- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 1, 2017


Maybe it’s that Tiger Woods played golf with President Trump and didn’t bash him afterward. Maybe that’s why CNN and Anderson Cooper — the very model of a modern major general of progressivism — treated Mr. Woods with such gratuitous cruelty this week.

It happened after Florida police found Mr. Woods asleep in his car stopped on a roadway, with brake lights and a turn signal on and two shredded tires.

Police said they found zero alcohol on Mr. Woods, who has been taking an assortment of prescription drugs for excruciating pain after his fourth and latest back operation.

Yet on Wednesday, CNN showed an ugly police mug shot of him looking like a dazed thug and a lengthy videotape of his inability to put his feet together or tie his shoe after police found him asleep in his car on the side of a road.

But wait. Maybe it was Mr. Woods appearance in the White House with President Obama some years ago that explains Thursday’s report on Mr Woods by Fox News — regarded by some as the supreme commander of allied forces right.

Fox’s story mimicked in tone and content what CNN had aired the day before.

Fox’s editors also know that pictures that run with news stories are editorial comments.

Yet, like CNN, Fox, too, accompanied its report with a police mug shot of Mr. Woods looking like a dazed thug, instead of one of the greatest American — and world — golfers ever. Fox also showed police video of Mr. Woods unable to repeat requests a policeman had just asked and unable recite the whole English alphabet.

Eventually the Fox report said the police tests showed the golfer had no alcohol in his blood and that he had, as he told police, been taking a variety of prescription drugs that incapacitated him.

Think what you will of Mr. Woods when it comes to his private life that became public when in 2009 the National Enquirer reported his infidelity to first wife. The devastating death of his Army lieutenant colonel father, the ugly divorce, the many injuries he suffered and operations he endured all contributed to career setbacks on the golf course. But he is fabulously wealthy and could have gone to the Riviera and eaten bonbons. Instead he has worked hard and long to make a comeback and reestablish himself on the pro tour. He already has won 79 official PGA Tour events, placing him second only to Sam Snead. He has won 14 majors, placing him all-time second behind Jack Nicklaus.

Whatever his other faults, Mr. Woods remains the gentleman of golf he always was.

“I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Mr. Woods said afterward. “I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”

He extended his mea culpa, “with all [his] heart”  to “family, friends and the fans, adding, “I expect more from myself too.” He thanked the Jupiter Police force and the Palm Beach County sheriff’s office for their professionalism.

The hostile, cruel slant of the Woods story is baffling — and, for me at least, disappointing.

All this leaves this question: what is it about the news craft that has so many of us talking compassion for people in general and at the same time running over individuals if it makes good footage or audio for news shows?

• Ralph Z. Hallow, chief political writer at The Washington Times, has covered Washington since 1982.




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