CNN has been covering Tiger’s mysterious crash like a week-long version of Entertainment Tonight, and I’m more than bored at this point, I’m ashamed. It was an insignificant event. Tiger is alive and well. The “mystery” lies in what happened before. Could there have been a scandal? Well, if there was, does that give us the right to mask juicy tabloid gossip with a “serious event” like a car accident and post it as breaking news, relevant to everyone in the nation?
USA TODAY columnist Brett Haber had a great perspective on the story. “Notwithstanding the public’s insatiable curiosity for the details of celebrities’ lives, sometimes a car accident is just a car accident,” said Haber.
“Ever since the TMZ’s of the world succeeded in mainstreaming themselves onto the landscape of acceptable media, we the public have slid down their slippery slope to a place where it’s OK to probe with impunity the private lives of public figures. And if those figures don’t give us what we want when we ambush them with a camera outside the restaurant where they’re eating, then we’ll climb up a tree outside their homes with telephoto lenses or chase their cars on motorcycles until we’ve succeeded in trampling on what little privacy they maintain.
That’s not journalism; that’s stalking.”