I received a call from CNN Saturday asking to do a phone interview. Since I worked for CNN in the '90s and felt like the world was rushing to judgment I said yes, but told them I could only talk 'background' as a sports journalist who covers Tiger Woods and the game he has dominated since 1996. I also said I would not comment on rumor and innuendo.
As I was on hold and listening to the on-air broadcast I heard, 'Coming up, one of Tiger Woods' FRIENDS speaks out.'
I wondered who they were speaking about.
Five minutes later I was introduced on live television as a 'long-time friend of Tiger Woods,' which I am not. Still, within minutes the anchor asked, 'Have you ever seen signs of trouble in Tiger and Elin's marriage?'
My jaw dropped. I had just been stung by the media of which I am a member.
Soon my comments were pulled out of the CNN interview and put in articles, newspapers, Web sites, and a local Orlando TV station has been running clips for the last 48 hours saying 'Inga Hammond, friend of Tiger, told us ...'
One interview, one drop, and the ripples won't stop.
Why isn't Tiger talking yet? Because he knows – much better than I do – that the only way to have any control of what the media is saying, is to say nothing. Or, at the very least, release a statement.