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Saddam’s death video fueling top blogs’ traffic

January 1, 2007

Saddam (AP)Just a note: A look at the top blog posts on WordPress.com right now show that 50% of the Top 40 blogs in the world (and four of the top five) have links to the Saddam Hussein uncensored hanging video that a cell phone captured in the execution chamber. The top 3 searches on Technorati right now also are Saddam related.

And people said I was desperate for traffic by featuring Britney Spears

I already said my peace on the display of this unauthorized video from the execution chamber, which shows Saddam falling to his death and a grotesque look at the body in the noose. The Iraqi government is already looking into the release of the video.

Sickening. Reminds me of the fascination with the death video of U.S. contractor Nick Berg, when his terrorist captors in Iraq beheaded him in May 2004 and released the video on Arab TV.

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The question I ask is this: Is it ethical as bloggers to profit from the traffic created by this morbid rush to be a grainy witness to one of the world’s most-famous executions? Is it because executions are banned from the general public view here in the U.S. and in most countries around the world that there’s such fascination with Hussein’s death? Does watching the video make us feel better, or feel like we’ve taken part in the process?

Now, this Saddam video I can watch safely….

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10 Comments
  1. January 1, 2007 11:43 pm

    No, it’s not ethical, but people are curious, sick and perverted. Banning it makes us want to see it even more.

    To make people understand that it is unethical to publish and view this video we would have to ban all kinds of TV-violence, and kill our curiosity before it takes root. Sadly this is too late. Death is entertainment, even if it is real or not.

  2. January 2, 2007 12:05 am

    Then how close are we until “The Running Man” is a method of execution in Texas or California? Ten years? Twenty? And I bet it still wouldn’t beat “American Idol” in the ratings…

  3. January 2, 2007 5:58 am

    I am not surprised that people want to view this video, its just Human nature I suppose.

  4. January 2, 2007 2:33 pm

    Watch what you need to, want to watch. Saddam’s fate as a cartoon? I guess if that makes you feel more “ethical.” You’ll be even safer if you take Drudge and CNET News off of your Blogroll. Thank goodness you don’t have the NYT, Washington Post, BBC, Guardian or London Times on there to tempt you….

  5. January 2, 2007 2:47 pm

    The Family Guy cartoon was of Saddam’s capture, not of his execution.

    I think the hanging should have been solemn, and not the mob scene it resembled.

    But then again, this is from a society that Saddam frequently held show trials and executions of his enemies in a soccer stadium, in front of cheering crowds.

    So it’s understandable that the crowd at the hanging wanted to vent politically. But still, not appropriate.

  6. Ilya Lichtenstein permalink
    January 2, 2007 5:07 pm

    As I’ve written previously, it’s because people have a morbid curiosity. Look at the popularity of sites like liveleak.com. It’s not even the Saddam element for most bloggers- I bet a video titled “Some guy gets hanged” would have done equally well with this much news promotion.

  7. January 2, 2007 9:11 pm

    Yeah, reminds me of the “Faces of Death” series of VHS tapes that were big in the 90s at rental stores. Sick stuff.

  8. January 13, 2007 4:33 pm

    Well it might be ‘sick’, but the death penalty is legal in many places including America. The means of Saddams removal might not have been tastefull but that is the nature of the death penalty.

    Perhaps what is most interesting is that it shows me what a hanging might have been like in the past which the mainstream media (including arab tv) refused to show.

  9. Chris permalink
    January 14, 2007 7:51 am

    It’s not about ethics or profiting with the traffic — the answer is just simply this… 99% of Americans and most of the world’s population have not seen a public gallows hanging in many many years. Yes, it is human nature to be fascinated with death, but that fascination increases exponentially when there’s a public hanging, especially that of a public figure, since most haven’t seen one since at least the 1960’s and probably won’t see another for the rest of their life. Thanks for the plug! You have a great website! Have a great weekend. — Ballyblog

  10. faisal permalink
    January 26, 2007 3:37 pm

    it was disgusting, barbaric and below any moral standards….however, the way saddam looked death right into the eye was amazingly courageous and requires steel nerves…..i m sure that if such a situation arrives for Bush he would s*** in his pants, cry like a baby or probably faint before even standing on the platform

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