Tuned In

"Personal Sins Should Not Require Press Releases"

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Well, it would be nice to think so. The fact that Tiger Woods just released a statement on his website apologizing for “transgressions” and saying “I let my family down” shows that Woods has discovered over the past week that the reality is otherwise.

One question that Woods’ phrasing raises, though, is: to what extent was the media frenzy the result of personal behavior, and to what extent did it only unfold because of a public event (i.e., a car crash that got police involved)?

I suspect even the most scandal-obsessed follower of the story would admit that its appeal—like any tabloid story’s—is finally about sticking your nose in other people’s business. But the tabloid stories about Woods’ alleged infidelity were out there before the crash. Had this not involved Tiger getting injured and 911 getting called, how big would this story ever have become?

I may not be the best judge of this, because as a  middling sports fan personally I don’t much care about Woods’ golf game, let alone his personal life. But there’s one other open question which his statement will eventually answer: whether Woods can now put an end to the story, or whether the larger media will keep picking at the details around the accident. (His best hope, maybe: that the Salahis keep drawing attention to themselves.)

I have no prediction, but at this point it looks like Woods had little choice but to do what golfers do best: get out of the bunker.