The New York Post is a very odd newspaper. I honestly do not know one single human being who actually has a subscription to it. And yet, it still is one of the most well known papers not only in New York, but in the country.
It’s certainly not known for its journalistic integrity — the mere thought of that idea is laughable — but rather, it is notorious for its shamelessness and attention-seeking headlines and cover photos.
Like this one, on today’s front page:
Well, let’s put it this way. Everyone in the country already knows not to take the newspaper seriously. They know that the Post will stoop as low as humanly possible to get a story, and will have no shame posting controversial photos.
And yet, everybody was still shocked that they ran this photo. Despite the newspaper’s god awful reputation, they still managed to surprise people. Somehow, somehow, the New York Post managed to sink to a new low.
So here’s the story surrounding this photograph (and it’s sad that the story about the photograph has become more significant than the story of the actual death itself): A 58-year-old man from Queens, named Ki-Suck Han, was pushed onto the subway tracks yesterday at around 12:30 p.m., just as the train was stopping at the station.
The reports say that the person who pushed Han was “disturbed,” and essentially was not in a right mental state.
Meanwhile — conveniently — a New York Post freelance photographer was standing at the platform en route to an assignment. He saw the incident and snapped the photo.
Less than 24 hours later, it’s on the cover.
First, allow me to begin by saying that it’s always been a mortal fear of mine that one day, somebody would shove me onto the subway tracks in New York City. Whenever I am waiting for a subway, I always — like everyone else — stand at the edge of the platform, crane my neck and look to see if a train is coming.
And when I see that it is coming, I immediately back up at least four or five feet and stand near the platform wall. This might sound weird, but I always thought that you never know who the hell is out there in this world. All it takes is one dude who is in a crazy rush to catch the train, or one psychotic homeless guy, to shove you and kill you very easily. So why take the risk?
That may have seemed like bizarre behavior on my end, and yes, perhaps a bit paranoid, but — WHO’S LAUGHING NOW??
Just had to get that off of my chest. Alright, so naturally this photo caused plenty of outrage, and there is a lot of people to blame here for this incident. First, you look at the guy who snapped the photo. The photographer’s name is R. Umar Abbasi, and he pretty much deserves any backlash he is going to get for this. But a lot of criticism is pointed towards Abassi not attempting to save the man.
Personally, I think this criticism is a little far-fetched. You can’t know how you would react in that situation. There probably was not even enough time to save the man, and I think some people have been watching too many superhero movies.
But Abassi deserves all the criticism in the world for actually making the snap decision (pun intended) to take the photograph. Here is the quote that Abassi gave the New York Post after submitting his photo.
“I just started running, running, hoping that the driver could see my flash,” Abbasi told the Post.
Right. So you instinctively decided that the best course of action would be to blind the conductor so that he couldn’t see… anything? Including the man on the tracks who he was about to kill? Good strategy. Great thinking.
Also, the photo is perfectly framed. The train is not in the center, like it would be if he really was trying to alert the driver.
So it is clearly an excuse that was made in retrospect to justify his actions. And I’ll admit it is indeed a smart excuse, but it’s still bullshit. Obviously. The man is a professional photographer for a major newspaper, and any freelance photographer knows to always have your camera ready for that one picture. That one picture that gets you worldwide recognition, wins you awards and makes you famous.
Photos like these:
Okay that last one is actually just a stick figure I drew, and not a famous photo. You caught me.
So anyway, Abassi sensed the uniqueness of the situation and instinctively snapped a photo. That’s really all there is to it. There’s really nothing he could have done to save the man, but there’s definitely plenty he could have done to avoid taking the photograph.
Like… doing nothing, for example.
But it really just gets worse. Not only did he take the photo, but he then presented it to the New York Post editors, who in turn, not only decided to print the photo — but put it on the freaking cover. It really is amazing how many immoral judgments were made leading up to the printing of this newspaper edition.
It’s hard to imagine what the New York Post’s incentive was for running this photo. Okay, if the person who died was relatively famous, then that’s one thing. Because if he’s famous, people might want to see it. If Ryan Gosling was killed on the train tracks by a moving subway car, then yes, I do kind of want to see that photo.
But this is some Asian dude named Ki-Suck Han. I didn’t know who he was when I woke up this morning, and I certainly did not need to see how he died. Like literally see it with my eyes.
Since he is not famous, it is evident that the New York Post had one sole intention when they decided to publish this — attention.
To them, all they want is attention, and they don’t care how they get it. That’s the only conclusion I can draw out of all of this. And if that was indeed their intention, then congratulations. Just know that you sold your souls to get it. It begins with Abassi, and then extends to the photo and editorial editors, to the publishers, and even up to Rupert Murdoch himself, whose News Corporation company owns the Post. I hope that when all of you die, somewhere is there to snap a photo.
Oh so I just noticed that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show is on TV right now. What was I talking about again? Wait, I don’t care. I am so out of here.