Everyone's Not Like Tiger (12/17/09)

Ever since the Tiger Woods scandal broke, people have debated whether all this is any of our business or not. But I think that's beside the point. Right or wrong, when you seek fame on the level Woods has – and the enormous profit that goes with it -- this kind of scrutiny is simply part of the deal. Expecting otherwise would be like jumping in a lake and expecting not to get wet.

But what really bothers me about the whole affair is the damage it does to society's general self-image. Every time the bad behavior of someone like Tiger – or Bill Clinton, or Mark Foley or Elliot Spitzer – comes to light, it just gives more support to the notion that everyone's like this, and that the only thing they really did wrong was get caught.

But that's not true. Everyone doesn't behave like this, and we shouldn't be seduced into thinking otherwise.

Sure, there are plenty of other bad actors who just haven't been found out yet. But the vast majority of people do play by the rules. They're faithful to their spouses and families, they don't steal just because the opportunity presents itself and their private behavior really does sync up with their clean public image. And I think this applies to celebrities as well as Joe Average.

If Tiger Woods' behavior causes us to judge him harshly, that's his problem. But if it causes us to judge ourselves the same way – that's ours.


I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.