One of the criteria to determine what goes into a newspaper is public interest in a particular story. By that definition, the Tiger Woods yarn is huge. I mean virtually everyone has been talking about it since word first emerged over Thanksgiving about the car accident, the incredible explanation for it and then all the rest that followed. Which is why I'm dismayed when I read columns and blogs (including a couple on this newspaper's Website) that suggest it's no big deal. They must be kidding! The world's most famous - and richest - athlete, whose squeaky clean public image has been carefully crafted from when he was little more than a toddler, turns out to be an adulterer. In the old days, they'd call that "Stop the presses!" stuff. (We'll get into this topic in depth on this week's "Media Project" - 6 p.m. Sunday and 3 p.m. Monday on WAMC Northeast Public Radio - or anytime starting Monday on the Web at wamc.org.)*
Excellent reviews are coming in for the new George Clooney film, "Up in the Air." It hasn't opened around here yet. Hopefully it will be at the Hudson Valley Mall by Christmas Day, when some of us traditionally spend our afternoon seeing a movie and then looking for a restaurant that's open. By the way, the movie co-stars Ulster County's Vera Farmiga, who is also getting strong notices.*
Levon Helm hasn't been doing much singing lately; a throat problem (fortunately not due to a recurrence of cancer) has silenced him behind the drum kit. But he ought to be able to say a few thank yous early next year if he wins his second straight Grammy. He was nominated again the other day.