In the last couple days, the volume of unsubstantiated rumors about Tiger Woods has exploded exponentially in the media, main and otherwise. Last 48 hours I’ve been filtering out the improbable and inconsequential, but let’s just say I’m going to let my guard down on this one to prove a point.
FOX NEWS reports today, “a rep from online adult magazine Playgirl (which features men baring it all) confirmed to FoxNews.com that they did indeed receive an offer to purchase naked male photos, purported to be of the controversial sports star.“
Playgirl rep Daniel Nardicio: “We were approached by a third party who wanted to know our ‘interest level’. Our lawyers are currently going over them, the source, the entire package.”
Nardicio also noted the website will only purchase the photos if they can successfully confirm them to be Woods.
There’s been a lot of conjecture in the media that if Woods had been more aggressive in “getting ahead of the story” of his accident and extramarital affairs, he would’ve prevented this sort of thing from being reported. I tend to agree.
Not because a more assertive approach by the golfer would’ve prevented websites like Playgirl from trying to glom onto this story for publicity’s sake only. No, because the main media would’ve taken a different tack in its coverage had Woods made himself vulnerable to the public. Instead of treating Woods like a clown and the story like a cartoon, it would’ve been covered from a more empathetic perspective.
Woods as Howard Hughes has instead intensified the ignominy. Main media is now taking its cue from the tabloids, which can in turn be traced to Woods unwillingness to communicate with the public. Woods can still counter that trend if he comes forward, but we may well reach the point of no return if more material evidence of his sordid behavior soon surfaces.