msnbc | December 05, 2009
>>> verdict. tiger woods caught in the middle of a media firestorm with no easy way out. the private pro golfer is fighting accusations of at least three different marital affairs, cover-ups, payoffs as well. tiger has remained secluded after the bizarre early morning car crash outside his florida home more than a week ago, though issuing an apology on his website for his, quote, transgressions. joining me live is the columnist for the " philadelphia inquirer " and syndicated journalist and a very good morning to you.
>> very good morning. how are you?
>> great thanks. i'm doing a lot better than tiger is. there are so many twists here. the reports he is trying to pay his wife to stay, pay off alleged girlfriends. what is your take?
>> well, it's been pretty pathetic how he has handled the situation simply because, clearly, initially there were lies and bogus stories being thrown out there so he got called to the carpet on that. then you heard the details about the salacious affair, then there was speculation and allegations about how his wife beat him down before he ultimately ran in the escalade and crashed into the fire hydrant and a tree and subsequently you hear about not just one affair but three different affairs. that's the ones that we know of. so, clearly, tiger, the image he has worked so hard to project throughout his career has been tainted and blemished significantly but i still think it's nothing that a few major titles won't resolve.
>> you think endorsements, at what point do you think companies might say it's getting a little too salacious? we're going with someone else ? maybe not tiger being such the bad guy but someone else having a squeakier clean image.
>> no. because they can't generate the revenue tiger woods can and that's what this comes down to. this is a man that makes $100 million a year off the golf course . so when you take that into consideration, this is simply implausible that somebody else is going to come along and generate that kind of excitement and interest and at the end of the day these guys are about making money and tiger woods makes them monly so he's not going anywhere.
>> i'm curious. given all that's happened do you think he should come forward and step up and answer the tough questions like you, stephen, if you were out there interviewing him would you go there with him in an interview from the perspective of how is this affecting your golf game?
>> i would have to at this point in time. clearly, you have no choice based on the details that have been reported. initially i would have a very difficult time going up to somebody and asking them about their personal relationship with their wife. i'm one of those people who believes it's none of my damn business. i certainly know i would be very, very tempted to curse somebody out if they thought they could ask me about my personal life . but in light of the fact that he earns so much money and he came out with bogus stories, he invited the questions. that's entirely different than being trapped in a corner, having nowhere to go, and then, you know, making up some story of what happened. that wasn't the case with him. he could have handled this entirely differently. his representatives could have. they were an absolute disaster and deserve to be criticized for it.
>> so you dating anyone? just kidding. i'm moving on. you said you'd curse someone out. just wanted to see if you would. when do you see this dying down if ever? i mean, 20 years from now we look back at tiger woods . do you think we'll still be talking about this or will we not be talking about it as long as he goes out and plays some fabulous golf?
>> first of all, it'll live in perpetuity from the standpoint clearly when you mention tiger woods you'll always remember this incident. at the same time in terms of it being news and something that's continuously generated in the news media, i think it'll be that way when he initially comes back and tries to face the public. but once he starts playing golf again and starts winning then the story will fade.
>> okay. stephen a. smith always good to have you on. see us again soon not a problem. take care.