Disgraced golfer Tiger Woods has reportedly hired former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer to help him mastermind a return to, well, playing golf — possibly as soon as March 22, when the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando kicks off. Though Fleischer's no stranger to emergency sports-PR — he revamped baseball's Mark McGwire's image after a doping scandal — is a loudmouth flack is the right way for Tiger to rebuild his reputation or should he let his golf do the talking? (Watch Rachel Maddow question Tiger's decision to hire Ari Fleischer)
Fleischer's a good move for Tiger: This is "wonderful news," says Johanna Neuman at the LA Times. Though Fleischer "never did much to soften Bush's image, his "track record" with sports figures is "pretty good." And, as Fleischer's move from politics to sport illustrates, "it's never too late to reinvent [yourself]."
"Tiger Woods hires Ari Fleischer for comeback. Does this mean George W. Bush is coming back too?"
Fleischer is the last thing Tiger needs: "What a mistake," sighs Gene Wojciechowski at ESPN. Woods' downfall stemmed from the fact that he was "disconnected from reality. If he wants us to "believe in him again," more spin is a terrible idea. America doesn't want a "shallow, superficial" brand overhaul. It just wants to see a "sincere, non-spin-control" Tiger.
"Tiger Woods' latest mistake? Hiring Ari Fleischer"
Does he need a PR man at all? Fleischer is familiar with the kind of "tough questions" that Woods might have to face on his comeback tour, says Chris Rovzar at NY Magazine. But the sports press is so "soft on its stars," you have to wonder if the former White House flack will need to do much except pen a "pre-written statement" or two.
"Tiger Woods Calls on Bush PR Man to Help Rescue Public Image"