Every time we think we’ve witnessed the low point in the mainstream media’s “coverage” of Tiger Woods’ recent foibles, we find out just how much we’ve underestimated the industry’s ability to circle the drain of sports journalism.
Take Tuesday night, for example. Those who hopelessly indulged in ESPN2’s orgy of college basketball and Australian Open coverage no doubt noticed the painfully convoluted crawl that the network ran … and ran … and ran some more. It said something to the effect that “Source confirms to blogger that Tiger Woods has entered Mississippi sex rehab clinic. ESPN has been unable to substantiate the report.”
Ummm … huh? You’re unable to determine whether the report is even remotely truthful, but you’re going to go ahead and plaster it on the bottom of your screen for 18 hours just in case? And even if ESPN had been able to “substantiate” the report, all the network would have been substantiating was a blog post citing an anonymous source. Seriously? That’s shoddy journalism, even by the lowly standards of the four-letter network.
As for Benoit Denizet-Lewis, the blogger who “broke” the story (and an odd-looking chap who seems to be bosom buddies with the Deadspin gang), he now insists he didn’t actually break the sex rehab clinic story after all. He now says his prized “source” was merely “confirming” what other media outlets were all reporting. We’ll have to take his word for it, since he’s already expunged his original post from the face of the earth and replaced it with a lukewarm, self-serving apology.
TMZ, no doubt, will keep us updated on Tiger’s progress ad nauseum.
Oy vey. We’re beginning to think Tiger may come out of this whole mess with the cleanest conscience of us all.