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Thursday, February 23, 2012

National Enquirer Publishes Private Picture Of Whitney Houston In Casket

By Susan Duclos

The National Enquirer published a picture of the the late Whitney Houston in her casket, supposedly obtained from the private viewing of Houston, which the family attended prior to the televised funeral service.

The controversial decision to publish the photo has other outlets, bloggers and opinion writers asking if the National Enquirer crossed a line and went too far.

The photo of the Enquirer cover is now all over the Internet, some publishing it with the Houston's image blurred, others with just the headline from the National Enquirer which read "Whitney: The Last Photo!," and others publishing the cover as is.

The instant knee jerk reaction for many is to criticize the Enquirer for publishing the photo, but objectively, that publication has always been about attention grabbing headlines, pictures, and stories. Their goal is to sell the publication to as many people as possible.

While criticism is fine and everyone is entitled to their opinion, they got exactly what they wanted, attention, everyone talking about them and even more searching for the photo. Google Trends, right now (and it is updated constantly so the numbers and terms will change) has as number three in "hot searches" the term "national inquirer, " and number six is just "enquirer" and number eight is "national enquirer whitney houston".

CBS News reports that the this type of thing is nothing new for the Enquirer, in 1977 they published a photo of Elvis in his casket and did the same after John Lennon's death.

The Examiner reports, "Houston's family decided to have a private viewing of her body the Friday before her televised funeral service. However, it appears as though someone inside the funeral home took a photo of Whitney and sold it to the National Enquirer, the mag then publishing it on the front cover of their latest issue, causing quite the controversy."

While the Enquirer did exactly what it is has always done, being accused of new lows on a regular basis, the people searching madly enough for the photo/story to make three of the top ten searches are the whole reason they do what they do, but the person who sold the picture to the Enquirer, that is where trust was broken.

Someone took that photo and sold it, someone that attended the private viewing, someone that was trusted.

Perhaps that is where the outrage should be focused.