According to the Huffington Post, back on June 5 "Mom finds (my) missing kid after 15 years using Facebook." I say "my" kid, because it was my kid, pictured alongside this headline.
Mind you, my kid is only four years old. And other than that one time back in Nam, she's never really gone missing.
Now despite that little subtlety, a photograph - not a screen-grab, a photograph - of my Facebook page was featured with this story about a woman who's kids were taken by her husband 15 years ago and she just found them through Facebook. On the front page! Mid-way down, but on the front-friggin page of the Huffington Post. (This screen grab is my only proof, as the picture has since been removed from the story).
I read "HuffPo," as the loyalists call it, from time to time. I've always considered it a reputable news source, if not just a little too entertain-y to be considered "real news."
So why this photo? Well, if you've stuck with this sorry excuse for a blog for any length of time (and I can't imagine why you would), you might remember a little story that was published by the Associated Press, also a fairly well-repsected news source. It featured yours truly and largely referenced an earlier post from this very blog. The original story can still be found at various respectable online news outlets, like msnbc.
I authorized the AP photo. I even posed like a self-satisfied grinning schmuck next to a glowing monitor featuring my little princess. But never did I imagine such a brazen act of journalistic vandalism would result.
I contacted the AP and learned that this was an isolated incident (the story about the missing kids appeared all over the Net, but only the Huffington Post used my Facebook page as an accompanying photo). So I sent the Huffington Post a letter expressing my displeasure with the situation.
After five days, they removed the photo. No apology. No response at all, actually. But hey, now they're practicing real, legitimate journalism.
I kind of wanted to get a little more out of the deal. Like a half-million dollar settlement or something. What's my case? Well, who's to say, the next headline to accompany my Facebook page won't read "Child impersonator uses Facebook to find best birthday clowns?"
Scary stuff, people.