So a man and his wife have some kind of falling out late in the evening after a long and claustrophobic Thanksgiving Day and he, in a pique of frustration, grabs the car keys and makes a beeline for some breathing room. Unhappy at not getting the last word, the missus grabs the nearest object — in this case, a golf club — and bounds out the door after him to continue making her point. Result? The hubby has an abrupt meeting with a nearby fire hydrant while the wife lovingly uses her former weapon of choice as a means of extricating her better half from the car.
Now, I’m sure this sort of thing happens all the time; so what, you may ask, is the big deal? Well if it so happens that the scene of the incident was an exclusive Florida golf community, the car was a custom Cadillac Escalade and the club was a Nike Victory Red TW Blade with a standard size Tour Velvet grip and True Temper Dynamic Gold X-100 shaft, chances are that the hubby on the spot was none other than Tiger Woods, golf champion and endorsement king.
As I said, these brief interruptions of domestic bliss occur with stunning regularity all over the world and certainly no less frequently among the rich and famous, and yet this story has been the subject of endless speculation and reportage for days. The way the media have been carrying on, you’d think that a former vice president and his UN cronies had been caught falsifying evidence in order to bilk the U.S. and other civilized nations out of billions of dollars.
But we really shouldn’t be surprised that Woods has been on the receiving end of so much heat, especially from the leftists in the mainstream media. Up to this point, aside from unfortunate outbursts of anger on the links where he mouths his generation’s preferred obscenities, his very public life has been virtually free from stain or scandal. In a culture, so hailed and even promoted by our media, that celebrates the vulgar and outrageous, the life of Tiger Woods — possibly the greatest golfer of all time and certainly the richest — must have seemed an impossible oddity. And so, when a chink in his mighty armor appears, they are all too thrilled to dwell on it.
We have seen this time and again, particularly when the imperfection of conservatives or religious figures is involved. For some reason, those who are irreligious are incredulous that the truly religious acknowledge that they are not perfect. That man is a flawed creature who is nevertheless capable of overcoming his innate defects with divine help, is the reason we base our legal system on moral imperatives like the Ten Commandments. This concept was universally accepted until only short years ago but has been perverted into the notion that no one can be truly good or deserving of emulation.
Years ago, Paul Simon summed up this loss when he asked, “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?” Yes, in recent years, even the Yankee Clipper is vilified because he dared ask Marilyn Monroe to quit her day job to be his wife. There will be no more role models in America unless they are deemed by the media to be absolutely perfect. Ayn Rand, writing in The Fountainhead, has the unctuous socialist Ellsworth Toohey explain the method: “Don’t set out to raze all shrines — you’ll frighten men. Enshrine mediocrity, and the shrines are razed.” One cannot help thinking of our current president when reading these presciently chilling words.
Of course the leftist media has other fish to fry with Tiger Woods. Although his politics are not known, he has gone out of his way not to make an issue of his skin color and declined to encourage others to play the victimhood game. Apart from citing incidents of discrimination in his youth, Woods has refused to be pigeon-holed into the familiar roles played by so many minority celebrities and instead comported himself just as you would expect the son of a career U.S. military officer to do.
The other night, I watched an NFL game where the object of the camera’s affection ad nauseam was Baltimore’s Ray Lewis, a man who was involved with the stabbing deaths of two men but was allowed to cop a plea of obstruction of justice in return for testifying against two other defendants. Mr. Lewis has endorsement deals with Vitamin Water, Renato Watches and Under Armor, Inc. and yet we are asked to believe that Tiger Woods’ domestic dustup should somehow penalize his earning potential.
It seems that in sports, as well as politics, the double standard is par for the course.