An open letter to The Huffington Post

You will not see many posts on this blog in which I express anger. I am not an angry person, and generally I do not choose to use the creative process over something that pisses me off.

Today I spent the day with my mother. We went to the mall, did some shopping, and went to Red Lobster for dinner after. As I was enjoying my cheddar bay biscuits I decided to check in on Facebook. I was horrified to see status updates about a bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon today. I had flashbacks of the Newtown shooting, and I silently prayed this wasn’t another massacre as I Googled the bombing on my smart phone.

The first link that popped up was to an article on the Huffington Post. I’m not a fan of HP, but I clicked on it anyway because I was quickly looking for some information and I wasn’t going to be picky about it. I was sad to read the news of what had happened today, but I will admit that I was extremely relieved as it appears the number of casualties are low.

Boston Marathon-Explosions

When I got to the bottom of the article, I saw there was a photo gallery of the events that took place. I tend to be curious, so I decided to check it out. There was a warning that there would be graphic pictures on the slide show. I expected that. But the photos that were posted appalled me to the core, to the point where I wished I could unsee the pictures I saw. I stopped looking after the second picture…. I thought about it all night, and the drive home. After I arrived home, I made the decision to revisit the article and look through all the pictures.

I am very angry and offended by the insensitivity of HP, and I have decided to post an open letter to them.

Huffington Post,

I love that in America, when a tragedy happens people around the country want to be as informed as possible about what takes place in an event such as what happened today during the Boston Marathon. The more we know hurts our hearts, but we want to know the dynamic of the situation because we are compassionate and want to be well-informed.

I get that the media has an obligation to report the news as accurately as possible to the country, and to the rest of the world. I also get that when there is an opportunity to show pictures and video footage you show them to us.

What I do not get, is why it is at all necessary to show pictures of a man in a wheelchair with his feet blown off, a helpless man on the ground surrounded by mass amounts of blood, or a man holding his beloved that has been injured by the blast. I looked through every picture on that slide show. The majority of the pictures posted on this slide show showed the dynamic of the tragedy that took place today, without needing to show any photos that were as disturbing as what I saw this evening.

It is very clear to me that you unnecessarily showed these graphic photos for one reason; to get as many views to your website for this piece of news as possible. It’s all about ratings, it almost always is these days with the media. How would you feel if the man whose feet were blown off in the photo was your brother, father, uncle or son? And how would it make you feel if that photo was all over the internet for the whole world to see? The thing is, you and your staff probably didn’t think about that at all.

The insensitivity of the slide show your website posted makes me absolutely sick. I looked on Fox News, NBC News, Yahoo News, and ABC News…. They did not show the disturbing photos that you did. ABC news did show the photo of the man in the wheelchair whose feet were blown away by the blast, but they at least had the decency to crop the photo, careful not to show the extent of his injuries.

 

You should be ashamed of yourselves for the insensitivity you showed today, all for the sake of ratings. Shame. On. You.

Sincerely,

One pissed off American.

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2 thoughts on “An open letter to The Huffington Post

  1. I have accidentally seen too many photos from too many tragedies since 9-11. I avoid looking at photos like the plague. It is too hard to unsee. I do not feel I miss out on anything by avoiding the gore.

  2. When I was a teenager, I got into journalism. I admired it, because I thought it was a large group of people on a crusade to show the truth to the whole world. But as I grew up I realized that was just not true. A lot of journalists care so much more about shock value and ratings than they do the truth. This is why when tragedy strikes, I often avoid the news. I do not want to see photos of people who were mutilated in an explosion. I do not need to see those things to know what’s going on.

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