Carol Platt Liebau: NBC's Decision

Thursday, April 19, 2007

NBC's Decision

Together on air this morning with Jamie Allman, we discussed NBC's decision to release the video of the Virginia Tech killer.

NBC anchorman Brian Williams himself conceded that going on the air with the video had been a "sick business", but regrettably, NBC did it anyway.

Other than the sensationalism of it, there was no reason to do so. After all, the piece had little "news value" -- it shed no more light on the killer and what he had done than, say, releasing a transcript would have. What's more, it helped the killer realize his objective of achieving notoriety of a certain kind, and suggested to other would-be Chos that iconic status can be attained in the wake of a heinous crime, so long as the killer plays his PR cards right.

Finally, the rantings (Cho's ramblings shouldn't be dignified with the term "manifesto") offer no real insight to what happened. They indicate a symptom of what was the real cause of Cho's actions -- his mental illness or evil, take your pick. It seems that much of the public is disgusted by NBC's decision, and rightly so.

Update: A psychiatrist in this piece from ABC News opines that the video should not be on the air.

3 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

NBC is perfectly comfortable Being a "PR Card" to be played. They've gleefully occupied that role for the looney left for decades.

It's a disgraceful decision.

8:27 AM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

I think I might agree with you on this one Carol.

Shock! Horror!

With the rise of internet and multiple ways of gaining access to information, choosing not to show questionable material actually becomes easier.

It may seem like "censorship gone wild" or "muffling free speech", but there is no doubt that anyone who wants to find this questionable material just needs a PC and a modem these days.

So I'm happy for major networks to not show such material - so long as its available for people who want to see it.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Another debate would be whether anyone "should" want to see it, or if should be available at all. What purpose does it serve. Professional people perhaps, such as psychiatrists and such, but the general public? I would hope most folks have more important things to do that to listen to the ramblings of a lunatic.

1:58 PM  

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