In the age of TMZ, “The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time” is all but meaningless. But when directed at a corporation that still likes to consider itself a Serious News Organization, social-media shaming works. Sometimes.
ABC News lost this round of the “insensitive treatment of a celeb death” sweepstakes last night when it marked the passing of Robin Williams with a big red banner ad promising live aerials from above the actor’s home. Real classy stuff.
And the morning after, the regretful apology. “When we realized there was no news value to the live stream, we took it down immediately,” ABC News said in a statement, as reported by the Wrap. “Our intention was not to be insensitive to his family, friends and fans, and for that we apologize.” But had there been a visible bodybag, the subtext says, it might have stayed.