Sexing, texting and vexing—it’s a perfect storm of reputation destruction, and its latest victim is Tiger Woods. To make matters worse, instead of facing the publicity storm head on and getting control of the story as quickly as possible, he went into hiding. That left the story angles to those less concerned about his best interests.
It’s probably a sad testament to the times, but when Woods’ SUV ran over a fire hydrant and into a tree around 2:30 a.m. one night last week, there were plenty of people who immediately thought, “drunken driving.” When it became clear that wasn’t the case, the rumors started to expand to include painkillers, speeding and his wife chasing him out of the house with a golf club.
While the rumors and the news reports about them began to grow, Woods stayed mum. He would not talk to the press. He would not talk to police. Therefore, instead of having a bad-news story last a couple of days, he has instead been faced with a nonstop, daily thrashing of his reputation. Breaking news alerts and breathless anchors eager to share any update have now given way to the online posting of a voicemail to and “sexts” from an alleged mistress.