 Elizabeth Nonweiler
    December 9, 2009 at 19:45

    I listened to you saying you found it hard to believe that some people didn’t know about this story. I didn’t. At least I had heard the name ‘Tiger Woods’ and knew he was somebody famous in the news, but that was it.

    I kept listening to World Have Your Say gradually putting together that he is a golfer and why he’s been on the news. I am interested because you explained that a huge number of people ARE interested.

    I think you are missing the point that the people who read and listen to news of Tiger Woods and not, on the whole, the same people as the people who listen to World Have Your Say.

    I think part of the reason some of your listeners are angry about this broadcast is fear. It is quite scary to think that you are different from most of the people in the world, because you have not been interested in Tiger Woods.

    I live in Berkshire in England and love listening to World Have Your Say.

  101. 110 Michael
    December 9, 2009 at 19:46

    Most ‘dissapointed’ listeners are NOT truly listening – the BBC is not reporting the Tiger Woods story. The BBC is reporting on the enormous affect the story has had and continues to have AND reporting that enormous number of people follow the underlying story. That is a big difference in subject matter and it’s telling how many frankly POMPOUS listeners object – they are truly NOT LISTENING! BBC reports about us, not about Tiger. Please point this important distinction to these narrow, self-rightous listeners jumping to conclusion with no real thoughtful insight.

  102. 111 Leslie
    December 9, 2009 at 19:47

    Have you stopped to consider that “all” of those who profess an interest in this pathetic story DON”T listen to public radio? Those of us who do listen to public radio may not appreciate this tripe for a reason!

  103. 112 Benjamin
    December 9, 2009 at 19:47

    What frustrates me is not that Tiger Woods is so often the news recently, it is that the media has spent so much time on air asking why it he is the news. If the reason is that people want it to be, then that should be the end of the story. But if people are interested in lame stories like this, they should turn to the Inquirer or Star, and NOT the BBC. Deciding whether or not something is news and whether or not it belongs on air or in print is the responsibility of the editors and not the public.

  104. 113 Collin
    December 9, 2009 at 19:47

    I find “World have your say’s” excuses for devolving into a gossip show to be rather lame. Of course people are interested in gossip, and that is why we have so many sources of gossip media, but if you analyze internet traffic carefully you will find that what really interests people is pornography. Congratulations on your choice to not become a porn show! However, you have chosen to become a gossip show, and I don’t think my public radio station (Oregon Public Broadcasting) has enough spare air time to waste on this stuff. It’s a shame because I admire your efforts to connect us with the broader world, but if the broader world is just surfing the internet for garbage, I’m not interested!

  105. 114 Elina in Finland
    December 9, 2009 at 19:47

    Honestly, I haven’t been following the story that closely; I don’t have a great deal of interest in Tiger Woods and his family. But now that I’ve learned what’s going on, I just feel bad for them. Their life is a wreck. Wish they’d be left alone and given some privacy to sort out their problems.

  106. December 9, 2009 at 19:48

    this is terribly embarrassing for your organization which usually does a decent job at least pretending that it’s a serious news organization.

    be honest though. If you were actually interested in the sociological implications of this story your guests would be a different set of professionals, namely those who know anything at all about sociology and anthropology. Admit that this is gossip, as many of your guests have, and the problem goes away.

  107. 116 Donald
    December 9, 2009 at 19:48

    Have we considered that persons may be following this story out of compassion?

  108. December 9, 2009 at 19:49

    I never cared. I never saw him as squeaky clean. tea-totaler, holier than thou, nothing. Why? I did not know him before and never cared to. You had no information and all people who keep using that lie ‘he painted himself as squeaky clean,’ are disingenious. YOU put that out there. He never did. I just care how he did in golf. I don’t care what any of them do/did in their private lives if they aren’t breaking laws. I have a life. I would not want you in mine if I were famous. You deserve the product, not my whole life.
    Who cares, none of the rest is your business. No it isn’t sinister. Just people without a life. Without self respect. Self worth. Give me a break. I do not care. I do not read people or national inquirer. I do not watch E, Access Hollywood, none of them. My brain is on a higher level. Why don’t you try it sometimes. You may raise your IQ a bit. Maybe as high as my grandson’s who at 7 has a 115 IQ and does word games.

  109. 118 John
    December 9, 2009 at 19:49

    Just stop it! You’re not only pushing this stupid story on an audience that expects serious new coverage, now you’re agonizing over whether your efforts are worthwhile. Believe me, they are not! Just because web sites and tabloids are covering Tiger’s travails does not mean that you have to give the story several days worth of coverage. If you decided to cover another story you wouldn’t have to worry about whether your coverage is worthwhile, would you?

  110. 119 John in Salem
    December 9, 2009 at 19:50

    In short…

    The Hero fails because that’s how mythology works – his role is to achieve the impossible but lose the prize and return empty-handed.
    We watch it because the story is hard-wired into our brains and we NEED to see it in order for our own lives to have meaning.

    Hey – you asked…

  111. 120 James Ryan
    December 9, 2009 at 19:50

    There are two comments I have: one regarding the issue of serious vs. Non-serious issues. I think that the bombing across Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are indeed horrifying, but unfortunately have become commonplace. This brings about a wearied response from most people, and discounts it as news. How new is that situation? It doesn’t mean it is not important, but it certainly has happened, repeatedly.

    About Tiger Woods himself I typically feel that celebrities deserve to have their private lives kept private. However after the extent of his problems come to light, perhaps people feel duped? The veil of privacy was used against the public to hide his indiscrestions. Perhaps that fuels the public interest and outrage.

  112. 121 Meg
    December 9, 2009 at 19:50

    everyone has a right to follow info about Tiger’s life,personal or professional. as consumers of the products which he endorses, essentially paying him, there’s a right to consume news about him, his life, his behaviors.

  113. 122 roboturkey
    December 9, 2009 at 19:52

    More Tiger. All the time!

    The man is fascinating and now has become multi-dimensional. We love the story for the prurient interest that we always have to sexy stories.

    The BBC can run stories on anthing it wants to. Tiger is just a part of the overall pageant.

    Well done.

  114. 123 Doyle
    December 9, 2009 at 19:52

    It seems to me like we’re overcomplicating a simple process: we admire Tiger’s success. We like him. We’re surprised when he suddenly appears to be different than we believed.

    I’m less than inclined to criticize people for their natural curiosity.

  115. 124 kait from portland oregon
    December 9, 2009 at 19:55

    I think we are missing the basic social science of why humans are interested in such news.
    It has been proven that people trust each other more “around the water cooler” when they share gossip.

  116. 125 Kizette
    December 9, 2009 at 19:55

    I thing if the bbc would check its audience they would find out that it is properbly less interested in tabloid news then the average. Thats the reason why one turns on to the bbc! I personaly have to admit that I am interested in private stories and gossip, but I dont think that anybody should be harrassed by the media like this, thats why I conciously do NOT read such stories.

  117. 126 sole
    December 9, 2009 at 19:55

    I had only heard about Woods’ crash the day it happened. I assumed it was being followed because this is precisely the type of story that dominates the media in the US. However, listening to your show has made me curious so now I’m going to look into the story. I’m not sure what that says about me but while before I did have a sort of superior, “why would i care about that?” attitude, now I’m interested in the story itself.

  118. 127 Bob Jones
    December 9, 2009 at 19:56

    Tiger Woods has tremendous influence over children who idolize him, he is looked at as a societal leader, and he has been mentioned for political office when his playing career is over. Governors have been recently brought down for much less than this. We need to know who he is, and this story is an important one. This is not a personal matter, but a very public one.

    • 128 Kenn
      December 9, 2009 at 20:37

      He might be looked at as a leader but he has exempted himself from that role.

      He does not comment on issues very often, when he does most minority communities disagree with him, and I have NEVER heard HIM say he want public office.

      He has tried his hardest to be left alone but the media today will not allow him to be alone and have a personal life.

      And the media answers to the lusts of the mob.

      The mob driving this story is a sad thing.

  119. December 9, 2009 at 19:56

    Now you feel the frustration of us in the US who live in a culture of folks who can’t debate an issue, but rather attack the messenger. Bravo WHYS… maybe your model will force emotional nitwits to understand what debate is about.

  120. 130 Gary
    December 9, 2009 at 19:57

    Tiger is a fabulous golfer who has earned his money by choosing to live his life in public. His current situation is certainly newsworthy given is is the public that has provided him with untold wealth

    Gary in Portland Oregon

  121. 131 Sheku Sheriff
    December 9, 2009 at 19:58

    Tiger Woods is squeaky clean in a sport that has always been sold as almost squeaky clean. This story is generating so much interest because we are more interested in the fall of angels than the usual devils. If this was Alan Iverson, we would be saying and so what.

  122. 132 Skip in Portland
    December 9, 2009 at 19:58

    I have to take exception with the frequent comments that assert it is ‘natural’ for people to enjoy seeing a person’s fall from grace. My reaction is always great saddness. Saddness that a person risks what they have achieved with seemingly no regard for the pain and suffering and betrayal of his family and friends.
    It often is not that it is covered, but how it is covered. News vs sensationalism.

  123. 133 julee
    December 9, 2009 at 19:59

    Look, children and adults every where look up to this douchebag..it is our business, and yes it will change the way people look at this man forever. He made his bed, now he can lie in it! Douche!!!!

  124. 134 Thad
    December 9, 2009 at 20:00

    I don’t care about Tiger Woods’ personal life any more than I care about yours, Ross. I watch Tiger to see him win. I don’t even like to watch golf, but I’ll watch him play.

    If Tiger wants to put up with all the personal crap his actions have caused, that’s fine with me. I’ll still watch him golf. In fact John Daly’s a lot better on the sauce too.


  125. 135 Laurel
    December 9, 2009 at 20:05

    On air the host kept saying that despite listener criticism that the topic is not news-worthy, this show was being aired because statistics show that people *are* more interested in this than so-called “real news”. Perhaps worldwide it’s true that the interest is great, but I really doubt that the show’s listeners are the same as the general population and overall they do not care enough to listen for an hour.

    There’s a few interesting points to make about human nature, sure, but in about 5 minutes there’s nothing more to say without getting redundant. Boring!

  126. 136 steve
    December 9, 2009 at 20:07

    Wonder how many people were killed or ethnically cleansed in Darfur while this Tiger Woods story has been going on.

  127. 137 Mr. Kawakubo
    December 9, 2009 at 20:07

    The defense of your subject matter is a cop-out, you can’t keep getting in the smut, the tabloid journalism, by claiming you are reporting the reporting, or taking a different slant. At some point, after too many iterations, the distinction blurs, it becomes hard to tell the enemy from the victim. Based on the comments you read on air, the guests on the show, you are not exactly taking the higher ground. If the delivery was more sophisticated you would have a better case–I love the show—but you are overstating the virtues of your (allegedly) novel approach to stories like this, and you are fibbing a bit. It is a thin and treacherous line you are walking!

  128. 138 audrey
    December 9, 2009 at 20:08

    Reality check, people1 We are not perfect morally. Since our first parents Adam and Eve we’ve been stained with sin. So I don’t put any one or thing on a pedestal except God and Jesus. People will always let you down but not them. Putting 2 people of the opposite sex in a room for a week is a recipe for disaster. Do you think Eve was tempted the first day she was created? No. It took months or even years. Celebrities are people just like us. If I slept with my next door neighbor I don’t think there woulsd be any publicity. So what is the difference between me and tiger? Give him a break, he’s human too. I’m not saying what he done was right but how wouls you feel if people is dragging your dirty laundry? May I say more?

  129. 139 steve/oregon
    December 9, 2009 at 20:09

    I don’t know why the media cant stop talking about tiger. but I haven’t followed the case nor watched anything about it. I know this show ebbs and flows with the popular topic at the time you guys start putting the show together but this is rediculous

  130. 140 Alan in Arizona
    December 9, 2009 at 20:11

    Did you hear the latest? Presidents Obama’s new dog drank from another animals water bowl! And got water on the floor! Oh My Goodness! Quick now! Let’s count how many people look it up on the net!

  131. 141 Kenn
    December 9, 2009 at 20:13

    Have we ever considered that this shouldn’t be news?

    Not that people aren’t interested but that it just shouldn’t be newsworthy.

    Personally I think, no matter how large a celebrity (and people use the excuse that he is star sow e have the right to know what goes on in his life) its just common decency to leave people alone?

    I’m sure if every time i had an argument with my wife and it was put on television i would hate just about every person in journalism. Back before sensationalism and ratings wars brought this junk to the news stations peoples private lives were private.

    Babe Ruth wasn’t excoriated by the “press” i use the term loosely here. JFK wasn’t hounded about his alleged affairs constantly. It seemed back in earlier days it was known that what they do in public is news, what they do in private is gossip.

    I feel sad that people are more focused on Tiger Woods’ mother in law than in any of the real news going on in the world. It says more about our societies and the battle of news agencies for ratings than anything else ever could.

    Stop the nonsense, give people back some semblance of privacy and stop enable these leaches who feed off the table scraps of the rich.

  132. 142 sean
    December 9, 2009 at 20:24

    Consider that It isn’t news when Madonna has sex, so why should it be news when Tiger Woods does? Or is it that he lied to his wife? In which case, isn’t that a personal matter between them and shouldn’t it stay as such?

    Why is it that we never hear about famous women being unfaithful to their husbands? From statistics we know it must happen, but it is never considered news. I have to wonder if it is out of respect for the -husband’s- privacy.

  133. 143 Tom D Ford
    December 9, 2009 at 20:24

    Mark and Ros, please post that quote that you used in your tee-up about who thinks about what sorts of things. Something about gossip, something, and theories?

  134. 144 Paul
    December 9, 2009 at 20:51

    I hold all of the Media responsible for yet another sickening display of parasitic voyeurism, invasion of privacy and dumbing-down of world issues. I would not have even known about this news if it hadn’t been for my beloved BBC spending valuable time on it and giving it so much importance in terms of air-time.

    I suspect, and indeed hope, that the kind of people who click on the Tiger Woods stories on the internet are not the same people who listen to this program. We tune in for serious news, please, not to take a trip into the banal world of the banal. If we wanted that we would tune into Radio 1 and read The Sun.

  135. 145 Susan Carley Oliver
    December 9, 2009 at 21:04

    I think SMJesse42 said it best in his complaint posted during the climate change discussion: “the [show’s] producers prefer ARGUMENTS to FACTS”. Oftentimes this is the case – an argumentative show generates buzz, which is helpful to the parent organization when making a case to keep the show, or to increase the show’s budget. In WHYS’s case I think they keep it to an acceptable minimum; for the most part the shows are interesting, timely, and provocative in a much less, um, prurient manner.

  136. 146 patti in cape coral
    December 9, 2009 at 21:21

    I called my daughter today all excited, telling her to listen to the podcast because I was on WHYS today, and telling her how nervous I was. When she asked me what it was about, I told her it was about the ongoing story about Tiger Woods. She said “Why, what happened to Tiger Woods?” I had to laugh! I guess she inherited my disinterest in sports and celebrity gossip (spurious at the most). This is also finals week at the university so she is confined to her cave, studying.

  137. 147 M. Carter
    December 9, 2009 at 21:23

    Dear Roz
    Despite not being interested in the Tiger Woods story, I think it was right to have a discussion on WHYS if that is what people wanted to discuss. I may not be interested in gossip about Tiger Woods, but I am curious as to what makes so many people interested in the personal lives of celebrities. From that point of view your program was very interesting.
    I did not watch the video, but if I were working for any news media, like you, I would have. So what did you think or feel when watching the video? You didn’t say.
    I don’t always agree with you, but I think you do a great job on WHYS.
    Thank you,
    Mary Carter

  138. 148 Alexandra in Portland
    December 9, 2009 at 21:43

    Not the one who made the Einstein comment yesterday, tho I was typing my first ever WHYS comment as her comment was said!

    I love BBC & this show & I hate to be the one to think of this (or maybe someone else did but I don’t have time to look) but I don’t think those who are obsessing over Tiger Woods are listening to this show, or to the BBC at all – thus perhaps all the frustrated comments…

    If some market research is being done to see how many or even who clicks on such stories (scary btw) – I might click for 2 seconds to see what’s being said when there’s a major development – if Nike or his wife does get rid of him – but this isn’t because I’m that interested, bold/italics on that. I might wonder where our culture is at as far as what it will do with him, but this is more time than I’ve spent thinking about it at all.
    I hate to be critical but it is pretty annoying to hear about it on the BBC when there’s so many other important things happening…so many of us just have the volume down until the next day when there’ something better on…which there is 99% of the time, so it’s pretty dramatic to say I’ll never listen to this show again. This is a fantastic show, & I think Ros does a great job (I don’t yet know the name of the woman who sometimes does the show).

  139. 149 Elizabeth Nonweiler
    December 9, 2009 at 21:49

    Ros Atkins wrote “This is a conversation which will only work if those of you who have taken a keen interest in the Tiger story, are happy to come on air and explain why in an honest way.” He kept saying ‘we’, when he talked about people who took a keen interest in Tiger Woods, and seemed to assume that the calls were not coming because people were not honest enough.

    Could it be that many of those who had taken a keen interest had ever heard of ‘World Have Your Say”? Could it be that many of those who listen to World Have Your Say are genuinely and honestly bored by too much of this story?

  140. 150 Josiah Soap
    December 9, 2009 at 22:12

    To the contrary I find it very easy to take my eyes and ears off. I just switch the channel. Its not at all interesting or even sensational, just more media hype about some guy who can hit a plastic ball with a metal stick. And I want to hear some real news, I fail to see what people find so interesting about celebrity lives.

  141. 151 John LaGrua/New York
    December 10, 2009 at 00:22

    G.K.Chesterson “Most men lead lives of quiet despairation”. Iconic figures give ordinary people minor gods to worship from afar.endowing them with near divinity, relieving tedium of pedestrian existence Clay feet are a disappontment but somewhat egaletarian .The rise of mass media has taken celebrity status to absurd levels, arfully exploited, creating huge fortunes for those involved.The more egregious the behavior the greater the puerile interest What happened to privacy and personal dignity? Sold for highest price!

  142. 152 claudine
    December 10, 2009 at 01:02

    Sadly this was on air for 75% of the show.

    worst was that interview with that guy from Bombay

    Besides constant repetition of his base message the structure of his sentences looked like that:
    “I think that and and but I think and but but I I think and and.”

    That was such a dismal performance of that Indian guy. I would not have allowed it on air or at least interrupted it after 10 seconds.
    Its difficult to listen if someone has difficulties forming sentences.

  143. 153 esqueleto
    December 10, 2009 at 01:34

    Why can’t we take our eyes off Tiger? Chris Hedges maintains in his latest essay at truthdig.org it’s because the majority are addicted to nonsense . He’s spot on.

  144. 154 Abram
    December 10, 2009 at 02:02

    I’ve heard this particular WHYS edition, and it was very frustrating to hear, over and over again, the “You know?” thing every participating guest seemed to be fond of – is it contagious? Frankly speaking, the program didn’t help me become smarter.

  145. December 10, 2009 at 08:30

    Ros and all:

    Don’t we have enough ways and means in media to learn about and pander to scandal?

    Sorry. I’m not understanding what’s gained by assigning World Service assets to this story’s folo. Not when there are so MANY issues out there NEEDING our consideration.


    Bob Kirby
    Dir. Programming & Ops
    High Plains Public Radio
    Kansas / Texas

  146. 156 Ottilie
    December 10, 2009 at 08:55

    WHYS was right to talk about this. Personally, my interest spiked once I found out that ten women were involved. I was not really following it due to the fact that I can’t stand golf (nothing against Tiger).

    In the part of Europe where I live, it’s pretty much taken for granted that men have affairs (and women too)–a very prominent politician was caught on camera cavorting naked at Berlusconis’ villa (after he campaigned as a ‘respectable grandfather’) and no one seemed too fazed.

    Personally I’ve been more fascinated by the Amanda Knox case…

  147. December 10, 2009 at 10:40

    Schadenfreude is the word you are looking for.
    Southport Qld Australia

  148. 158 Amara from Nigeria
    December 10, 2009 at 10:49

    These are the kind situations that force celebrities and superstars to be hostile to the paparazzi. But for a top -class news corporation as highly rated as the BBC to come down to discussing peoples’ private lives is disappointing.

    Who in the world has not got their personal problems?

  149. 159 JanB
    December 10, 2009 at 14:40

    “Why can’t we take our eyes off Tiger?”

    Well, it’s kinda hard to when he makes up 90% of WHYS postings…

  150. 160 Keith M
    December 12, 2009 at 20:12

    A sorry mess, but almost a relief to know he is human! (Not forgetting the stress that he has inflicted on his family.)

  151. 161 Elias
    December 14, 2009 at 19:30

    I dont rejoice in Tiger’s fall from grace which in my opinion is only tempararry. Sometime in the future when he returns to playing golf we will all enjoy his future achievements and put his past behind us. His infidelity which has created worldwide news only because of his fame, for it is not uncommon in the United States for married men to have sex outside of their marriage wether famous or not. The canncellation by sponsers advertising Tiger Woods in their products is purely a drop in the ocean, in the meantime Tiger Woods is crying all the way to his bank. I hope for his sake he gets over his family problems and move on.

  152. 162 T
    December 18, 2009 at 03:09

    Memo to Ros:
    The reason we can’t look away is because the MSM is telling us that. When the truth is we can.

    If anyone else was in Wood’s place, would THEY want the same reaction? No. If a BBC presenter (celebrity but not as rich as Woods) had the same situation, would they want to be hounded? No.

    But, because Woods is “the best”, what the public thinks doesn’t matter. Sorry, but I’ll always have to disagree with WHYS on this one.

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