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NBC affiliate yanks Cho’s manifesto for good

April 20, 2007

Cho on NBC’s Today show (AP)

WSLS-TV Roanoke, an NBC affiliate, said yesterday it will no longer air any part of Virginia Tech murderer Cho Seung-Hui’s paranoid delusions videotaped rant that was sent to NBC headquarters in New York and subsequently branded with the NBC peacock logo and shown on air.

As I posted yesterday, I felt that the video should have never seen the light of day. Showing that video on air was tantamount to rewarding the killer with a worldwide TV audience to spout his nonsense from the grave.

And from seeing the media backlash that developed yesterday, I was not alone in thinking that.

Executive producer Jessica A. Ross of WSLS-TV issued a statement yesterday explaining their decision:

After a serious editorial discussion, the Newschannel 10 management team has decided to no longer air any audio from Cho Seung-Hui’s ranting death tape. We will also no longer show any images of him pointing weapons at the camera. We realize that would only further cause pain to the Virginia Tech community.

Initially, NBC and WSLS made the decision to air all of the images as a new development in the investigation. It was the first insight into his state of mind when he committed these unthinkable acts of violence. But again, we no longer feel it is newsworthy to air certain images or to broadcast his words.

We will strive to be sensitive about our coverage of this story and work to honor the memories of the victims. …

We want to point out that we have no control over what NBC network may continue to do with this material.

Bravo WSLS!

NBC News, the ball is now in your court.

[UPDATE: Both CNN talents Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace have said that they are not running the Cho clips anymore.  Beck said on his radio show today that CNN is making sure network shows have “special dispensation” from management before using the clips.

MSNBC has announced they will only using Cho’s video/images for 10 minutes or less per hour.   Per HOUR?!?!  Did I mention that NBC News stuck it’s LOGO on all these pictures and video?  Nothing like promoting your network next to Cho’s face of evil for ALL TIME online and on the Internet!!

I love how NBC News goes from hyper-responsible in the Don Imus-Rutgers controversy to “we have to rush to air this, despite the sensitivity issues” in this case.  Such hypocrisy! ]

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2 Comments
  1. April 20, 2007 7:50 am

    http://balafria.wordpress.com/2007/04/20/vt-killings-have-nbc-and-the-media-gone-too-far-this-time/

  2. April 20, 2007 9:47 am

    I hope that media will suspend repeatedly playing the killer’s tapes and videos and dedicate some space to honor examples of bravery like Virginia Tech student Waleed Mohammed Shaalan, who was hit by three bullets, including one in the head, in an attempt to save a fellow student.

    Shaalan, 32, had been at Virginia Tech since August studying for a Ph.D. in civil engineering. He was ambitious, saying he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Ahmed Zewail, an Egyptian who won the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1999, said his father, Mohammed Shaalan, 65.

    The day before Monday’s massacre, Shaalan called home and said he intended to visit Egypt next month and then return to Virginia with his wife and 15-month-old son who had been living in Egypt, his parents said Thursday. The family got another call two days later. The Egyptian Embassy in Washington told them Shaalan had been one of the 32 victims.

    See his 2004 wedding photo at http://www.tri-cityherald.com/24hour/world/story/3603061p-12883822c.html

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