I was listening to the Charles Adler Show this evening, as I do most nights 7-9pm Pacific on CKNW 980 in Vancouver, I heard something that bothered me. He had on a legal expert to discuss the Tiger Woods Saga, and at one point she mentioned the possibility that Mrs. Woods had assaulted Tiger with his golf clubs and she had to pause for laughter. Adler caught on right away that it was completely inappropriate to laugh at that juncture, and jumped in to stipulate that spousal abuse is not funny had Tiger been assaulting his wife. Chuck never corrected her that it was wrong to laugh at assault with a deadly weapon period, but I trust that he does not condone it by any gender.
I'm not someone who is easily offended by certain types of jokes, like marketing a brand of Mrs. Woods golf clubs to sell to PGA golfers with the slogan "the only clubs that can beat Tiger." The reason that I felt compelled to write this post is because Adler and his legal expert were having a serious conversation about all Tiger's legal liabilities, suggesting his wife should be able to sue him for infidelity. Then when they get to what might be the most serious criminal offense alleged in the entire episode, the female legal expert starts laughing? Tiger is too embarrassed to talk about it, but we know that the police found golf clubs near the scene, and that Tiger left in a damned hurry and the man with among the best hand eye coordination on the planet then crashed into a hydrant? Neither side will confirm or deny that she struck or attempted to strike him, but the CSI team are investigating the wounds to see if they are consistent with being hit in the head with a golf club.
We may never know for sure if she assaulted him with his own clubs, but the possibility is being investigated. If he had physically assaulted her or was threatening her with physical violence prior to her picking up the club, then her use of it would have been in self defense and justifiable in a court of law. If however he was sitting in bed "sexting" with a hard on and she flew off the handle, grabbed his 9 iron and started swinging, she should be charged with a criminal offense. Golf clubs are considered to be a deadly weapon because you can inflict serious damage with them. Infidelity should have negative consequences, but assault with a deadly weapon is not one of them.
Fine, you can discuss whether possibly spreading STDs to your spouse should be a criminal offense, which is legitimate debate. But if you are going to have a serious discussion on all the dozens of ways Tiger could or should be charged, don't then laugh at the most serious charge in the list of possible occurrences. I am assuming that Mrs. Woods did not have any cuts or bruises, because I assume that would be one of the first things that police would look for when investigating a domestic incident. If it were proven that Tiger had physically assaulted his wife prior to her picking up a club, all bets are off and Tiger should face criminal charges. If he never even touched her and she assaulted him because he was habitually horny, then she should face criminal charges.
What if she had struck Tiger in the head and he dropped dead? Would the legal expert on the Adler show have been laughing? Why would a legal expert offering a professional opinion start laughing at a serious criminal allegation that could possibly have resulted in death? In defense of Adler, he did not laugh at all, in fact he responded quite seriously and started dropping stipulations and backpedaling. He knew right away that his legal expert should not have acted that way in that situation. This one little exchange did bother me, but I am still a citizen of Adler Nation and I will be back! Roughly 70% of my audience considers Charles Adler to be the best opinion pundit in Canada.
I thought that the rest of Adler Online was fantastic. Adler is my favourite when he talks about politics, economics, and history, but not so much when he talks about the best coffee machine to buy or talking to strangers. I think Chuck might still hold a grudge against me because I once complained about spending an entire hour of his show on talking to strangers. Mr. Adler then spent a show debating whether he should have spent an hour discussing making small talk with strangers.
But I keep coming back the very next day…