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National Enquirer snaps first picture of Tiger Woods in sex rehab, saves mainstream media

Posted by andreaitis on January 20, 2010

Leave it to the National Enquirer to confirm what everyone’s been buzzing about for the last 24 hours.  And leave it to Radaronline.com, owned by American Media which also owns  the National Enquirer, to blast the story with the standard we’ve-got-a-scoop headline: WORLD EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: First Pictures of Tiger Woods in Sex Rehab.

You can see one of the pictures here.

These are the exclusive first photos of Tiger Woods in rehab for sexual addiction at a clinic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The golfing great has not been seen in public since crashing his car into a tree shortly after Thanksgiving.

As RadarOnline.com reported he checked into the Gentle Path program, part of Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services.

The photos of Tiger appear in the new issue of the National Enquirer.

via WORLD EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: First Pictures Of Tiger Woods In Sex Rehab | RadarOnline.com

This story started building when a couple of local Mississippi TV stations reported that Tiger was at the Pine Groves clinic.   While still unconfirmed, another report came out yesterday in the New York Daily News.

The headline of that story: 
Tiger Woods sex scandal: Golfer being treated for sex addiction at Mississippi rehab, says author
.

I first saw the ‘confirmation’ in the following twitter message by Mahalo CEO and self-marketer extraordinaire Jason Calacanis:

Jason Calacanis on Tiger Woods via Twitter

Jason Calacanis on Tiger Woods' sex rehab via Twitter

He also put it up on Flickr

Jason Calacanis on Tiger Woods' sex rehab via Flickr

Jason Calacanis on Tiger Woods' sex rehab via Flickr

and on his Tumblelog.

Jason Calacanis on Tiger Woods' sex rehab via his Tumblelog

Jason Calacanis on Tiger Woods' sex rehab via his Tumblelog

As I type, Calacanis has 89,911 followers on Twitter.  After he posted, the ‘confirmation’ story took off.    There are four key points to note, however:

1. @jason incorrectly sourced the confirmation as coming from the New York Times.   The confirmation did not, in fact, come from NYT.   It came from Benoit Denizet-Lewis, a recovering sex addict and author who “regularly contributes to the New York Times magazine. ”

2. Benoit Denizet-Lewis had a single, unnamed source.

3.  The  fact that Benoit Denizet-Lewis was affiliated with the New York Times (magazine)  fueled reports of reports of the confirmation.  For an example of this, look at the USA Today headline:  ‘NYT’ writer: Tiger Woods is in sex rehab clinic in Mississippi

4. The fact that @jason inaccurately represented the source also fueled the frenzy as people retweeted and reblogged  without clicking and reading the actual New York Daily News story.

Denizet-Lewis has a book out this month.  He spoke with the Daily News as an author, not as a NYT writer.  In fact, he didn’t even give this hole-in-one scoop to the New York Times.  Why is that, I wonder?  And, as a recovering addict and former patient at Pine Groves, he had no qualms about publicizing Tiger’s location.   No trace of an ethical dilemma, Benoit?  Let’s hope you and Tiger never end up in the same sex addiction support group.

At any rate, this story had a 24-hour lifecycle that started with Benoit’s ‘confirmation’ and ended with him appearing on the Today show this morning.   At that point, it was a 50-50 chance that Tiger was in the Pine Groves sex rehab clinic.  Luckily for Benoit Denizet-Lewis, the National Enquirer got their World Exclusive pictures of Tiger in Mississippi.  As with the Enquirer’s coverage of John Edwards, the picture proves the story.

As for Benoit Denizet-Lewis, he’ll sell some copies of his book.  He’ll go on all the news shows today.

As for us, we continue to learn a valuable lesson: don’t judge a story by its headline, and don’t judge a headline by its tweet.

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2 Responses to “National Enquirer snaps first picture of Tiger Woods in sex rehab, saves mainstream media”

  1. Hilary Shenfeld said

    And don’t dismiss information just because it comes from the National Enquirer, I might add. The Enquirer has broken so many stories in the past couple of years that some are even seriously calling for it to win a Pulitzer.
    http://trueslant.com/hilaryshenfeld/2010/01/11/should-the-national-enquirer-get-a-pulitzer/

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by andreaitis, andreaitis and andreaitis, Adam Edvalson. Adam Edvalson said: National Enquirer snaps first picture of Tiger Woods in sex rehab … http://bit.ly/7uoRyd […]

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