In today's get-pageviews-or-die web world, even network TV affiliates, among the last bastions of family-friendly media, understand that grabby topics are the best way to get clicks.
Which explains why the top national headline in 7News's "Staying Healthy" section currently reads: "Penis Tattoo Causes Permanent Erection."
The story has been making the Internet rounds for several days, ever since MSNBC's The Body Odd blog shared the tale of a 21-year-old Iranian man who "apparently thought it would be a grand idea to have Persian script reading borow be salaamat (good luck on your journeys), and the first initial of his girlfriend's last name ('M') tattooed onto his little gentleman." The result was a hang-down that will no longer hang down, thanks to what's described as a "permanent semi-erection."
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Shortly thereafter, the Huffington Post jumped on the story, in a manner of speaking, joined by other blogs aplenty. But a handful of mainstream TV outlets have also stood up to be counted, including our own 7News, whose webmasters correctly determined that the penis-tattoo tale was more appealing than other current heads, including "Tracking Infectious Disease on Twitter," "Americans Binge Drinking More" and "UK Breast Implant Victims Want Answers."
No, this isn't the end of the world as we know it. Rather, it's an indication that TV stations are not about to cede the penis tattoo beat to anyone. And neither are we.
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More from our Videos archive circa 2011: "9News blooper of the year: 'Congratulations on your big hooters' (VIDEO)."