Saturday, March 15, 2008

OFFLEDE EXCLUSIVE! New York Post, scared out of its wits, takes down Ashley Dupre photos; Eliot Spitzer disappointed

A screen shot of the New York Post's Web page,, comes up empty early Saturday morning, after the tabloid took down a racy photo gallery of Gov. Eliot Spitzer's alleged call girl, Ashley Alexandra Dupre, or "Kristen," her reported prostitute alias.

It's out of character for The Offlede to be the first to do something (after all, it's not The Lede), but there's a first time for everything, including a first time not to be second. So, tell your friends. ...

Sometimes, controversy created by the media is easily foreseen. I saw this one coming. And it was banging drums and waving huge fluorescent red flags along the way.

The Associated Press just moved (3:45 a.m.) a story (here) about Ashley Alexandra Dupre being vewy vewy angwy over the use of her MySpace photos and other pictures of her in publications.

And apparently the extremely racy photos that the New York Post ran of her were taken by an outside photographer and sold to the newspaper on a freelance basis.

Interestingly enough, though, the photo gallery that the Post had on its Web site no longer exists. If you were to click this link, which once led to the gallery, you would see "Page Not Found." I spared you the effort above, too.

The AP story was not successful in getting a comment from the Post on its publication of the photos in print. The story did not address that the Post Web site had taken down the photos sometime late Friday or early Saturday.

Well, I'm addressing that here: They're gone. And I don't know anything more.

The AP also explained its own reasoning for running the MySpace photos on the wire. I jokingly created four questions requiring keen news judgment that, hypothetically, were flying around the newsrooms of The New York Times, Newsday, the New York Post and the New York Daily News. (See this post.) But it appears that they probably were pretty accurate.

Here is the quote from the AP story:
"The Associated Press discussed the photos obtained from the MySpace page in great detail and found that they were newsworthy," said Associated Press National Photo Editor V.W. Vaughan. "We distributed the photos that were relevant to the story. Those photos did not show nudity, nor were they explicit."
Before I posted the MySpace photos on The Offlede, which was done as a media criticism instead of an exploitation of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's alleged prostitute, I looked at the MySpace terms of use. Here is what they say, in part:
By displaying or publishing ("posting") any Content on or through the MySpace Services, you hereby grant to MySpace a limited license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce, and distribute such Content solely on or through the MySpace Services, including without limitation distributing part or all of the MySpace Website in any media formats and through any media channels, except Content marked “private” will not be distributed outside the MySpace Website.
It seems that MySpace rightfully distributed them. For further details, click here.

I think this is an Offlede exclusive because I can't see a story about the Post's photo removal anywhere else on the Internet, not even on Gawker, New York City's media gossip blog. Creeps everywhere probably are disappointed about the Post's removal of the gallery, so real blogs such as Gawker better get on the story.

In this post, Gawker says, "New York 'Post' Has Best Week Ever."

Just imagine what would happen if it turns out that the feds had the wrong "Kristen" in the first place.

It could prove to be the Post's worst week ever.

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