Monday, November 30, 2009

Crash of the Tiger

There is a pretty strict division in the news media between 'actual' news and sports news. They need to be in different sections of the paper, in a way that doesn't apply to news about, say, politics and news about education. Television news needs a different person to read off the autocue about rugby than it does to read about healthcare. Unfortunately for this clean division, sometimes 'sportspeople' - that is, people whose only interesting characteristic is that they are good at sport - do things that don't involve sports: Jesse Ryder gets drunk; an NRL team gangrapes has group sex with a teenage girl; Jonah Lomu runs for Prime Minister. And this poses a problem: where to put the story? Sometimes it's clearly a puff piece, or some advertising, and it doesn't matter too much. Sometimes it is actually important, and the whole thing is handled quite poorly. My favourite example was when TV3's sports anchor, a serious man of much gravitas, reported on allegations of sexual assault against a rugby league player, and then segued into the next item with an excited, "But that affair won't be affecting his team going into their big clash this Saturday..."

I bring this all up because on the front page of today's paper - right below the surprising news that Don Brash's review panel has declared that to catch up to Australia we need to punch the poor in the groin - is this article:

That's Tiger Woods, golfer. Let me précis the story for you: he crashed his car and is now fine.

Of course, that's not the whole 'story'. In fact, the bulk of the article is made up of prurient gossip on the love life of a man who can hit a small ball with a stick.
Hollywood entertainment website reported Woods argued with his wife, Swedish model Elin Nordegren, about tabloid allegations he had been having an affair, and that she then chased after his car.
A broadsheet newspaper citing a "Hollywood entertainment website" - as opposed to a Hollywood science website - on the front page... I believe this is in Revelation as one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse.
The downmarket National Enquirer reported last week that Woods had been having an affair with party events organiser Rachel Uchitel, a story that could have caused tension in the Woods family home.
The National Enquirer! The National Enquirer. I think even 'Dobbo' is going to be shaking his head at this one.

EDIT: Here's the story on the front page of the Herald website:

In the same vein, I also deny I am having an affair with a New York club hostess. On the contrary, the boiling point of water is 100 degrees celsius.



    Is this the today's version of a vox populi?

  2. FFS, TV3 are now reporting on what TMZ are saying/doing.
    Who owns these f****ers?