James Carville likes to say that "No man stands so tall as when he stoops to kiss an ass," but I think he was talking about a sensible way to deal with powerful but extravagantly stupid people.
It's different with corporations.
Tiger Woods had no reason to apologize to me. Or you. If he felt the need to address the public, a simple statement would have sufficed quite nicely.
But the stage-managing of this non-press press conference suggests that the rationale had less to do with the public than with Tiger's business partners.
The tip-off -- as if one were needed -- came the day before the TV event, when Elin Woods emerged from her manicured seclusion looking like a model for Nike Soccer Momwear.
The only possible interpretation: Stand By Your Brand.
The event itself lacked credibility. We know this because in every Wall Street trading room I polled, the guys guffawed at Tiger's pledge to become a better man. Oh, he sounded sincere -- having painted himself into a corner, he has only this one chip to bet on -- and I think he was.
But sincerity is not the issue. Nor is the skill of his therapists.
The traders laughed because they know the truth for many --- if not most men --- is Chris Rock's insight: "A man is as faithful as his opportunities." As long as he's a house-husband, Tiger has none. Once he's out on tour.....
There's no way that Elin Woods, mother of two, can tour with Tiger. The only way he can be assured of maintaining sexual sobriety? A handler. A minder. A nanny.
Sending Tiger into the world with a 24/7 sex cop may successfully entomb him as a prisoner of desire. It may save his marriage. But, much more to the point, it will save the crazy huge profit Tiger generates for Nike.
Tiger Woods may be the world's greatest golfer, but in fifteen minutes of television, he forever established another identity --- the bitch of Nike.
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