Wednesday, January 9, 2008

dunno how I missed it....

... after all, the Golf Channel is on two or more TVs in my house pretty much all the time...

But apparently, Kelly Tilghman is a raging southern racist from Duke, a crazy woman who thinks Tiger Woods oughtta be lynched, because you know, he's black and all....

Reality-- Kelly Tilghman (announcer, teamed with the very funny Nick Faldo on tournament broadcasts) was clowning around with Faldo about how the younger players should deal with Woods, as they cannot defeat him individually. Faldo suggested ganging up on him, and Tilghman followed with something like (not a quote) 'they oughtta lynch him in a back alley' or some such.

Now the world is abuzz. Golf is still the refuge of country club racists, a whites only sport, Tilghman's attendance at Duke is proof that the Duke lacrosse team WAS guilty of racism after all, and Tilghman represents the worst of the whitest, yada yada.

Poor Kelly. She was making it in a man's world, practically from scratch. She played golf at Duke but never made it to the LPGA. The Golf Channel was her niche in life, and she handled it with aplomb, until this week.

But now something she obviously did not mean is going to be held against her, because there are some who will perceive that they will gain political strength from it. And she will be compelled to disappear. The Golf Channel will be blackmailed by Sharpton or Jackson into removing her for fear of losing ad revenue, as was the network that used to employ Don Imus.

But let's be clear-- Imus was and is a provocateur, a paid assassin whose job it was to flirt with those lines, to push those envelopes, to make people think about getting angry with him while they laugh.

Poor Kelly is just a nice, decent, good announcer who meant nothing by it and will be destroyed by the politics.

I hope I am wrong, and that the Golf Channel will stand by her. It depends in large part on Tiger's response, and he is not known to hold strong public positions related to race.

And I will be colossally disappointed in him if, like Tom Jackson at ESPN during the Rush Limbaugh fiasco, he gives a nod toward race hucksters and lets Kelly be the real lynching victim.

Tiger, though, has always brushed aside the race hucksters in the past. One more time, please, Tigre, for the sake of common sense.

UPDATE-- the Golf Channel has settled the matter, along with a dependable response from the sensible Tiger Woods and a dismissive statement from his agent. It's over.

Common sense wins the day. How rare, and how exquisite.

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