On Friday June 21, the New York Post, once a revered paper, has announced the death of James Gandolfini as such: “Big Tony’s big binge in Rome THE LAST SUPPER”. I thought that the disrespectful allusion to the “last supper”, a known expression for a religious occurrence, was out of place, if not only in poor taste, but what caught my eye was that emphasis on the big binge. If the reader was curious and opened this paper, which has taken more and more the structure of a “scandal paper”, where news do not have to be 100% true, the surprise would have been even bigger. The article on Gandolfini stated in its subtitle: “Alcoholic star boozed it up and stuffed self with fried food at final meal”. Before that, the large title claims: “DEADLY BADA BINGE FOR TONY”.
Ok, so he acted as a mobster and they were trying to be cute, but to what gain? Was Gandolfini a hated serial killer or a pedophile? Was he the kind of guy everyone despised? Not at all; everyone but the Post had nice words about him. So, why would a newspaper attack the image of a movie star, who obviously could not defend himself, with such hostility? Even if they would have been right and their information was 100% correct, which it wasn’t (and the autopsy proved them wrong), why assault his public image with such vehemence, without any regards to the family?
Is this really NEWS? Or is it just a titillation of the scandal-hungry mass of readers. Will the Post have to keep on raising the bar to attract readers? Making catchy titles is a must for newspapers, and we all understand that, but even so, there are choices that are in poor taste and this is one of them. Make them known that, as a reader, you do not appreciate bigoted, racist and inconsiderate statements. If a title bothers you, usually something is wrong with it, but more so when the news is not accurate and the newspaper does not retract its statements in the following issues, unnecessarily adding to the psychological torture of the people left behind to grieve.