Here are a few questions I wish had surfaced in Tiger Woods' five-minute interviews
Instead of making reporters for the Golf Channel and ESPN stand on a veranda in Orlando and toss softballs for five minutes, Tiger Woods should have just handed them a transcript of his February mea-culpa press conference.
Because, in two highly-touted interviews aired tonight, Woods really didn't say anything different; declining to answer any detailed questions about his affairs or the November car crash that sparked his scandal, insisting that his problems stemmed from forgetting his Buddhist roots and relaxing only when talk turned to the details of his return to golf.
A recent study on the state of journalism concluded that the subjects of news stories now have more power than ever, thanks to the heated competition for scoops and exclusive interviews.
Woods' interviews stand as sad proof of the reversal, with reporters forced to agree to such a short amount of interview time, they had no chance of exploring the questions kicked up by a months-long scandal which nearly derailed the career of sports' most profitable athlete.
Hard to know what Woods expected to achieve here, beyond running out the clock on the scandal with the general public.
Perhaps he's thinking if he can provide enough of these non-interview interviews, average people will get so tired of the media overkill, they'll stop rewarding new Tiger stories with pageviews and magazine sales (the Golf Channel reporter said former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer has even left Team Tiger, concerned his presence is adding to media coverage).
Here's a few questions I wish had been asked:
-- Isn't 45 days of rehab a little short for a problem this devastating? If your family life is so important, why come back now?
-- You said you didn't realize you had a problem before the scandal broke, but press accounts have linked you to at least a dozen women outside your marriage. On what planet isn't that a problem?
-- There's a press account alleging the National Enquirer scuttled an earlier story about your infidelities in exchange for your cooperation with a story for sister publication Men's Health magazine. You didn't realize you had a problem then?
-- Are you worried that any part of your rehab will affect your game? Is there any part of you that fears you needed to live the life you were living to succeed in golf?
-- Some people say this is mostly about endorsements; that you need to win back the public's esteem so you can get multi-million-dollar endorsements again. How much has this hurt your endorsements and how much of this public apology is about repairing that part of your career?
-- Why is this interview so short? Why won't you let us have the time we need ask proper questions and give you time to provide lengthy answers?
If the interviewers who faced Woods today really were allowed to ask any question, I'm surprised they didn't get to any of these. Perhaps the next interviewer who gets a few minutes of his time will try harder to push beyond his carefully-crafted soundbites to make the most of the opportunity.Here's what did air - click here for Golf Channel, look below for ESPN: