We got a lot of heat from you for talking about Tiger Woods – especially from the States. ‘It’s WHYS: the tabloid edition’ said Alan in Arizona, and quite a few of you said you were turning off. But I’m afraid the more I look at this story and the way we’re consuming it the more I think there is plenty to talk about and the more I think it is far from trivial. This is why…
We didn’t spend an hour updating you on the details of Tiger’s private life. We spent an hour discussing why millions of us are delighting in Tiger’s misfortune and are quite prepared to consume very intimate and emotional details from his family’s experience. That that is happening on such a great scale raises issues about human nature, about the entertainment we seek and the kind of information we want about the world.
Talk about Iraq lots of you told us. But go to the Sydney Morning Herald, HuffPo, the BBC and many others. People spoke with their mouse – they wanted information on Tiger more than they did on Iraq.
Lawrence Donegan writes today, ‘Happy now? Happy now we have all had the chance to listen to a distraught Swedish woman on the phone to the Florida emergency services, apparently believing her mother has just collapsed and died on the bathroom floor?’
He’s talking about the fact our voracious appetite for this story lead millions of us to listen to that 911 call. Of all the things we could be doing with our time, this was what we chose.
He goes on….
‘Did people really fight and die for the right of porn stars to claim they had clandestine affairs with world-famous golfers and that this idle boasting would then be treated as the gospel truth?
Maybe they did, but I can’t believe these people will be happy to see what has been done in their name; to see the mob, angry at the betrayal of an athlete they stupidly elevated to the status of a deity and intent on extracting maximum revenge for no better reason than it feels good.’
How we consume news media and how we react to public figures and their lives are two massive evolving issues in the world we live in. Both are being put under the microscope by the Tiger story.
That to me is fascinating. I remain bemused why you think we’re trying to talk about who slept with who. We’re not. There are bigger issues at play here.