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Ed Driscoll, among others, is questioning NBC’s decision to air video snippets and photos sent to them from VTech killer Cho Seung-Hui. The WaPo reports that the network “debated hours” on whether or not to air what was sent and eventually decided to air it while others strongly disagreed with their decision. NBC’s Brian Williams, who is their nightly news anchor, didn’t seem too keen on going on air with it. The families of some of the victims are outraged NBC decided to release the killer’s propaganda, with some of them even cancelling scheduled interviews with the network.
Do you think NBC should have gone to air with the video and photos? Some people suggest that it would have been ok to broadcast some of it, but not so soon after the tragedy – that perhaps NBC should have waited a while out of respect for the victims, and to not sensationalize the ‘manifesto’ so as not to give Cho’s propaganda a chance to influence potential copycat killers. I can see the rationale in all that, but at the same time I wonder if people feel the same way about network airing of Al Qaeda videos that we see from time to time. Should networks be sensitive not to air them because of the potential they have to spawn another generation of jihadis? Or does this fall into the category of the ‘public’s right to know’?
More: I’m having a somewhat busy day, so I won’t be able to keep up with the latest news on this story like I have been, but Allah’s got up to the minute updates on the latest developments and will likely be updating throughout the day.
Update: Read more thoughts on NBC’s decision via ST reader Karl.
PM Update: Some VTech students have weighed in on the issue of media coverage of the tragedy: