Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ratings Trump Compassion

How long did we wait, out of respect for their families, before we released surveillance tape of the kids who killed other kids at Columbine? (Answer: A year and a half). Their so-called "Basement Tapes," where they ranted like the Virginia Tech killer, have never been released. How long did we wait before showing the Zapruder film of President Kennedy's assassinaton on TV, out of respect for his family? (Answer: 12 years. It was first shown on nationwide television in 1975.)

Yet NBC plays the Virginia Tech killer's diatribe as soon as they get it out of the box. Before any of the dead from this massacre can even be buried.

I'd love to think that some other network would have held off a week or two, but I doubt it. And of course once one shows it, they all do. And then it's on YouTube and downloaded to everybody's cell phone. It's gone viral.

Does compassion matter for nothing anymore when TV ratings and money are on the line? Sure it's newsworthy but geez guys, there was no rush! Give the families a few weeks before you plaster the world with wall-to-wall rants by their loved one's killer.


UPDATE: I felt so strongly about this one that I posted a compact version on Brian William's web site. Not that it will ever be published, but perhaps someone novice assistant gofer will read it sometime.

No comments: