Wall Street Journal reports that, "according to persons familiar with the situation" (Don't you love that expression?) about two years ago the National Enquirer was looking into rumors that Tiger Woods was having, or had had, an affair. The Woods camp got wind of the Natl. Enq. investigation. I now give you a script for the meeting that may have taken place:
Tiger Woods representative: Tiger denies this story, but you can understand that, true or false, it will hurt his reputation if published. Surely you want to do the responsible thing and not spread these vile rumors?
Nat. Enquirer editor: We are the tribunes of the people! Our readers expect us to expose hypocrisy and deceit wherever we find them! ... (Pauses for breath)
Rep.: OK, OK. ... Tell me, is the National Enquirer your only publication, or does your company have other outlets?
Editor: Our family of publications consists of many fine titles. You may have heard of Men's Health, for example.
Rep.: Oh, yes. I believe I have seen it on newsstands. Tell me, would Men's Health be interested in an exclusive interview with Tiger Woods? The interview, of course, to cover his athletic accomplishments? [Woods is apparently notoriously tight in giving interviews]
Editor: Possibly ...
Rep.: Accompanied by a cover photograph of Tiger Woods?
Editor: That would definitely be attractive.
Rep.: In which case, of course, the Enquirer would not want to crowd out its sister publication by printing additional information about Mr. Woods?
And so it came to pass, or so the WSJ tells us.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Riding the Tiger
My friend Michael, fluent in journalese, unpacks the Tiger Wood story: