Prepared statement manufactured from PR playbook
Tiger Woods may have a long, professional golf career ahead of him, but as an actor he is still a rank amateur. Woods began a one-way news conference sounding out the words scribed on paper in front of him in a manufactured public relations event. His delivery fell short of authentic, deliberately looking into the camera as he communicated his apology in a poorly rehearsed spectacle reeking of self-indulgence.
It was a typical display of a PR-orchestrated event, complete with his mommy sitting in the front row with arms folded and a stone cold expression on her face. In fact, Mrs. Woods may have been the only actor not following the script as her demeanor looked more like the image of embarrassment, rather than support for her embattled son.
In listening to the media’s reaction to the news conference you would think the apology was the equivalent to an ace on the 18th hole at TPC Sawgrass where the statement took place. CTV, who covered the new conference in between their sub-par Olympic coverage, fawned over Tiger’s apology as if it were Wayne Gretzky crying about betraying Mark Messier. The subsequent conversation featured empty-headed Ben Mulroney insisting that a billion dollar man needs a public relations plan to issue an apology. In other words, manufacturing an apology is fine and dandy as long as it is ultimately delivered.
Our media driven society need to realize what apologies like this achieve. Instead of an honest, unscripted statement, we get a highly produced, controlled script meant to win over the public and valuable sponsors – and for some reason this is acceptable. The bigger question of why we care to begin with is also a stain on what makes us tick and how the media can create intrigue in an otherwise meaningless situation. To be blunt, the only people who watched Tiger deliver his monotone speech and thought it was authentic are those who likely wear a helmet whenever they leave the house.
The other supportive group are those who think like PR people, but this is merely an industry-minded opinion and says nothing for the underlying issue – brutal dishonesty and manufacturing public support is at the heart of what’s wrong with celebrity and corporate culture. One of the most condescending aspects to this particular scandal was watching entertainment shows discuss what Tiger needed to say leading up to this morning’s speech. In a perfect example of systemic patronizing, co-hosts would pontificate on how Tiger really needs to take responsibility in a somber tone so that the public will forgive him. On the surface it sounds lovely, but using terms like “give the public the impression” or “win the public over” speaks volumes to the illusion of honesty. Even more ridiculous, these co-hosts are being watched by the same audience the PR scam is directed towards.
That’s right folks, the media will talk about what Tiger should do to get the public on his side, even if it is orchestrated, all while broadcasting for that same public, who are apparently too stupid to realize they are being ridiculed.
But, let’s not forget Mommy Woods. Through her deeply troubled presence we see a glimmer of hope. It isn’t shared by most sheeple in today’s world, but it is a glimmer nonetheless.