Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

To: Media. Re: Tiger. "Stop It. It’s not news. Not yet. Maybe never."

Are you as disturbed as I am about the feeding frenzy over Tiger Woods’ car accident this weekend? The LA Times and the NY Times are both engaging in it, when they should leave it to the National Enquirer and TMZ.

Check out the LA Times:

But (Tiger’s) image, and with it one of the sporting world's premium brands, was under threat Sunday as the mystery surrounding his one-car accident, just a few steps from his Florida mansion on Friday, deepened and as he continued to refuse to talk to authorities.

“Under threat” from whom? From you! No sponsor is going to drop him for running over a hydrant and getting hurt, and that’s all we know about it so far. He’s a zillion dollar property, and they won’t drop him unless he steals the space shuttle. I can’t imagine which golf fan is going to stop loving Tiger because he ran over a hydrant. The only constituency he might have angered by doing that is firefighters.

The NY Times is no better:

“…may prove damaging to his image by allowing an online rumor mill to produce conjecture and opinion.”

Oh, the “online rumor bill” is doing it. Not you. Please.

“I think the next 24 hours are critical that Tiger addresses this publicly,” said Steve Rosner, the founder of 16W Marketing, who represented the former Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. “I understand it’s a personal matter, but because of who he is in the sports world, not only domestically but worldwide, I think it would help for him to put in his own words what transpired.”

Gee, a marketing expert wouldn’t have anything to gain by advocating Woods talk about this, and exacerbating the media feeding frenzy tradition, would he?

NYT: Among the unanswered questions are why Woods was leaving his home at that late hour and where he was going, the circumstances of his wife’s presence at the scene, and how he sustained his injuries.

LAT: It remains unclear where Woods was going at that hour…

Also unexplained is whether Tiger was wearing clean underwear when he was taken to the hospital, the contents of his stomach, and if he used deodorant that day.

Unless something more crops up, it's none of our business where he was going late at night. It's not like he was photographed French kissing Dick Cheney, or caught with a knife over Jack Nicklaus's dead body -- either of which would warrant at least some explanation. If there were booze bottles laying around, fine, but the NY Times says, “the initial police report said alcohol was not a factor.”

Please, the dude hit a hydrant and a tree. Maybe he had just fought with his wife, ran out of the house incredibly mad, and ran over the hydrant and the tree. Or maybe they’d just made sweet love, were craving ice cream, and he didn’t see the hydrant in his blissed out state. Either way, it's not worth more than two lines of copy. And in any case, it's not the first time Tiger's hit a tree.

LAT: It remains unclear … why he has declined to speak with state troopers for three straight days.

Unclear? Please consider all the celebrity leaks lately and then tell me he should talk with officials any more than required by law. Ask Mel or Farrah, rest her soul. The transcript from that "confidential" interview would be posted on TMZ faster than you can say "hole in one at Lompoc." Furthermore, it's not disputed that he was injured and unconscious. Personally, I'd give him a few days to rest and recover before expecting him to comment on what is still only a car accident.

To the editors and reporters: if you have more details that show how this rises to the level of legitimate coverage, then print it. If you really think Tiger’s wife Elin beat him with a golf club and they staged the accident to cover it up, then print it and put her in the headlines instead of Tiger. Otherwise, the only image you're hurting is your own, which also happens to be OURS. So stop it.