Tom Sherwood's Notebook: 12/02/09

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Dozens of magazines have featured the Tiger Woods scandal. Woods recently said he let his family down with "transgressions" that he regrets "with all of my heart."

    We were just starting to get bored with the White House gate-crashers when sports icon Tiger Woods saved us with his foolishness.

    Not that there aren’t any serious subjects this week, and we’ll get to one below, but we are astonished at how the gate-crashers and Tiger lit up the Thanksgiving week and weekend -- with more to come.

    And sadly, we were riveted. We even downloaded the trashy TMZ.com Web site to our BlackBerry. TMZ seems to be ahead of everyone in reporting the Tiger tumult.

    College students and public relations firms will be studying Tiger’s mishandling of this incident for a long time to come. He’s spent a lifetime developing a squeaky-clean image. With one rammed fire hydrant and one whack of a golf club, it’s gone.

    The details almost don’t matter.

    Crisis managers are pretty clear about these things: Forget embarrassment. Get it out and get it out quick.

    Tiger gets a zero on that score.

    Now back to the gate-crashers. (And please note that we’re not using their names. They'll have to get their publicity somewhere else.)

    Mayor Adrian Fenty was among the legitimate White House guests at the recent state dinner. His photo was taken with the gate-crashers. Mayor Fenty told NBC4 on Monday that the shot was just one of dozens of pictures that were taken, and he doesn’t remember any actual conversation with the couple.

    Another local player will take part in the aftermath.

    D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is on the House Committee on Homeland Security, which will attempt to explore what happened that night. The committee expects to hear from the gate-crashers as well as the Secret Service.

    Why do we feel like Phil Donohue or Dr. Phil should be hosting that hearing?

    This we do know: The Secret Service will tighten the restrictions around the White House until there’s no wiggle room anywhere for any visitor.

    Housewives of D.C.?

    It’s been reported that the female gate-crasher is in the running to be one of TV's "Real Housewives of D.C." A camera was following the couple before the twosome went to the White House.

    Georgetown advisory neighborhood commissioner Bill Starrels wondered on Facebook this past week how the gate-crasher could be a "housewife of D.C." when she lives in Virginia. Good question. The city should sue for misuse of its name.

    The Mark Segraves Show

    Maybe you’re not getting enough of WTOP’s aggressive reporter and talk show host Mark Segraves. Maybe you’ve even wondered what he looks like. You’ll soon know.

    Beginning Dec. 13 (mark your calendars), Segraves will be the host of a new weekly show on channel DC50. The program will be called “News+ with Mark Segraves.”

    Mark ought to have a pretty lively show if the producers let him slip the chains of objective journalism a little bit. He can be funny, dismissive and inquisitive when he’s not restricted to doing those 22-second reports on WTOP.

    The Segraves outrage meter goes off easily, too.

    His recent radio stories on Mayor Fenty’s misuse of cops in shepherding his bicycle rides were terrific. He got hate mail from some bicyclists.

    If Segraves had any real nerve, he’d invite some of those cyclists on his first show. But no, he's already signed up Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray for Dec. 13.

    Last we checked, none of them were outraged cyclists.

    A Final Word

    We’re going to end on a serious note.

    Jeanette Michaels probably would have loved being in a column with so much foolishness.

    Jeanette, the former head of the D.C. Lottery, died of cancer this past weekend.

    Easy to laugh and interested in education, community work and service as a member of the D.C. Bar, she fought the good fight.

    NBC4 anchor Doreen Gentzler interviewed her a couple years back when Jeannette had passed the critical five-year mark of recovery. But the victory slipped away, and the last many months were an ordeal for Jeanette and her family.

    Our condolences go to her family along with our thanks that Jeanette was here for the time she had.