Blame it on the Internet


Blame it on the Internet
Washington Post writer Monica Hesse penned this thought-provoking piece on the incident. It has been edited for length
July 25, 2009 Print Ready Email Article

EARLY Tuesday afternoon, the top Google search was Erin Andrews peephole pictures, likely due, in part, to a New York Post article that ran on the story. The third most popular was Erin Andrews hotel video.

The fifth? Erin Andrews peephole video link rapidshare. Even Aaron Andrews received a bump, from lewd but illiterate voyeurs.

The use of the word ‘peephole’ is guesswork – no one could tell immediately how the video was shot.

The media were happy to feed the frenzy…

The original video link had disappeared by the weekend, but file-sharing sites all over the Web still lured in viewers: Erin Andrews Peephole Full Video Online Free! It was hard to avoid glimpsing a naked Erin Andrews online, even if you wanted to.

Which so many people did despite warnings in Internet discussions that watching it would make them perverts. Watching would make them complicit. Those who have seen it tried to protect others.

‘I feel dirty having watched it,’ writes a poster going by ‘Jacob Schumer’ on sports website

But these warnings tantalise as much as they dissuade. Would you feel dirty having watched it? Or would you decide, as some jaded bloggers have, that this is all a publicity stunt…

An Internet that has made it possible for us to see everything for ourselves prompts the urge to see everything for ourselves, to personally evaluate the horror of (reporter) Daniel Pearl’s beheading (by terrorists) or the sick dullness of Saddam Hussein’s hanging…

Meanwhile, the question of whether to watch might be moot: In an unusual case of the Internet censoring itself, many of the links purporting to lead to the video now just lead to viruses – virtual STDs punishing viewers for their voyeurism. Finding a genuine, unedited copy of the video has become increasingly difficult.

The good citizen in you receives this news with relief. Your inner voyeur is slightly disappointed, clicking link after link, knowing that you would watch the appalling video for all the right reasons.


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