Monday, January 04, 2010

Tiger, Tiger, Still Burning Bright

The immortal hand and eye that frame his symmetry are those of Annie Liebovitz for a naked-to-the-waist Vanity Fair cover as Tiger Woods enters the new decade, not as the unflappable figure addressing a golf ball on Sunday afternoon TV but as a subject of sermonizing for the morning political pundits.

On Fox News, Brit Hume suggests that Buddhism may be below par for Woods' moral crisis: "I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.'"

Vanity Fair offers a more worldly gloss on his media sins, suggesting that Woods "exhibited the same superhuman confidence off the golf course that he exhibited on it, apparently convinced he would never be caught despite the stupid sloppiness at the end—-text messages, voice-mail messages. He deluded himself into thinking he could be something that he wasn’t: untouchable. The greatest feat of his career is that he managed to get away with it for so long in public, the bionic man instead of the human one who hit a fire hydrant."

Only David Letterman reserves judgment, complaining in his monologue that he wishes the fallen idol would stop calling him for advice. But perhaps Woods should. As he keeps losing sponsors, his late-night counterpart is doing well after being water-boarded by extra-marital scandal.

If there is a message in all this, it may be that the public finds it harder to forgive a celebrity who comes on as Mr. Clean than one who specializes in being snarky and snide about everybody else's foibles.

But in an era where disgrace is only a temporary setback, before the decade is out, the two could find themselves co-hosting a Family Values telethon.

But meanwhile a word of advice for the Tiger: Keep your shirt on and remember what happened to Barack Obama's approval ratings after he appeared topless on a magazine cover last spring.


Fuzzy Slippers said...

That was a rather bizarre thing for Hume to say; I have to admit that I was a bit put off by that. There are some interesting takes on it, though, notably at the newsreel blog (David Horowitz's Media Matters). I'm rather uncomfortable with anyone "witnessing" for their faith, though, so maybe it's just me. On Tiger I have nothing to say; he's made his (many, many) bed(s) . . .

Holte Ender said...

Another thing Tiger needs to remember is "You ain't white" and society will hold you to a higher standard, because only white folks can screw up and get away with it. Letterman's show hasn't suffered, Mark Sanford is still governor of South Carolina and all the C-Street gang are still holding on to their seats. Tiger's sponsors are running like rats from a sinking ship.