Ths morning the New York Post ran a huge cover photo of a man about to die — literally. Pushed off a New York subway platform, the photo captures Ki-Suck-Han seconds before an oncoming train is about to barrel down on him.
Howard Kurtz defended the decision:
But the New York Post had every right to run the picture. This is what tabloids do — milk tragedy for every ounce of emotional impact. No New York straphanger should have been surprised to see the photo.
The New York Times is not so forgiving:
The New York Post milked the death of someone for maximum commercial effect, with a full-page photo inside of his frozen helplessness, replete with helpful pointers to show the train bearing down and, on the Web, a video about the photographer’s experience that was a kind of slow-motion deconstruction. The marginal civic good served by the story — watch yourself on the subway platform — could have been performed in far more honorable ways. He ended up run over twice.
Many are asking why the photographer didn’t put his camera down and try to save the guy.
There’s zero news value in the photo. How would you like to be this poor guy’s wife or mother and see the Post using that photo to make a few extra quarters?
*This story is part of the Big Journalism Live Blog, which you can bookmark here.
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