Phoenix TV news outlets (Fox 10, NBC 12, ABC 15 and Independent 3) have gone wild the past 24 hours reporting that Tiger Woods may be hitting the Arizona city soon. All have reported on newscasts there’s a possibility Woods could be soon heading to The Meadows rehab center outside Phoenix for treatment of an alleged sexual addiction.
Just how excited are they all? NBC 12 went so far as to do a live shot tonight outside The Meadows facility.
(Right, wait right here.)
But upon finding out the true source of all that reportage, I don’t exactly share their enthusiasm. And it’s not even close.
All of the Phoenix TV news outlet reports originated from this one paragraph - that set off a chain reax - from David Gardner yesterday afternoon (local time) in the LONDON DAILY MAIL:
Meanwhile Woods, 33, was reportedly planning to go into rehab in Arizona in the New Year for treatment for ’sexual compulsion’ and his use of Vicodin painkillers and Ambien sleeping pills.
That’s it. The graf is buried in the piece, absolutely no details with only anon sourcing.
At least one report I saw tonight, from independent AZFamily 3 in Phoenix, cited the Daily Mail piece. Though in the same report, “Fox News” was also cited as a source.
The Fox News national TV network did not air a report about Woods going to Arizona for rehab. Though Fox 10 in Phoenix reported it on a newscast last night, based on the Daily Mail piece. That Fox 10 newscast report prompted this post at the amateur news blog site Examiner.com:
Fox news just reported that Tiger Woods is seeking sex addiction treatment in Phoenix, Arizona. He will be treated at the Meadows.
I talked to the woman who wrote the post, Darla Hanger. She confirmed to me that she got that information straight from Fox 10 in Phoenix, not the Fox News Network.
Somehow Google News recognizes Examiner.com as a mainstream media outlet, no different than say, the New York Times or Arizona Republic. So when other local Phoenix main media members saw Hangar’s post - and thought it was Fox News reporting on Woods coming to Phoenix - they ran with it.
Fox 10 is already backing away from its report last night - the station’s online report contains no mention of “The Meadows” and now references only “unconfirmed reports.” But the story is still picking up speed at NBC 12, ABC 15 and Ind. 3.
For the record, I did talk to Valerie Allen, public relations person for The Meadows today. When I asked her if Woods was coming to The Meadows she said, “I can neither confirm not deny any reports.”
To be fair, I wouldn’t call what happened here a full-blown, main media clusterbleep - because there’s always a chance Woods could indeed end up at The Meadows.