BY BOB SMITH
On December 4, 2012, the New York Post ran on its cover a dramatic photo of a man about to meet his death from a subway train. According to the December 6 issue of the Post, the killer claimed the victim “attacked” him, “grabbed” him, was “drunk,” and “threatened to kill him.” The killer threw the victim onto the subway tracks and into the path of an incoming train, which was unable to stop, and crushed him to death between the train and the platform as he vainly struggled to pull himself to safety. The event was tragic and, the Post’s publication of the photo has rightly been universally denounced as barbaric, gruesomely voyeuristic, and cruel.
This is nothing new for the Post, which regularly prints (and illustrates, with graphic photos, if possible) the most fantastic and grotesque stories, following the old newspaper adage that, “If it bleeds, it leads.” And I’m sure the Post believes that the current controversy also falls squarely under the rubric that no publicity is bad publicity. We have come to expect this level of amorality from the Post.
I hesitate to discuss the photo, its meaning, or the motives of those behind it for fear of dignifying the Post’s conduct. In fact, using any form of the word “dignity” in reference to the New York Post seems wrong. But still the incident bears scrutiny.