This piece by Brendan O'Neill pretty much nails it. Sample:
Are we saying that anyone who is a prominent public figure – from politicians to actors, “it girls” to athletes – should have no unrevealed life? Such an erosion of the line between public and private, between what we do for a living and who we are with our friends and family, shows just how far the new requirement for revealing everything has gone. You can see the Oprahite dogma at work in dozens of recent scandals, from politicians like Mark Sanford and Eliot Spitzer, to athletes like A-Rod and Mark McGwire.
The criticism of Woods for zealously guarding his private life, and for at first refusing to do the formulaic public mea culpa that is now expected of every fallen public figure, showed what really lurked behind the Tiger-baiting of the past three months: fury over a famous man’s refusal to play by the new rules, to adhere to the new ethos of public emotionalism, to bow before the altar of publicly advertising one’s pain. Woods was clinging, for dear life, to the old-fashioned idea that a clear line should be drawn between a man’s public life and his private life, and the media could not tolerate that.
And the conclusion:
Last Friday, his capitulation was complete. After months of being ridiculed and attacked, Woods finally partook in perhaps the most widely disseminated expression of public sorrow of all time. The privacy zealot was successfully remade as an acolyte of Oprah, his mind expunged of the silly idea that he, or anyone else, should have the right to sort out his problems “behind closed doors.” There were elements of the authoritarian show trial in his mea culpa: the denunciation of the self, the promise to become a new man.
The forced conversion of Tiger Woods represents another blow to the idea of privacy. A civilized society should recognize the dividing line between a public man and his private life, because all of us need a private space in which we can develop relationships and work out who we are. The slaying of private Tiger and his rebirth as a public spectacle makes defending privacy that much harder.
Yes. Last Friday, Tiger Woods let us all down - admittedly, under pressure that was evidently too much for him. I care more about that than about what he does in private with the consensual sexual partners of his choice. If some of the latter was unethical (involving lies or broken promises), that's for him to sort out with the people concerned. It's not our problem. His failure to hold the line on privacy has a much greater public impact.
Read the whole article, and spread the meme.