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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:01 PM

Reeva Steenkamp's corpse was in the morgue, her body was on the Sun's front page

Years ago I worked at the Sun, and I rem ember a man from the circulation department giving a presentation to editorial staff on how to maximise sales. The chastening upshot, for a paper whose employees preferred to think its market dominance was built solely on great stories, thrillingly told, was that birds mean business. Of course, you'd get a big sales spike with some sensational splash about the royal family or a footballer or whatever, but those were effectively few and far between, and if you wanted to ensure the regular, bread-and-butter circulation boosts on which the paper relied, a female celebrity in a bikini was what was needed, under whatever sub-newsy pretext you could devise. A list of names and numbers was passed round. And there it was in black and white. If you put a picture of Caprice on page 1 and any old stock one was fine as long as she had very little on you could guarantee a 30,000 uplift in sales. Nell McAndrew would get you 20,000. Geri Halliwell would do 10,000. They had maths for it and everything.

I wonder if that same circulation department were rubbing their hands, or their trousers, or whatever it is they rub, when they saw that the paper would be splashing on Friday with a huge picture of Reeva Steenkamp pulling down the zip of a bikini top, even as her corpse was lying in a Pretoria morgue awaiting a postmortem. Steenkamp was shot several times on Thursday, allegedly by her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius, with the incident swiftly and widely declared a tragedy for South Africa, for sport, and for disability rights. And presumably to a lesser extent, because it was scarcely suggested in the scramble to get hold of bikini shots for her family and friends.

The killing has yet to be described as a tragedy for women, probably because in the continual clustertragedy that constitutes female representation in the media, Steenkamp is just another casualty, who obligingly happened to be hot. That the story leading the news for the entire day of the One Billion Rising global action opposing violence against women concerned a woman being allegedly murdered by her partner was unfortunate. That the death was covered in the way it has been begins to look like something else. But nothing new, obviously.

His attention drawn to articles which appear to eroticise violence against women, Lord Justice Leveson concluded in his report that they "may" infringe the Press Complaints Commission code. Mmm. Perhaps we can stop hearing that women's liberation has Gone Too Far The Other Way when encouraging people to get their rocks off over dead or maimed ladies only "may" be a wrong thing.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/15/reeva-steenkamp-body-on-front-page
http://www.theweek.co.uk/media/oscar-pistorius/51532/prescott-hits-sun%E2%80%99s-titillating-reeva-steenkamp-cover

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:13 PM

1. This is why I stopped watching 'CSI' type shoes

Now I love a good detective story, (I'm very much in to Steampunk these days, I'm afraid) murder and mayhem go along with the territory. I like horror as well.

But the CSI's starting denigrating into what I started calling 'dead chick shows' so many of them were about dead sex workers, dead cheating housewives, dead naive young women, some with horrific plots. And it seemed to me there was always a glory shot, panties or some form of undergarment, posing that was at least quasi sexualized. It also seemed to me as well that there was a 'its her fault' subtext, not always and not obvious, but I finally had enough and stopped watching those shows .

This kind of coverage is the same thing--the salacious posing of the tragically dead. It pisses me off.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:21 PM

3. right. me, too. so damn tired of it. nt

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:37 PM

5. Those and Law & Order SVU always gave me the pervy vibe.

I've read several blogs about the phenomenon of the increasing popularity of that theme, and I just now went to try to Google one to share.

Guess what kinds of results I got instead. Go on, guess. Or you could try to find anything on the subject and see what pops up.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:45 PM

7. Rape porn is my guess n/t

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:53 PM

9. rape is our new entertainment for our men. they can speak out and say enough,

or get off on it.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:43 PM

12. Porn, yes. Not rape, just dead sexy women.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:43 PM

13. dead SEXY women? sick mother fuckers..... nt

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:49 PM

15. Yep. Hot dead women, too. I tried a few descriptions to find the blogs.

'Sexy dead ladies' turned up mostly costumes. So there's that, at least, I guess.

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Response to redqueen (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:48 PM

14. Ok, that messed me up.

I try to stay on top of trends in pornography, but necrophilia--acted on or not--I missed that one.

But then I guess that's what this thread is really about, when you look at it a certain way

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:51 PM

16. as jensen said, the porn world needs to get further and further out there to get men off.

how much further can they get?

hot dead women

yeehaw.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:52 PM

17. Yep. Shows like that just make the gawking at those kinds of images more mainstream.

Just like our entire culture has done with porn in general.

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:20 PM

2. speaking out against the sun

Among those who condemned the paper were former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott and Labour MP Chris Bryant, who tweeted: "This is a simply despicable front page. It glories in domestic violence. @rupertmurdoch apologise."

Prescott's tweet said: "I really hope every member of the shadow cabinet thinks twice before writing for the Sun after that front page."

Among the feminist complainants was the newspaper columnist Suzanne Moore who argued that the Sun had hit "a new low". She called it "lechery over a corpse," adding: "A woman just murdered? I hope mass boycott."

*

One of the most damning tweets was posted by a journalist, Ben Bold, who accused the Sun of "doing what it does best: flaunting its egregious lack of judgement, decency etc". Many callers to Victoria Derbyshire's BBC Radio 5 Live programme on Friday expressed their outrage, with few people willing to defend the paper.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2013/feb/15/sun-oscar-pistorius#



The former deputy PM took to Twitter this morning to denounce the paper's "titillating" treatment of the model's death allegedly at the hand of her boyfriend, the Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius.

In a message addressed to Rupert Murdoch's Twitter account, Prescott described the cover as "a new low" for the paper. "Do you really think this is appropriate?" he asked. Prescott also tweeted the telephone number of The Sun and editor Dominic Mohan's work email address, with the hashtag #HerNameWasReevaSteenkamp, urging the tabloid's readers to complain.

*

Yahoo News said many users of social media agreed with Prescott that the Sun's cover appeared to be an attempt to "titillate its readers with the image of a woman who had been recently murdered". The fact that the paper had described her on its cover as "Pistorius's lover" rather than using her name, was also a source of anger.

*

Marina Hyde, writing in The Guardian under the headline 'Reeva Steenkamp's corpse was in the morgue, her body was on the Sun's front page', noted that the tabloid abandoned its topless page three photo today - "maybe because that particular itch had been scratched" by the appearance of the bikini-clad murder victim on the cover.

Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/media/oscar-pistorius/51532/prescott-hits-sun%25E2%2580%2599s-titillating-reeva-steenkamp-cover#ixzz2L08EqMh8



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Response to seabeyond (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:22 PM

4. this is people speaking out. making a difference. saying enough. and it is not about a bikini

shot like so many would like to reduce it to.

it feeds the disrespect and ugliness toward women.

speaking out works.

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:40 PM

6. The Sun shows their true attitudes on Page Three, every day.

Why anyone would read that Murdoch-rag is beyond me. I shouldn't let a dog piddle on it, they'd probably catch something.

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Response to MADem (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:51 PM

8. Lol!

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Response to MADem (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:55 PM

10. true. it was also the daily mail and daily star. so not as casually dismissed

as just "the sun".

epidemic in our culture.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:01 PM

11. Consider the continuing fascination with 'Jack the Ripper'

Or 'The Black Dahlia' it's more of the same really. Especially 'The Black Dahlia'

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