Why Media’s Coverage of Tiger Woods’ Car Crash Is Dire Sign Of The Times
Living in a household that’s tuned into CNN all day into the night is one of the unbearable aspects of being stuck in a situation that’s beyond your control. It also means you will never miss the excitement of “breaking news” when it breaks.
Such was the case when golf legend Tiger Woods blared through the headlines late Tuesday afternoon, after the horrific images of his crushed vehicle confirmed that the single-car accident in a suburb of Los Angeles was quite serious.
While pertinent information about the ghastly crash and the physical condition of its famous victim was slowly populating social media platforms and national TV segments, it was interesting to note the questionable techniques employed by networks like CNN and MSNBC that were choosing to sustain the momentum of a high-interest story with the suspense that it could take a terrible turn for the worst.
Staple CNN anchor Brianna Keilar had the fortune of being on air when the awful news about Tiger Woods interrupted programming, and after delivering the unfolding bulletin, instead of returning to regular scheduled items, while keeping tabs on relevant updates, viewers were treated to a bizarre collage of personalities recruited to add depth to meaningless speculations.
By the time Brooke Baldwin commenced her hour-long shift, it was obvious that the nonsensically obsessive coverage of Tiger Woods, who was reportedly in surgery to repair extensive injuries to his badly damaged leg, was blatantly geared towards holding out for the possibility that death could be imminent.
CNN’s disgracefully excessive reporting reminded me of the morbidity of being introduced to a priceless vault that holds ready-made shells, representing the orbits of Tinseltown’s gems, which I was granted access to, as a new employee in-training at one of the top industry trades.
Every A-lister’s file is secured and ready to go, once orders are given to unleash the sad verification of a noteworthy demise that has been sitting in prominent newsrooms waiting for the bat signal.
For two hours straight, CNN held viewers hostage with graphic takes on how realistically gruesome Woods’ injuries could be, with extended highlights of his illustrious career, and finally the low point of including the sports icon’s scandalous episodes — all this while he lay on an operating table, fighting for his life.
CNN’s coverage seemed to be an inappropriate rehearsal for what producers must’ve been hoping would transpire, in order to validate why so much time and attention was being assigned to a breaking news story that didn’t have enough substance to keep it going for longer than necessary.
I’ve often noted how the media-at-large has failed to maintain the stark differences between the griminess of tabloids and the more humane aspects of reporting that so-called respected news outlets still claim to uphold.
Watching how CNN recklessly navigated the active story of Tiger Woods was an experience that could be compared to watching DailyMail TV, with repeated talking points, matched with the useless expertise of last minute bookings, who are only able to bore us with shit that we already know, and of course additions of controversial highlights to paint an even bleaker picture.
The landscape of an ailing industry is bleak because of the traitorous mechanisms of social media that dictates the unhealthy way we consume news- through clickbait headlines, cunningly carved out to deceive those who actually read the article, and the heavy reliance on over-serving consumers with rubbish to keep them coming back for more of what they could do without.
You would’ve thought Tiger Woods was dead or most certainly on his way out of this world, based on the despicable way CNN’s anchors shamelessly flaunted heartbreaking images from the scene of the accident, while mercilessly honing in on how the violence of the crash, and the lack of relevant information about the victim’s status didn’t bode well for a positive outcome.
It’s apparent that the dysfunctional inhumanness that sustains the viability of social media platforms has tragically bled into the desperate atmosphere of newsrooms that have discarded the pledge of journalistic integrity, in favor of the trashy elements of coverage that aligns with the narratives of fierce competitors who have nothing to lose.
It’s the sign of the times, and a strong indication of what the next generation of journalists will have to contend with, once they enter the workforce and discover how everything they were taught about leading with empathy and reasonability won’t get them very far, thanks to the brutal makeover of a once revered profession.
For those, who like myself are frustratingly stuck in the dizzying rotation of the twilight zone, unfortunately there’s no way out.
It’s either join the chaos or get eaten up by the raging machine.