Leave Tiger Woods alone!

I’m not a golfer, although I have played a few times and I thoroughly enjoy an occasional golf outing with one or both of my sons at a public course in the Atlanta area.  At the same time, I find watching golf on TV to rank only slightly ahead of being mesmerized by watching members of Congress mill around while C-SPAN broadcasts their votes during a roll call. 

Yet, for all my lack of familiarity with the intricacies of the game, I do understand that Tiger Woods is an outstanding golfer; as good and perhaps even better than were Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer two generations ago.  I also now know, from watching Tiger Woods’ televised mea culpa last Friday, that there’s a good reason he doesn’t do much of it.  He stinks as a public speaker.  But then again, maybe it was the subject matter about which he was speaking that made it so excruciating to watch.  He was, after all, addressing the nation on a topic about which he shouldn’t have been pressured into doing in the first place — his personal sex life.  Perhaps if he had been caught cheating on his score cards, or using a golf ball with a super-secret core that had not yet been approved by the PGA, it might have made sense for him to subject himself to this self-flagellation.  Maybe if the actions in which he lamented having been involved consituted a criminal offense, there might have been some legitimacy to his apologia.

But none of these arguably “public” factors presented themselves when Tiger stood uncomfortably in front of a bland blue curtain, behind a too-small podium and before an audience whose discomfort at being present was palpable.  He was there, and they were they, and the television cameras were there not because Tiger had committed a public offense or a professional infraction.  They were there because America’s  appetite for peering into the personal lives of public figures — especially their sex lives — truly is insatiable.

A decade ago, when I was pressing the House of Representatives to impeach then-President Clinton for obstruction of justice and perjury, and when I and the other House managers argued for his conviction in the Senate, we constantly were forced to fend off charges that the impeachment was “all about personal behavior; all about sex.”  Of course, it wasn’t about the former president’s personal behavior (I could care less then and I could care less now how he gets his kicks); it was about his public mis-behavior — perjury and obstruction of justice committed by a high government official.  But, the effort to paint the procedure as trivial and personal figured prominently in Clinton’s eventual “acquittal” by the Senate.

With Tiger Woods, the “case” against him is all about sex.  It is purely personal.  And he should be left alone.

113 comments Add your comment

gadem

February 24th, 2010
9:46 am

Mr. Barr I agree wholeheartedly…leave Tiger alone!
And to the pornstar that thinks that she deserves an apology…she has sex on camera for a living…what kind of apology does she deserve?

Dee

February 24th, 2010
9:55 am

Fantastic. Nice to see someone from the media is realistic and clued in. Nice to see there are some writers who get it. For anyone looking for someone to blame, look in the mirror!

LibraryJim

February 24th, 2010
9:57 am

I agree. it was none of our business from the start. If anything, his only statement at the beginning should have been — “yes, I crashed my car. Yes, I’m ok. Thank you for caring.” End of story. More than that is societal voyeurism.

Fix-It

February 24th, 2010
10:00 am

Who cares what Tiger does, can he play golf?

SouthernGal

February 24th, 2010
10:23 am

Tigerswoody….IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHO HE STEPS OUT WITH. IT DOES NOT AFFECT YOUR LIFE!

lovelyliz

February 24th, 2010
10:34 am

Tiger Woods did not invent infidekuity not even in the PGA. That’s been going on since day one only nobody cared what those guys were doing. The only person Tiger Woods needs to explain anything to is his wife.

lovelyliz

February 24th, 2010
10:35 am

Tiger Woods did not invent infidelity not even in the PGA. That’s been going on since day one only nobody cared what those guys were doing. The only person Tiger Woods needs to explain anything to is his wife.

Bob's A Cherry Picker

February 24th, 2010
10:39 am

Bob! Some more fantastic Cherry Picking today.

I’m not even going to read your column…mainly based on the headline. The current media saturation relative to El Tigre is a direct result of market forces.

People want dirt, and they shall receive it.

That’s one of the problems with some of your market theories. There’s no distinguishing between popularity, quality or need. Nobody would argue the quality differential between TMZ and the PBS NewsHour, but a lot more people watch TMZ.

So if youre tiired of Tiger, get out of the gutter and try checking out some quality news sources.

DARNELL

February 24th, 2010
10:41 am

TIGER WOOD! LET ALL THESE HATER BE YOUR MOTORVATERS!

Kevin Lewis

February 24th, 2010
11:00 am

The one thing that stuck out to me in watching Tiger’s apology was that he stated he did these acts out of arrogance. He added that he felt he deserved to enjoy the things that accompanied his fame and fortune. I believe this speaks to the arrogance of many professional athletes and other celebrity figures. Didn’t Michael Jordan do something similar? Wasn’t Babe Ruth known as a drinker?

No one is perfect, we all have our flaws. The only perfect person is said to be Jesus and I have heard stories of where some people believe he committed a few sins. The public loves to hear about tales of despair. Hearing how someone else has failed lets many to swallow their own failures.

Remember the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Would the roughly 22 percent of men and 14 percent of women who are estimated to have strayed outside their own marriages, want to have their stories told in front of the world. Let alone feel the need to apology to the world for it?

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

February 24th, 2010
11:15 am

The beat writers on the PGA Tour knew what was going on and never covered it. Tiger = money and always will. When he wins his next major it will all be forgotten. If people are using a sports figure as a role model for their children, they are the problem, not the sports figure.

Transparency?

February 24th, 2010
11:29 am

Yes leave him alone, what he did was very bad and unforgivable but those women are just as bad, it is disgusting seeing at least one of them on T.V. crying about wanting an apology. Call Elin, apologize to her adult video girl.

Richard

February 24th, 2010
11:39 am

Am I the only one that feels bad for the real victim: Steve Williams?

Think about it, the guy is currently missing his only income source because of the lunacy that Tiger needs to take time off of golf for some unexplained reason.

Elin meanwhile gets half Tiger’s money. I’m sure losing the husband pain will vanish quickly when shes worth a billion dollars.

The kids? Forgive me if I’m not worried about anyone born into that kind of wealth. Somehow, I think they’ll be well taken care of. Any kid making fun of them in highschool will get to watch them drive away in one of their 5 ferraris.

The sponsors? I doubt Accenture was selling technology consulting because of Tiger Woods winning golf tournaments. Nike was the only sponsor with a direct benefit, and they’re sticking with Tiger (they would have been crazy not to).

And no, I dont feel bad for people that thought a celebrity was 100% pure.

I kinda feel bad for kids that idolized Tiger because their own parents aren’t worth looking up to.

joe matarotz

February 24th, 2010
11:49 am

Boo hoo for poor Tiger.

Johnnie

February 24th, 2010
11:52 am

The Bible says: Ye who are without sin, let him cast the first stone. If everybody spent as much time taking care of their own and being faithful to their mates, they wouldn’t have the time to try and run Tiger’s or anybody else’s sex life. This is totally between him and his wife. The public and the press have totally blown it all out of proportion because he is a celebrity. Clean out your own closets and stay out of other peoples, you’ll get along a heck of a lot better. I like Tiger, Charlie Sheen, Natalie Mains, etc.. Just because they are celebrities doesn’t make them any different than us regular folks. If you think it does, then you need to go back and read some history books about the past Presidents, Senators, etc.. Mind your own business and you’ll get along a lot better.

Noel

February 24th, 2010
12:03 pm

Some folks, Americans in particular do seem to have a more salacious appetite for people’s personal travails than the average person in the world.

I guess it allows some to sort of watch porn without actually turning to the channel and it makes it more palatable to them. But it is wrong. We should feel uncomfortable regarding this type of interest.

For me though it reveals the very dangerous part of that young nation, when you hear the certainty them have about Tiger’s insincerity. Remember…

I know uncertainty is uncomfortable BUT certainty is ABSURD. It’s why we should forgive… even the crimes and this is not one of those.

Jamaica

JASon

February 24th, 2010
12:15 pm

Everyone knows why Tiger Woods held the press conference: to appease his sponsors. The media is the only group in this country that paid any attention to the stupid speech, and YOU are to blame, NOT US!

Jefferson

February 24th, 2010
12:34 pm

You can do better than this topic. D.

DW

February 24th, 2010
12:42 pm

I COULDNT AGREE MORE WITH THIS ARTICLE

[...] • Former Georgia congressman Bob Barr says “the ‘case’ against Tiger is all about se… [...]

Carmen

February 24th, 2010
1:22 pm

Tiger Woods has apologized to everyone and accepted that what he did was very wrong. Tiger confirmed he needs help and that he is receiving rehab to address his issues. Tiger said he wants to regain balance in his life to save the two things that are most important to him, his wife and his children. Tiger is trying to put his life back together and he has a right to do so. I wish them all the best. It is time that Tiger and his family move on with their life and for the media to get off their back!!!

Tigerswoody

February 24th, 2010
1:37 pm

Southern Girl

I hate to disagree with you but it is my business who Tiger steps out with. My life has not been the same since this story broke and it has really affected me. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, nothing else seems important in life since I learned that Tiger was a cheater. In fact, I am thinking of starting my own network called TNN “Tiger News Network” … all Tiger all the time. I may need spme Tiger 12 step help.

Judge Ito

February 24th, 2010
1:50 pm

Mr. Barr … In addition to the above, why don’t you also write an article and explain why OJ was not guilty too.

Mark

February 24th, 2010
3:12 pm

Let me get this straight. Someone who cheated on his wife just wrote an article stating to leave ANOTHER guy who cheated on his wife alone. How odd.

Andrea

February 24th, 2010
3:19 pm

Did you really cheat on your wife, Mr. Barr?

If so, then it is NO WONDER you are no longer welcome in the Republican Party.

Louis

February 24th, 2010
3:37 pm

You could not be more wrong. Tiger Woods sex life is a private matter, but his hypocrisy is very much a public issue. He and his sponsors created and perpetuated a completely deceptive image of Tiger for over a decade as a man of great character. They purposefully did this to get the public to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on products he endorsed. Tiger made 90% of his billion dollar fortune from endorsements, not golf winnings. So, all the time his was having sex with pornstars, he was very comfortable getting paid millions for a completely fake image sold to the public He owes the public a sincere apology for treating his fans with such disdain for many years just so he could buy mansions and a yacht.

LibraryJim

February 24th, 2010
3:56 pm

Double standard:

Hugh Hefner = admired
Tiger Woods = reviled.

Bob Hayes

February 24th, 2010
5:10 pm

Sure! Tiger’s the first guy or girl who ever cheated..ask all the older Bartenders of the past 50 Years-who were the worst cheaters.Men or women. Women win-going away!! However! It will be said: They were victims! That’s why they go to Bars every night to pick up a guy. Would you believe that guys are willing?? I spent 38 Years behind the Bars..what are you drinking lady? Cars in the parking lot! Motel right up the Street! “You know the place.”

JayTee

February 24th, 2010
5:26 pm

The last time I checked I hadn’t bothered “Tiger” at all. I don’t watch golf, I don’t play golf, and I could care less about golf. It seems to me that Mr. Woods placed himself in this position. What did Harry Truman say? “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Southern Bella

February 24th, 2010
5:56 pm

Dear Mr. Barr (and the other 3 or 4 of you who have so replied thus far), let’s get the grammar correct.

The phrase is NOT: I could care less.

The phrase IS: I could **NOT** care less.

Write it down, kids, and commit it to memory. We’re so worried about the healthcare bill when, instead, there may not be enough of us left with the level of education needed to even read it.

Wouldn't You

February 24th, 2010
6:13 pm

Leave him alone. He converted from Booty-ism to Buddhism, let’s see how far that gets him.

tim

February 24th, 2010
6:20 pm

Bob Barr is an ass! Tiger Woods is an ass! They both go together.

Ralph

February 24th, 2010
6:37 pm

In many interviews through the years, Tiger has been quoted (I’ve seen one while he was promoting his new course outside Greenville, S.C.) where he specifically said his “family came first”. I know from first hand experience that male celebrities and atheletes are ushered into and out of hospitality suites where there are beautiful women who are brought in to entertain, to keep them company. There is always flirting going on. Do I blame the women? Heck no, they are paid a ton of money to entertain these guys. They sure don’t do it for free. But it’s those that take it from the hospitality suites back to their private rooms that cross the line. There is, as my wife says, nothing wrong with looking, window shopping, just don’t touch. Just enjoy the view. As Tiger said, he didn’t think the rules applied to him. Well apparently they do. Kobe sure found that out too. And I am sure there are others, some we have heard about, others we haven’t heard about who just haven’t gotten caught……………YET !!!!!!!

CHARLES

February 24th, 2010
6:40 pm

TIGERSWOODY YOU ARE REAL SILLY. TOO BAD YOU PUT TIGER ON A PEDESTAL. AS OTHERS HAVE SAID, TIGER NEVER TOLD US HE WAS FREE OF SIN. YOU NEED TO GET A GRIP AND A LIFE. MIND YOUR BUSINESS.

JDW

February 24th, 2010
6:41 pm

While you are right this time Bob, you are a hypocrite of the first order. Your issue with Clinton years ago was simply that he was the opposition party and you saw a way to “score points’. What you did was put in motion tactics that resulted in many of the issues that today threaten to bring American politics to a standstill and imperil our very way of life. Then you were Newt’s attack dog. Today you are sucking milk from the fragmentation you helped cause.

Alvin

February 24th, 2010
6:44 pm

The Cynical White Boy you are a real a**hole!!!! Why are comparing Obama to Tiger? You need to increase your Meds.

Tiger who?

February 24th, 2010
7:10 pm

I did not watch the apology. None of it is my business…….and no one that he endorses will get my business.

AJ

February 24th, 2010
7:15 pm

Who is Bob Barr? I have never heard of the guy in my life, let alone a column he writes for the ajc. Hey Bob, your opinion on this counts as much as mine does. Zero. If you don’t watch golf then why do you even care?

Ted Striker

February 24th, 2010
7:39 pm

Very interesting take, Mr. Barr.

Wasn’t a big fan of your viewpoints (when you were in office) but darned if you aren’t growing on me. Maybe I’ve changed a little, maybe you’ve changed a little, maybe some of both, but whatever it is — I appreciate your point of view on a variety of topics, including this one.

Bottom line. While I may or may not agree with you on any given subject now, I certain do appreciate your point of view.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

February 24th, 2010
7:54 pm

The issue, unfortunately, is that in accepting money for sponsorships, he agreed to become a public figure. Got to take the bad with the millions.

steve

February 24th, 2010
7:56 pm

Southern Bella… Thank you!!! It is amazing how many people COULD care less about something, instead of COULD NOT care less..

Alive in GA

February 24th, 2010
7:58 pm

I concur with the essence of Bob’s article; Tiger should be left alone. If his wife who was a nanny prior to marriage decides to leave him, so be it. Mr. Woods was a great golfer before he married her and he will be a great golfer when he returns. Mr. Woods always kept his private life away from the public eye.

He does not owe the public any more statements about his private life. People who watch him on the golf course came out to see him perform in his chosen professional.

People get a life.

Person with a Memory

February 24th, 2010
7:59 pm

These remarks need to come from somebody with a cleaner record than Bob Barr’s.

From Wikipedia:

In 1999, during Clinton’s impeachment trial, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt offered money to anyone who could provide evidence that a prominent Republican had engaged in an extramarital affair. According to the American Journalism Review,[70] investigators for Flynt said that Barr was “guilty of king-size hypocrisy”. According to a sworn affidavit by Barr’s ex-wife Gail: Barr (a longtime outspoken opponent of abortion) had acquiesced to and paid for the termination of his then-wife’s pregnancy in 1983.[citation needed] In accordance with his public offer: Flynt subsequently paid a sum of money to Gail Barr after she had made her sworn affidavit.[14] Barr never publicly disputed the contents of his ex-wife’s affidavit. Investigators also reported that Barr invoked a legal privilege during his 1985 divorce proceeding, so he could refuse to answer questions on whether he’d cheated on his second wife with the woman who is now his third.”[71]
In the early 1990s, Barr was photographed at a fundraising event licking whipped cream off of a woman.[72] According to the Washington Post “Two people who observed the act say it wasn’t exactly a bosom lick but more like a neckline lick, at the sort of event where business and civic leaders perform dares to raise money. ‘Not exactly Mr. Effusive’, says Matt Towery, the former chairman of Newt Gingrich’s political organization, who observed the brief and awkward licking. ‘You can hardly get the guy to smile’”.

awantwin

February 24th, 2010
8:01 pm

Is anyone here feel for the golfer, Tiger Woods? Or do you agree that his image should be damaged, because of a few afairs with some women? How do you feel?

Bronco

February 24th, 2010
8:20 pm

Tiger may have blown his golf playing fortune but he could always write columns with the burnouts at AJC

are you kidding me?

February 24th, 2010
9:16 pm

How very entertaining is your article Mr Barr although wrong headed. As usual you missed the mark.
Tiger makes millions of dollars annually not because of his scores(golf) but because of his carefully nurtured personna. His character has been sold and resold to the american public and his all american image has been discovered to be a lie. As a result many of his sponsors no longer give him all that money. And until he rebrands himself he will no longer earn as much as he has in the past in those endorsements. So do you really want to play that sophmoric “Tiger doesn’t owe us any apology” excuse: or do you want to reclaim all those lost revenue lines? Of course he should go in front of the camera and the public; AND he should have taken questions; IF he wants to reclaim his brand and his image(and those big bucks) even though weakened. He will have to answer all questions in the future no matter how much he wants it to go away. It is not going to go away; regardless of what his brain-dead agent thinks..

deathportal

February 24th, 2010
9:27 pm

I agree Bob. Leave him alone. It’s amazing to me that not only do so many people care about this, that they are SO ANGRY about it! Honestly. I hope no one cuts these people off on the freeway or gets their order wrong at McDonald’s or I may get summoned for jury duty.

For cryin’ out loud, live and let live, and lighten up. If you’re that upset because “He was a role model and my kids looked up to him,” or “I bought the titleist hat because he wore it” or whatever, then wake up and realize that you should not make humans into gods.

P

February 24th, 2010
9:29 pm

Bob…it’s “I couldn’t care less”…God that drives me crazy. If you could care less then you care somewhat.

Also if it’s none of our business why did you write about it? You are just fanning the flames!

JTex

February 24th, 2010
10:10 pm

wow Bob – you are such a chicken-sh*t that you don’t even allow comments calling you out for the garbage that you are to be posted. Can’t wait until you no longer “grace” us with your presence, you bigoted filth.

Long Dong Daly

February 24th, 2010
10:24 pm

what Tiger did is NOT against the law, there is no telling how many famous people we all know and love are doing the same thing, we just dont hear about it. IT IS an issue between him and his wife so get off his azz and worry about your own lives people! What Tiger does off the course is none of our business unless its affecting our lives, so move on and let it die.