Grouchy Golf Blog

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 at 12:04 AM

Any Press is Good Press, Even in Golf

Michael Bamberger's new book, "This Golfing Life," is now available to order. According to the publisher, Mike "has been writing about golf for Golf Digest and The Philadelphia Inquirer for over twenty years, and for the past ten years has been a senior writer for Sports Illustrated." However, he has been making the golf headlines lately as the self-appointed volunteer rules official at the Samsung World Championship.

To most, Bamberger's release of his new book within 2 weeks of his involvement in the is a purely random occurrence. But to me, these events are too closely related to explain by mere chance. Maybe it's because I work in the entertainment media business and I've learned to cast a cynical eye at anything I see in the media. Just turn on your TV and you'll be bombarded with promotions up the Wazoo, most unbeknownst to you.

Take celebrity gossip shows such as Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and The Insider. They're really just extended commercials dressed as entertainment "news" shows. Virtually every story from these shows contains a hidden agenda. When I saw Tom Cruise bashing Brooke Shields for taking antidepressant drugs, my initial thought wasn't about his position on medicine or psychiatry, it was what movie is Tom pluggin' now?

While some may expect heavy promos on such shows, many are unaware that it occurs in the traditional press as well. The recent tragedy from hurricane Katrina provided ample opportunities for shameless self-promotion. Do you think that Kanye West would have made his controversial political statements during NBC's nationally-televised Concert for Hurricane Relief if it didn't happen to air four days before the release of his latest album, "Late Registration"? Would Chris Rock have made those high-profile visits to the disaster shelters if his new TV show, "Everybody Hates Chris," didn't debut less than two weeks later? Regardless of the true answers to these questions, these individuals created the publicity that propelled their launches to success.

In a similar vein, Bamberger has created a “buzz,” whether he intended it or not. We’ll probably never know to what extent that his new book release influenced his actions at the Samsung World Championship. But we do know that Bamberger alerted LPGA Tour officials of the possible Wie rule infraction because he "loves golf and thinks playing by the rules is a critical element to making tournament golf work." To delve any deeper, one would want to understand how this man came to love golf. Isn’t it convenient that his new book is an autobiographical account about this very topic?

In his book, Bamberger quotes a Scottish master who explains what Americans brought to the game of golf: "You showed us that there's money in golf. That had never occurred to us. The money has corrupted us, all of us, myself included." I wonder how money has affected Bamberger. I guess we'll have to read his book to find out.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

if i knew what his car looked like i would slash his tires...  


Blogger CB said...

That is a little scary 'anonymous.'

Nice article Grouch. I remember seeing the coverage after the event and thinking of my high school vice principal. He was a prick too.  


Blogger dave said...

I think we can tell already how and what by his actions. I just don't understand why he waited so long to report it but as you say I guess that was all part of the schema too.  


Anonymous mediaguru at hookedongolfblog.com said...

Personally I won't be finding out because I won't be buying or reading his book.  


Blogger Dan Smith said...

Hey Mr. Grouch,

Me and Sarge had a discussion about this subject last week, being a hard old ex-military guy, Sarge said Bamberger's book should be stuck up his duffel bag! I think he is a clever marketing guy, or is being advised by one.

That's my word,


Oh, Sarge is one of my pals. You can meet me and all of my pals at www.golfaccordingtoscruffy.com


Anonymous GolfScrambleSearch said...

Just wanted to say you have a real nice site here! Keep up the good work (Where did you find that background swirly image that looks like a celtic sign kind of?)  


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