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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Tiger Woods crash recreated by Taiwan media

A media outlet based in both Hong Kong and Taiwan has recreated a CGI film of the possible events that led up to the crash in which Tiger Woods was involved last Friday [November 27th November]. Woods emerged only slightly injured from the accident but there have been many rumours circulating as to what happened immediately before the golfer crashed his black Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant and a tree.

Many media outlets have suggested Woods had an argument with his wife Elin Nordegren over a much reported affair with Manhattan club hostess Rachel Uchitel. This, according to the reports, led Tiger Woods to flee the house with a scratched face and try to drive off. Uchitel has denied having an affair with the golfer, and Woods himself has made no comment on the rumours. He has also refused to talk to police about the crash and only made a public statement via his website in which he said the crash was his own fault and that he was "not perfect".

There have been only a few pictures published of the crash scene. Dark and indistinct, exclusive pictures obtained by WFTV show part of Woods' vehicle embedded in a tree outside his home. A tape of the 911 call to police, that was placed by a neighbour, also reveals little about what actually occurred. "I have someone down outside my house, they hit a pole," the caller tells police. Asked if anyone was in the car he says, "No, they're lying on the ground." 

The lack of facts has not deterred Taiwan's Apple Daily from creating an animated film based on the widely speculated rumours. To be fair the report does create two possible events. One suggests the accident occurred without any involvement of his wife who is then seen helping Woods who is pictured lying on the ground. But in a more dramatic depiction of the episode his wife Elin is seen scratching his face and later shown to be chasing the car brandishing a golf club. The striking of the club against the rear window causes Woods to lose control hitting the fire hydrant and then the tree. 

The video has sparked a massive worldwide media response. Numerous outlets make light of the re-enactment and the video has been a trending topic on Twitter and much viewed on YouTube. Apple Daily is a tabloid-style newspaper printed in Taiwan and owned by Hong Kong-based Next Media. Next Media is based in Hong Kong and also prints the Apple Daily (Hong Kong). Both the Hong Kong and Taiwan portals of the site were unavailable in mainland China on Wednesday.

Recently the Apple Daily in Taiwan was fined for running animated news deemed too explicit for young audiences on its website. The paper was was ordered to pay 500,000 Taiwan dollars [$15,500] on Wednesday 25th November after the Taipei city government reviewed the computer animations, which depicted real-life violent crime in a graphic fashion. The online news service, which allegedly featured stories like a father sexually assaulting his daughter and a husband killing his wife, triggered outrage among women's groups which feared its effect on children and teenagers.

Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin told reporters the newspaper will face repeated fines if it fails to improve. Apple Daily is owned by Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai who is also chairman of Hong Kong-listed Next Media Ltd. Local editions of Next weekly and the Apple Daily newspaper have been commercial successes in Taiwan, but they have repeatedly drawn criticism from Taiwan's media watchdog and the public for their style of coverage and for running graphic photos of violent incidents. [ABC / Break / Sinchew]

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

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