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Pundits divided on Woods apology


Agence France-Presse
First Posted 07:21:00 02/20/2010

Filed Under: People, Golf, relationships and dating

LOS ANGELES ? Tiger Woods's apology was the highest-profile televised mea culpa since former President Bill Clinton confessed to an "inappropriate" relationship with Monica Lewinsky in 1998.

The golfing superstar's statement received blanket coverage across broadcast and print media on Friday, with almost every major network interrupting their programming to beam Woods' comments live to a captivated audience.

On Wall Street, the trading floor ground to a virtual halt as dealers looked up at television screens broadcasting Woods' statement, part of a global audience estimated at tens of millions.

From former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer to talk show host David Letterman, the sight of public figures apologizing for sexual indiscretions has become a familiar one in the modern media age.

But no public apology has ever been transmitted as far and wide as Woods' dramatic confessional, which was also streamed live on dozens of websites such as Youtube, Hulu and Livestream.

Woods' comments divided the army of talking heads deployed by networks around the world to provide instant analysis.

Some pundits applauded Woods' honesty while others dismissed it as a cynical exercise in media manipulation.

ABC's George Stephanopoulos described Woods? words as "one of the most remarkable public apologies ever by a public figure."

"He [Tiger] left nothing on the table. This is a man who has thought a lot about what he did," Stephanopolous said.

Debert Cook, publisher of African American Golfer's Digest, said Woods' statement signaled a turning point in the superstar's fortunes.

"I think he was very genuine in his responses and his statement," Cook told BBC television in London.

"I think we are entering a whole new era spiritually and emotionally for Tiger Woods. There's always going to be the doubters out there but I think we have to take him at his word and watch his actions," he said.

CBS analyst and former professional David Feherty said he believed Woods apology was sincere. "I have never seen him appear so vulnerable... I was very impressed with what he said," Feherty said.

"The vast number of people just wants their Tiger Woods back," Feherty said.

But Rick Cerone, former chief of public relations for the New York Yankees, took an opposite view. "What I saw was arrogance," he told CNN. "It was basically an infomercial."

One of the most scathing reviews of Woods' performance came from Washington Post opinion writer Eva Rodriguez, who branded it "disgusting."

"I've never been more disgusted with Tiger Woods," Rodriguez commented.

"I found his apology unbelievable, insincere, self-serving, self-indulgent, and narcissistic.

"You don't need an internationally televised apology to become a better man, a better husband, a better father ? the things he claims are most important to him. But you do need such a spectacle if you're going to remain a multi-billion dollar marketing machine.

"And that's what this pathetic display was all about."

Some blogs couldn't resist a light-hearted approach to the spectacle. The Huffington Post website invited readers to rate Woods' performance by "hole in one, par for the course or a double bogey."

The satirical website The Onion meanwhile flashed an irreverent report under the headline: "Tiger Woods Announces Return to Sex."



Copyright 2014 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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