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Friday, 4 December 2009


Where should the media draw the line between a private and a public matter, when covering a celebrity's family affairs? If that person happens to be a symbol of great disciplined success, like Tiger Woods, the media would gladly gobble him up. 

After all, such stories rarely get to cross over from the gossip pages in tabloids to the mainstream media . Forget the sword business for a second, if you live by your public image you shall die by your public image, seems destined to be a poignant catchphrase, thanks to the deeds and misdeeds of Tiger Woods.

The media played a big role in creating the Tiger Woods franchise but if there was ever any lesson to be learnt from being constantly in the public limelight, it has always been that the same enthusiasm used to turn people into multi-million dollar brands, is the same if not more than the one going to used to destroy them. That is just how the media works.

Media frenzy on celebrities

And that is just but one of the many reasons why celebrity-hood is fraught with so many dangers. It robes one of the right to live a normal life. The scrutiny noose perpetually gets tighter . Any indication of a moral flaw especially, does not go unchecked or cross-referenced and the punishment for slipping or messing up is dished out mercilessly.

Even the society that you always think would be understanding and forgiving, becomes cold and distant, in times of great personal distress. Your philanthropy and great charities cease to register in the public radar and the only signal registering has to do with your fall from grace.

Media bashing of blacks

But, and a big but for that matter, isn’t it worthy of note that corporate America really relishes opportunities to tear down the stardom of black achievers and smear their reputations, even if some are self-inflicted? From MC Hammer to Mike Tyson, Whitney Houston to O.J. Simpson, Marion Jones to Michael Jackson, and now Tiger Woods.

So who is next? Serena or Venus Williams, Jay Z or Beyonce or is the sight trained on the biggest of possible catches: President Barack Obama?

Bill Clinton survived the Monica Lewinski affair and his wife, the aggrieved woman, is now America's top diplomat. The Clintons somewhat managed to be rehabilitated, in the view of the public. Will the Obamas survive in the unlikely event of one of them transgressing morally?

I have my huge doubts.

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