Why the Tabloids Are Making Too Much of Elin

What Women Really Think
March 17 2010 2:47 PM

Why the Tabloids Are Making Too Much of Elin

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Jessica, I am a sports fan who’s always liked Tiger far more for his killer instinct and his ability to hit magical shots under pressure and provide drama to an otherwise mundane sport than for his squeaky clean image. So I agree with you that real golf fans don’t give a whit as to whether Elin is in the crowd. (I would guess that she won’t be-it will be circus enough without her there.) And you can bet that with Augusta National having so much sway over the broadcast that the cameras, if Elin is indeed there, won’t be panning from Tiger to Elin and back again as he hovers over a putt or makes a bad shot. (At least not more than once, that is.)

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I think I know why Janice "If the wife can forgive, then America can forgive" Min and Mike Lupica had such different notions about the necessity of Elin’s presence. Tiger wasn’t the only one caught with his pants down by the tabloids. Mainstream news outlets were dutifully reporting that "alcohol was not a factor in the crash" without reporting what actually might have been a factor (as if Tiger might have been making a quick run to the store for diapers at 2 a.m. on a holiday weekend) while TMZ had jumped ahead to making Rachel Uchitel a household name. As with the National Enquirer and John Edwards, the tabloid media has shown that it can break important news that the "real" media ignores. That doesn’t mean the gossip rags are ready to cover health care reform, foreign policy, or even the Masters. The tabs have taught the "MSM" a thing or two. But they still have much to learn.

Rachael Larimore is Slate's managing editor.