The Daily News does a classic bait-and-switch using Tiger bait.

The low point of the unfolding coverage of Tiger Wood’s alleged multiple affairs has to be the December 4 article in the New York Daily News about the reaction of a man who would have been the father-in-law of one of Tiger’s purported playmates if the man’s son had not died in the 9/11 attack. 

The headline, “Almost father-in-law of alleged Tiger Woods mistress Rachel Uchitel: She’s a stranger to me now,” strongly implies two pieces of information:

  1. He’s angry at her
  2. The link to Tiger is the reason he’s angry.

After essentially repeating the “stranger” headline in the two short opening paragraphs, the article continues: “O’Grady said the sexy siren accused of being one of Tiger Wood’s mistresses is not the wholesome woman his son was planning to marry when he was killed on 9/11 – and when she became a national symbol of grief over the terror attack.  ‘She was a nice person.  She is not the same person anymore,’ O’Grady said.”  (Blogger’s note: while there were a few articles about Uchitel mourning her fiancée, she never became a “national symbol of grief.”)

When you read further down in the story, though, you learn that the potential dad-in-law has not seen Ms. Rachel since the 9/11 attack.  In other words:

  • “She’s a stranger to me now” is a statement of fact and not an expression of anger related to the Tiger link
  • The guy can reasonably have no idea what Ms. Rachel is really like now since he has by his own admission had absolutely no contact with her in eight years.

So what you have is an old-fashioned “bait and switch” of the kind that has always populated tabloid newspapers.  There is no news here except for the absolutely trivial fact that one of Tiger’s alleged girlfriends once was engaged to a 9/11 victim.  The Daily News report “beefs up” the story by injecting the emotions of a basically uninvolved third party in a misleading lead and opening.

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