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Ned Beatty advice for Tiger Woods ...


In watching the Tiger Woods saga over the past two weeks, I found myself more struck by the vast implications of all this than I was by perusing all the tawdry rumors that seemed to spring forth almost on cue.

About 10 days into it, roughly last Friday or so (Dec. 4), I began to see something interesting. It seemed like the brakes had been put on the coverage, or at least as much as you could think possible under the circumstances.

Being the avid conspiracy buff that I am, I immediately started to imagine the grand, over-the-top diatribe delivered by Ned Beatty’s character Arthur Jensen in the classic 1976 film “Network.”

Now I understand that if you haven’t seen the film, virtually all what follows will be largely incomprehensible, but even then there will be value in the this blog, because ... if you haven’t seen “Network,” you must. Quickly.

Anyway, I envision Beatty’s corporate titan representing – collectively – Nike, AT & T, Accenture, Gatorade, General Mills, American Express and Gillette – to be calling the parent-company owners of the giant media outlets and politely outlining the hundreds of millions of dollars that would be at risk as this story rolls along every day.

Obviously, I don’t think our 2009 version of Board Chairman Jensen could rant at fellow business behemoths with anything close to the enraged condescension that was directed at a suitably awed television anchor Howard Beale in the movie, but I can’t shake the feeling that the call(s) were made.

Though I confess to no parallels to Howard Beale, I am indeed in awe of what the true financial proportions are in this thing. I could add that as a Tiger Woods fan, this is all pretty devastating, but I am also old enough to understand that there are a whole flock of things that are more important than whether or not I get to watch Tiger Woods play golf.

Even if it were somebody I didn’t like, I can’t take any joy in seeing an individual and his family go through something like this.

And even if my theory about a cautionary phone call holds some truth, I have my doubts that anything at all could stem the tide that seems to be headed in Tiger’s direction.