"I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in.I know people want to find out how I could be so selfish and so foolish." T. Woods.
T. Woods has a string of outstanding performances in his chosen field, which is golf. Let's get that straight. Golf. Not religion, politics, ethics, oratory. It is golf talent that has made him celebrated, envied, and vulnerable to attack for hubris.
He is also living proof of a central principle of Borenstein's Law - the counter intuitive truth that human beings can be counted on to act against their own best interests - sometimes to the point of self-destruction.
This Law applies to anyone, from the most sociopathic criminal to the highest achieving powerful people on earth.
Here's how Tiger phrased it:
"I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn’t apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them."
Now, Mr. Woods has exemplified another lesson I have learned in almost forty years of defending people accused of wrongdoing:
No expression of remorse can ever satisfy everyone.
There are ramifications of this fact.
The transgressor is usually in a no-win posture.
Failure to express remorse for bad conduct is seen as aggravating, but expressions of remorse are usually suspiciously self-serving.
"Sincerity" is completely subjective and tentative. Bill Clinton apologized with the same "sincere" voice he had used to deny guilt under oath months before.
Cynical responses such as "he wouldn't be sorry if he hadn't been caught" are earned by the initial deception.
The reaction to "I'm sorry" has as much to do with the listener's attitude as the transgressor's. People whose faith in another's goodness is shattered by revelations of transgression are usually hurt and angry.
The media does not have the "right" to know all the facts about everybody's life, even so-called "public figures." The First Amendment does not demand that people who want to sell products must give power over their lives to commercial media, whose primary purpose is to profit from celebrities rather than to provide information people need to form a better world.