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Dec-31-2009 14:15printcomments

A Tiger in the Woods

Are celebrity character traits observed by a working journalist a sign of bigger things to come?

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods

(SALEM, Ore.) - When it comes to a person with the celebrity status of Tiger Woods, I know my voice is a small one in the world. However, I thought in light of the recent developments in his career, including being dropped by sponsor AT&T, that some people might find these personal observations of the man interesting.

You see, a TV news photographer typically doesn't miss much at an event. Our eyes and ears are busy monitoring all kinds of things simultaneously. If you spend five years working in Las Vegas as I did, you inevitably meet celebrities and work with them. In some cases, you are left with a degree of knowledge about the individuals, and their levels of character.

I recall the day Tiger Woods suited up and flew with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. Covering that was one of my assignments of the day, as a Photojournalist/Reporter with Sin City's NBC affiliate KVBC.

Woods had a certain air about him that screamed of ego, but I can accept that. Still, in my world, this guy is no more of an athlete and expert in his field than those pilots. What I recall was the pilots clamoring around him like a bunch of kids, and while he was into that, he had not the time of day for any of the journalists there to showcase the event.

Then later my wife Bonnie who worked for the Las Vegas WB station, caught up with Tiger at Andre Agassi's All Star Cafe. A promotion had been planned in conjunction with his appearance, and the place was packed shoulder to shoulder with fans, trying to just catch a glimpse of their hero.

Even though the event was planned, Woods, seated in the exclusive area in the restaurant's upstairs area, declined to walk over to the rail and wave to his fans, and toss out a bunch of t-shirts that Bonnie's station had printed up to commemorate the event.

People were unhappy; the station's promotional deal with Tiger Woods' people was unfulfilled, and why? Because he wouldn't keep his obligation and didn't honor his end of the bargain.


Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address:

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Natalie January 1, 2010 1:51 am (Pacific time)

Still waters run deep. People made an idol out of Tiger, and now they are mad at him for distroying that perfect image. Watching slow sport for hours is not for me, but give the man a break. He's just another guy, cheating on his woman.

Jeff K- December 31, 2009 6:33 pm (Pacific time)

I always thought he was just a loner, and he struck me as rather humble and not attention-seeking. But this puts his solemnity in a whole new light...maybe he's just an a@*#ole! I could never watch much golf; my attention span won't allow, I hate whispering.

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