Brand Protection

by digby

I like salacious gossip as much as the next person. And the Tiger Woods saga is certainly salacious. People always love these stories because it's fun to pass judgment on others, particularly those who have previously been thought to be above human failings and made everyone feel a bit like losers by comparison. We love winners, but we also love a fall from grace. It's human nature.

I also don't blame the tabloids for flogging such stories. That's their bread and butter. This is all just part of our culture and saying that people shouldn't be interested in sex scandals is like saying they shouldn't like chocolate. Good luck with that.

But I just can't bear it when so-called serious journalism twists itself into pretzel claiming that the story is really "important" because it violated some sacrosanct "value" and therefore it is in the public interest to show pictures of hot babes on a loop and endlessly ruminate publicly about sex. (After which, without a pause, they rend their garments over how all this will affect the children.) The Tiger story is particularly grotesque because they are having such a hard time justifying their overwrought, prurient interest that they are reduced to fulminating about how he is despoiling his brand like anyone in their right mind should give a damn about such a stupid thing.

If they would just admit they are interested in the story because they love gossip and it sells papers and boosts ratings I could respect them. It's the ridiculous rationalization that it's somehow in the national interest that's insufferable.