Ten days before Christmas, a sanitation worker in Woodbridge was killed in an accident leaving behind a wife and three young children. The Manassas News & Messenger decided to really get into the spirit of the holidays and splash a picture of the deceased being given the last rites by the Fire Department’s chaplain on the front page of of today’s edition. Merry Christmas, kids. Here’s your dead daddy being hawked as a means to sell fish wrap.
And to think that some wondered why I called this outfit the Manassas Urinal-Massager before they changed their name.
Riley over at Virginia Virtucon is horrified at this, and with good reason. He knows what they’re going through, and he well knows, as just about anyone out there with a semblance of a conscience would, that it’s just outright brutal to be putting pictures of a dead parent in a newspaper. To put this on the front page is completely beyond the pale. One just has to wonder what in the heck was going thorough these folks minds when they decided that this could somehow be a good idea. Would editor Susan Svhilik have published a photo on the front page of one of her dead family members, even outside of the Christmas season? Yeah, I thought so.
I imagine the letters to the editor are going to be quite something over the next couple of days, but then again I won’t be reading this newspaper and may never know. I bet I’m not going to be the only one.
UPDATE: Scott’s Morning Brew is completely unsatisfied with the paper’s explanation of what they did. He calls BS, and I’d agree.
In all my years as a forensics technician (and forensic photographer I might add), I have had many dealings with the media. NEVER has anyone at one of my scenes, ever published such a photograph. And they had plenty of opportunities to do so. But they chose the sensible route. The common sense route. Not the idiotic.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.