Bloggers Fume Over Princess Di Photos

Princess Diana CBS/The Early Show

With millions of sites floating through the blogosphere, who really has time to peek at even a fraction of them? Blogophile reads them for you and presents a weekly roundup of the buzz on must-read blogs. Blogophile appears new each Wednesday, and is written by CBSNews.com's Melissa P. McNamara.



Princess Diana is gone, but not forgotten, online where bloggers vent over a decision to release photos from her crash. Plus, is The Onion satire? One blogger misunderstood a parody, and he felt the wrath of the blogosphere. And, why is Homeland Security's cyber security position vacant? Bloggers offer some ideas.


Diana Lives Online

If you had any doubt over Princess Diana's ability to generate news eight years after her death, check out the blogosphere this week. After an Italian magazine published photos of Diana at the scene of her fatal car crash, bloggers pushed the princess to the top of the online charts, making her the most searched person and topic in the blogs.

Nearly 20,000 bloggers weighed in last weekend alone. And CBSNews.com's story about the photos has remained one of the site's top five stories days after it was posted, with hundreds of thousands of people searching the site for the Diana story as well.

The cyberspace clamor erupted when the Milan-based Chi magazine published on its cover a black-and-white photo showing the princess receiving oxygen in the wreckage of the car crash that killed her Aug. 31, 1997. The picture was excerpted from "Lady Diana: The Criminal Investigation," a new book by French author Jean-Michel Caradec'h.

Diana's sons, princes William and Harry, said in a statement Friday they were "deeply saddened." But that was nothing compared to the anger the photos drew online.

"It has been eight years since the tragic death of England's Princess Diana, but still there are some heartless little creeps out there who cherish the hope of squeezing a few extra bucks out of her," Kathy at Hollywood Highlights blogs.

Susan at Susan's Spa agrees. "Why anyone would want these photos to become public is beyond my comprehension, even though I realize that such photos sell for millions and, in turn, will sell millions of tabloid rags," she says. "As for me I prefer to remember her as she is in this photo...completely elegant...the embodiment of a true princess!"

"It is not in the interest of the public to know about Diana's private life, it doesn't matter what we know now anyway, but it is in the interest of the pockets of journalism as a business," Joe at the General blogs.

And Black Hippy Chick thinks the photo suggests the princess received questionable medical treatment on the scene of her accident. "I suppose what I wonder and possibly some of the world wonders is if they were able to give her oxygen at the scene why couldn't they save her life," Black Hippy Chick blogs. "This is a particular significant issue to me because as a small child I remember watching the wedding from beginning to end and it was just such a beautiful thing."

But not all bloggers are as outraged. Some question why the media should treat the photo of Diana's death any differently than other grim photos it publishes. After all, violent photos from bombings in Iraq often appear in print and online.

"How many images of death & destruction do we see in the daily news and why is Diana's death any different? If publishing photos of a dead or dying person is undignified and/or offensive to the memory of the deceased, shouldn't that standard apply to the rest of us?" Tania Siyam asks. "Does Princess Di somehow merit more privacy than Kennedy, King or any other prominent figure who has suffered a controversial death (and life) in the public eye?"


For Pete's Sake

Pete, blogging on March Together for Life, an anti-abortion rights site, was outraged over a 1999 opinion piece by columnist Caroline Webber, entitled "I'm Totally Psyched About This Abortion."

  • Melissa McNamara

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