New York Post Publishes Another Offensive Photo

We’re usually more concerned with the acts of PR departments than Editorial departments, but today the always-classy New York Post reached a new low by publishing a photo of a man about to be crushed by a subway train.

Cue inevitable outrage.

In a terrible tragedy that involves one of New Yorkers’ top fears, a Queens-based businessman and father approached a panhandler who’d been harassing midtown commuters during rush hour traffic–and the man responded by pushing him onto the subway tracks, where he was crushed to death by an oncoming train. A freelance photographer standing in the station captured the scene but didn’t have time to help the man to safety before the train arrived. (If you want to see the full picture, you’ll need to click on the Gawker link—we’re not going to post it here.)

A few points:

  • As far as we know, the New York Post has never been a reputable brand. Its editors can publish all the Charles Krauthammer they want but the public will still see their paper as a cheap tabloid.
  • Of course the rag chose the photo because they knew it would be controversial.
  • By posting on the “scandal”, we’re probably being a little hypocritical by driving more attention toward a mag and site that we don’t like.

All these things are true. And yet, we have to ask: At what point do tasteless stories like these become a burden for the Post? Does its public image even matter, or has it become the East Coast equivalent of TMZ–completely immune to criticism?

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.