That this ^^^ truly dreadful image, of Jade Goody's son picking a flower hamfistedly comped together with a pap photo of her dying body being wheeled out of an ambulance on a trolley, isn't the least tasteful thing in the Mail's coverage of the dying reality TV star, tells you a lot.
I've written before about how I don't blame Jade for making money from this, her last glimpse of the limelight before she dies, but as her death gets ever closer it's really excruciating at times to see what the papers are doing.
The fact that Goody herself wants publicity to give money to her kids is one thing; hence the approved photos (eg the one of the son holding a flower, albeit without the image of dying mother next to beaming smile) turning up in our papers. But then that appears to have been a green light to the tabs to print dozens of intrusive photos of Jade's family in obvious distress. Goody may have signed up with Max Clifford for the good of her children, but does that mean all her family must have their privacy intruded into? Yes, apparently.
Jade's family and friends show the strain as she clings to life
As I imagine anyone would. Having seen people I love fade away and die to cancer, I know what it's like. It's horrible and it hurts like nothing else in the world. But luckily at those times of misery, despair and unhappiness I didn't have someone pointing a camera in my face. For Jade's family, no such peace and quiet time for reflection. Has she brought this on them? No, I don't think so. No-one is pointing a gun at paps' heads and telling them to snap distressed relatives; no-one is forcing anyone to publish the images. No-one knows if people really want to see them; or if, like me, they think this is a step too far.
They are Jade Goody's pillars of strength, spending what might be her final days, or even hours, at her side.
But whenever the reality TV star's loved ones stepped outside her Essex house for a brief break this afternoon their composure slipped.
One by one her mother Jackiey, new husband Jack Tweed and friend Kevin Adams were seen struggling to control their emotions.
...writes Julie 'is an idiot' Moult. AND WE'VE GOT PICTURES TO SHOW YOU JUST HOW THEY'RE STRUGGLING TO CONTROL THEIR EMOTIONS! LOOK AT THESE MEN CRYING! LOOK AT THIS MOTHER ABOUT TO BURY HER OWN DAUGHTER! LOOK AT THIS MAN ABOUT TO SEE HIS WIFE DIE!
Whenever these people stepped outside the Essex house, no doubt they were a bit annoyed to hear dozens of shutters click; to see dozens of lenses pointed at them. Earlier on (though it's been taken down now) the story even had a photo of one of Jade's children pointing at the camera. I wonder what he was thinking?
Adams, the confidante who cared for Jade while Tweed was in prison and sat with her through the long days of chemotherapy, covered his eyes with a hand as he tried not to cry.
One of Tweed's friends, normally photographed engaged in activities such as mooning for the cameras, put a comforting arm around him.
Yes, Julie reveals the shocking news that a man who sometimes has indulged in silly behaviour is surprisingly less silly when confronted with the impending death of a close friend after months of deterioration. That really is a stunning insight. And let's not forget why he's 'normally photographed' anyway... he hasn't asked to be at any stage in his entire life, has he?
How nice, though, that we have photos of this man trying not to cry. How dignified the press are in their treatment of this story.
And then, of course, there will be the moment when these people leave the house after Jade has died, and the shutters will go off like crazy again, and after all that, maybe the cameras will go away, their job having been done and the money having been pocketed. But the grief will remain, but that won't matter any more.