While Money Talks, It Also Silences the Media

Posted on December 8, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Money talks. It also makes us listen. Sometimes, money even has the power to make us shut up.

At least it seems that it works that way with the media.

With ten alleged mistresses coming out of the woodwork, Tiger Woods’ previous perfect persona has been muddied. Through the media, we’ve suddenly learned things about the PGA superstar that were beyond entertaining. After all, Tiger was the golden boy of golf, above the indiscretions and tabloid fanfare which surrounded the likes of John Daley. Woods was, in fact, untouchable – or so we thought.

If Woods’ sexual behavior is true (and it appears that at least some of it is with his self-admitted apology for his “transgressions”), how could such a superstar hide such incriminating behavior from his adoring fan base? Money, maybe?

Some say this is a private matter. Well, that’s true to a point. How Tiger and his wife, Elin, handle the negative publicity and their marriage at this time is certainly between them, and only them. Well, them and their lawyers, publicists, spokespersons, and agents.  But the damage to their relationship and their family is a private matter and one which I only hope works out the best for both of them, no matter what they decide.

But, a part of this ugly saga is not private and it shouldn’t be. When an individual becomes the reigning king of the PGA, he puts himself out there for public scrutiny. When the same individual uses his squeaky clean image to represent corporations and make millions, scratch that, billions of dollars, he should be subjected to a fact check every now and then. Being an idol for millions, a certain level of honesty and discretion should have been a part of the deal. In exchange for the six or seven figure paycheck, he should have been expected to be the person they portrayed him to be. If he was unwilling, then forget the endorsements.

That didn’t happen. My question is, How in the world could someone as well known and publicized as Tiger Woods hide his numerous “transgressions” from the public? A story that the media would have taken to the front page for another golfer was stifled, buried, ignored. Common sense tells me that this isn’t breaking news, however, it is most likely silenced news.

Money talks. Money silences. To use fame to make money and become an icon is acceptable. To use the money you make from your fame to give yourself freedom to be the opposite of the person you’re portrayed to be is a shame. To use that money to silence negativity and exposure is a sham.

The PGA should be disappointed. Tiger’s sponsors should be disappointed. Real journalism should hang their head, put away their pens and call it a day. When the truth can be stifled, real media is dead. Perhaps, that’s the biggest story here.

It makes one wonder just how much we don’t know about the other people who solicit our dollars in commercials. Are any of our idols worth our idolization?  Is what we know about them real or simply a fictional story of rags to riches, paid for in an effort to divert the truth and deceive the public?

Millions of kids and adults look up to Tiger and other athletes and superstars. When money gets you to where you are, you shouldn’t hide behind it to disguise who you really are. It’s time for honest journalism to stand up. Just do it.


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