Friday, April 20, 2007

Media Continue to Defend Airing Shooter Video

Jon Klein of CNN said, "Information these days is like steam. It escapes through the tiniest cracks. The notion that any piece of information ever can be sealed away, I think, is a relic of the past."

So the mainstream media needs to contribute to the coarsening of our culture and encouraging copycats by making a murderer's dreams come true?

Things may leak out onto the Internet, but there's no reason for the networks to make a murderer's "manifesto" instantly available to millions of people.

Steve Capus of NBC said, "I did not want to do anything to cause greater pain. We worked as journalists to present the matter in the proper light, and I think we did."

There seems to be an oxymoron there. Capus claims not to have wanted to cause the bereaved greater pain, yet he deliberately did that very thing, presenting "the matter in the proper light," whatever that might be. Meanwhile, his network scored a huge ratings victory.

Capus put being "first" and making money over ethics, common sense, and compassion. There's no other way around it.

As the L.A. Times quotes a comment left at MSNBC, "What is the standard? Will we next be seeing beheadings and full-length terrorist propaganda films?"

An apt question. NBC has been justifying airing the video by claiming they cannot withhold "news" about the case. So how could they withhold terrorist propaganda in future? The murderer's video and photos are no different from any terrorist's video.

A victim's father asks: "I want to issue a direct personal plea, to all the major media. For the love of God and our children, stop broadcasting those images and those words. Choose to focus on life and the love and the light that our children brought into the world and not on the darkness and the madness and the death."

Previous posts on this topic: April 18th and 19th.

Update: A round-up of quotes about NBC's decision by Hugh Hewitt.

A forensic psychiatrist was quoted on ABC yesterday as saying NBC's decision was a "social catastrophe."


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