Scoot: Enough of the Tiger Woods video!

June 02, 2017 - 10:35 am

Celebrities reap the benefits of their status in society, but they must also deal with the negatives that go along with that status.  Tiger Woods once dominated as the number one golfer in the world. His athletic abilities combined with his appearance and personal charisma made Tiger Woods a superstar. But his star has faded, and it is not entirely his fault.

Every athlete reaches a point where age takes a toll on physical abilities. Tiger Woods has experienced physical challenges, and back surgeries have interrupted his career. Many highly successful people define themselves only by their career; and when that is lost, the person is lost.  Tiger Woods also became a tabloid target with his extra-marital affairs; and that is always going to attract attention, especially with a personality that has a clean image.

This week, when news broke that Tiger Woods had been arrested for suspicion of DUI, I was critical of a man who took several medications known to impact the brain and then got behind the wheel of a car. I stand by that criticism. And Tiger Woods has accepted responsibility for his actions.

At 2:00am Monday morning, police found Tiger Woods passed out behind the wheel of his Mercedes in Jupiter, FL. Police video was released, and it shows Tiger Woods being honest with the police. He said he had not been drinking, and that was confirmed when he blew a 0 on the breathalyzer test. But he admitted to taking medications and failed the field sobriety test. He was then arrested and taken into custody.  In the past few days, more video has been released of Tiger Woods at the police station, where he appears to be in a helpless and rather pathetic state. I am not comfortable with the continuing exposure of Tiger Woods after his DUI arrest.

The only purpose for the continued exposure of the videos is to feed the audience’s appetite for sensationalism, but blame does not fall entirely on the news media.  The new videos of Tiger Woods after his arrest on suspicion of DUI are being played in the media for entertainment purposes. At this point, nothing is gained from seeing Tiger Woods in that light – nothing other than satisfying the morbid curiosity of the audience. And this is why the blame for these degrading videos is not entirely the fault of the news media.

Those who watch and find themselves entertained by the videos of a Tiger Woods who is literally “out of it,” are the reason the videos are shown. To some degree, it’s human nature to witness the fall of the famous or the altered state of mind of a celebrity; but if the audience thought those videos were inappropriate, they would have not been shown.

Occasionally, the news media censors itself because it understands that the audience will ultimately turn against the media if certain visuals are aired. When it comes to a celebrity in the condition of Tiger Woods after his arrest, however, the audience desire to watch that person is too strong to censor.

We see things we don’t like on the news and are quick to blame the news for showing us; but the news actually shows us what we tell them we want to see, not directly, but indirectly through our actions.  The mass criticism of the news media is a convenient way to place blame on the media, rather than the audience that supports the media.

Here’s a great way to understand that the audience does have the power to determine what the media shows us. A couple of years ago, I talked about a video that had gone viral. The video was of a young adult literally kicking a squirrel, or some small furry animal, into the Grand Canyon. The video went viral because people watched it and shared it. Individuals acted like editors in making the decision about what to view and what they knew others wanted to see.

The questions is would the guy have made a video of himself kicking a squirrel into the Grand Canyon if he thought no one would watch it and share it?

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