The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Public, publisher lose with offensive cover

Viewpoint by John Garces/sports editor

Do yourself a favor if you’re a golf fan. If you happen across the latest issue of Golfweek magazine, don’t even look at it. You should probably go home immediately and take a cold shower as its cover is likely to make your skin crawl.

Recently, a controversy arose in the world of professional golf when Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman made an off-hand comment about Tiger Woods, the world’s top player, and what it would take to dethrone him.

It’s the Golfweek cover, though, that has sunk the episode to new lows.

After listening to her co-anchor, and former two-time Masters champion, Nick Faldo, say they should all gang up on Woods, Tilghman said they should “lynch him in a back alley.”

Comments like these, even in 2008, conjure up memories of the worst period in our country’s history and should never be taken lightly.

Nor should such words be used as grounds to attract people to a magazine.

But that is exactly what the brain trust at Golfweek decided would be appropriate as it produced a cover featuring a noose.

The situation appeared to be dead after Woods, through his management group, issued a statement decrying any malicious intent in the comments and The Golf Channel suspended Tilghman for two weeks. Golfweek gave it life by what PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem declared a “naked attempt to inflame” that “smacked of tabloid journalism.”

He’s right on both counts, and, perhaps because of the increasing pressure from advertisers to pull their ads if nothing was done, the magazine has come to the same conclusion, canning its long-time editor and vice-president for authorizing the cover.

The headline on the cover reads “Tilghman slips up, and Golf Channel can’t wriggle free,” but, instead, it’s the magazine, despite its 30 years of previously controversy-free coverage of the sport, that finds itself unable to wriggle out of a situation it created for itself.

History has shown it’s a situation the publishers will have no easy way out of. Even though publishers have pulled the issue from its booth at a PGA trade show, copies can be found on local newsstands.

So, the venom over the cover and the hurtful images it betrays won’t heal for a long time.

Here’s hoping there’s a lesson to be learned in this for everybody.

Tabloid journalism and racism are things we shouldn’t experience in 2008.

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