Tiger Woods set the ground rules for his speech today in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., including how many video cameras would be allowed in the room (two), how many questions from reporters would follow his prepared statement (none) and how many somber white people in blazers would be in attendance (many).1
Allowing questions from journalists may not have resulted in any new information, but that's hardly the point. Being accountable means fielding a question or two, even if they are the types of pointless queries sports journalists typically pose.
Of course, the networks like to control information too. For instance, NBC embargoes live coverage of exciting daytime Olympic events such as Lindsey Vonn or Apolo Anton Ohno going for gold medals. Even as NBC airs the big events in prime time, why can't it also broadcast them live? After all, the network is already expecting its prime time audience to have avoided TV and the Internet all day and then show up at 8 p.m. and let Bob Costas2 take them for a ride.
This isn't a terribly important issue, of course. It's not like the Iranian government banning reporters from transmitting video feeds and shutting down Internet access to silence critics.3
But the days of standing by while a news and entertainment network controls when we learn about information that's already taken place are becoming outdated.
Morning newspapers and the evening network newscasts would love it if people avoided the news all day and didn't use their phones or laptops to access news articles.
Unfortunately for them, media consumers have come to expect access to all information. Right now. For free. For better or worse, that's where we are.
As for questions for Tiger Woods to answer, I'd love to know who he thinks is blaming Elin for his transgressions.
1Bill Simmons, a white man in possession of a blazer, is angry he didn't get an invite.
2And his giant microphone.
3An attempt that didn't really work, due to an explosion of new media sites operating outside the government firewall.