“Oh, you mean this hunk of burning white meat?” said editor Alan MacQuoid, gesturing at the sex criminal’s undeniably alluring photo. “Sure, we could have used his mugshot where he looks exhausted and sweaty, or that Facebook photo his friend tagged him in where he’s half-blinking – but that would’ve been disrespectful.”
“He was just arrested! He and his baby blues have been through enough,” MacQuoid added.
The photo used shows the defendant, a 24-year-old college athlete accused of twelve individual sex crimes, wearing a tailored shirt, smiling warmly at the camera, and running a hand through his luscious dark locks. Some articles have used the un-cropped version, in which you can see he has amazing calf muscles, while others use a version that seems to have a flattering Instagram filter applied.
The journalist who sourced the photo defended his choice, saying, “When this guy inevitably gets exonerated, despite the multiple credible accusations against him, I don’t want him to struggle to find work! With this photo, he’ll leave jail with millions of Instagram followers and a modelling contract. That’s ethics in journalism 101, folks.”
The newspaper was criticized for a similar incident in 2018, when they published an article about a man who murdered his entire family and used a photo of him and his family looking happy on vacation. Mr. MacQuoid justified that as well, saying, “If we used a photo of them looking unhappy, that’s kind of a spoiler?”
The rest of the media has followed suit in using the sex criminal’s handsome photo in which he kind of looks like Zac Efron, who incidentally has been cast as him in the upcoming docu-series. An editor for a competing newspaper commented, “A hot criminal who looks like he owns a yacht and yells at waiters is better for sales – we’ve got a whole photo spread ready for when Armie Hammer goes to trial.”
At press time the paper’s editors were continuing to deflect criticism by pointing out their stellar record of using unflattering photos for other types of articles, such as those covering women defending themselves against their abusers, young people wearing clothes boomers don’t like, and Black people doing literally anything.