What does an international game of Media Telephone look like? A lot like last week's nonstory about Tiger Woods maybe, possibly returning to next week's Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana.
We all know why Woods is on a break, and we also know that the first tournament he decides to play in post-break will get lots of publicity.
Here's the backstory: On Feb. 4, a story was published on the Web site of Melbourne, Australia's Herald Sun, which stated that Woods was "poised to make a shock return to competitive golf in a fortnight ... in Arizona." News sites everywhere latched onto this phrase and republished thousands (by Google News' count) of similar stories.
But did anyone bother to read the original story in the Sun? Considering that the article mentions "there remains no official word on Woods' return" and the strongest sources are "strengthening whispers," can you actually believe any of this?
Here's another thing most of the media missed: What does a Melbourne newspaper have to do with the greater golf world?
It wasn't until two days after the Sun article ran that FoxSports.com quoted "a source close to Woods" that he would not be playing at this year's Match Play. His caddie later confirmed that there was no truth to the comeback rumor.
What's the most troubling aspect about this scenario: that a newspaper could have completely made something up, or that so many other news sites saw the story and ran with it?
Still, the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain installed some fire hydrants and oak trees so Woods has something to crash into if he decides to change his mind and come at the last minute.
Let's see how fast this "fact" spreads across the Internet.
You can read the Sun's original article at bit.ly/bS1GGb.
BEST OF WWW
One of the hot topics in the news right now is the debate about repealing the U.S. Armed Forces' "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. While the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said it's time for the policy to go, that's apparently not enough for state Sen. Jack Harper (R-Surprise) who thinks gays shouldn't be able to serve openly in the military, because he might have to room with them. See all of Harper's Daily Show-ready comments at TucsonWeeklyTV.com.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK
"It's astounding that political stench like that surrounding the push to tear down Rillito Park still exists in broad daylight in the year 2010. Think what you want about Ed Moore, but he is spot-on with his assessment of the situation. It would be much appreciated if the author could follow up with Supervisor Ann Day and the soccer people to see what kind of excuses they come up with for not wanting to use the Arthur Pack site that Moore suggested as a more suitable alternative."
THE WEEK ON THE RANGE
We touched on Sen. John McCain's big flip-flop regarding his pledge to listen to military leaders regarding the utility of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"; provided updates on the legislative special session that finally resulted in a May election to consider a sales-tax hike; and shared the news that Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías would have the job of counting mariachis during an effort to break the Guinness Book record of the most mariachis in one place at this year's International Mariachi Conference.
We also followed the Green Valley News and Sun's coverage of how GOP legislative leaders had to back away after declaring their support for the Rosemont mine, and let you know that Men's Health has declared Tucson to be the ninth-drunkest city in America.
Adam Borowitz, a Navy vet who served aboard a nuclear sub, shared his thoughts on the controversy over allowing gays to serve openly in the military: "I hear all this shit about how gay people in the ranks will mess everything up. It's bullshit."
In our new feature, "Artistic Range," spearheaded by interns Trista Davis and Samantha Ferrell, we shared works by local artists, including Laura Moriarty (showing at Conrad Wilde Gallery), Catherine Eyde (whose show continues at Hotel Congress) and Juan Carlos Breceda (showing at Tansey Gallery).