What could Ari Fleischer do for Tiger?
So let’s just assume that the Tiger Woods camp has brought on Ari Fleischer, news which is being widely reported.
How will that help the beleaguered world No. 1?
Fleischer’s style seems a bit confrontational, at least if you believe his mantra on his Web site:
“The way the press treats athletes and sports executives has become increasingly adversarial and conflict-driven. Athletes who are trained to give it all and leave it on the field now face a public and a media that demand more. On the other hand, players and executives who get it often find their careers are launched to higher, more successful, lucrative levels – thanks to the good publicity they receive.
Ari Fleischer Sports Communications can help you handle the bad news and take advantage of the good.”
Fleischer, a former White House press secretary, worked under George W. Bush from 2001 to '03. He has a client base that includes the NFL, Major League Baseball, WTA Tour, Penske Racing, the U.S. Olympic Committee, BCS Championship Series, Green Bay Packers and Mark McGwire.
McGwire’s issues of steroid use in the ’90s and his subsequent admission is the closest to Woods’ problems of infidelity.
After years of denying it - or at the least not admitting to it - McGwire finally came clean, likely due to Fleischer’s advice and counsel on how to deal with the media.
McGwire’s admission came in a news conference with a pointed Q&A session. In the end there, were still more questions than answers. Though McGwire was not exonerated, he seemed to be on the road to recovery.
The question is, Will Woods follow a similar route?
Woods’ relationship with the media has been protected; he always answered the questions, but the answers were always the same.
We knew little about Woods. No one-on-ones as McGwire had done countless times, sitting on a bench in the dugout before a game.
So how will Fleischer train Woods “to get it” as he outlines in his homily on his web site?
Fleischer may find that Woods is a little more difficult than McGwire or any of his other clients, if the past four months of botched media opportunities are any example.
I hate to say “stay tuned,” but with Woods it always seems like we are waiting to see what’s next. It’s the best soap opera going, because it’s unscripted and usually seems to take twists and turns we never expect.
That is why Fleischer is there, to make it more predictable and mainstream.
Good luck with that.