WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some family members of the victims killed at Virginia Tech university canceled interviews with NBC on Thursday because the television network aired video and photographs of the killer it received in the mail.
Police handling the investigation into the shooting also expressed disappointment at the airing of the images and rants by Cho Seung-Hui, who killed 32 people and then himself in the worst shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.
“We had planned to speak to some family members of victims this morning but they canceled their appearances because they were very upset with NBC for airing the images,” said NBC “Today” morning program co-host Meredith Vieira.
Cho, a student from South Korea mailed photographs of himself posing with the guns he bought and video railing against rich kids and debauchery. The package to NBC News was mailed after he killed his first two victims on Monday morning but before he cut down 30 more people in classrooms.
Full story here.
I think that was a very brave move on the part of the families and I think it’s the right decision. We should not be doing exactly what this crazed killer wanted us to. No one should ever have to see those videos.
We are being desensitized to these sorts of things. Between video games where kids run over pedestrians and kill people. Gangster rap music making it cool to fight with police and act like a thug, shows like The Sopranos where they make it that we should sympathize where the Mob, movies like Grindhouse that feature a woman with a machine gun attached to her leg. It’s just too much.
Yes, people who would do what Cho did are crazy and will always find a way to do crazy things. But we’re just glorifying what he did by airing those videos and images. It needs to stop.
Yes, NBC has the freedoms and the rights to air those videos. But we as the people have the right to choose NOT to watch NBC. The families have the right to boycott NBC and we have the freedom to speak up and say why just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
Update: NBC Responds:
“NBC has instituted a policy about the usage of the gunman video on NBC News.\ “We will limit the use of the video to 10 percent of our airtime — translating to no more than 6 minutes per hour on MSNBC,” a spokesperson says…”
Wow, only 6 minutes per hour. That is not a compromise, it’s just a realization of how ridiculously often they were showing it in the first place. Let’s see, at 6 minutes per hour, that means if you turn on MSNBC you will be subjected to watching two hours and 40 minutes worth of this serial killers video rants.
Does the 6 min per hour rule apply to ALL NBC stations in total or each station? Cause then you have to add in MSNBC, CNBC, and any news broadcasts on NBC network news in the morning, mid-day, afternoon and evening. That’s an additional what, 2? 3? more hours?
Update: Fox News will stop showing video altogether. Very commendable. I hope more networks will follow.