Tag Archives: Tiger Woods

Conan O’Brien soars with 60 Minutes; Leno falls flat in Washington

Conan got a lob toss from “60 Minutes” yesterday and hit it out of the park.

But a  review in the TV trades said Conan’s first public media foray backfired a la Tiger.

I don’t think so.

If Tiger had employed a strategy to give up control to the even bigger control freaks at “60 Minutes,” he  certainly would be further along the comeback trail instead of still being seen as a villain.

By contrast, Conan gave an honest,heart-felt interview that humanized him, made him sympathetic, and even more likeable. Everyone already thinks Conan got screwed. A “60 Minutes” score just makes it official.

No NBC or Leno perspective in the Steve Kroft story. So it’s totally one-sided which only aids in being pro-Conan. But Conan does have a point. The bean counters had their way and made their decision. It’s all the subsequent talk about the “Tonight Show” losing money that is pure corporate B.S. Conan’s honesty on this subject  was compelling. So was his take on hisCatholicism:   “If I experience any joy in life, I will go to hell.”

Nice touch also to include his wife, Liza.The “stand by your man” thing is something we haven’t seen in the Conan vs. Jay war. Tiger could have used some of that.

So overall, how can this be anything but a positive for Conan? Even singing “I Will Survive” was funny and to the point.

And the beard is such an improvement, a nice distraction from his frontal red-head wave. I see more man-crushes in COB’s future, especially now that he will be on cable.

As for Leno at the White House Correspondents Dinner: He got titters, but no guffaws. No one was LMAOROFL, in other words. In fact, Leno looked like he could have used cue cards. He was reading his jokes from a script and kept bobbing his head down. It just wasn’t his best.  He did have a few good lines, like when he mentioned how diverse the Obama cabinet was with representatives from every ward in Chicago. But many lines fell flat. Really flat.

The president, on the other hand, was pumped up. He was funny. And performed much better than Leno. I liked the line where he described Sarah Palin’s objection to Twitter and Facebook as “socialized media.” But there were other gems. An item on the web said some Daily Show writers contributed. Doesn’t matter. The prez was funnier than Leno.

Overall, a better weekend for Conan.

(A point of disclosure: Like Conan and his “friend,” NBC President Jeff ZuckerConan, I have a similar connection. Conan and I are Lampoon brothers, but the last time I saw him  he was in a massive jester outfit and a senior at Harvard. I have photos. He also was too much in character to acknowledge me. I have also taken him to task in the past about some of his tasteless takes on Asian Americans).

Demonizing Tiger: Woods’ villification has racial overtones

People talk about Nike using Earl Woods’ voice out of context in an ad prior to the Masters. But is anyone grousing about the full-page family values ads now appearing in the major dailies featuring Phil Mickelson and his cancer-suffering  wife Amy? 

Talk about exploitation. Even better that Mickelson is white, the better to offset and polarize the whole situation in a way America can understand. i.e., Mickelson good, Tiger bad.

Bad Tiger! This is your punishment from the culture at large for being a selfish, amoral, pleasure seeking human being.

If you had been a bank, you could have received a bailout. But now it’s everyone’s turn to dis and dish.

This is one bandwagon I’m not hopping on.

Now they’re even commenting on how Tiger swears on the golf course (no secret).  Suddently golf and sport has gotten all puritanical and proper.  Does anyone get on baseball players for spitting? Howabout how basketball players handle their mouthguards, then high five each other. How unsanitary. Oh, and about that vigorous ass patting…

All of that is nothing compared to jumping on Tiger, the devil himself.

I hope Tiger recovers soon.

Consider the sexual proclivities of other public figures and how they’ve bounced back. After Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton is a revered world crisis solver. After biting women in secret hotel trysts, Marv Albert is back doing the NBA playoffs. (“YES!!”). After dumping his longtime wife in favor of a scandalous affair with a younger woman, newly divorced golf anchor Jim Nantz was there at the Masters with the call. 

Even David Letterman gets a light lashing after his intern trysts. Always good to have an extortionist come in and trump your bad hand. 

So comebacks do happen. But is there extra joy in dumping Tiger because Woods happens to be of mixed race?

He is at once the greatest black and Asian American golfer to ever play. He may be the greatest golfer period.  When he was good he was treated like royalty. But his indiscretions find him being treated with a whole let less compassion. He’s not a pariah yet. His golf game is too good. But the culture seems to be turning against him more so now that Mickelson can be the public face for the new Victorian era of golf.

Never mind Mickelson’s gambling habits. That’s an allowable vice, I guess.

But just ask yourself if Tiger would  be treated differently if he were white? 


Tiger,the sexy Buddhist, has his Asian American moment; Mother Tida’s embrace is Woods’ public display of his “Asian-ness” and the start of the golfer’s personal and spiritual comeback

In the Year of the Tiger, a Tiger apology seemed a good reason for me to come out to play.
I admit after trying to watch some fat middle aged guys on TV trying to hit a white ball into a small hole , I am especially ready for Tiger to come back.
But now after seeing his controlled media statement, I’m convinced of his contrition.
I never bought a TW hat, a watch, or a product he pimped. But I bought his statement.
I’m responding to his plea. I have room in my heart to believe in him again.
Mostly what did it was his mother.
I can’t recall seeing Tida, Tiger’s Thai mom, ever being featured in any of the coverage since that fateful Thanksgiving night.
We needed to see her.
Perhaps there was a breakdown in the cameras that gave us that cutaway shot from the back for the latter part of his statement. But it was great because it made us see Tida.
In my published columns, I’ve said Tiger coming clean would have to be a toal spiritual reawakening.
I’ve said he should bypass the Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons and embrace someone like Thich Nhat Hanh.
Maybe after Obama, maybe it’s Tiger who should check in with the Dalai Lama.
So it was heartening to see him acknowledge his Buddhism. During Tiger’s media void, Fox’s Brit Hume said Tiger should embrace Christ and essentially be born again. How missionary like of Hume. But Tiger did need to do something to recognize the source of his core values.
And now we’ve seen Tiger publicly declare how he was raised a Buddhist as a young boy by his mom and drifted away in recent years.
“I lost track of what I was taught,” Tiger said.
Tiger has rediscovered his roots.
That’s why the most important person in the room was his mother Tida, and her long loving embrace.
Whatever Tiger’s transgressions, it will be his Asian American side that will redeem him. 

And for those who consistently see him as black and black only (how many people like to refer to him as the first black this or that, while not recognizing he’s also the first Asian American in many cases?), perhaps now this public display of “Asian-ness” will show how Woods truly reflects a different, modern multicultural world.