The Herald and the Druce-video scoop

Today's Herald article on the latest YouTube video from someone claiming to be Joseph Druce--who murdered child-molesting priest John Geoghan in prison back in 2003--is an interesting piece of work.

Here's how the story starts: "As Web users flocked to view a prison security video posted by someone purporting to be the incarcerated killer of defrocked priest John Geoghan..."

And here's how it ends: "The new video comes days after the Herald was alerted to a video showing officers trying to enter the cell where the pedophile priest was strangled. That video has received more than 90,000 page views."

Here's what you wouldn't get from these descriptions: the Herald itself is almost certainly responsible for all that traffic. Remember, on July 6, the Herald put a screen shot of the first video--which shows prison guards trying to get into Druce and Geoghan's cell as the murder took place--on its front cover, flanked by snapshots of Geoghan and Druce. The headline: PRIEST SLAY VIDEO HITS WEB.

Before I saw the Herald that day, I had no idea the video existed; after reading Michele McPhee's story, I went straight to YouTube. Here's the front page in question (sans the top 2/3, which I couldn't scan):

To be honest, I'm still not sure what I think about the Herald effectively acting as Druce's publicist (or as "Druce's" publicist) here. But it's a done deal. At this point, the paper might as well be upfront about its role.

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