Multiple networks dutifully covered Tiger Woods’ 14-minute apology on Friday morning, delivered to a group of — well, it’s not quite clear.
In terms of cable news and ESPN, though, it’s obvious those 14 minutes of fresh video are going to be the gift that keeps on giving.
Woods apologized for sleeping with a lot of women, while simultaneously pleading with the press to leave his family alone. The media responded by chewing over the details of the speech as if the U.S. had declared war on Iran, then turned to PR experts to rate its effect.
As someone who deals with a lot of PR people, count me among the unimpressed — not because Woods didn’t seem remorseful, but because his line “The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me” is so patently not true. As Chris Rock once said, “A man is as faithful as his options.” Let’s face it, part of the fascination with this story is because Woods’ options were both extraordinarily plentiful and, in terms of visual fodder, pretty spectacular.
In other words, most of the moral scolding is an excuse to show pictures of the models, strippers and party gals with whom Woods engaged in his various indiscretions. These days, you usually have to look for a Republican politician at a stimulus-check-signing ceremony to find that level of unabashed hypocrisy.
Still, on MSNBC, radio host Armstrong WIlliams — the guy who got paid to push the Bush administration’s party line — said “I was moved by his sincerity.” On CNN, the Yankees’ former PR guy, Rick Cerrone, wasn’t buying any of it, concluding that Woods seemed “arrogant” and proclaiming the whole thing “an infomercial.”
Somehow, I suspect there still has to be a sit-down softball interview — Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, hell, maybe Drs. Phil and Oz — in the offing.
So while Woods has “broken his silence” and the official apology is over, the hunger for Tiger’s tale about Tiger’s tail is far from satisfied.