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.
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?
HAVE YOU LISTENED TO THE 911 CALL? DID YOU WATCH THE VIDEO OF AMBULANCE?
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?