It never fails that when we produce an "AirTalk" segment about what's first a tabloid story, a portion of our listeners is unhappy. This morning's conversation on Tiger Woods was no exception.
Regardless, I think it's important to address the moralistic tone that so much of the media coverage is taking. It's one thing if a prominent public figure breaks the law or engages in behavior that's harmful to society. In this case, though, I think Woods is apologizing for something that's a family matter. This isn't an allegation of rape or drunken driving. I don't see his infidelity harming the larger society. All the studies I've seen indicate infidelity is a common shortcoming, not a rare moral failing. Affairs are clearly harmful to the families involved (unless it's the rare open marriage for which both parties have signed up) and shouldn't be encouraged, but does that mean Woods deserves condemnation?
We got an excellent call from a listener this morning who completely disagreed with me. His point was that it's important to hold to a moral standard that doesn't accept affairs. Our caller thought that the criticism of Woods was justified and that there's a societal benefit to holding him accountable to being faithful.
What do you think? Did Woods need to publicly apologize for betraying his family's trust? Is there a communal value in holding public figures to their marriage vows? Is that realistic?
Tomorrow, we'll talk with the star of "Gigi" and "An American in Paris," Leslie Caron. Our critics will also review the new movie starring George Clooney, "Up in the Air."