COMMENTS: You Have a Right to Remain Silent

There was one valuable civic service that Tiger Woods performed on behalf of all of us. He reminded us of our Constitutional rights. ABC anchor Charles Gibson invited Nightline anchor Terry Moran into the studio after the golf champion refused to allow the Florida Highway Patrol into his home for three straight days following a late night accident involving his SUV and a fire hydrant: "Every American, Tiger Woods included, has an absolute, fundamental right not to talk to the police," Moran asserted.

Besides Moran, each of the newscasts had a correspondent outside the golfer's Florida home to cover Woods' refusal to comment. ABC's John Berman called the highway patrol's statement about its rebuffed interview requests "tersely worded." CBS' Randall Pinkston noted that the golfer's lawyer had provided his client's license, registration and proof of insurance and "that is all that is legally required."

Unable to obtain a Woods soundbite, reporters resorted to reading statements from his Website. "Many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible," was a choice non-denial-denial that CBS' Pinkston and NBC's Mark Potter quoted. The "many" being irresponsible clearly implies that "some" or a least "a few" are not. Singling out "false, unfounded and malicious" rumors for denunciation implies that there are others that will turn out to be true or well-founded or fair-minded. His Website might as well have said nothing.


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