Warren & Tiger: How much is too much?


In one of my favorite political satires — William Richert’s vicious 1979 send-up of the Kennedy family, “Winter Kills” — the patriarch of the clan isn’t surprised by his president son’s sexual promiscuity.

Indeed, Tom Kegan — played with scary comic brio by John Huston — is proud of his “boy.”

“You know how many times your brother got laid when he was in office?,” Tom asks his other son, Nick (played by Jeff Bridges).

“1,072…and with a schedule like his!”

I couldn’t help but think of that unusually frank (and funny) movie scene in the wake all of the hoopla earlier this week over the sex lives of movie star Warren Beatty and golfer Tiger Woods.

A forthcoming biography of Beatty set off shock waves online and in the print media after The New York Post printed an excerpt that included the assertion that the actor has had sex with 12,775 women (the real surprise here is that Beatty didn’t aim for an even number and hasn’t broken the Wilt Chamberlain record of 20,000 women).

Seemingly within moments of the Beatty revelations, Vanity Fair released the text of a very thin February Tiger Woods cover story in which the fine journalist Buzz Bissinger was clearly rushed into analysis rather than reporting — with the writer expressing his own personal distress over the revelation that the golfer has cheated on his wife with more than one woman.

Bissinger didn’t get an interview with Woods, so he instead resorts to a combination of sob sister moralizing and amateur psychology.1a8

The writer states “with the number of alleged paramours reaching 14 as of mid-December (a figure bound to multiply) it is safe to say that behind the non-accessible accessibility and seemingly perfect marriage to a beautiful woman was a sex addict who could not get enough.”

If carnal relations with 14 women makes Tiger a sex addict what in the world do we call Warren Beatty?

It never ceases to amaze me how frequently we can get bogged down in analysis of the sex lives of celebrities, with TV commentators and journalists and members of the public judging these global show biz and sports idols as if they were “normal” people.

Have Tiger and Warren done anything that wasn’t already done by Joe Namath and Burt Reynolds and all of the other famous and rich show biz and sports titans of the past century? And how do we know what we might do if we were in their extraordinarily privileged position?

Joe Meyers