National Enquirer Whitney

February 23, 2012 by staff 

National Enquirer Whitney, The National Enquirer, the scandalous US supermarket check-out weekly, has acted true to form by publishing a picture of Whitney Houston (allegedly) lying in an open coffin.

Its cover picture, which I am not showing here, purports to show her in a gold casket in a funeral home. The Daily Mail pixelled it out too.

The cover picture has prompted a storm of protest, with people claiming it is, variously, shocking, intrusive, disturbing, in poor taste, offensive to her family, and so on. A line has been crossed said a Washington Post writer.

Not really. The Enquirer has form for this sort of photo. In 1977, it famously published a picture of Elvis Presley in his casket. The issue caused outrage – and then sold a record-making 6.5m copies.

More recently, a photo of Michael Jackson’s lifeless body was republished by many newspapers after it was shown to the jury during the trial of his doctor Conrad Murray.

There has been an intense interest in Houston since her death. Her funeral, which was held on Saturday, was live streamed by the Associated Press with permission from the family. It got 2m unique visitors.

CNN, one of the cable networks to broadcast the funeral, averaged 5m viewers in the course of the three-and-a-half hour screening.

Other outlets, including Entertainment Weekly and ABC News, live blogged the service. Wire services, like Getty and the AP, took photos of guests outside the funeral service and of Houston’s casket as it was carried in.

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