Dan Lasater's chief assistant, Patsy Thomasson, the person who even handled all of Lasater's affairs while he was in prison, actually made her way into the Clinton White House. Some knew too much because they had been involved in the shady dealings in Arkansas; others because they had helped cover up those dealings. Most could have avoided being killed simply by avoiding the Clintons.
I was suspicious that the unique conflicts of interests inherent in the relationship between the golf media and Augusta National Golf Club would create a stunting of the coverage of this major story and, unfortunately, my concerns were more than warranted.
Before I get into how CBS specifically blew it on this saga, let me first provide the details on what actually happened. While leading the tournament on Friday, Tiger hit what appeared to be a perfect third shot into the par 5 15th green until it hit the flag stick and caromed off the green and into the pond in front of the hole.
It was a crushingly bad break even before the chaos that the ensuing chain of events would create overnight because it turned a probable birdie into a situation where he would have to struggle for a bogie.
At that point Tiger had three basic options. He could go to the drop area in front of the pond, he could keep the point where the ball entered the water between him and the hole and drop as far back as he wanted, or he could replay the shot as close as possible from the previous spot.
It appeared at the time that Tiger decided to take the third option and replay the shot. He seemed to do so perfectly as he hit the ball to three feet from the hole and appeared to make a spectacular bogie six on the hole. However, after the round Tiger told reporters something which proved that his drop broke the rules.
So it was muddy and not a good spot to drop. So I went back to where I played it from, but I went two yards farther back and I tried to take two yards off the shot of what I felt I hit. Video of his fifth shot clearly shows that he was indeed about two yards behind the divot that his third shot created.
Ironically, if Tiger had never mentioned this in the interview after the round, not only would no one have noticed, but I would have among those who strongly objected to the notion of him being penalized at all for having taken the exact same drop.
This is because the drop itself was actually theoretically okay though it was on the borderline because the rule book does not state a specific distance from the previous spot that is unacceptable.
Unfortunately, because this mistake was not immediately known it was not corrected before Woods signed his scorecard. This meant that, if was later deemed that his drop was illegal, his scorecard would then be incorrect and in percent of similar cases in the history of golf, the only remedy for that situation is disqualification.
As it turns out, Augusta National did exactly that in a way that would make a high-priced criminal defense attorney proud. They decided that Tiger did in fact break the rules and issued him a two-shot penalty, but then did a series of legalistic gymnastics in order to rationalize that he should not be disqualified.
However, there is a major problem with this line of thinking: Therefore, their initial investigation was effectively irrelevant because it was not as if Tiger thought or asked about a potential infraction and was told he was in the clear before he signed his card.
Had that happened, then the Masters would have been obviously correct in not later instituting a disqualification. Here is the key provision: They should get high marks for not trying to avoid the subject and for detailing the controversy extensively right from the start of the broadcast.
However, CBS never highlighted either of the key points which would have shed a totally different light on the controversy. In the morning while on The Golf Channel, Faldo was about as strong on this issue as anyone could possibly imagine.
He meekly claimed that he had, sort of, changed his mind because he had learned more about the timeline and about the preliminary investigation that had been done while Tiger was still on the course it was unclear to me whether Faldo was aware that Tiger was not actually spoken to about this at that time, a key fact that many people, including some players who were asked about the incident, had a misimpression about.
It was all a bit like watching Rush Limbaugh rip President Obama on his radio show in the morning and then see him praising him on the same issue via MSNBC in the afternoon. There is no cure for stupid.
The problem here is far bigger than whether or not Tiger Woods should have been disqualified from a golf tournament.
In the era of modern media the issue of conflicts of interest have never been more pronounced and their corrosive impact can been seen all over the coverage of this story. There is no more incestuous relationship in all the media than that between CBS and Augusta National Golf Club this is true of all golf media for whom the club provides the cherished opportunity to play the course the day after the tournament.
The club famously renews its contract each year so that it maintains constant leverage over the network, allowing it to rule the content of the telecast with an iron fist. This resulted in their commentators losing any semblance of courage which is already in shorter supply among members of the golf media than poor people in the Augusta gallery and created a day that was at least as sad for what is left of sports journalism as it was for golf.
I am also confident that no one put themselves more personally on the line during and after the election cycle to make sure people understood how Obama really got elected, and that he was going to be reelected if nothing was done to expose the massive mainstream media bias to the masses.
Having already explained why I think this is the likely outcome, I would like to examine why it is that so many conservatives appear to be nearly delusional about the current chances of beating Obama. I do this not as a condemnation of conservatives most of whom are very good people who sincerely want what is best for the future of the countrybut rather as simply as an explanation for the obvious and growing disconnect between reality and their expectations.
That is simply a false presumption. Unbeknownst to the conservative base and many of those in the conservative media who are paid to feed their delusionsmidterms are completely different from presidential elections.
First, turnout is much higher and different in a presidential election and this dramatically favors Obama. Secondly, the national media which obviously favors Obama has no real impact on a mid term election and local news barely covers congressional elections at all any more.
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