Tiger vs. Obama: Oversaturation, Free Fall, and Delusions of Grandeur

Cartoon by Steve Benson, courtesy of The Arizona Republic

By Stefanie Schappert
Special to the Clyde Fitch Report

I think the Tiger Woods media fog is finally clearing. It’s the first time since November that the disgraced golf pro or one of his umpteen mistresses have not graced the covers of a Sunday newspaper. What a relief! Now, hopefully, the public might actually focus on what’s really important: the Afghan surge, the recently enacted $1.1 trillion in spending increases and this week’s humdinger, the Democrats healthcare “reform” bill that squeaked by with the exact 60 votes needed to pass in the Senate — one point for Obama.

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This 2,074-page bill, with another 383 pages of pork-barrel amendments added only last weekend, has just snuck by the American people still trying to wipe the filthy Woods scandal off their fuzzy holiday sweaters — this “Tiger”-laden trash dumped on us by none other than our self-important, ruthless, relentless “drive-by media.”

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Is the Woods Media Frenzy Helping Obama?
But wait: Is it really the media’s fault that Tiger Woods has dominated the headlines? I’m sure there are some radicals from both sides of the aisle who think the liberal media was just using the Woods scandal to distract the people from what could be the biggest change to our healthcare system since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. But working in this industry for almost a decade, you learn that what the people want the people get. The TV and news stations, the major newspapers and gossip rags, Internet sites and blogs all make money when people watch, click or buy. I counted almost 20 front-page Tiger covers for the New York papers alone since the story broke last month — a six-page spread being the average — one point for Tiger.

And, yes, the cable news stations have to feed the camera with breaking content 24/7, but it was a Friday night airing of the Woods story on NBC’s Dateline that gave the humdrum TV news magazine and its network the best ratings they’ve had in two years, with more than nine million people tuning in. Meanwhile, Oprah’s “Christmas at the White House” fared only a bit better with about 14-million the same weekend — one point for Obama.

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But why is the public so fascinated with the Tiger tale to begin with? Do the folks eating up the Woods debacle like freshly baked chocolate cake even pay attention to what’s really going on in the world? It turns out they actually do, sort of. I mean most of my friends knew all about the scandal — heck, I even know one of the alleged mistresses personally. But then again, I do live in New York, and New Yorkers are notoriously known for being superior multitaskers — being a politically savvy gossip guru is quite the norm. Delving deeper, however, I also found some recent polls proving that the public has an appetite for both politics and chocolate cake. In the latest Pew poll taken the week of Dec 11, the top stories followed by the public were, in order, Afghanistan (42%), Healthcare (43%), Economy (41%) and then Tiger Woods (19%). The kicker is the Woods story came out on top as the most talked-about news story of the same week, at 30%, with the Afghan strategy and healthcare debate coming in close, with 29% and 26%, respectively — one point each, then, for Obama and Tiger.

Who Will Make It to The Bottom Faster?
There’s one big lesson we can learn from this Woods frenzy, but first some, um entertainment:

Now back to that lesson: oversaturation kills. The public can only take so much of a good thing. Woods approval rating has hit the ground harder than a holiday fruitcake from your old Aunt Betty — a more than 50 percent approval drop from his first foray into the public eye. We have also seen Obama’s approval ratings steadily decline since he’s taken office as well. Still, Tiger wins the free-fall point.

Speaking of Obama, I’d like to think his approval ratings’ decline is because of his left-winded policies, but I also think people are just sick of seeing and hearing him drone on about hope and change and whatever else he’s whines about. He is on the air and out in the public more than any other president in history. He is just too boring at this point for anyone to get excited about. His credentials: typical professional family, married with two kids and a dog (one that also gave our media-savvy president a run for his money in the first few months in office).

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And let’s not forget his put-together wife is a lawyer, both are Harvard grads, and then there was his one-year rise to U.S. Senator, then to becoming the first African-American President — yawn, the public is already getting sleepy!

As much as I’m completely over hearing our president rattle on about his accomplishments for hours, I also think I will scream if I hear about one more so called “mistress” coming out of the woodwork to claim her 15 minutes.

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The Grand Masters of Delusion
Here is some additional entertainment for your delectation:

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So, does Obama need to hire a raunchy PR executive to restore his ratings — maybe through “drive-by” newsmaking of his own? After all, Tiger Woods started out as a media darling, too, with his pro-golfer, multizillionaire, squeaky clean, good guy image. Even his mixed-race marriage got barely a head turn. Woods seemed to be the public standard of what all black sports professional should emulate. Except the public forgot that all, if not most, wealthy, rich and adored celebrities eventually start to believe their own hype. Woods turned out to be none other than a typical narcissistic celebrity living his own bubble-gum dream. Was the guy off his rocker? Did he have delusions of grandeur? Did he really think he could get away with years of outrageous behavior and not fall from grace? As much as we Obama critics slam the President for naively thinking too highly of himself and his ability to influence the world, Woods comes in a close second for creating his own reality. His reality is as delusional as Obamacare — which the polls continuously show the public is against.

Yet Obama and the Dems still push healthcare reform as the answer to our prayers. Add up more Obama delusions about the Gitmo trials and about deficit spending and maybe we can conclude that these two were separated at birth — one point for Obama.

The Scorecard
In the end, it’s all about the public’s fascination with a life that could never be achieved by the average Joe — one point for Tiger.

In Woods’ case, as a matter of fact, his life is one of unimaginable extravagance dripping with a combination of self-aggrandizement and self-loathing all at once. And it has everything a good scandal requires. It starts with a young, gorgeous, blonde, blue-eyed, adoring wife (I mean she’s a Swedish model for god’s sake). It continues with two innocent children under the age of 5, and then picks up steam with at least 15 women to date who claim to be Woods’ current or former mistress. This carton o’ mistresses range from ages 18 to 49 include a well-connected party girl, a starlet (with “Grubbs” for fame), a porn star, the token white-trash waitress, multiple call girls and a now-married cougar, all hot and trashy and paid to keep quiet by Woods’ seemingly enormous staff of handlers (how much moolah do those handlers make in a year?)

But I digress. Add in a late-night car crash, a suspected DUI and a golf club-wielding wife. Mix it up with some alleged pill popping, calls to 911, salacious text messaging and random sex in cars. Shake it all together and you get a scandalous movie script Hollywood couldn’t have written any better. It’s the story that just keeps on giving. The only thing missing is a bastard child to miraculously appear and claim to be Woods’ best Christmas present ever. Then we can start the media cycle all over again.

For now, though, it’s an Obama-Woods tie.

Stefanie Schappertis a freelance journalist based in New York. Credits include NY1 News, Fox News Channel, and Vaccinated TV. She has worn many hats inside the newsroom: producing, writing and editing. She also has been out in the field covering stories behind the camera as well as producing and reporting. Schappert’s conservative viewpoint came into sharp focus following the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and the resulting political climate. While working on the acclaimed NY1 documentary 9/11: A Day In Time, Schappert quickly embraced her role as the wife of a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier (Green Beret) deployed to the Middle East. This former NFL Cheerleader and classically trained dancer is known to hang out with quite a liberal crowd and has been the buzzkill during many a dinner party. Lipstick Conservative does not necessarily represent the views of The Clyde Fitch Report.