People Hate This NY Daily News Cover of the Virginia Shooting, but Why?

If you haven’t heard, a lunatic shot a reporter and cameraman live on-air yesterday. Not only that, Vester Flanagan filmed a first-person POV video as he executed reporter, Alison Parker, and cameraman, Adam Ward. Yea, messed up. For those who haven’t seen it, here you go:

This only gained attention because the shooter took live video of it. Otherwise, it’d be yet another shooting in the good ol’ United States of America.

NY Daily News ran a cover this morning that has everyone outraged. “EXECUTED ON LIVE TV” blares the headline with a three panel pic of the Flanagan pointing the gun at Parker. In the very last panel, you see Parker’s shocked expression right before she gets murdered.

Twitter, of course, went crazy over this.

People are forgetting this is the NY Daily News, not The New York Times. It’s not like they don’t go for shock value.

Kenyan Massacre, April 2, 2015

Jerusalem Synagogue Attack, November 18, 2014

Oscar Pistorius Charged with Murder, August 19, 2013

NY Daily News STARTED the whole tabloid phenomenon with a 1928 cover of Ruth Snyder’s execution. Snyder, along with her then-lover Judd Gray, planned the murder of her husband for insurance money. Wow, even back then. The case actually is fascinating in an old-timey sort of way. And quite fascinating the way detectives broke the case.

They simulated a theft; Gray went away from the house and he left Ruth tied, but their strategy was short-lived. During the search on the house for evidences, a detective read the name ‘Judd Gray’ both in a checkbook and in an address book, so the detective asked Ruth: “What about Judd Gray”. Ruth replied awkwardly: “Has he confessed?”.

That was all they needed. Snyder was eventually executed on June 12th, 1928. And who was there to take the execution photo? That was a rhetorical question.

Tom Howard, a journalist of the Chicago Tribune (newspaper owned by the Daily News), managed to take a snapshot of the execution through a tiny camera attached to his ankle, which had not been detected by the prison security. Howard trip the shutter with a cord through his trousers and a hole in his pocket. The next day the Daily News published an extra edition and the picture shocked the whole country; it was the first time that all people could see someone executed in the electric chair. The image of “Ruthless Ruth” Snyder came out as the regular edition of January 14. It was such a great success that the Daily News had to print an additional 750,000 copies, and it sold one million extra copies, doubling the usual sales at newsstands.

And this is the execution photo they ran the day after.

NY Daily News knows what sells and it’s who they are. If it’s POV photos and video of a murder, they’ll silently thank Vester Flanagan for being a crazed killer and enjoy the bump in circulation.

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Dan Hell
Dan Hell
8 years ago

I am very aware of this heinous act of violence but I refuse to watch the video. I haven’t seen it, I haven’t searched for it. I’m just not that curious.