What, after all, is the basis of liberal society’s condemnation of Woods?

Ben W. writes:

The question the media is currently asking about the Tiger Woods case is: will continued coverage of this situation hurt Tiger Woods (especially with his sponsors)?

However on what basis should it hurt him? The fact that he committed adultery? But the liberal media does not accept the Ten Commandments or Biblical morality as authoritative in our society.

Given the media’s philosophical bent, why should Tiger Woods be hurt at all? From where does the media derive its sexual ethics? What are the first principles of morality on which the media is relying? Has the Judeo-Christian ethic suddenly re-emerged to become America’s moral foundation?

So what is it that is “hurting” Tiger Woods? Why would additional disclosures “hurt” his image? And if Darwinism is true, Tiger was simply acting out his natural urges. Where is the problem? Why has this even become a story? Are tigers in the wild monogamous?

However if the media did reveal its philosophical presuppositions and if it had been consistent with them by not treating the Tiger Woods situation as unique or special (just simply natural), there would be such a social revulsion with the media. That is why the media is so interested in the issue of how Eldrick should have “managed” and “contained” the situation.

LA replies:

I have not read enough of the mainstream media on the Tiger Woods story to have a sense of how liberals are expressing their condemnation of Wood. It is a very interesting question. Does it come down to the charge of “hypocrisy,” as we discussed yesterday here and here—meaning, there is nothing wrong with the behavior, but only with claiming to be a regular family man and not being one? Or does it come down to the idea that adultery is wrong not because there is objective right and wrong but because marriage is a contract and Woods broke the contract? Or does it come down to the idea that Woods’s behavior seems out of control and discredits him—the way former Gov. Spitzer’s behavior seemed out of control, and so it was understood by everyone that he just had to leave office? Or does it come down to some inarticulate, instinctive reaction of disgust at the sheer excess of the situation?

Ben continues:

I recall that in the ’60s it was Sweden that mounted an assault on traditional morals. The Swedes were “free” and “easy” with sex. Now the Swedish woman (Elin) has problems with her mate’s sexual proclivities? Her mother (a government official in Sweden) has to fly down here to console her? Gee, I thought Swedes were “free” and “easy” with sex?

LA replies:

The Swedes are free and easy about non-marriage. I don’t think they’re free and easy about infidelity. But of course that’s a typical liberal attitude. Liberals dispense with traditional values and traditional institutions, but still want the benefits of those values and institutions.

Roland D. writes:

I find it an interesting comment on the apparent character of Tiger Woods that a) he was effectively successfully blackmailed into doing a photo shoot for Men’s Fitness by the National Enquirer, who had obtained pictures of him dropping off one of his mistresses—no, I’m not making this up—at her home in a trailer park [LA replies: I thought the pictures were of him during an assignation with one of his girlfriends in the back of a vehicle], and b) that he continued this behavior knowing that the National Enquirer had the goods on him, and that if they could find him out, so could other organizations or individuals.

I also note that, so far, no one in the popular press seems to think that the National Enquirer’s behavior was perhaps less than the ideal of journalistic integrity, or in fact unusual in any way. I guess that sort of thing is just par for the course (pun intended) amongst the supposedly idealistic Bright Young Things who graduate from J-school, these days. [LA replies: Yes, it’s remarkable that the behavior of the Enquirer in spying on celebrities hoping to catch them in sexual misbehavior is now considered normal. This makes me lose my respect for the Enquirer. I’m not being ironic. Their accuracy in certain recent stories (e.g., John Edwards) that were ignored and derided by the mainstream media had increased the Enquirers’s credibility.]

Steve W. writes:

It seems to me that the only way Tiger can rehabilitate his public image is to get a prompt divorce from his wife. This may seem counterintuitive, because he would be eschewing his “family man” persona. But this persona has been blasted to bits and will never be recovered. On the other hand, by divorcing his wife, he removes the only moral basis for criticizing his hedonistic lifestyle. Once Tiger is legally single, he can squire as many women as he likes. Indeed, once he divorces his wife, he will be able to take up the company of “higher class” ladies. In the manner of George Clooney, Derek Jeter, et al., Tiger will be celebrated for each new beautiful society gal and starlet he beds. At the same time, he can regain favor with more “traditional” folks by presenting himself (whether true or not) as a devoted dad. After all, it’s “all about the children” these days. Few people will remember how badly he treated his wife, so long as he remains an “involved” and “supportive” father. Then, assuming he wins a few more majors and passes Jack Nicklaus’ career records, he probably will resume his position as top athlete product endorser. When you think about it, it’s really quite simple—albeit a sad commentary on contemporary society—that throwing away his lovely wife is the best strategy for Tiger to pursue.

LA replies:

If Elin divorces him, she will probably return to Sweden with the children. How much time will Woods be able to spend with his children then? Not only will they be across the ocean, but he will be on tour most of the year. Maybe he can drop into by Sweden for a couple of days after the British Open.

Laura Wood writes:

Christopher C. said it well in the previous post. Hypocrisy is the only real sin. Liberal sexual ethics sanction as many voluntary sexual relationships as men and women can handle—provided a man does not secretly depart from the woman he is pledged to in marriage or cohabitation. (The secret departure of a woman from a relationship is not the stuff of major scandal and is not sexual infidelity in the same sense because it is usually considered a reflection of the poor behavior of the male, most often his failure to be emotionally generous. So it’s less hypocritical.) The real crime here is dishonesty. The Swedes favor honest sex. That was one of the justifications for dispensing with marital traditions in the first place: it would rid the world of phoniness.

LA replies:

You may be right, but I’m not persuaded of it yet. We see all kinds of expressions in the media of people’s disgust with Woods, his loss of approval (though in numbers it’s not that huge), the loss of endorsements. But the gravamen of this complaint has not been made clear. However, again, I haven’t had time to read the liberal media on this. I would be very interested to see a collection of quotes by mainstream columnists expressing their views on Woods.

Jim C. writes:

Ben W. wrote:

The question the media is currently asking about the Tiger Woods case is: will continued coverage of this situation hurt Tiger Woods (especially with his sponsors)?

However on what basis should it hurt him? The fact that he committed adultery? But the liberal media does not accept the Ten Commandments or Biblical morality as authoritative in our society.

As far as I know, all of Tiger’s major sponsors have pulled his ads from the major media. Gatorade has dropped his beverage.

I’m in the ad business, so I’ll speculate on what is happening in meetings with the sponsors.

The sponsors were paying for the hard-working family man, not the horndog who paid to bang porn stars (did someone say STDs?), or the dope who got drunk and got behind the wheel. Quite frankly, most sponsors could not care less what stars do in their private lives—provided it remains private.

Conclusion? Tiger’s career as a major pitchman is over. I’d guess that his handlers will let some time pass and try to introduce him to liquor products etc. Don’t expect Buick to come running. This is not about morality; it’s about business, so don’t conflate these distinct concepts.

Here is a source re Tiger’s advertisers.

Ben W. writes:

Oh good grief, now a variety of “conservative” columnists are attacking the black community for being racist towards Eldrick Tont Woods (notice his middle name). Members of the black community are being criticized for focusing on Eldrick’s penchant for white women. One conservative jackass even quotes MLK Jr.’s mantra about not judging a person by the color of his skin but by the content of his character.

Sheeze, one gets tired of conservatives firing back at blacks in the name of racism using the MLK mantra as if this shows off the moral credentials of the white conservative.

LA replies:

The conservatives remain the exponents of the 1963 right-liberal Dream.

Gintas writes:

Woods can follow the Kobe Bryant model. Bryant, one of the top NBA players of the decade, was accused of rape in the summer of 2003, in Colorado. All his endorsements vaporized instantly. While the rape charges were eventually dropped, he did admit to adultery, saying it was consensual. He bought his wife a gargantuan diamond ring, and since then he is mostly rehabilitated. After games the cameras find him in the tunnel to the locker room, meeting and kissing his wife and picking up his two adorable daughters. Bryant is seen as insanely competitive and aloof, not personable. Nothing else has surfaced since then, he is back on top of the NBA world, and all is forgotten except by the bitter Kobe-haters.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 09, 2009 11:29 AM | Send

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