Tuesday

Of Tiger Stalkers, Sex Journalists & Golf Media Guidelines


No doubt about it, we're living in an era of unprecedented change when it comes to communications and media.

"The old way of doing things just won't cut it anymore." ~ That phrase has become a well-worn cliche, and the changes that have taken place in reporting, writing and publishing sports news have already been epic. They've happened very quickly too. To the extent that lines are being blurred... and crossed... all the all the time. Sometimes the result can be awesome and groundbreaking. Other times awkwardness ensues... or disaster perhaps. Or maybe something in between.

An amusing example of the "in-between" took place last week on the pastoral fairways of Ridgewood Country Club. Not surprisingly the incident involved Tiger Woods, whose extraordinary fame... and salaciously spectacular fall-from-grace... precipitated a figurative "opening of the floodgates" in the golf media world.

Whereas just last year the idea that any self-respecting tabloid would waste resources covering a golf tournament would have been laughable... this year the PGA was fielding inquiries from the likes of TMZ, not to mention myriad other "non-traditional" media sources. Apparently standard operating procedure calls for a individual evaluation of each of these "non-traditional" requests, which this year resulted in denial of credentials for some.

But... in that new gray area where traditional and tabloid-esqe often overlap... it's best to expect the unexpected. And "the unexpected" unexpectedly happened last week at The Barclays, when on the first hole of the ProAm a "traditional journalist" cavalierly crept under the ropes and breezed over to interview Mr. Woods. Right there on the fairway. Right after he hit his approach shot.

The "traditional journalist" in question was Andrea Peyser ...and there she was, with her notebook and pen, possibly before Tiger's Titleist even landed on the green.

Ms. Peyser is an award-winning columnist with the New York Post and has a journalist career that spans more than two decades, thus one might assume her credentials may have been awarded without much in the way of scrutiny. Supposedly, the major New York dailies are automatically credentialed despite their tabloid-ish tendencies and without regard for what kind of reporter they'll be sending. And that's how the postmodern media-mix-up took place.

Because although Andrea Peyser is, by any definition, a traditional journalist, she's not a "traditional golf journalist". Though her columns have won awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the Newswomen's Club of New York and the New York Associated Press, the sanctimonious scribbler, had never been to a golf tournament. Ever. In her life. Therefore she didn't... uh... "know the ropes" so to speak. If you'll pardon the pun.

You see, Ms. Peyser normally writes about politics and gender, with a stridently conservative voice. In their amusing post on this incident, Gawker describes her as "a sex journalist" ...which would actually be funny if her voice weren't so vitriolic. In reality Andrea Peyser is a sanctimonious scribbler who demonstrates about as much tolerance for tolerance as Carol Mann.

Anyway, the fairway interloper was promptly stripped of her credentials and sent packing by "a pretty, blond automaton", thus becoming another symbol of the slippery slope that exists for the PGA, LPGA and other sports brands, between ensuring maximum coverage and maintaining some degree of control.

August 24, 2010 - Photos by Scott Halleran/Getty Images North America