[Ed Note: You will see a couple of posts on this same topic. The reason for this is that we have two writers that chose to write on the guesome Kevin Ware injury following the reaction from the internet. While both have similar sentiment, they are not necessarily the same take.]You won’t find video of the Kevin Ware injury in this post. Nor will you find it in the text of any other post on this site. There’s no reason for it. It is rubbernecking for the Internet age.
Within hours of the play itself, there were countless copies of the video replay available on YouTube, and nearly as many major news websites scrambling to link those videos. More than a few major news and sports news outlets made the executive decision not to embed the video, or any animated GIF of the injury; kudos to them.
In today’s 24/7/365 news cycle, there is no shortage of information available. And there will always be someone willing to post pictures or videos of the most gruesome things you can imagine. As long as there are people willing to watch it, there will be people willing to post it. It’s the “Jackass” syndrome, and it’s just a sad reality of the world. No fewer than ten people I follow between Twitter and Facebook took the opportunity to link the video; though to be fair, I do follow some awful people, and have some awful friends.
(An aside; real nice job by the CBS truck finding different angles of the injury to replay for us at home, before thinking better of it and just focusing on the teammates, coaches, fans and opponents’ reactions. Stay classy you guys.)
Don’t give me the Deadspin “Warning: Very Gross” alert either, as though that somehow absolves you from any sin; hell, the video embedded in that Deadspin post is stuck on a preview frame that pretty clearly shows Ware’s shin bone sticking through his leg. Even if you don’t want to watch the video, you don’t really have a choice.
Sites like The Big Lead may have one-upped even the freeze frame preview; by initially including a fully animated GIF on their immediate blog post about the injury before pulling that GIF in favor of just the reaction shot of the Louisville bench, TBL managed to not only generate thousands (and possibly tens of thousands) of hits, but then were able to play the high and mighty, “we’re not going to show that anymore” card a couple hours later – presumably after searches for “Kevin Ware Injury” had died down. It’s hypocrisy of the highest magnitude.
Although I’m writing this post at 8pm on Sunday night, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that the late Sportscenter will have at least one replay of the injury itself, which will then re-run for the next eight or nine hours.
I don’t know; maybe I just have a different view on this because I’ve dealt with so many weird injuries, or because I’ve seen multiple massive traumas either from working in hospitals or just hanging out with my friends and doing stupid shit. But to me, there is no reason for major news outlets linking directly to those images, or embedding the video in their write-ups, that doesn’t involve money/pageviews. I don’t care that it’s “newsworthy” – write the story, and let the gawking onlookers go find the video for themselves.
The thing is, we shouldn’t have to congratulate the media outlets that decided not to show the injury. Again, I hate to play the “What with the Internet and all…” old man card, but it’s true. Anything I want to find video of, I can usually find in about 0.3 seconds. Just ask the other authors here; I’m usually pretty quick on the draw to find a clip from Family Guy, The Simpsons or Jurassic Park. It’s not hard. You punch something into Google and up pops what you’re looking for.
The same goes for “newsworthy” videos. If I were so inclined, I could go and find video of just about any “newsworthy” event, whether or not there were serious injury or death involved. I’m certain that there are still hundreds of YouTube links to the X-Games Snowmobile crash that killed Caleb Moore; I just don’t care to go find them.
When it comes to massive, gruesome injuries, or God forbid a death, there is no excuse for major outlets posting the video. If people have a morbid curiosity, they can go find it themselves. Putting it on the front page does nothing but feed the beast, and keep raising the bar on “What will they show next?”
These days, I don’t think I want to find out where the line is.