August 15, 2002

"It bothers me greatly to say this, but there is very little journalism breaking out in the press tent at a golf tournament.": McPaper’s Christine Brennan mounts her high horse and lambastes the media for not hounding Tiger Woods on the issue of female membership at elite private golf clubs (specifically Augusta National). The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Dan Barriero takes the opposite view: "There is also the disingenuousness of the lecturers, who do not simply demand that Tiger take a stand on numerous issues of the day. They want him to take a certain position -- their position -- on those issues." Should Tiger (or any famous athelete) be forced to take a public stand on whatever issue currently has the media's attention?

posted by jmpeterson to golf at 04:23 PM - 4 comments

btw, via Romanesko's Media News

posted by jmpeterson at 04:38 PM on August 15, 2002

I think I remember this being brought up once before, but it may have been elsewhere. I think this is ridiculous. I don't care what the issue is or how horrible it is that women can't golf at those places (I disagree with the policy), it's ridiculous to get mad at someone for not making an issue out of it. To expect him to go on a crusade just because he's a public figure is pushing it. To get angry and publicly harass the media about it is way over the line.

posted by Bernreuther at 05:20 PM on August 15, 2002

Brennan didn't expect Woods to take her position; she expected him to take a stand on the position he was paid to take in all those Nike commercials about country clubs that didn't admit African-Americans. If Brennan was expecting the press to hound Woods about his position on stem-cell research, that would be ridiculous. But it's about an issue that Woods has already accepted huge amounts of money to engage the public about. In the sports media, there's a huge amount of pressure to kiss ass or you'll lose access to sports figures (and even venues like Augusta). I'm glad Brennan's trying to stand up for the principle that the media's not supposed to shirk tough questions because it's easier if they do.

posted by rcade at 09:25 PM on August 15, 2002

"Sports journalism", as it is practiced today, is the biggest oxymoron. That said - I don't know why Tiger has to become the spokesperson for the opressed simply because he's black. I also think if a private club wants to exclude someone based on race or sex, that's their perogative - they just shouldn't expect things like tax breaks, etc. from the government.

posted by owillis at 11:31 AM on August 16, 2002

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